Struggling to find work? Here’s how to promote your copywriting services to clients

March 10, 2009

I think we’re all getting bored of hearing how times are tight and marketing budgets are getting slashed, so I thought I’d offer some tips to on how to pitch copywriting services to clients.

Even in brighter times, it’s always been difficult securing funding for a web project’s written element. Businesses often care more about how their website looks than what it says. But not investing in quality copy is like creating a beautifully decorated cake with intricate icing and filling it with sawdust (analogy taken from Boagworld web design podcast about copywriting).

So unless you want customers choking on dry, bland content, here are reasons why businesses need to invest in copywriting:

Improve Google ranking and traffic – hammering out a conveyer belt of cheap, keyword packed content is easy. Writing engaging posts that attract links from other sites less so. But backlinks from relevant sites is an integral part of the magic equation that will boost your ranking and traffic. Investing in content also offers long-term value compared to pouring funds into the bottomless pit that is pay-per-click advertising.

Promotes your expertise – visitors form opinions based on what they read, and not just on the flashy intro. Your content reflects the professionalism of your business and the quality of your products. Content riddled with spelling mistakes and poor grammar suggests a similarly lazy approach to customer service.

Builds trust, confidence and sales – people are rarely ready to buy on the first visit. Maintaining contact with a useful, well written and informative newsletter enables you to build a relationship (and the sales process) over time.

Appeals to target marketdifferent types of copy appeals to different personalities. Copy needs to be pitched so it appeals to the personality type of your target customer; this takes time, effort and skill.

Keeps visitors engaged longer – keyword packed content might appeal to robotic search engines, but is less appealing to real life people. If your content confuses rather than communicates, customers will shop elsewhere.

More interesting – when you’ve taken the time to research your market, identify your USPs and understand your customers’ problems then your copy will inherently be more relevant and interesting.

Competitive advantage – when you’re competing for clicks with rival websites one of the key differentiators is the quality of your copy. People are more likely to reward you with their time and attention if you’ve made the effort to engage them properly.

Works harder at selling – copywriting that talks about benefits rather than features, appeals to the visitors’ desires and ends with a call to action is going to work harder at selling products. Copy that isn’t structured or pitched properly is slouched outside on a permanent fag break.

More objective – when you work with a product all day it’s common for the jargon and techie language you hear to find its way into your writing. An external copywriter, however, can approach the product with a clearer perspective.

Helps navigation – clearly positioned links and copy that leads into other sections add to a site’s navigation. Copy pasted from an offline brochure is more likely to leave them stood outside gazing through the window, puzzled and unable to find a way in.

Written for the reader – it’s a common mistake to think that showy writing, packed with long words used to sound impressive, is good sales writing. But people have little patience on the web, and are more likely to be turned off by marketing speak and cliches than endeared to your company.

If you’re currently struggling to find work, consider using some of these points as the basis of an email or postcard campaign notifying potential clients of the benefits of your copywriting services.

Any you’d like to add?

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