It’s a funny old word, ‘copywriter’. So much so that you can’t blame people for not knowing what it means.

I don’t work for Xerox. I’ve never made or sold photocopiers.

I’m not a copyright lawyer either. If you plagiarise JK Rowling, I won’t be pursuing you through the courts.

A better term might be ‘commercial writer’. When an organisation hires me, I produce copy – a fancy word for text – to tell the world how good they are.

The aim, first and foremost, is to communicate with potential (and existing) customers and clients. In other words, to sell to them.

That doesn’t have to mean going for the jugular. I’m not arguing for the hard sell, necessarily. Instead:

  • It might be a blogpost that enhances your website, improves your search engine optimisation (SEO) and lets people surfing the internet know more about you.
  • It could be a case study, in which satisfied customers explain why they like your products or services so much. I mean, what sort of business doesn’t love word of mouth like that?
  • It may take the form of a punchy, interesting leaflet or brochure, written without waffle so recipients are less likely to chuck it in the bin.
  • Or, if we’re being ambitious, it could be a white paper that examines an issue in your industry and is downloaded for years because it adds value to the conversation.

Why hire a professional writer?

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s all well and good, but why do I need to employ a writer?”

Fair point. You could always write the piece yourself or get one of your colleagues to do it.

The risk, however, is that it won’t come across as well as you think. When you read your own work back, you often don’t notice its flaws.

Any mistakes will make you look amateurish. The same goes for phrases that you think are clear when you write them, but which only confuse those who don’t have your specialist knowledge.

They’re alienated. Put off. Unwilling to read any further.

Goodbye, would-be customer.

Recently someone showed me a flyer that had come through their door, advertising gardening services. You could tell the business owner had struggled to write it.

It noted, for instance, that the team of gardeners was equipped with mobile phones – as if that’s going to impress anyone in the 2020s.

I’m not making fun of whoever wrote the flyer. Their talents lie in gardening, not writing.

But if they’d hired someone like me to put it together, it’s likely the job would have paid for itself – perhaps many times over.

So, to find out more, please get in touch. I’d love to discuss this further.

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash