Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Do you need a copywriter?

Too often it appears that the answer to this is “no thanks, we can do it ourselves”. And too often the result is poor presentation, mixed messages, inconsistency of tone and voice and a confused reader. Poor writing will bury your message and put potential customers off, while good business writing will sell, persuade and inform. When we are looking after our existing customers or seeking new ones, selling, persuading and informing are fundamental objectives.

I’m writing this out of a sense of frustration. Every single day I come across websites that, with a relatively small outlay to a top professional copywriter, could be rewritten so that the ducks are all in order. This would mean that the clich├ęs are summarily dismissed, the spelling and grammar is correct, the words flow logically and the copy compels you to act. Not only this, but you get an impression of the company itself – a character, a feature, a sense of vision even without even having to spell this out.

 Lamentably few websites come near this mark and, to me, this is a wasted opportunity. I’ve seen websites that show pictures of products with almost no explanation of why they are special, what they really do, why you should buy them here from this company rather than anywhere else. Virtually all the basics of communication are missing. I’ve seen countless others where the messages – particularly the ones sitting right up at the top of the pile on or near the home page – look as if they’ve been pulled from a vast, coagulated common fund of business prose.

If, by chance, you really want your website to describe what you do, represent your values and sell your products and services, my advice is to find a professional copywriter. You might otherwise waste a lot of time and money.