As a business owner, you are the closest person to your business and the one who knows it best. You’re ideally placed to answer questions about what your company does. But the truth is that not everyone can write well – even about what they know. And even fewer know what their readers really want to hear.
If you’re in the process of creating a new website, product, or advertisement, or are looking to strengthen your existing brand, it’s worth hiring a copywriter to ensure that your messaging is spot on. Your content is your sales pitch: and it will either be working for you or against you.
A great copywriter can turn a dull piece of writing into something captivating – something that truly captures your brand’s tone of voice. If you’re serious about making an impression on your customers, there are several reasons for hiring a skilled writer.
- Bad writing looks unprofessional
Copy littered with poor grammar, typos, and misplaced punctuation says one thing about your company, and that is ‘negligent’. If you could not be bothered to spell check, your customers will question your attitude to your business and in turn, them. How are they supposed to trust that you will pay attention to detail in other areas of your work?
It’s important to take the time to ensure that your copy is always on-point and well-written. It is, after all, the public voice of your brand. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases, which means they will be checking you out. It is thus vital to ask yourself every time you, or someone else produces content for your brand: if I were a customer, would I be impressed by this?
Given how essential quality copy is, a lot of companies will vet freelance writers until they find one who really ‘gets’ them. This can be both time consuming and expensive. One solution to this problem is to hire a writer using a freelance writing platform that has tested its writers on their skills and knowledge.
- You are too close to your business
This is particularly true of tech companies and specialists. You may be an expert in your field, but it’s important to remember that for the most part, your customers won’t be. You can rabbit on about ‘carrier aggregation’ this and ‘dynamic tessellation’ that, but don’t expect your customers to hang around. Remember that 43% of people admit to only skimming through content, so few will take the time to read it in depth. If they don’t know what you’re going on about, they will find someone else – likely a competitor – who will explain it in terms they understand.
From a small startup, to a large business, every type of company can benefit from hiring a great writer. A professional freelance copywriter is an ideal solution to your over-complication woes. They are skilled at grasping meaty concepts and presenting them in a clear, understandable way – minus all the industry jargon. Not sure if this applies to you? Get someone you know (a layperson) to read your content and see if they can accurately explain what you do. You may be surprised.
- Skilled writers are great timesavers
“Yes, I’m going to write that blog post, just as soon as I’ve finished this filing/watered the plants, had my lunch/paid these invoices.” Sound familiar? For many who are busy trying to actually run a business, there is little time to send on company messaging and content marketing. In fact, your time is almost certainly better spent elsewhere. There are an increasing number of companies looking to improve their marketing efforts through quality copy, as reflected in the projection that by 2019, content marketing will be a $300 billion dollar industry.
Constructing a carefully written, insightful, error-free piece of copy requires some time and quiet to get your head down. That’s what freelance writers are experts at, often working from home or a local cafe where they are free from the distractions of a conventional workplace. They can complete in one hour what would take you weeks in sporadic snatched moments to achieve. So work to your strengths, and hire a professional copywriter to work on theirs.
- They get results
Copywriters are not just ‘good at writing’. They are also masters in the art of persuasion. According to Econsultancy, only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. Copywriting is as much about sales as it is about eloquent, fanciful wording. Because at the end of the day, the main goal of your words should be to get your readers to take action. To do this, you need to elicit some kind of emotional response: be it excitement, joy, or fear of missing out.
Copy that bores the pants off people, fails to persuade, or is poorly written will not achieve this. Digital businesses, such as online stores, particularly need to take note. It’s easy to get set up as an ecommerce merchant using modern platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, but it’s a lot harder to create a compelling brand that’s going to take you all the way. What sets successful businesses apart in a sea of competition is their branding – which includes your tone of voice.
Nailing a compelling tone of voice that actually speaks your audience’s language can be challenging, but it’s what copywriters are expert at. Some even specialize in a certain style: whether direct, playful, or witty. Ultimately, it all comes down to creating landing pages and product descriptions that will convince and convert – not to mention what search engines will lap up. A well-written product page is in effect your sales pitch, working for you day and night.
Your customers do not have the chance to touch and feel your product in person, so they need a little extra convincing. Copy-pasting a manufacturer’s description is not enough (it’s also bad for SEO because you can guarantee others have done the same). You need real words, real thoughts, and real writing, if you want to make that sale.
Professional copywriters have also mastered the art of optimizing content for SEO, which is ultimately what’s going to help you get visitors in the first place. 72% of marketers say that relevant content creation was their most effective SEO tactic. Using keyword research, it’s possible to identify which words and phrases you need to target to generate the right audience. But working them skillfully into natural-sounding copy is much harder than you might think.
- You get more for your money
There is much more value to be had in hiring a freelancer over an agency writer. Why? Well firstly, a freelance writer is running their own business, and as such they will strive to exceed your expectations in order to work with you again. With agency writers, sometimes there is no greater vested interest since the work is always coming in. These writers just want to get the job done and move on.
As such, it often pays to have a direct relationship with your writer, rather than going through a middleman. You can communicate exactly what you need to focus on – from specific keywords, to your brand’s voice and audience.
Always remember that your content is a direct reflection of your business. It is your customers’ first frame of reference. Strong copywriting can make or break you, and it really does pay to get it right – far more than the cost of hiring a copywriter in the first place. So hold yourself to a higher standard, and switch to a freelance copywriter next time you find yourself sweating over the keyboard.
Author Patrick Foster: Ecommerce Entrepreneur, Coach & Writer