Get the Most for Your Copywriting Dollar
Is the present economy stretching your budget to the limit? As a business owner, you may find yourself putting projects on hold because financial resources are limited. Projects such as writing a sales promotion to generate new leads or updating web content are often placed on the back burner until the economic climate improves. However, overlooking the need for sales-generating copy can leave your company treading water or worse — handing your marketplace positioning to your competition on a silver platter.
According to the Census Bureau and Small Business Administration, well over half of the private (nonfarm) industry is made up of small businesses. Forget Fortune 500 companies. Small business owners are an innovative group of entrepreneurs with a lot to offer. To get the most for your copywriting dollar, here are five suggestions to help you develop a working relationship with a copywriter on a limited budget:
1. Know what you'd like to achieve and be up-front about your budget. Vague or too many ideas dilute the process and end up costing you money as the copywriter spends valuable time trying to pin down the main idea. Give specifics to the copywriter. Are you looking to rewrite and freshen your web copy? Create a flier to generate sales leads? Or write a press release to announce an exciting new product?
2. Provide the copywriter with company material to make their job easier. Previous sales letters and brochures provide insight into your business. Let the writer know who your target audience is. Do you primarily sell to upscale retirees or outdoor enthusiasts?
3. Provide the copywriter with a customer profile to gain even more insight. A customer profile includes information on what your typical or even ideal customer looks like. It can include items such as age, gender, marital status, income level, average order value, average number of items purchased, interests and hobbies. A copywriter shouldn't have to second-guess who your target audience is if it's clearly stated.
4. Do some of the work yourself. You want your copywriter spending time writing sales copy, not doing legwork. Business owners can cut their copywriting costs in areas such as research by providing spec sheets for product descriptions, providing previous sales letters, gathering their own testimonials, among other tasks.
5. Get it in writing. Put the agreed upon fee and details of the copywriting project in writing — even if it's a simple email. This avoids misunderstandings and complications half way through a project. Include project due dates and payment terms as well.
To gain exposure and generate more sales for your business, seek a writer that's willing to work with you to grow your business. Provide them with the necessary materials and project specifics to succeed. Communication is key. Rewrites due to misunderstandings are costly for both parties. It's a win-win situation when expectations are clear.
Denise McGill is a freelance copywriter specializing in catalog and web product descriptions. Denise can be reached at email@example.com.