copywriting

Sometimes I get out from behind my desk and socialise. In one respect, there’s not a great difference between a barbecue with friends and networking – there’s one question that pops up again and again:

“Why are you a copywriter? Wouldn’t it be much better to be a “proper” writer?”

Hmm, if you consider a proper writer someone like J.K. Rowling. Then, yes, the millions are of course tempting. However, I don’t find it too tempting to write three pages about how Harry gets out of bed.

Don’t get me wrong – I love good fiction and I have thought about writing fiction myself – but then again, I am a lot better at analysing businesses and target audiences than inventing worlds of fairies and goblins.

Maybe I’m a writer with a helper syndrome…

Despite being an introvert and preferring my desk to a party, I genuinely like people, and it makes me happy when I can help them to be more successful or simply happier. I care about people and I care about my clients.

By writing great copy, I help my clients. Before I start writing, I get to know my clients. I hear their stories, learn about their likes and dislikes, about their talents, their challenges, and their dreams. My clients become dear to me and in return I write very authentic and highly personalised copy that is very different to a lot of the generic copy I come across every day.

Yes, they pay me – but the quality of my copy pays them back.

Being a copywriter lets me meet and get to know a lot of different people from all walks of life. My writing has an impact on their lives – and I value that. And my clients have an impact on my life too. They inspire me and make me think, they teach me and they motivate me. I write about real people and they trust me to have an influence on their lives.

There’s always a business behind the person

My writing is business related and that’s fascinating. By writing for my clients I learn about their businesses, strategies, struggles, solutions, and ambitions. In what other job would you be paid to learn so much?

I write for SMEs and individuals. This environment is highly dynamic and subject to a lot of change. It is a very challenging environment, because change can be very unpredictable. A quickly changing environment requires agility, quick learning, and innovation to survive. SMEs need plenty of that to survive. That’s why every client is a case study that I explore and learn about.

Even when I’m writing CVs, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters, I do research about target industry and companies. This never gets boring and it is a challenge to get the positioning and target audience right.

Life isn’t fiction – writing for businesses and business people is my real-life connection, which makes it matter a lot more.

How copywriting can avoid a romantic death

“But – when writing fiction, you can be so much more creative!” Yes and no. You won’t find unicorns in my copy (unless I’m writing for a toy shop), but there’s a lot of creativity involved in finding the link between what my clients can offer and how that triggers interest in the target audience.

In a novel, you’ve got a few pages to get going and catch attention – in copywriting you have one or two sentences. If you don’t get it right in the first 35 seconds, your copy has failed. You need all your creativity along with your knowledge and technique to get it right.

There’s no room for waffle and page-long descriptions. Copywriting is all about precision and passion.

And anyway – as a copywriter, I might not make millions, but at least I don’t have to starve slowly in a cold attic while waiting for the success of my book. But what’s more, my clients won’t need to starve either, because my copy gets them business.

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