Writing. It’s something we all learn at school. Graphic design? Now, that’s different. While some have a flair for aesthetics, colour and layout, most of us are more than happy to leave the arty stuff to the experts.
It’s little wonder copywriting is first for the chop when budgets are tight. After all, everyone can write, right? Truth is, there’s a gulf between schooled writing and the crisp prose copywriters use daily. Who remembers the lesson on tautologies, redundancies, repetition, cliché, alliteration, sentence forms and passive verbs? I must have been off sick that day.
There are copywriting rules that make words work harder. But much of a writer’s ability comes down to natural aptitude and experience. Only by working with many different clients will a copywriter become skilled at switching styles, using rhythm, structuring information and knowing when to stop. And when to break the rules.
Whether you’re writing your own collateral or looking for support, copywriters can still play their part. Here are five things you can do to get engaging words for an affordable price:
01. Do it yourself: if it’s your first attempt at writing copy, spend some time honing your style. Read as many competitor brochures, websites and ads as you can. Before cranking up Word, check out this unusually accurate entry from .
02. Clean it up: if you’ve written the copy, it’s a good idea to send it to a copywriting professional for a second opinion or a tidy up. Send them your document, talk things through, and they’ll edit, rewrite and give it an edge.
03. Do the groundwork: if you have some rough content but no time to knock it into shape, give a copywriter a call. They’ll take your ideas and craft it into compelling copy your customers want to read. Best of all, because you’ve made a start on the words, you’ll pay less than putting a copywriter to work from outset.
04. Get the brief right: if you want a copywriter to write everything, prepare a brief that provides full support information and details of the audience, contacts, media and deadlines. Giving a copywriter a full brief means they’re more likely to get it right. So you’re less likely to pay more if it’s wrong.
For an overview of required information, here’s an .
05. Ask for a quote: if a copywriter charges by the hour and things take longer than expected, costs can spiral out of control. Ask your copywriter to provide a firm quote that includes a couple of rounds of amends. A quote will also help with your budgeting.
Budgets may not be what they once were. But that doesn’t mean we should overlook words. Used well, they have the power to sell, influence and inform. Used poorly, they have the potential to lose you custom and damage your brand. So, take your time, prepare your content, and don’t be afraid to call on a copywriter to help keep your costs down.