Thursday, May 04, 2006

4 Problems Copywriters Get Rid Of For You

Any company serious about its marketing pays attention to the copy they're using. (And any company serious about staying in business pays attention to its marketing.)

But as we all know, copywriting is a skill all by itself.

Many small businesspeople would admit that it's not something they want to spend time messing with. Okay, some of us use that as an excuse because we know we write horribly, but I won't hold that against you.

Entrepreneurs would rather focus their time & effort on making their business successful, right? Coming from that frame of mind, copywriting is a drain! (It's honestly the farthest thing from, but that is a prevailing attitude.)

I've thought of many ways to get around or disprove this perception over the past few years. Some tend to work. Some tend to get weird looks. Highlighting the problems solved by bringing in a copywriter usually works best for explaining my value to prospects.

(Note: I'm referring to face-to-face interaction only at this point, because then you have a few extra moments to work with, under the guise of "the elevator speech.")

I also discovered that most people don't think this through...even fellow writers! Naturally, I had to correct that.

The 4 Problems, And How Copywriters Solve Them

1. Lack of time for producing copy.
The obvious and most persistent problem. 24 hours isn't enough for the work to get done in. But let's consider a different angle than the typical "TIME/PRODUCTIVITY" struggle. Copywriters also GIVE you time back that you wouldn't have later. Here's what I mean.
Imagine this exchange taking place at a meeting. A VP is telling the marketing director that he's going to give a presentation the next day. The VP says, "We'll need something to leave with the client." The marketing director panics. "After the presentation?"
"Of course."
"But we don't have anything for that!"
Now the marketing director has to scramble through the rest of the day and night to produce a leave-behind piece. (Believe it or not, this scenario IS pretty common.) He's lost time that he could devote to other projects. Like the website that nearly convinced a prospect to buy from them, but who decided not to at the last minute because a page wasn't working.
If a copywriter had been there before, to produce marketing material they'd have in their "arsenal," the marketing director would have that time back.

2. Indecision on what to say.
The thorniest problem, when it comes to writing, is writing about yourself. Even when you're writing for your company, it's still perceived as "you." The Reel of Distracting & Self-Esteem-Lowering Questions plays immediately when you're faced with this. "What do I say here? And here? Should I include the Simmons project? I didn't really do a whole lot there, maybe I should take that out..." Etc., etc.
A writer has outside perspective, industry knowledge, and awareness of how audiences think & feel. Most importantly, they're not you. The self-consciousness goes way down fast. Doesn't that feel better?

3. Wasted Money
There are TONS of ways to lose money when it comes to getting marketing done. Huge ad agencies that charge a fortune while promising nothing. Books on "writing fast" that have a disturbing habit of overpromising and underdelivering. Training seminars that give tips (as well as pitches for a much larger, more expensive seminar).

Goes back to the first problem - there's no time to waste all this money on!

Copywriters, particularly contractors & freelancers, are paid only for the time involved in researching, writing and editing the client's work. No overhead. Add in a designer and it's the most efficient (and most affordable) way to get marketing projects done, period.

4. The "Do You Have Any Material?" Question
Murphy's Law is in effect here. Every time that question is asked of you, you'll often be missing the piece that your prospect wants to see. Even if you do, it'll be on your desk and not in hand.

It's even worse if there's no material at all.

This is where I start to talk about being a Web copywriter. Putting marketing material on the Web not only covers the Web audience, it eliminates the above question as a concern. Instead of fumbling through the panicked thought of, "Where is that brochure?!" You can reply with, "Sure! Give me your email and I'll send you a link to our website."

(Plus, you end up with their email too. List-building my friends, list-building. They HAVE qualified themselves, just by being interested.)

It might seem like I'm rehashing some of the topics I frequently address here. Partially true in this case, but I felt it necessary so I could put together a short list of tips on beating prospect objections. In the process of talking through these objections, you can also get a good sense of what the prospect needs, and how best to give it to them.

And that's the biggest problem you'll be solving.



At 9:04 AM , Blogger johneycollins61580707 said...

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