Make no mistake, a professional copywriter – especially one who knows about SEO – can help your business and marketing campaigns hit new heights.
I should know. I’m a copywriter.
Now this might surprise you, but I truly believe there are times that you actually don’t need to hire someone like – and that you can actually save some budget for your other marketing objectives.
Before I get to what those times are, let’s go through the reasons for why it would be important to hire a professional to write your marketing and advertising materials.
You have no time and no in-house support
This happens to all businesses, even the ones much larger than yours. It could be a new website launch, a total brand redesign or a new product release. It could be that the marketing department has run out of time in the schedule. Or, perhaps that they simply do not have the in-hose expertise or hours to commit to writing their communications materials
It happens all the time and it’s one of the main reasons my phone rings.
Because with SEO requirements, content marketing campaigns, PPC advertising, email marketing, blog posts, articles, press releases and websites (not to mention all the newspaper ads, brochures and leaflets), there are huge time demands on businesses that try to tackle copywriting themselves.
Hiring a professional copywriter frees up resources to do everything else that needs doing to run an organisation of any size.
And that takes me to the next point…
Writing about yourself is difficult for nearly everyone
Your business is an extension of you – whether you’re a sole trader, or a communications professional in a large organisation.
You know its ins-and-outs. You are familiar with all the detail, both good and bad. You’re close to the product development, and you likely have a personal (and financial) stake in the sales figures. It’s your career after all.
And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t be doing the writing yourself.
You are simply too close to it all to be able to communicate clearly the benefits that are obvious to anyone external to the business.
Writing about your business is only slightly less difficult than writing about yourself.
You know, like when you have to write a CV or a cover letter.
Would it surprise you to know that I, too, find it difficult when comes to writing about my own business?
I have to step back, mentally, and pretend I’m writing for one of my clients.
Now, there are many many more reasons to hire a copywriter. But when are the times that you really don’t need to hire one?
A personal blog
If you can commit the time to writing a personal blog post at regular intervals, you will save money and communicate on a personal level with your prospects and customers.
This kind of open communication can be extremely engaging – even brand-building, as long as it is something you can begin with the confidence you will continue on writing regularly.
Just look at some of the biggest organisations out there – their CEOs, CMOs, VPs and other executives are blogging – and that personal engagement helps both the brand and business.
My only advice here is to read your work out loud before you hit publish. Your ears are your best editor.
For many businesses, especially smaller organisations, it is the directors that do much of the selling through the sheer power of their personal networks.
It would be very difficult for even the most veteran of copywriters to mimic the personal style and rapport that these types of relationships have.
Best to stick with doing the writing yourself.
Actually, this one is a bit of cheat on my part – you should get a pro copywriter to write your template copy in a way that will help communicate the right message at these crucial points in your marketing funnel.
When set up properly, this writing only needs to happen once and then the automation will take care of the emails for you.
What about when you don’t have budget?
You might have noticed I haven’t talked about budgets and there’s a good reason.
Copywriting is one of the most affordable marketing activities you can hire in.
Additionally, when you hire a pro copywriter, you’ll be doing all you can to ensure your search rankings keep pace with (or move ahead of) your market and that you remain competitive with the companies that choose to invest regularly in their marketing content.
Good content is crucial to your online and offline marketing. Make sure you choose the right moments to handle it yourself.
The rest of the time, use the right ‘tool’ for the job.
Derryck Strachan is a web copywriter and managing director of Big Star Copywriting, a leading UK copywriting agency. They provide copywriting services, content marketing and training to clients across the UK and internationally.