Most marketers are familiar with the term ‘copywriter’. However, few know exactly what copywriting is and how it fits into their own marketing mix. copywriting is essentially the art of capturing an audience’s attention through written content – and it is a vital part of any marketer’s toolkit.
The difference between marketing and copywriting is subtle but important. While marketing is the art of getting people to interact with your product or service, copywriting is the art of getting people to read your text and take action. And remember, a successful marketing strategy should include both elements.
If you’re looking to enter the copywriting arena, you’ll need to consider several factors including your existing skills and whether you have the requisite support from within.
What is Copywriting?
Simply put, copywriting is the process of making compelling written arguments to persuade the reader to take a particular action. As a copywriter, you will be putting words in the mouth of your readers and engaging them emotionally through stories and human interest articles. You’ll also be involved in the editorial aspect of a publication, ensuring the content is consistent with the brand voice and editorial policy of a company. Most importantly, you’ll need to develop the ability to think linearly and in sequence, while considering complexity and varying degrees of knowledge among your audience.
How Do I Become a Copywriter?
If you’re looking to enter the copywriting arena and don’t have any experience, then you’ll need to consider getting formal training. A bachelor’s degree in mass communication, with a concentration in creative writing, will put you in good stead to enter the field. You will also need to possess excellent spelling and penmanship, as well as the ability to understand complex legal and financial language. Finally, you’ll need to have a good understanding of SEO techniques, as the major search engines such as Google place a high value on the ability to write captivating and keyword-rich content.
Once you’re established, you can look to move into more senior positions or set up your own agency. Agencies typically offer several different services, including content creation, SEO, and social media marketing, allowing them to take on multiple projects simultaneously. Senior positions within an agency are often referred to as Director of Content, Digital Marketing Manager, Lead Editor, and so on. If you’re looking for a job in digital marketing, then consider entering the field with an understanding of SEO and a creative mind.
Why is Copywriting Important?
While marketing is often viewed as a fun and interactive process, copywriting is often seen as a dry and dusty exercise. This perception, however, is far from accurate. Marketers usually associate copywriting with advertising, with the occasional web page or email blast thrown in for good measure. As a copywriter, you will be interpreting your client’s desires and translating them into compelling and coherent content, all with the aim of grabbing the attention and driving a sale. In other words, you will be doing everything from crafting compelling emails to convincing website visitors to take a desired action. While this might not seem like a glamorous exercise to many marketers, it can be a very rewarding and creative exercise.
Above all else, developing the ability to write concise, well-researched, and compelling copy is vital to your success as a copywriter. And to hone these writing skills, consider reading acclaimed author and entrepreneur Seth Godin’s books; his blog, and relevant archived and current articles. His website, sethgodin.com, also offers an excellent starting point for those new to the field.
Where Do I Find Clients?
As a freelancer, you will be pitching your services to potential clients. And just as in any other field, success in the copywriting arena largely depends on your ability to land the work. But how do you go about doing this? The answer is quite simple: through networking. Simply put, connect with as many people possible in your industry, form a few key relationships, and get to work. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you will have to land a project.
Alternatively, you can go through an agency or corporation that already has clients in your industry and seek to become their copywriter. Agencies like OgilvyOne and Red Ventures effectively span the creative globe, enabling you to land jobs quickly and easily. And don’t forget: staying freelance has its advantages. Not only can you take on multiple projects, but you also have the freedom to choose your own clients, set your own hours, and so on.
The Key Takeaways
While marketing is about connecting with and engaging with potential customers, copywriting is about connecting with and engaging with potential customers through written content. In other words, copywriting is about getting people to read your text and take action. Consider the following key takeaways from the above: