Text is everywhere. It’s in books and magazines, on packages and labels, in your mailbox, and on the web. And somebody has to write all that text.
In the marketing industry, the word copy refers to written content that is designed to compel people to take some kind of action: order a product, buy a service, or become a member. You’ll find this copy in brochures, email marketing campaigns, websites and blogs, press releases, even social media.
So, why should copywriting matter to small business owners?
What Does a Copywriter Do?
Contrary to popular belief, copywriters don’t protect intellectual property owners against theft. That’s copyright. A copywriter composes original text for business purposes in the realms of sales and marketing.
It sounds easy, but it’s not. Adept copywriting requires a diverse skill set, so copywriters must spend years developing their craft.
Effective copywriting is clear, concise, and persuasive. It is grammatically correct and exudes a tone and style that reflects the business it represents. Copy that promotes a horror movie is creepy; copy that advertises a video game for kids is fun and age-appropriate.
A copywriter must be able to identify the target audience and speak to them in language that resonates. But that’s not all. The copy must also affect the reader — intellectually, emotionally, or both. Its primary objective is to convince the reader to do something: visit a location, check out a website, sign up for a mailing list, buy a product.
And copywriters work in competitive markets. With the advent of the internet, copy is everywhere — on every website, in every inbox, all over each social media network. An effective copywriter writes text that stands out from the competitors.
Professional copywriting can be a lucrative job. Some of the best copywriters in the world make six figures a year or more. Many of them work full-time for major corporations. Others are freelancers — they work as consultants. But talented and hardworking copywriters who charge affordable rates can be found, and small business owners should seek them out.
Why Does a Small Business Need a Copywriter?
These days, every small business needs professional copy. If nothing else, you need compelling and effective text on your website. But a copywriter can do more for your business. They can help you develop social media content, e-mail marketing campaigns, and a host of other written marketing materials that will give your small business an edge in the marketplace.
The words you publish represent your business. Don’t trust them to anyone less than a pro.
I provide a variety of copywriting services, and I specialize in working with small businesses and independent professionals. Contact me to find out how I can help you communicate effectively with your customers.
Melissa Donovan is a website consultant and copywriter. She is also the founder and editor of Writing Forward and the author of over seven books.