What is a copywriter?

I do a lot of networking, it’s the nature of running your own business.  Part of me loves it – meeting new people, hearing their stories…but part of me really hates it.  I hate it because at every single event I’m asked ‘What do you do?’ and I say ‘I’m a copywriter’ and they look at me blankly, or worse, ask ‘like patents and stuff?’  ‘No, not copyright, copywrite – oh, never mind.’

So after answering the question so many times, I thought it was about time I just wrote down the answer – if nothing else it’ll give me a URL to pass people when I can’t get beyond the vacant stares…

So what does a copywriter do?

It’s fairly simple – they create original written copy.  This can be for adverts, promotional brochures, websites, PR, radio scripts or even the back of cereal packets.  It really all depends.  Some copywriters work for one company, internally as part of a marketing team.  I’ve held this position before, often along side designers and developers, producing the SEO copy they need for their websites. It means you end up as a bit of an expert in a company’s product, service and even industry, which can only make your copy better.  It’s a great place for a writer to work.

Other writers work on a freelance basis, one day writing a newsletter for a professional clown, and the next writing website copy for an undertaker.  Some write scripts, some write or proof legal documents, some write the content for the back of software boxes, and some do all of them!  This is the type of writing that I love.  I love having to immerse myself in research until I can speak knowledgeably about a subject I previously knew nothing about.  It keeps writing fresh and every day interesting.

Yes, copywriters do come up with product and company names, slogans and snappy advertising catch phrases – but coming up with catchy things to say isn’t enough.  You need to have the flexibility to adapt from client to client, project to project, audience to audience.  After all, it’s not just the topic that changes, it’s the people you are writing for.  Your ultimate goal is to influence a reader to action with just your words, so you need to understand who it is that you are writing for.

Ready to find out more about how I can help your business? Get in touch.