Do you really need a copywriter?

 

 

Do you really need a copywriter?
Image (www.bitrebels.com)

 

Picture the scene. You’ve invested substantially in your latest marketing campaign’s design work and it’s looking rather splendid. The photography wasn’t cheap either, but worth it. Especially that shot of you at your desk. And the web hosting and print costs were a bit more than you budgeted for. But it’s okay, because you spoke to a friend of a friend who did a similar project last year and they didn’t use a professional copywriter for their messaging or content. So you can save a few bob there. You can’t remember seeing the friend of a friend’s finished website/ad/film/brochure but then not many people can. It’ll be fine. Have go yourself and it might even be fun. You don’t really need a copywriter, do you?

You don’t need to sound like a grown-up, professional business or a company that knows what it’s talking about. Your writing skills got you a GCSE in English and it’s a well-known fact that the average reading age in the UK is just seven. If it’s good enough for The Sun, it’s good enough for you.

You don’t need your story told in a compelling way, using efficient language to quickly make your point and guide the reader deftly towards a sale. Just chuck all your messages willy-nilly at the page and after just two or three days your customers will eventually work out what you’re trying to say. And if they can’t, well that’s their fault for only having the reading age of a seven year old.

You also don’t need to use language to define who you are and what makes you different from your competitors. Not for you some carefully crafted copy that makes you sound interesting, unique, intriguing and likeable. That picture of you at your desk is bound to do that on its own. There’s nothing like a typical head and shoulders photo (colour optional) and some bland text about ‘commitment’, ‘straightforwardness’ and ‘customer service’ to distinguish you from others in your sector.

You don’t need insight about how people think when reading websites, brochures, emails or watching ads. You don’t need to know the little tricks and nuances that make an audience pay attention. The reason? You are the audience. And so is your golf buddy, Bob. Who better to make a judgement call on your marketing messaging than you and Bob over a pint in the clubhouse bar?

Great stuff, you’re almost ready to crank up the laptop and get copywriting. But before you do, here are some other things your marketing clearly doesn’t need and therefore renders the services of a professional word person unnecessary:

 

To attract attention and sustain interest.

To avoid clichés and overused puns.

To find new ways to talk about familiar subjects.

To be search engine friendly.

To be fun.

To be serious.

To be fun and serious at the same time.

To be memorable.

To be unique

To encourage people to pick up the phone or send you an email with their name, address and credit card details.

To make you sound bigger/smaller/nicer/more ruthless/smarter/simpler than you actually are.

So there you have it. So many reasons why your next campaign definitely, absolutely under no circumstances whatsoever needs a copywriter.

I’m off now to rewire my house, but not before extracting two of my own teeth and giving myself a much-needed haircut. Take care.

pbd_mike

Mike Fleming

Mike is a multi-award winning copywriter and brand strategist. He has over 20 years’ experience writing TV commercials and online films, press advertising, corporate branding and website content. In 2010 he was voted the UK’s most recommended copywriter in an industry client and peer poll and this year was listed in the world’s Top 100 SEO copywriters by Forbes.com contributor, Robert Kim.

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