One of the goals that I set for myself in 2012 was to find a way to generate more income and for roughly the past two years I have been doing a lot of freelance work writing for various businesses across the GLOBE. These have been articles for their websites, on various products ranging from hand blown Bohemian Glass Vases to ad copy for businesses in NEW YORK CITY as well as helping businesses with their on-line presence in addition to voice work.
I must be doing something right if they are returning with more orders. If they aren’t returning it’s due to them being out of business and that isn’t the goal.
I started the freelance gig with just a laptop. No website, well I guess I had my social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud; but all of those have limitations. I knocked on virtual doors, sent what we call in the business “spec spots” to businesses that I heard really terrible radio ads for on stations I listened to while on vacation as a way to build a relationship with people that I didn’t know.
The goal was to show them that I wanted to help their business succeed. I didn’t send them a package or an e-mail that listed a price. I simply sent them a demo of what I thought their message COULD be as well as a link to my portfolio . Some of those individuals took me up on my offer to try it out and we eventually built a relationship where the one message for a client has now grown into multiple orders from the same business owner for copy writing for their radio ads, websites, and using social media to tie them together.
One of my clients that I have written many articles for assigned me the subject of “Copy Writing” the other night and I wanted to share some of that with you.
It is safe to say that the good majority of the people in the market place, whether they are the business owner or the consumer, truly do not know the difference between good copy writing vs amazing copy writing. Regardless of the medium: broadcast, print, or web.
Sure, anybody can sit in front of a computer and type words that pertain to a specific subject matter, but to write copy that isn’t just amazing, but it’s also effective, you need to work on the craft. After all, the goal of the copy is to get someone to actually do something: buy a book, dine at a specific restaurant, or make a purchase through a website, without coming off as an advertisement. Create a bond with the listener or reader that guides them towards the desired outcome. This doesn’t happen overnight.
A lot of time is invested in researching the subject. What is the goal of the copy? Is it to inform the reader or listener to remember a phone number, schedule a test drive for a new vehicle, have their sump pump inspected before the snow melts, or is it to separate their business from their competition?
A well designed website will inform a potential client about the company, especially one that is not a house hold name, right on the home page in a short amount of time. Websites are the new phone books where someone jumps on their computer, types in a few key words into their search engine and HOPEFULLY your site comes up in the top five. A well designed website will achieve this due to the effective copy writing that informs the consumer about the goods/services being offered to them.
Remember that honesty is the best policy. Apply this rule not only in your everyday life but in your copy writing which will make you more believable to consumers instead of using superlatives, hype, and overused buzzwords in the copy that will only achieve one of two things: They distract the consumer from the actual benefits of your product and they ruin your integrity. Don’t be the business owner who cried wolf.
Create a bond with the copy that turns into a long lasting relationship with the reader/listener, so don’t make the copy come off as you are talking down to them or using words and phrases that you yourself wouldn’t not use in everyday conversation. Doing so can send them running to your competitor. Instead, write copy that puts the focus on them and their needs.
So that’s what I’ve been doing at night and on the weekends. I’m also looking to do a weekly podcast; hitting on current events from that week, but also just sharing everyday experiences without any time restrictions.
Thanks for reading my post.