Granted, I’m biased. But copy really is the most wonderful marketing tactic at your disposal. When compared to traditional tactics, content marketing costs 62% less, but generates 3x the leads1.
And the most powerful form of content?
Original written content – 58% of marketers believe it’s more important than visuals or videos2.
Think about it…
Words are everywhere. Everyday we’re bombarded with words from every angle as brands desperately attempt to communicate with us.
But unless you’re a confident writer, who’s honing your craft everyday, it’s easy to fade into the background noise. The challenge that a lot of companies have is knowing exactly what they want to say, but not knowing the right words to express themselves in a compelling way that makes people take notice and want to act.
That’s why you need to say hello to Claire…
Claire is a writer who helps businesses speak to their ideal customers through their written voice. She ensures that their meaning is clearly expressed, with no possibility of misinterpretation, so that their audience knows precisely who they are and understand exactly what they have to say.
Here I spend 5 minutes talking to her about her business…
What do you do?
Words. Online words. In real life words, like for leaflets and brochures. But anything really as long as it involves words.
When I first fell into a career as a writer, I came across so many terms, like ‘content writer’, ‘copywriter’, ‘ghost writer’, ‘SEO writer’ – frankly it confused me, and it probably confuses other people too. So I decided to keep it simple and call myself a ‘writer’ because if someone is looking for help with words, they’ll need some sort of writer.
I don’t really want to niche in any particular industry because I love the variety of the different worlds I get to dip into. I’d rather specialise in words – acquiring the skill and knowledge to help my clients improve the language they use to engage their customers.
When I start working with someone, I do a lot of research upfront to really understand their business – looking into different topics, their competitors and best-practice within their field. I don’t specialise in SEO, but I’ll look at keywords because it’s an important part of any online writing and I want to ensure my clients get the most ‘bang for their buck’. And I’ll also ask if there’s any specific call-to-actions they’re looking to include. For some clients, I also post their content online – uploading it to their CMS and including things like alt tags, descriptions and meta tags.
If someone’s thinking about working with me, I’m happy to offer a free 30-min chat to see if we’re a good fit.
Who do you help?
Before becoming a writer I was a teacher. I love anything to do with education and children because I feel I have a little something extra to offer. But I’ve also worked with a gin producer, which was great because I got to visit the gin distillery. And I’ve worked with a party supplier, which was really fun because I got to write the descriptions for all the products.
But really, it’s about the people I work with, rather than the companies.
I love clients who are enthusiastic about their business. It’s special when you work with someone who lets you in because they want to share that enthusiasm with you. And also, someone who is respectful of what I do and the value I can add.
Then because I want my clients to invest time with me upfront so we create a tight brief, they need to feel comfortable answering all my questions.
And of course, I like my clients to give very specific feedback so I know exactly how to improve their words, rather than a vague, “I don’t like it”.
What do your clients say they value most about your service?
Looking back through my testimonials, the main thing is that I get what they mean. For example:
“We spoke once and she knew just what we wanted.”
“Perfectly interpreted the brief.”
Often people come to me because they know what they want to say, but have trouble expressing themselves in words. By investing time upfront getting to really understand their business, I can help them hit that lightbulb moment where they finally have the words to say what they mean.
Another thing that I haven’t really promoted is offering to send documents by voice memo. It started when I had one client who hated reading, so I offered to record it so they could listen to it instead.
When is the right time for someone to contact you?
I think it’s important to meet the client where they’re at.
Some people come to you knowing exactly what they want – they’ve been doing their job for a while, so know what’s needed and know what you can do. Whereas other people have never had a website before, and don’t really know what they’re asking you for – the only thing they know is that they don’t want to do the words themselves!
As soon as someone knows they need help with their communications, that’s the right time to get in touch.
What is it like to work with you?
When a client decides to go ahead, I’ll send them some briefing questions…
These cover things like:
I really want them to think about their answers. So rather than just fill in the form, it’s important that we have a conversation to talk it through – you always uncover new things they hadn’t thought of. This call usually lasts for about an hour.
I’ll also ask them to share examples of what they do/don’t like. This is particularly useful for tone of voice, which can be very hard to articulate. If they’ve seen an example of a website, or piece of copy they like – even if it’s nothing to do with their industry – it’s useful for me to see as I can understand how they want their brand to speak.
Afterwards I’ll summarise the meeting, and share it with the client along with pricing and deadlines. The purpose of this is to ensure we have a shared common understanding of what we’re doing and why, and to set expectations for the relationship – so if I’ve missed things, or if anything is incorrect, we can change it before it becomes a problem.
Then once they’re happy and I have a signed copy of the agreement, I ask for a 50% payment upfront, and then it’s time to get to work.
What’s the best way for someone to contact you?
If you want to talk about a project, the best thing is to send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can take a look at my website…
Join in the conversation on Twitter: @copycontentw
And I’m determined to be on LinkedIn more this year – so come and say hello!
And because you’re a fellow copywriter, are there any words you love/hate?!
I love ‘b’ sounding words, like ‘bubble’ or ‘bobble’ because they’re fun to say. I’ve actually written a blog about my favourite words here…
But I hate forced portmanteau, like ‘staycation’. They’re supposed to be funny and make you smile, but most are hideously cringy. Some I love, usually the ones involving swear words. I’ve actually written about this in a blog too. Discovering what a portmanteau actually is along the way!
And of course, there’s ‘moist’…