I recently read Copyblogger’s 5 Situations that Demand You Hire a Professional Copywriter article. As someone who does business writing for a living, I wanted to shout, “Read this article!” from the mountain tops. But I thought it might be easier to write a blog post about it.
I also decided it would be great to share the article’s top takeaways in my weekly networking group — especially because this week I am being given extra time to do my elevator pitch (i.e., share details about my marketing consulting business).
In the Copyblogger article, author Sonia Simone suggests five scenarios that could compel a business to outsource its copywriting.
If you’re a business owner or a creative professional (a marketer like me or a graphic designer, web designer, etc.) who needs to write marketing material or create other types of content for your business, you might find yourself in one or more of these situations:
1. You aren’t any good at writing.
2. You don’t have the bandwidth.
3. You need particular expertise.
4. You’re too close to the topic.
5. The stakes are high.
FIVE SITUATIONS TO HIRE A WRITER, PER COPYBLOGGER
The first two scenarios on Copyblogger’s list are self-explanatory: Writing isn’t your forte (you struggle with it and aren’t always happy with the output), or you don’t have enough time to write (somehow, business writing regularly ends up near the end of your priority list).
Number three on the list is about expertise — for example, while you feel comfortable writing a simple email to clients, you don’t know how best to write copy for an ebook or even a compelling (not copy-stuffed) PowerPoint presentation.
The fourth scenario is where you’re too close to a topic. When I read this scenario, I thought YES! While we may know full well about our business, ideal customer, best prospect and our products and services, there’s a chance we’ve become stuck in a rut. We’re not looking at our business from the “outside in” or trying anything new with our marketing.
When you’re in this predicament, bringing in a fresh perspective can be just what your company needs to reinvigorate itself and to reach more people in creative, new ways. I did this recently when I needed a fresh perspective. I hired a business coach to help me with … wait for it, my content development and prospecting efforts. (I wrote about it here.)
Number five on Copyblogger’s list, the stakes are high, could be when your company is rolling out a new product or service or when there’s an important event coming up for the business. It’s a time where some aspect of your marketing (your promotional material or announcement messaging, for example) needs to truly shine.
TWO MORE OUTSOURCING IDEAS
There are two other scenarios that came to mind for me; for the first one, let’s call it:
6. You know just enough about SEO to be dangerous.
With copy that’s seen online, like on your website or blog, there should be an intentional focus on using the right keywords for SEO or search engine optimization. An effective, consistent keyword strategy helps you reinforce your service and product categories, subject matter expertise, your location and service area, company differentiators, etc. This makes the Googles of the world happy, as they can better index your content. And it helps real humans, too, as your VIP (very important particulars!) are easily discoverable online.
My other addition to Copyblogger’s list is:
7. You forget to think about strategy when you write.
What and how you write and where and when those words are seen need to be complementary to your overall marketing strategy. As Morris Chang, the CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor, said, “Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.”
When you work with a [insert shameless plug here] strategically minded writer, like me, we’re always thinking about the connectedness of our work to what your business needs to communicate, to whom, why and when — and your business goals and objectives.
OUTSOURCING WRITING: IT’S A GOOD THING
If you’re struggling to keep up with the writing and content development your business needs to not just survive but thrive — you’re in good company. Every business needs a helping hand from time to time. It’s up to you to know what should be delegated and when.
If you need a capable writer with deep marketing experience, a focus on strategy and someone who’s fun to partner with, let’s talk.