Why Small Businesses Should Hire a Copywriter

Small business owners know that running the show means they have to wear many hats: product creation, sales, marketing, accounting, branding, webmaster. It can be overwhelming, and one of the things I see business coaches repeating over and over again is to outsource what you can when you can. Outsourcing often makes for better business overall.

Hiring a copywriter to write or rewrite your website or newsletter might seem like a frivolous expense. After all, you can spell. You can make sentences. And it’s free to do it on your own. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best for your bottom line.

Here are 4 reasons to consider hiring a copywriter. (The last one is the most convincing.)


1. You aren’t in the business of words.

But a copywriter is.

For multiple reasons, a lot of business owners try to create their own copy. They happily pay for beautiful website design, but when it comes to the actual text, they think it’s economical to do it themselves. But let me ask you something: if you’re not a mechanic or a car hobbyist, do you try to fix your own car? When you buy a cashmere sweater, do you try to launder it at home? When your pets eat something poisonous, do you try to treat them yourself?

Writing copy is like that.

Some people have the gift of words in addition to whatever their business is based on. But a lot of people don’t, and that’s okay. Your talents lie elsewhere. You shoot gorgeous photos. You create works of art. You’re a rising musician. You design fashion-forward apparel. You are the most thorough pool and spa cleaner. Whatever it is, you’re building your business around something no one else can do like you. Copywriters are doing the same.

We’ve based our careers on perfecting this one skill, and every copywriter has his or her own flavor, so when you hire one, you’re getting taste. Refinement. Years of trial and error that you didn’t have to waste on your own website.

And one less task for you.

2. It’s easy to get lost in your own vision.

Everyone needs a fresh pair of eyes and ears (and words).

You started your business with ideas about the way it would work, the clients you wanted, and the values and voice you want to present to others. Without a clear vision, businesses fail. But when you’re running everything on your own, it’s easy to get lost in that vision.

Have you ever had a personal problem that just overwhelmed you? Everything seems awful and there’s no way to fix it or make it better. And then your mom or your best friend or your spouse waltzes right in, makes one simple suggestion, and suddenly the world isn’t ending anymore. Why didn’t you think of that?

A good copywriter isn’t just sitting down and spitting out words.

We’re helping our clients define and  create that unique voice that sets them apart from their competition. We aren’t just filling in the text; we’re actively working toward your goals.

If years of watching Project Runway has taught me anything, it’s that styling is everything.

Those designers are so talented, but sometimes they end up overworking their designs and overthinking their concepts because they spend all their time in the workroom with it. It consumes them until they lose sight of what they were originally trying to do.

That’s why Tim Gunn goes in for constructive criticism before they go in front of the judges, and why they consult professionals for hair and makeup. Otherwise, they might send girls down the runway with beehive hair, smokey eyes and a pea green tulle skirt when they actually wanted something more along the lines of Audrey Hepburn.Think of yourself as a fashion designer (if you are a fashion designer, think of yourself as yourself) and a copywriter as a stylist (or Tim Gunn; I’d be happy to be someone’s Tim Gunn).

You created the product, and it’s amazing. But while you have ideas about the overall look and feel of your business, you may not be the best person to make your website runway ready. It may be better to instead communicate your vision to designers, branding consultants and yes, copywriters. We objectively take all the best and most poignant parts of your business narrative and finesse them into something cohesive so that you’re never having to convince clients of who you are and what you stand for.

(Also, full disclosure… even copywriters  sometimes use copywriters for this very reason)

3. Copywriters are salespeople. 

Writing is one thing, but persuasive writing is another thing completely.  Copy and effective copy are two different beasts.

Some copywriters specialize in ads and clickfunnels or other copy that has easily quantifiable data. Others (like me) are more qualitative in their approach. They believe in the power of storytelling.

But no matter what kind of copywriter you want to work with, we all have one thing in common: the end goal is more traffic, more views, more leads, and more conversions.

We don’t just write. We research. We spy. We figure out the pain points of the people you want to reach. We have  a deep understanding of human psychology and methods of persuasion, and everything we produce (even your About page) is written with the end goal in mind. We choose words carefully because words have atmospheres. We construct sentences meticulously because even slight changes can affect meaning and perception. We play to the fears and doubts of audiences so that they feel safe in trusting you.

It sounds sleazy, but it isn’t. If you want to run a business successfully, you have to give people what they want. You have to make them understand their own needs. And if you’re not a student of persuasion, it’s easy to ramble or use words too casually, which in turn makes the client unsure of why they’re reading your website in the first place. They came for information, and they aren’t patient enough to sift through paragraphs of flowery language to fish it out.

Hiring a copywriter forces you to look at everything you write from a sales perspective, and that might be the most valuable part of your work together.

4. It’s a smart long-term investment. 

Sometimes I get inquiries from small businesses or solopreneurs who are interested in working with me because they understand all of the above. But then they ask me for a price, and when I send it to them, they balk.

On my own About page, I make it pretty clear that my services aren’t exactly cheap. After all, the term “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more relevant here. It’s not uncommon to be quoted three or four figures for a single project. For copywriters who work with multimillion dollar companies, even five figures is not unheard of.

But here’s the thing about copywriting: while the upfront investment may seem like a lot, especially for small business owners, the long-term investment is extremely cost-effective. 

Let’s say you ask a copywriter to rewrite your landing page and about page. For the whole project, they quote you $2,000. You can’t believe it. There’s no way.

But you aren’t just paying for words. You’re paying for time and expertise, too.  Here’s what that $2000 might entail:

  • Time spent getting to know you, your brand, and your vision (which takes away from the time that we could spend researching or writing).
  • Research on your target audience.
  • Writing, which is not just a sit-down-and-do-it process, especially with storytellers like me. It can be mentally taxing, and because we’re thinking about the best way to word something or the most effective word to use, we often go through a few drafts before sending you what we only call the first draft.
  • Revisions and proofreading.
  • SEO suggestions.
  • Formatting suggestions.

NOW! Let’s say you’re a photographer who charges $3000 for a wedding package. If the simple change of better copy on these pages leads you to book even one new client per month, then you’ve just made an extra $36,000 for the year.

THAT’S A 1,700% RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT. 

A one-time payment of $2,000 becomes a drop in  a bucket. This example is only based on 12 new clients, and it doesn’t even take into account the repeat business you might get from them.  Think of what you could do with an extra $34,000!


Is this a sales pitch? Yeah, maybe a little. But I think that if you want to do business the smart way, you have to think about the long game and fully understand what it is you’re actually paying for. Hiring a professional copywriter might be one of the smartest things you can do for your bottom line.

 

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Lauren

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