Copy writing – what expertise you should be looking for?

As content marketing becomes ever more popular, and relevant to the way in which modern businesses and consumers buy, a resurgence has been seen in the copy-writing profession.

Many of the people offering such services come from very wide ranging backgrounds. So, how do you decide who to choose?

Here is my guide to the main skills and abilities that you should be looking for in a copy writer.

1. Strategy understanding

It all starts with this. Your business doesn’t need any content unless it’s in line with your strategy.
Your copy writer doesn’t necessarily have to write your strategy (though if they have done, that can be a great benefit in understanding what you need). They do need to be able to understand your strategy and work with it.
With a good strategy you will already know precisely who makes up your audience and what drives them. No end of opportunities should then be within easy reach.

2. Creativity

We are not talking fiction writing here – it is a marketing job. But an ability to use words in compelling and imaginative ways to effectively influence the target audience is vital.

Creativity for its own sake is of no value to a business. This goes back to point 1 being the most important.

3. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG)

Whilst a misplaced apostrophe won’t necessarily cost your company orders, you might as well get this right. Failure to do so, especially on a regular basis can damage your credibility. If communication is in any way part of your business, then this applies even more so.

Amazingly, I’ve seen ‘Copywriters’ who mis-spelled ‘Copywriter’. And I’ve seen CV writers who write ‘CV’s’. Incredible stuff. This is the kind of thing that really does damage a brand if well-informed buyers are the target.

4. Judgement

There are many different ways of communicating anything. The ability to know what is relevant to a brand and what isn’t is a big deal. The right balance of seriousness and humour. The right tone. Knowing what the reaction would be to gimmicks. These are all vital components.

If a person can be trusted to competently make these decisions, them their ability to manage your content production on an ongoing basis hugely improves. These are skills that can raise a person from being a responder to a single brief, to invaluable business partner.

5. Willingness to work with you. Whatever content you are producing has to be consistent with your other communications. This can only be done with cooperation.

Another way of putting this is: Don’t outsource it, appoint an expert.

A word of warning. Be very careful to understand what a copywriter means when they offer you ‘research’. In far too many cases, this means copying your competitors. Going back to point 1, such things have absolutely no chance of supporting an effective strategy.

Oh, and if a ‘copywriter’ offers to write ‘reviews’ for your business, then run a mile!

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