What does a copywriter do?
If you are curious about what it is exactly that a copywriter does? Or if you are a business owner, and you have heard about copywriting time and time again, and now want to know what it is all about and what a copywriter does, keep on reading to find out.
What exactly does a copywriter do?
A copywriter writes clear, convincing copy to sell items and additionally instruct and connect with buyers, utilizing powerful composing muscle on websites, blog entries, product descriptions, email blasts, banner advertising, bulletins, white papers, PSAs, web-based media stages, including Twitter and Instagram, and other marketing communication vehicles.
What skills are required to be a copywriter?
To become a copywriter, there are some basic requirements that MUST be met. And they include:
A basic understanding of the English Language, grammar, and punctuation… obviously
There’s nothing worse than a “copywriter” who makes grammatical errors.
Making grammatical errors is normal, especially when typing, but when your copy is littered with grammatical errors and wrong spellings, your reader may look at your copy as not being professional and will probably click away.
That’s a good way to lose some sales.
Familiarity with the different content management systems
Sometimes your client may not want you to write your copy from their backend, and you should be familiar with whatever content management system he/she is using.
Also, even if you are not familiar with the different content management systems, you should be open-minded to learn whatever CMS you come across.
Be comfortable with self-promotion
You cannot be a copywriter and be shy about promoting yourself.
You’ll go hungry.
But the great news is the internet has made everything easier.
Sending an email is way easier than meeting potential clients face to face or calling them by phone.
These are the general skills a copywriter should have.
But when it comes to direct response copywriting, it is a whole different ball game as it goes deeper than that.
In-depth skills a copywriter MUST have
Some of the more specialized skills a direct response copywriter MUST have are:
1. An eye for detail
A copywriter should be able to identify errors in their work, no matter how minute.
You will be your own proofreader and editor. And all copies should be as error-proof as possible before sending them to the client.
Like I have mentioned before, a copy filled with errors will make your work look unprofessional.
2. A wide vocabulary
It is helpful to have a wide vocabulary as it gives you a wide array of words to choose from.
But sometimes it is good to stick to the tried and true words that have proven to deliver consistently… Especially if you are writing headlines.
To write a convincing and highly persuasive copy, the copywriter will have to do some research about the product or service he or she is writing about.
This means finding out its features, benefits, and unique selling points.
Although sometimes the client provides the copywriter with this information, it is also important the copywriter is curious enough to do some research on his or her own.
Plus, if you are trying to approach the product from a different angle, it will be easier to do if you know more about the product or service.
4. Research skills
As a copywriter, knowing how to carry out research will be one of your greatest weapons.
Using the internet will make the process faster and easier.
Having excellent research skills also applies to your communication with the client.
Asking the right questions will allow you to understand the product or service inside out, which is vital if you want to sell it effectively.
5. Good listening skills
It is also very important to know how to listen to your client and find out his or her needs.
They will provide you with a brief about their company, product, or service, and they expect you to follow it to the latter.
These skills will also help when carrying out your product research and finding the best angle to write your copy from.
6. Writing with empathy
This is a skill you should really learn when it comes to direct response marketing.
If you want to write something that converts, you need to touch the reader on an emotional level.
You should look to explore the reader’s feelings of happiness, sadness, guilt, fear, failure, and beliefs.
Hitting these emotions will be the defining factor in whether your copy will flop or succeed.
By using the power of empathy, you prime your reader for the offer and could increase the probability that they will follow your call to action.
According to Peter Noel Murry, Ph.D. at Psychology Today, empathy can enhance the effectiveness of copy three-fold.
Here’s How To Create Empathy, Even If You’re Not An Empathetic Person
- Think about any objections the reader could raise in their mind.
- Think about an important motivator for your reader.
- Consider the benefits and advantages of the product or service to your readers
- Look at the competition and see why they’ve lost the trust of their readers and customers
- Explore different ways to present your offer, and think about what your target reader would prefer (i.e. sales-like, storytelling, ).
Since copywriters are men and women who create fresh written content for advertising, marketing, and descriptive texts, they can write more creative text, like ad jingles, taglines, and other creative copy, or more research-based copy, like a job description on a website.
Are copywriters in demand?
Copywriters are in constantly high demand to help companies produce their web content, sales pages, e-mail sequence, home pages, product pages, and any part of a company’s website that needs something written on it.
The demand is great and is growing.
The value a copywriter brings to a company’s bottom line can be great if the company knows how to utilize the copywriter.
Also, if the copywriter is talented enough and knows how to craft a winning copy.
Do copywriters make good money?
Yes, they do. In fact, the median annual salary of a copywriter is around $47,000, with 80% of copywriters earning between $35k – $65k per year according to data aggregated from Payscale and Salary.com. A junior copywriter in Sacramento, CA will make an average of $45k per year. A junior copywriter in New York City will make an average of $61k per year.
This is true if you are looking to become a copywriter for a company or an agency.
But if you want to become a freelance copywriter, there’s no cap to your earning potential.
This is because you are in business for yourself, and you can work for as many companies as you would like.
Imagine if you lived in Sacramento, CA, and you are a freelance copywriter working from home for five different companies and advertising agencies on a retainer. That’s about $450k in a year.
You see what I’m talking about.
So, this means there’s no cap to your earning potential should you look to become a freelance copywriter.
How can you become a copywriter with no experience?
First, you already have experience. But you don’t know it.
As long as you have persuaded someone to do something for you, then you have experience.
That’s what copywriting is all about. Persuading people to take a specific action.
Your next move should be to package that experience you have and sell it to people. This is a great way to get in loads and loads of clients for your copywriting gig.
Think about sometime in the past when you persuaded someone to do something for you. What techniques did you use, even though you had no idea that’s what you were doing?
Package that information and sell it.
When selling this information, make sure you write your own sales copy for the information.
When you do this, you are in the position to send out cold emails to prospective clients letting them know you are a freelance copywriter for hire. And when they ask for your samples, you can show them the sales copy you wrote for your own product.
So, we all have experience in persuasion… even if you don’t realize it yet.
How do you start as a copywriter?
- Learn the basics of persuasive writing.
- Learn these 6 core copywriting skills mentioned above.
- Land your first few clients.
- Develop and refine your freelancing process.
- Build a stream of recurring leads.
Is copywriting a good career?
Copywriting is an amazing career. Some top copywriters have become creative directors of very successful ad agencies, earning lots of cash. Good copywriters are hard to find and sought after, but you have to have some aptitude for writing and concepts.
How difficult is copywriting?
Copywriting is no harder a career to break into than any other career out there. But the thing is, very few people will be able to successfully build a career if they don’t actually know how to write copy.
Should you learn copywriting?
Yes, I think everyone should learn copywriting because you’ll learn salesmanship and persuasion (and copywriting is just salesmanship in print). As long as you sell something, you should learn copywriting. That’s how you make money. Even if you don’t personally write the copy, you’ll be able to tell if your copywriter is legitimate.
This is the answer to what a copywriter does. And if you are looking to become a freelance copywriter, these tips should help you. There are many more questions to be answered on how to become a copywriter and you feel free to ask me using the contact form.