There as many copywriters out there as there are business owners looking for a good one. Probably more. And just like you, each copywriter has her own style and her own processes she uses to produce the copy you need for your business.
I’ve heard a lot of business owners state that they prefer to do their own writing because they know their business best and no one could possibly write in their voice.
While the former may be true, the latter is not. And either way, it still pays to have a good copywriter on your team.
Though you may know your business best, that doesn’t mean you’re the only one who can write for it (and that’s a blog for another day). But let me tell you how a copywriter knows how to write in your voice. Because it’s a little bit of background work and a little bit of magic—all tied into one.
A good copywriter won’t just take on a project without getting some serious feedback from the client. This often includes a questionnaire, sometimes a lengthy one, to gather some background information that helps us to do our job right.
I designed my questionnaires to ask questions that almost get to the point. I want them to be a tad bit vague because I want to see how much information my clients give me up-front. I always ask follow-up questions, but this initial questionnaire gives me a good place to start—and lets me know where I need to dig a bit deeper.
I love having face-to-face meetings with my clients. And with the vast majority of them being all across the world (San Francisco to Florida to Hawaii to the U.K.), those meetings are nearly always on Skype or Zoom. I even meet with my local clients online because, well, traffic. Virtual meetings save a ridiculous amount of time.
A good copywriter will meet with you to follow up on her written questionnaire she asks you to fill out. And in that meeting, she’ll ask you some follow-up questions to gather more information and to watch you for visual cues. Sometimes those cues are obvious (a wrinkled nose or crossed arms when talking about something you’re resistant to or not excited about), but often they’re not so obvious (evading a question or looking away when you’re uncomfortable and a light in your eyes when you’re enthusiastic). These cues really help a good copywriter to get a better feel for your personality and voice.
Not only will a good copywriter do a good deal of research on you, she will also research your industry. We need to know what makes you and your business tick. We’ll do some internet stalking and scope out your personal Facebook profile and your business Facebook page, follow you on Instagram and read your current website and blog content. No need to hide those old college photos though—if we’re a good fit, we were probably up to the same shenanigans you were!
You know when you’re just really good at something, naturally, and you can’t quite explain how or when you learned the skill? Yep, that’s a good copywriter. I’ve had clients ask me, “How did you do that? How did you write in my voice?”
The truth is, I can’t quite explain it. I use the answers they give me to my questions, the cues I receive from them and the research I do. And then it just comes. This is especially true when the client is in a creative field, because their business usually just oozes personality anyway.
Of course, not every copywriter will be the perfect fit for you. And I’m not the best copywriter for all the business owners out there. That’s completely okay.
I had a new client recently tell me that what sold her on me was my age. I’m sure she meant it as a compliment that she knew I was “older” than many of the other copywriters out there. And, honestly, as much as I grumble about my age sometimes, it didn’t hurt my feelings at all that she knew I was over 40 before I told her I was (but I was secretly happy when she told me she was older than me—haha!).
So whether your magical copywriter is the right age for you, has the right educational background or just has that killer personality that you know will help you target your audience, know that she also has the gift of research, visual cues and just having a conversation with you to help her nail your voice.