The marketing copywriter in your team is likely to be the one who sits there in team meetings quietly taking it all in.
While I can only speak for myself, by nature, the writers in any organisation are better known for observing rather than actively participating and prefer to make their points loud and clear on paper rather than verbally.
‘Great’, you think, ‘they’re quiet, they don’t even notice half the stuff I say’.
Well, not so!
Just because we don’t react to things verbally, it doesn’t mean we don’t hear them, process them, and then re-hash them into a witty piece of content designed to amuse and entertain others!
As a marketing copywriter, I regularly hear comments that may have been made off the cuff without the speaker really understanding what it means to be on the receiving end of their words.
So, whether you’ve been working with a marketing copywriter for years, or whether you’re just about to embark on your journey into the world of content marketing, here are seven things you should NEVER say to someone who’s writing for your company, whatever the capacity.
Trust me, even if your comments are met with silence they are heard, and the marketing copywriter in your team wants you to read this just as much as I do!
1) “I can’t believe anyone reads this stuff.”
And I quote!
Thankfully, this comment was made to me by someone I know well and who doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. After I wrote a blog post that went viral, once the fanfare had calmed down, this was the first response of the business owner:
“I can’t believe it.”
“Me neither.” I thought, puffing out my chest with a big smile on my dial at how popular my content was.
“I just can’t believe anyone reads this stuff.”
The comment was so innocent, and was meant as disbelief at how how well received my client’s brand is, just to clarify!
But the point remains.
Please make your content writer who likely pours their blood, sweat and copywriting tears into giving your audience something engaging to read, believe that you love their work just as much as they do. Whether you believe it or not!
In this case, I know this to be true, and hopefully, your content writer does too!
2) “Don’t worry about a call to action, I just need some words.”
You never just need some words!
Every word of your marketing content needs to have a purpose. OK, so it might not always need to be a full-on sales pitch but all your blogs, Facebook posts, and email marketing must always encourage the reader to do something.
Sign up, visit the website, or make a sale, there are many calls to action to choose from, but every piece of content must head in a clear direction.
3) “That shouldn’t take you more than an hour.”
How do you know?
Unless you’re well-versed in the methodology of your writer, because they will have a methodology, you’ll have no idea how long it’ll take them. Copywriters very rarely charge by the hour because it’s impossible to link the value of their work with the time it takes them to create it.
A short paragraph could take just as long to get right as an 800-word blog post because content marketing isn’t about writing words, it’s about writing the correct words. And that’s for nobody to decide how long it will take apart from the person writing them.
4) “I don’t have time to do a brief.”
If you don’t have time to do a brief, you won’t have the time needed to make your copywriter’s original piece of work as you want it to be. The only time ‘no brief’ is acceptable is if you’ve agreed on a ‘no editing’ and a ‘no amendment’ policy with your writer.
A detailed brief from the outset keeps your writer, literally, on the same page as you, and gives you grounds for any edits and amends if you’re not happy with the work they produce.
Marketing copywriting is so subjective it’s unlikely that what’s in your head will ever match what comes out on someone else’s paper without a detailed brief. Your brief is your opportunity to make sure the writer nails the style, tone, and content and gives you something to back yourself up with if they don’t. ALWAYS make time for a brief.
5) “It’s basically done, I just need you to look over it.”
Then proofreading fees you will pay.
I can ‘look over’ some content and correct any spelling and punctuation errors any time you like.
If, however, you want me to ‘just look over it’ but put it into a document that flows, makes sense, packs a punch, and encourages your audience to take action, then please don’t assume this will be a quick five-minute job just because there are already words written on paper.
Editing and proofreading can take just as much time as writing something from scratch so if you want your piece to achieve a goal, then any good marketing copywriter will need time to do this.
It’s just like making a cake really. You can give someone all the ingredients they need to bake it, but it’ll still need to be in the oven for the same amount of time!
6) “I don’t like it, but I’m not sure why.”
I can’t speak for all copywriters but I can’t work with that kind of feedback!
If I’ve followed your brief and you don’t know why you don’t like something, it’s unhelpful not to offer any further feedback.
If there’s something you ‘just don’t like’, maybe take an extra few minutes to find an example of something you do like, because you’re unlikely to find a copywriter who puts the time into re-writing unlimited versions purely based on guess work.
7) I could get that done cheaper by using a copywriter from overseas.
You’re so right, you could.
The freelance industry is rife with international copywriters who have lower costs of living which means they can afford to charge a much lower rate.
Unfortunately, when you pay those lower rates you’ll rarely pay someone with English as a first language and because they’re not local, edits, re-writes and general communication can often be hard to manage.
In my experience, whether you want to pay to get your marketing content cheaper from overseas and then pay a local copywriter to fix up the work, or you want to pay a local copywriter from the outset, the choice is yours! It’ll cost you the same, but option ‘a’ will cost you a lot more time that I know most business owners just don’t have enough of.
Consider the benefits of building a relationship with a local copywriter who will take the time to get to know you and your brand to provide a marketing copywriting service your audience will respond to.
Don’t worry, once you get to know your content writer, you’ll learn which phrases to avoid to keep them working at their best! We’re not all that strict, I promise…but we are all listening!
Want to know more about working with a marketing copywriter?
Call Jo Robinson on 0422 053 199 today!