Jack Beddall

Turning Your Copy Into a Good Employee

Eleven Reasons to Hire a Professional Copywriter

Let’s face it. If you were perfectly happy with the performance of your website and other marketing materials-- emails, letters, newsletters, etc.-- you probably wouldn’t be here. You know what you have isn’t working, but you’re not sure if it’s worth it to hire a professional to write your copy.

First, we need to be clear what “copy” is not. It is NOT the fancy design of your website, or the tri-fold brochure. “Pretty” is good, but it’s the WORDS that sell, not the design. Dynamic, powerful, and effective copy are what gets the deal done.

“Copy” is the words. Nothing more, nothing less.

Here are eleven good reasons.

1. You don't have time to write. Your schedule is already overcrowded. You are busy doing the things you do best, and the things which make you the most money. Writing well is hard, and it takes time to get it right. A professional copywriter can get the job done more quickly than you can do it on your own.

2. It costs more to do it yourself. People pay you to be the expert in your field. They don’t pay you to do things which aren’t “expert.”

You pay professionals to do your taxes, build your home, fix your car, and dozens of other things. It’s not that you couldn’t learn how to do those things, it’s that for your bottom line, it costs less to pay for expertise than to try to get proficient at it yourself.

The difference in results between professional, engaging copy and average, bland copy is far greater than the cost of getting it done right.

3. You don’t write conversationally. Although your English teacher told you that you might have a “knack” for writing, she only had you write in a formal manner. Even the stories she asked you to write had to adhere to the strict rules of formal English. People aren’t motivated by that. They want you to talk to them, not at them. They don’t really care if you split an infinitive or dangle a participle.

Website content shouldn’t read like a business report or a school essay. It should sound casual, almost like you are chatting with a friend. You talking personally to someone you know.

4. You've never written clear, professional copy before. You’ve written memos, letters, and employee policies, but you haven’t written for the web before. People read website copy differently, and for different reasons, than they read anything else.

It’s not the same as any other kind of writing. Just like in your business, there are dozens of little “secrets” and “tricks” which effective copy must have. It needs to have a headline that hooks visitors immediately. It must be easily scannable. It must be clear and focused. It must be in an active voice, preferably second person. It must be consistent on each page. And on and on.

5. You hate proofreading and re-writing. Like most people, once the words are on the paper, they are good enough for you. The problem is that they are seldom right the first time. For a professional copywriter, editing, proofreading, and re-writing are part of the game. We don’t stop until the words are as good as they can possibly be.

It’s kind of like an architect who designs an entire home, and then realizes that one of the walls would be better over here than over there. Out comes the eraser. It’s his business to get it right, just like it is a professional copywriter’s business to get it right.

6. Search engine optimization is still a mystery. You know that you want your site to show up in search engines (although you may not even have identified which searches), but how to do it is a stumbling block.

Get the keywords, titles, tags, alt- tags, and descriptions wrong, and your website is invisible. No one finds it, so no one visits it, so no one becomes a customer through it.

7. You are too close to your business. You speak in the language of your business, while your customers speak in regular English. It’s hard for you to explain what you do in a compelling way without getting caught up in the jargon. You need your business explained in plain, simple language.

8. You can describe all the features of your products and services, but not the benefits in a persuasive way. A father doesn’t care that a car has 262 horsepower. He cares that it will get his family in and out of traffic safely. Someone may not buy siding that is “maintenance free,” but they will buy something that gives them more free time to do what they really want to do.

Get this wording wrong and you might as well not have written it.

9. Your call-to-action isn’t working (if you have one.) The only reason to even have a website is to create more business. It’s hard enough to get people to come and visit your site. If you aren’t persuading them do to something, your time, effort, and money are wasted. Whether it’s sign up for a newsletter, register for a drawing, or get in on some special deal, if the visitor doesn’t respond to your offer, you lose.

10. You want to beat your competition online. The advantage you have of a better product or a better price than your competition can be lost if he is the one who gets the visitors and moves them to action. If your competition has copy that moves people, they might even be stealing some of your business away from you.

The good news is that most websites are written poorly and are difficult to navigate. Honestly, most are boooring. You can stand out from the crowd when you have great copy.

11. Your website is a bad employee. You expect your employees to do their job. You pay them to save you time and make you money. If they don’t, you wish them well and find someone who can. Your website is the same way. If it isn’t generating revenue, it’s a bad employee.

If any of these describe you or your website, you could benefit from a professional copywriter. Period. If you still don't think you need one, go back to number one and re-read.

See what a difference persuasive, compelling copy can make in your business. Contact him right now, and receive a no-cost website review that will tell you what is right and what is wrong with your website. Contact me using the form on this site, and I will get back to you quickly.

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