Why copywriting is still very much an art

To write copy is to create original expression designed to persuade people to purchase. Your client may be looking to sell product and/or service in the marketplace of their choice but they still need to have to hand a compelling message to advertise their offer in order to make this happen. More often than ever before, but not in every case, this offer is displayed online. As we all know, the internet is a very crowded ‘shop window’ so copywriters must work smarter for their clients to make themselves heard so that the brands they write for connect and then resonate with their target audiences. 

Copywriters know their online copy must be optimised for search  – this is the golden rule of what we do. Yet, we must still prioritise writing for the reader by delivering original, informative, interesting and above all consistent content which, if we are doing our job right, inspires brand loyalty, which can generate genuine brand advocates (over time) who go on to share the message which in turn helps to create the repeat business we all striving to achieve  – both as a client and as a freelance copywriter alike.

As an aspiring freelance copywriter, consider being brave with the way you frame your message and how you select the considered topical or cultural reference points or use of deliberate word play or other elements of our craft within your copy as you establish common ground with your intended readership – obviously with due diligence applied to the tone of voice or house style, as requested by the client. Don’t be afraid of suggesting a new approach to your client for a campaign. Be different, be original and think laterally. Build a relationship with your target audience through your messaging. Cherish them by considering what it is they need to know before they buy – which may not necessarily be what it is you wish to say.

Enjoy composing customer personas in detail for your clients – with a name, a personality summary, and an idea of their buying habits to create a credible profile which will determine just the words and phrases you select to create authentic connection. Collate customer feedback from every possible platform available to you to identify patterns of preference – what do people like and what is it they don’t like so much so you can constantly clarify your messaging by responding with a different take or even a different tone to what it is you are promoting and why it is such a ‘must-buy’.

Research will get you so far but being open to feedback from both client and end customer can surely get you to the finish line. Listen to both and be ready to act responsibly when you identify a gap in your copy which could provide an opportunity to align the two more closely together. End customers could talk about a new idea or an improvement in terms of the product and/or service on social media or on a website feedback form or even on an online survey which could impact on their buying habits and so on sales. Your client could be thinking about a new product/service launch or extension to their current range which could fill this very gap perfectly.

As the copywriter, you could suggest a new original campaign to get this message across designed to shorten this particular sales funnel. You are ideally placed to deliver this concept since (as a good copywriter) you have been monitoring the impact of your copy ever since it was published. Art takes many forms and being not only prepared to own your work from concept to completion but to spot ways to make it even better even after the work is done is very much an art all of its very own. It shows you care. If you care, your words reflect that inherent level of conscientiousness you have taken in the way you have both framed and created your copy and so naturally and indeed effortlessly increases the appeal of your message to your target audiences.

Yes, as every freelance copywriter will acknowledge, we write to sell. We are not authors and we are not journalists. Yet we are lucky to be in the position to create something special in either short-form or long-form copy, across copy-type and market sector and I don’t know of any another professional writing occupation which enjoys this level of linguistic freedom. We are encouraged to flex our creative mindset every single day of our working lives to suit the needs of our clients and that of their end customers because our art lends itself so clearly to this way of working.

Copywriting is such a joy – isn’t that why we create our art in words? 😊 

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