How to Write Great Copy (and When to Hire a Great Copywriter Instead)

Every company, big or small, needs some kind of writing done. You have to share your mission and vision with the world. My company is solving a problem, it’s fixing a pain point for these people. Here’s why you should care about what we’re doing. You have to speak to the right audience in the right way. So how do you write great copy—whether it’s for your website, brochures, or social media—and when do you need to throw up your hands and hire out an expert?

On February 13th, we hosted a lunch and learn with T.C. Pellett, Founder & Creative Director of Initial Here Creative Services and Kory Andrieu, Creative Supervisor at Partners + Napier. They shared all kinds of insights about copywriting, and we’re here to share them with you.

Tips & Tricks for Getting Started with Copywriting

  • Always meet your audience where they’re at. If you’re writing for social media, it has to feel organic. It’s in their feed with a bunch of pictures of kids and vacations, so you have to make it fun rather than going for a hard sell. If you’re writing headlines, make it snappy. If you’re writing a long-form piece, make sure you’re telling a story.
  • Before you start, make sure you know 1) what your call to action is, and 2) what your one key message is. If you don’t have that in mind before you begin, your writing will feel off at the end and it will be hard to identify why.
  • Our attention spans are only getting shorter, so keep your writing concise. If you find yourself rambling about technical features and using a lot of jargon, step back, and try to figure out how to be brief.
  • Put yourself in the mindset of your reader. Why do they care? This will help you shift your mindset so you’re truly writing for your audience.
  • Sometimes simply reordering your content can have a big impact. Put the most important information up front, so if the reader walks away sooner than you’d like, they still take away the main message.

How to Hire and Work with a Copywriter

  • There are many different types of copywriters. Some are at agencies, some are freelancers. Some are general, some are specialized.
  • Be prepared to start with a creative brief and to give your copywriter clear parameters to work within.
  • You can expect to be charged either hourly, based on the scope of the project, or on a contract basis. Some copywriters will request a deposit paid up front with the remainder paid at project completion. Remember, copywriting is a service, just like anything else, and the strategy behind it, when executed well with the right words, can help your business go farther.
  • If you can’t afford to hire a copywriter, a proofreader may be a good in-between. They’ll help you catch mistakes you might otherwise miss.
  • Learn how to give good feedback—you should be clear and descriptive, not vague or open-ended. Telling your copywriter, “Make it like Apple” isn’t helpful. An added bonus? The more efficient your feedback process is, the more money you’ll save by not adding on endless rounds of revisions outside the scope of work.

Good luck and happy writing!

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