Reading “5 Situations That Demand You Hire a Professional Copywriter” at copyblogger brought back memories. When I started my freelance writing business many years ago, I published a small pamphlet. The title was something like “7 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Freelance Copywriter.”
The list of reasons wasn’t a new idea. I got it from copywriter extraordinaire Bob Bly, whose books I devoured before and after I set up shop. The seven reasons made for good sales literature. They were also a constant reminder to me of my value as a service provider to businesses and organizations.
The reasons or “situations” as copyblogger calls them to retain a professional wordsmith haven’t change much. So, for your benefit–and as a refresher to yours truly–here they are:
1. You aren’t a writer.
While not everyone can whip out a design or layout, everyone can write. We all learn to write in school. In so many fields, professionals are expected to write. But that doesn’t make everyone a writer. Some people are mediocre. Some are lousy. Some are good. And many, whatever their abilities, hate to write. Why? Well, for one reason, it’s hard. For another, it’s time-consuming. Which leads to number two.
2. You don’t have the capacity or time.
Writing ability aside, this is a significant obstacle for many professionals in any business or organization that requires a steady flow of quality content. There are only so many hours in the day. Producing consistently good copy takes the right combination of skill, focus and speed. This can be highly problematic in a do-it-all-yourself communications culture.
3. You need a particular expertise.
Maybe you’re good at writing newsletters and internal communications. But perhaps writing an appeal that needs to raise $250,000 makes you reach for your antiperspirant. Or you realize crafting the outer and inner copy for a self-mailer is much harder than it looks. Or that online copywriting is an art that you grasp but can’t execute. And so on. Hiring pros who do certain projects every day–or who have years of experience–can make a lot of sense.
4. You need a fresh perspective.
As copyblogger says, you’re too close to the topic. I can tell you from experience that this happens to everyone. It’s not criticism. It’s simply part of being on the inside of your company and industry. You tend to lose perspective. (It’s why you see so many articles about staying close to your clients and customers, soliciting their feedback.) Outside professionals can see your communications situations objectively. Importantly, they can represent your audiences. They must first be convinced before they can convince others.
5. The stakes are high.
Copy is critical to your communication goals. Not to say that design or the logo isn’t, but the words often determine if readers take the next step in the process, whether it’s lead generation, fundraising, sales, brand awareness, recruiting and more. And if you agree that words will have a direct impact on reaching your goals, then seeking outside writing help is often a very smart business move.