‘A copywriter is a salesperson behind a typewriter’ – Judith Charles.
This quote obviously stems from the time before computers, but the basics of what a copywriter is has not changed in this new era of technological change. Copywriting is still regarded as writing that is promotional in nature and is created (written) to appear in any medium whether it is in print, television, radio, video, web copy (the internet) etc.
What is the purpose of Copywriting?
According to the Writers Bureau, ‘Promotional copywriting is designed to generate and increase interest in a product or idea using persuasive language. The aim of the copy is to persuade the viewer, listener or reader to act, i.e. to buy a product or adopt a different viewpoint’.
Copywriters, these days, are however also very much involved in the Blogosphere and they are happily applying their creative skills in setting up and crafting text for Blogs (and websites) and also crafting copy for social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This kind of material may, by their very nature not necessarily be for promotional purposes only. In cases where copywriters are crafting text for blogs, websites and social media platforms, they can be referred to as content writers and they may be heavily involved in content marketing.
What kind of Material do Copywriters produce?
The Writer’s Bureau has identified some of the promotional material which Copywriters produce. These are:
• Brochures and flyers
• press releases
• radio commercial scripts
• direct mail pieces
• sales letters
• television adverts
• jingle lyrics
• web copy
• online ads
• white papers
What kind of services can Freelance Copywriters offer?
In my Blogpost of 24 July 2018, I have mentioned some of the opportunities available in the Global Market to Freelance Writers. You are invited to check out the Infographic I have included in that post for yourself.
According to Clare Dodd from Articulate, copywriters usually write with the agenda of a client who contracts their services, in mind. ‘It might be to promote a product, but it might also be to educate an audience or demonstrate expertise’.
What does the creative process of Copywriters involve?
Although Copywriters are writers, their work is different from that of a creative writer and of a journalist. They are responsible for generating the words, but they mostly use these words to craft text for things like brochures, slogans and audio scripts that accompany advertising visuals. They may also be involved in creating any or all of the material mentioned earlier in the Blogpost.
The typical creative process, according to The Creative Pool, may involve:
• discussing with the client his/ her core message and target audience
• brainstorming visual and copy ideas with other members of the creative team (such as a graphic designer or a website designer)
• writing and presenting a few options to clients
• modifying copy until the client is satisfied
• overseeing the production phase.
What skills are required for a Copywriter to be successful?
Copywriters, as I have indicated above, are indeed writers and they therefore have to have the natural skills that writers have to create visions in people’s minds with words. Their skills are however not only limited to writing. As they have to, in many cases, convince people to buy services or products, they need persuasive skills and a knowledge of people.
An advertising copywriter should also according to The Creative Pool:
• be highly creative and imaginative
• have good writing and interpersonal skills
• work well in a team (this may be on a remote basis from home and need not be in a formal office environment)
• be able to work under pressure (most of the time, Copywriters have deadlines that they need to keep when delivering a finished product to a client)
• have an eye for detail
• have an interest in commerce, popular culture, and new advertising trends and techniques.
Where can you tender your services as a Copywriter?
I have previously written a post on where you can register yourself as a Freelance Writer and you are encouraged to look at that again within the context of this post.
Copywriting and in particular freelance copywriting can be a very lucrative and satisfying career choice to make.
In the weeks to come I will expand more on what a Copywriter does and what will be expected of you should you choose this career.
Let me know if there are any subjects you would like me to include and which relate to Copywriting as a career choice.
Latest posts by Kim Bock (see all)
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- Issue 3 of the Freelancer Magazine - July 24, 2019