Why Hire an Experienced Copywriter?
It’s happened to me three times now. I’ve been speaking with someone looking for a Calgary copywriter (or a copywriter from anywhere, really), and they tell me they keep finding marketing agencies that “don’t do” writing. These small business owners instinctively understand that they would benefit from an experienced copywriter. So why don’t some marketers?
A marketing agency that doesn’t work with an experienced copywriter is like a grocery store that doesn’t sell food. It might be a great store, but it’s not a grocery store. These might be great web designers, social media practitioners or ad agencies, but they sure aren’t marketers. You need words before you need any other aspect of marketing; otherwise, how can you know you’re pitching to the right people in the right way?
Okay, I’m a Word Nerd
Now, I’m admittedly biased. Grammarly tells me I write an average of 33 thousand words a week. Like most copywriters, I agree with Jack London that “you can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club.” However, it’s not just because I’m on Team Writing that I think words are fundamental to marketing.
None of your other marketing measures will work if you don’t have the right words. It’s all well and good to say a picture is worth 1000 words; you’ll notice that words are still how we measure the picture’s worth. Whether printed or spoken, verbal description is the most common way humans connect. If you limit yourself to using visuals or vibes or whatever influence method you come up with, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You can’t sell to someone unless you first connect to them, and the most efficient way to do that is with words.
This isn’t a new idea. A 2019 study in the International Journal of Advertising found that social media posts use the same type of verbal persuasion Aristotle wrote about in Ancient Greece. Humans have been using a very specific set of verbal tactics to get their point across since, well, forever. Copywriters are writers who really get the tactics that prompt behaviour. This is becoming increasingly complex. The reason you need an experienced copywriter as part of any lead generation plan is part technical and part psychological. Here’s what I mean:
People Search Using Words
Yes, I realize it sounds obvious, but successful inbound marketing involves your audience being able to find you. That means you need to anticipate what people will be searching for, which means the words they use to describe you, not the words you use to describe yourself. This is why it’s so important to carefully choose your title and the name of your offerings. If the words you’ve used to describe yourself aren’t what your audience would search to find you, you’ll miss many of your buyers.
This means anticipating the exact words your target audience uses to talk about needing what you provide. You either need to be psychic or be a very experienced copywriter to do this. (If you ARE psychic, please get in touch. I’d like to hire you as a copywriter.)
People Want to See Themselves
If you’ve ever talked to me, you know I’m a disciple of the Story Brand method created by (fellow former TV reporter) Donald Miller. His perspective is that in order to bring our audience into our ecosystem, we need to invite them using their own words. So not only are you anticipating what the audience is saying for search engine reasons, but it’s also how to ensure you resonate with the right people.
You’ll Use the Words Everywhere
This is why the lack of writing from some marketing agencies just floors me. You need the words before any other tactic. What are you putting on the website? How do you choose captions on social media? What are you saying in media releases? A consistent and carefully-crafted way of describing who you are, what you do, and what you want your audience to do is the cost of admission for grabbing their attention. Experienced copywriters understand how best to do this.
I’ve written before about content vs. copy. Copy has high expectations. Your words need to do more than sound nice and be grammatically correct. They need to convey a strong enough message to compel someone to do actual work. Buying, learning, deciding: these are all work. Copy, good copy, can make people work. I even have proof: you’re still reading this.
Okay, that’s a bit glib. Obviously not everyone made it to the very bottom of this blog. The benefit of hiring an experienced copywriter is they know how to entice some people to keep reading, and they know which elements to keep at the beginning of the text for people who don’t make it to the end.
Once you’ve got your copy written, every other marketing action becomes easier. Making marketing easier for small business is what we’re all about. If your snappy, enticing copy is going on a new website, check out “Build a Small Business Website: The Ultimate Guide.” It’s my 100% free, comprehensive guide to getting your website off your to-do list and onto your “Marketing Tactics that are Kicking Ass” list.