“Why should I hire a copywriter?”
I get asked this a lot. Most small business owners don’t think twice about hiring a web designer or a sales person or an accountant. Not everyone can design stunning sites, persuade grandma into prying open the shoe box or doing whatever it is that accountant’s do after they’ve overdosed on Spider Solitaire.
And no one can write about your brand better than you. After all, you started it all. You know your customers and your industry. The only person who could do a better job writing about your brand is your husband or your mum. But they’re busy reading your blog…
Actually, that’s not true. The person who can write about your brand better than you – your husband or dear old mum – gave up giving up their weekends to write the blog years ago.
In fact, right now they’re slurping pineapple cocktails on Musha Cay while an agency full of hip designers, slick sales folk, attentive accountants – and killer copywriters – keep their big-assed blue chip talking incessantly to your customers and shaping your industry.
The only thing they write these days is the acceptance speech for the next award they’re a shoo-in for. There are specialist speech writers for that too.
You’re still a small business owner. That’s why what you’re really asking yourself is:
“Can I afford to hire a copywriter?”
Because as a small business owner, you can’t afford to waste a dime. You need the site up. The sales person on the blower. And the accountant keeping track. So you park the idea of hiring a copywriter and figure you’ll splash out on one when you’ve made it.
Which is a sensible strategy. Probably a sensible strategy your sensible team applaud. But that’s a huge mistake for you and them, and for a tonne of perfectly sensible reasons.
But here’s the only one that really makes sense:
If you’re still writing the website and the blog and only have an audience of your husband or your mum, you will never become big enough to hire a copywriter.
Even if you work harder – read loads of marketing books – pay to be on Google’s first page – or hire your designer’s cousin – if your product or service is great but grandma isn’t calling you, it’s because you haven’t found the words.
And it’s words that sell things, not design. Words that people read on a 4.7 inch tall screen. If your brand story hasn’t got them hooked by now no amount of tinkering will work.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that what you’ve written should be thrown out. Here’s the thing about copywriters: they want to know everything. Copywriters are brand story hoovers. They want you to sell to them and to feel that same spark you did.
They want to work with your designer to get on that first page of Google. And arm your sales person with kick-ass brochures and email templates that hook people in. They want that accountant to whistle while they work.
They don’t care if your husband or your mum loves what they eventually put together, but they do care if it means you can spend more time with them – and less time writing.
But more than anything they want your competitor’s cocktail to sour. They want to force them kicking and screaming to take your brand seriously, as a worthy opponent with a great story to sell.
You see, copywriters aren’t poets. They’re business owners like you. And irony of ironies, they need your testimonial to convince other business owners to hire them. (Which is annoying, given that it is usually the only thing on our sites that we didn’t write.)
All of which means that the only question you should ever ask is this:
“Which copywriter shall I hire?”
And here’s the answer even David Copperfield could pull out the hat: someone who wants what you want. Who needs it as much as you do because their success is your success.
Find a copywriter that shares that with you and the words will come. If your product or your idea is sound and your backstory is a Cinderella story that needs to be sold, they always do.