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Copywriters are tasked with putting into words the unique value of a company. In the years before digital media, this meant writing copy for magazines, newspapers, news bulletins, billboards, radio, and television. The style of copy back then was decidedly advertisement-oriented, as the writer knew they only had a couple hundred words and a few seconds to catch people's attention.
Fast-forward to 2017, and copywriting has changed a great deal. The role of a copywriter in the digital era is much more complex and sophisticated than it ever has been. Today a copywriter must be an expert in the industry in question, find a niche appeal for the company that sets it apart, and essentially be the voice of the company on all social media platforms. These responsibilities of the digital realm are additional to the print, radio, and TV mediums that still exist today.
It is not an overstatement to say that a great copywriter should be more eloquent and informed about the state of the industry than the owner of the company. It is the relationship between client and copywriter that can sometimes get a bit testy, in fact, as business owners often make unrealistic or unhelpful requests of their writers. As Melroy Pinto points out, copywriters must take criticism well from business execs who don’t like “flowering language” or want it to be “more intelligent.”
As creators of the company's public voice, copywriters are always searching for interesting ways to push the brand forward and define its niche more acutely. This is why Jeff Bulas has put curiosity as the #1 attribute of a great copywriter in a list of 50 attributes.
From their unique perspective at the heart of a brand, all copywriters share a few bits of knowledge about the heady world of adjectives and adverbs that only they can understand.
Here are 10 funny, and sometimes annoying, things that only copywriters understand:
10. Writing Makes You Hungry!
Feeding the brain with ideas and inspiration is not going to fill up the stomach. All copywriters know the familiar feeling of a midnight hunger pain, which is why we all have extra jars of peanut better in the pantry.
9. Eloquence sells
A lot of clients will reject some of the smoothest words you’ve ever strung together. Why? Because they want analytical and simple, not metaphorical and eloquent. Little do they know that eloquence in branding goes much farther than bland descriptions and over-statements.
8. Copywriters are Immensely Creative
Copywriters know they are pulling from the same intuitive source as poets, authors, songwriters, quotes writers and sculptors. They take an idea and mold it into something tangible that can be felt and understood by many - that’s a creative task.
7. Simplicity is Over-rated
Clients that want simplicity over complexity do not give their customers enough credit. Copywriters should be given free reign to describe the product or service in the most accurate way, especially when it comes to long-form copy.
As this article by Monica on ScriptDoll points out, long-form copy gives you “more wiggle room to entice, build awareness, and answer your audience's objections, significantly helping bring in an influx of conversions.” Navigational cues also help to direct the reader through the information in the article, while testimonials rounding out the piece go a long way in solidifying credibility.
6. Anything bland can seem be beautiful
It’s a rare gift to wrap a barbeque in a story about the beauty of summer and create a burning desire in the customer to own one themselves. They are buying into the exciting idea of a bland product, all thanks to great copy.
5. Writing pitches is like doing the dishes
Writing pitches to prospective clients is tedious at best, but it sure is necessary. And much like doing the dishes, writing a bunch of pitches at the end of the day will set you up for success tomorrow.
4. Being picky is a positive attribute
Copywriters know that picky clients are sometimes the best helpful clients to have. Why? Because being upfront and clear about what they want keeps the copywriter from second guessing themselves.
3. Working from home is a trap
Working in a public space ensures you don’t take a break on the couch and fall asleep to Game of Thrones for the third time in a week.
2. Copywriters don’t actually copy, they craft
There is almost no copying going on. What does go on is a crafting of existing content into something unique and particularly optimized for the branded tone of the client.
1. The best part about big sporting events is the commercials
Copywriters take pleasure in putting the TV on mute during the Super Bowl and waiting for the commercials to turn the volume back on.
Elijah Masek-Kelly is the Managing Director of Powerful Outreach and is obsessed with words and what they mean. He is a writer in many forms, but he is currently focused on helping small businesses and startups grow by any means possible.
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