Help! My Competitors Are Doing This – Should I?

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Picture by ‘snigl3t’ via Flickr

Some of my clients originally came to me courtesy of their competitors! They knew the competition were doing something really well with their marketing and advertising, but didn’t know how.

Having spoken with them and researched the competition, it quickly became clear that they hired copywriters.

Hiring a professional wordsmith has been shown time and time again to be a wise investment. Dozens of companies — including Lastminute.com, Independent Newspapers, NEC, IPC Media, Holland & Barrett, Centaur Communications, National Magazine Company and FilmFour — certainly think so. And who am I to tell you any differently? I’d soon be out of work if I did!

So, have you ever hired a copywriter? Do you really need to? Yes!

All businesses – no matter what size or type – have ongoing communication needs. Think of staff newsletters, press advertisements, website content, news releases and a number of other written materials. These are all communication vehicles used to best reach targeted audiences, whether made up of your employees, partners, customers or prospective clients.

When it’s wise to bring in the professionals

“Yes, but I know how to write,” you’re thinking.

That’s great, but do you have the time? (Good, effective writing is time consuming and labour intensive.) Can you really be bothered? (You want to be free to concentrate on what you’re best at.) Even if you could, do you have the necessary skill sets to communicate your company’s message effectively to its target markets?

Let’s face it, you wouldn’t expect someone without a medical background to operate on you. A copywriter is an expert at using words to position your business favourably.

During one summer, I got a call from a client. He’s absolutely fantastic at what he does but admits he’s not writer. Even so, he reckoned he knew enough about his own product to give writing his sales brochure a shot. He called to ask me to “give it a quick once-over” and make sure there were no typos. There were a few misspellings. That didn’t worry me too much. What did was the fact that, while he had included his company’s core messages, it was all very confusing. After a re-write, he agreed that the brochure was much easier to understand.

Make the right kind of splash

Most freelance copywriters work in varying industries. However, that’s not as important as their main speciality: persuasion through language. They do more than produce copy that merely informs; they analyse the way people are in today’s changing global marketplace and craft your message in such a way that it really makes a splash. In turn, that gets the attention and sustained interest of the audience you wish to reach and prompts buyers to do just that – buy.

Even if you do get your reader’s initial interest, this age of information overload and heightened scepticism means you have to work harder to bypass the “Why should I care?” and “Yeah, right!” objections that your target markets will share. That’s where a copywriter comes in handy.

When you hire a copywriter, not only are you paying him or her to write – you are paying her to think how she can overcome any potential problems. She’ll use a selection of proven techniques that appeal to the emotions without hype so that your copy gets real results. The desirable kind that can help your business grow.

Perhaps the best thing is that you can use and pay for copywriting services only when you need them. The only time it isn’t cost-effective is when you don’t get results. Investing in a proven professional copywriter is an investment that should pay off not just once – but time and time again.

By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Guru | Marketing & Alliance Strategist

(C) 2007-11 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved

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Tracey Dooley is a freelance copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. Her expertise runs across many different sectors and her client list includes marketing agencies, a leading supplier of personal computers, semi-conductors and telecommunications equipment and the UK’s largest TV and interactive production company. =====>  www.mediaminister.co.uk.

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