Whether you’re an executive for a large company, or a small business owner, chances are you will have to hire a writer somewhere along the line to create your marketing
materials. Here’s some insight into the process, what is expected of you, and how to get the most out of your investment.
But before we start…
All your written background material please! The most efficient way to get started is to send all previously written material to your writer. This includes any brochures, business plans, press releases, articles, reports and whatever else you can find. The writer will then spend a few days to a week, depending on the assignment, taking a crash course on your business. Much like cramming for finals. Then…
Let the questions begin (and there will be lots!)
You are the expert in your field, so it’s your job to fill in the blanks that the material doesn’t cover. Some questions may seem redundant to you. But remember, in order to create strong selling copy, the writer must write with authority about your product or service, and specifics are where it’s at.
Here are a few standard questions:
1. Who is your target audience? (age, income, gender)
2. What are the characteristics of your audience?
3. What is the tone of the piece? (friendly, formal,
4. What are the features and benefits of your product or
5. Who is your competition?
The more communicative you are during the writing process, the better your copy will be. Hopefully your writer will have nailed down exactly what you envisioned on the first draft. But even business writing is still an art form and your writer’s interpretation may need to be tweaked here and there. When going over the first draft together, it’s best to be very specific about what areas you need altered.
An example of constructive feedback would be “I like this paragraph, but let’s emphasize this benefit more”. Or, “I want to change the tone of this section”. By the second or
third revision, the final copy should be 100%.
Trust your copywriter!
You may look at your finished copy and decide you could have written it yourself. Or you may want to take over half way through the process. After all, anyone can write,
This is a common misconception. You are probably a fabulous salesperson, but the actual writing part is a different discipline. If you start changing a section here,
a section there, you risk messing up the flow and structure your copywriter has toiled over to entice the reader into taking the desired action. Your writer will know which key
words sell, how to write attention grabbing headlines and basically the difference between copy that sells and copy that sounds clever but is really just a bunch of hot air.
And how will they have created such irresistibly, compelling copy? By lots of…
Aah, that mysterious word that conjures up so many visions. Mostly, visions of your writer doing a whole lot of nothing. Except maybe, daydreaming. Yes, sitting around reading, staring off into space, doodling on notepads and making countless cups of coffee are part of brainstorming. But realize we’re not just idly wasting time. There is a method to the madness. The actual writing is the last step of the process. First, we need time to digest all that new information we’ve just crammed into our heads. Then comes the concepting, sketching and arranging until finally it all gets typed into the computer and becomes the masterpiece that is your hard hitting, engaging sales copy.
Return on Investment
After the first project, your writer will have a sound knowledge of your business. The benefits of sticking with the same writer are obvious. Because they have invested the research time on the first project, you can simply call them up, explain the job and rely on them to quickly create copy that clearly speaks with the ‘voice’ of your company. And you can rest assured they know how to take all the features and benefits of your product or service, and present them in a way that is most appealing to your audience. And most importantly, a copywriter will free up your time so you can get back to doing what you do best. [pullquote]And most importantly, a copywriter will free up your time so you can get back to doing what you do best.[/pullquote]
The end result? More money for everyone. Happiness. And peace of mind.
Copyright Jenny Brown
Jenny Brown is a freelance copywriter based in Canada.
She helps companies increase sales by writing brochures,
web content, sales letters, and more.
Visit http://copywriting.jennybrown.ca for portfolio and details.