Before you hire a copywriter for your next job, bear the following in mind when asking about their approach.
1. They study their subject before making a start
Of course, there are many copywriters who specialise in certain subjects and may not necessarily need to do this. The majority of generalists, however, will take the time to research the subject about which they are writing before making a start.
2. But they know when to stop
A strong copywriter knows that they don’t need to be an expert in the field; they only need to know enough. This will include the important messages that need to be conveyed, what that means for the end consumer, and the benefits - if applicable. Once they’ve got what they need, they will stop, so you’re not wasting money on unnecessary time spent.
3. They study their audience
At the briefing stage, your copywriter should ask probing and in-depth questions about who your target audience is. I sometimes ask clients to literally describe the ideal person they are looking to engage with. This might include where their ideal customer lives, what they like to wear, what they watch on TV, their job, how much money they earn, and so on. All this helps me to understand the target audience’s motivations, which is essential to being able to craft key messages.
4. They get under the skin of the audience
Once a copywriter has understood the target demographic, they will then employ basic psychological techniques to better grasp what that audience will respond well to. Given most buying decisions are based on emotion, a strong copywriter will employ language that triggers reactions. Regardless of whether those are negative or positive, they will be pushing them to engage with your product or service.
5. They spend time on the headline
90% of content that I write nowadays is published online, rather than in print. We all consume so much online content now, more so than ever before. It’s unusual for us to really take the time to read our emails or online articles. More often than not, it’s a quick skim read. To stand out then, you’ll need a great headline to grab their attention.
6. They repeat themselves
Because these skim readers will be unlikely to pick up your key message the first time, second time or even the third time around. While it might seem incredibly dull to you, if you want to drum home the message, repetition is necessary.
7. They define the USP
Once a copywriter has completed their research into the subject and target audience, and met with you for their briefing, they’ll consider the unique selling propositions that are most likely to engage. Once the USP is agreed, all the copy will be centred around it - reinforcing the message again and again.
8. They tell the audience what to do
9. They’re thick-skinned
An effective copywriter should be stand by their principles, however they will also realise that they might not always be right.
10. They continue to improve themselves
Good copywriters will stay on top of market trends, keep themselves in the loop with emerging technologies, and enjoy partnering with other creative experts. This is all to ensure that their content achieves the cut-through and engagement.
Looking for a freelance copywriter in London or further afield? Get in touch with me today.