What exactly does a copywriter do? It’s a common question and not one you should be afraid to ask, particularly as many people confuse copywriting with copyrighting. They may sound the same but the spelling makes all the difference. And what is copy, anyway?
A copywriter writes copy (text) for marketing purposes. A copyright gives the right to copy to the owner of the intellectual property they have created (for example, books, photographs, music): so you’d need a licence or permission to copy it.
A copywriter writes copy, but what is copy?
Copy is written information that is intended to ‘inform, persuade, or engage an audience’. If a business wants to sell their products or services, inform people about what they do, and drive more engagement, they need ‘copy’.
Advertisements are designed to sell products and the written information that is included in an advert is the copy. A slogan, information, even any terms and conditions: it’s all copy. However, it isn’t just for adverts: copywriters write websites, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, e-books, product descriptions, manuals, and so on. It can be for internal or external use. If you want to inform, persuade, or engage an audience you’ll need copy.
So if you know how to write, you can be a copywriter?
The short answer to this is no. It’s not just about being able to write. You need to be able to write well, obviously. But you also need to understand language, marketing, what you are trying to convey and to whom, your target market and what they know, like, and expect, and how to take a step back from a product or service. A copywriter needs to be creative and see the big picture as well as having an eye for tiny details and nuance.
A copywriter will write with specific aims in mind, whether it’s to create sales, drive engagement, or provide social proof. A good copywriter will know how to do this from years of experience and training combined with a talent for, and interest in, words and language.
How does a copywriter work with their clients?
Copywriting is a two-way process. We need to know as much as we can about your business, service, or product, as well as what you hope to achieve. We need to understand your target market and how to appeal to them. Most copywriters will ask their clients to fill in a form to provide as much information as possible, or will arrange a meeting to discuss the process and the specifics.
Depending on the agreement you have with your copywriter they will offer one or two rounds of edits once they have produced their first draft. The better the communication has been before the first draft the more likely you are to get what you want (or as near as possible) at this stage.
Why should a business use a copywriter?
There are many reasons a business should use a copywriter. Check out my blog, 7 Reasons Why… You Need a Copywriter for starters. If you want to convert customers, grow your business, and use your time more effectively, you should seriously consider outsourcing your copy to an experienced professional.
You’re in business because you are good at what you do, not to spend hours agonising over what to write, or to ignore the writing completely because it’s too stressful or time consuming.
If you would like to know more about copywriting and how it can help your business, please get in touch.