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Can You Be Your Own Copywriter?

Answers for Small Biz Entrepreneurs

Can you?  YES.

Should you?  Decide that only after you have all the facts presented in this article.

This is how we’ll go about it.

This is how we’ll go about it.

 

    • We’ll take a quick look at the state of the industry and your place in it.  Don’t be nervous, the bulk of this article is designed to help you – the small business, or non-profit entrepreneur.

    • We’ll delve into that fantastic mind of yours and try to discover why you might want to add copywriting to your skills as a small business entrepreneur.

    • We’ll look at what’s involved in learning to be a marketer/copywriter and what that skill set can do for your business.

    • We’ll discuss the time and capital required to get you ready to write your own webpages, email campaigns, ads, etc.

    • We’ll go into the pros and cons of doing it yourself, hiring internal help, or finding an expert outside advisor.

Marketing Today

The vast majority of businesses that wish to attract new customers and retain current customers market their products or service.

Half of these marketers are businesses with sales in excess of $50,000,000 and over 50 employees.  They account for the vast majority of traditional and digital marketing and advertising.  You’ve seen their marketing pieces (ads, websites, emails, pop-ups, texts, billboards, and even blimps.  They pay to get their products featured in movies, TV shows, and even music videos.  You probably have noticed that some of them are (in your opinion) terrific, and some (also in your opinion) are uninteresting, lackluster duds.

It shouldn’t surprise you that these larger marketers employ top national and international advertising agencies, as well as freelance master copywriters to – as near as possible – ensure the success of their campaigns.  [Note: I worked in an agency and as a freelancer for over 20 years.]

But What About The 50% Of Marketers Who Run Small Businesses?

It is obvious too all but a few, that larger marketers spend billions of dollars on creating and communicating their messages and campaigns to the public. 

But what about the small businesses ($250k – $50M in sales and 1-49 employees)?  They face obstacles that larger businesses usually don’t.

 

    • Lack of resources to hire top talent (copywriters, digital marketers, webpages content and design experts, etc.).

    • Lack of a realistic marketing plan with a powerful and Unique Message.

    • Lack of persons trained and proficient in the skills laid out in bullet #1, above.

Worry not, for most small businesspersons have some critically important advantages they may not even recognize, that will set them up to be the master marketer for their business.

Small Business Owners Are Their Own “Ace-In-The-Hole”

Through my seminars, I have worked with over 3100 small business entrepreneurs; some have become clients, others enrolled in my courses, and a number have become friends.

I’m happy to say, many have achieved success or increased their top and bottom lines.

What I discovered was these entrepreneurs have attributes few hired experts can  duplicate – as we’ll see in the next section.

Why are you thinking of learning copywriting?

I’ll start by posing some questions for you to answer to yourself and points to consider with your closest friends and advisors.

Are you looking to market your business more effectively?

 

    • Entrepreneurs are persons with the courage to make decisions and take prudent risks, the innermost knowledge of the workings of their business,  and the passion to make the lives of their customers better.

    • These qualities make them superb candidates for adding copywriting to their skill sets.

    • What they probably lack is the ability to take what’s in their heads, and what’s in their hearts and turn it into a unique and powerful marketing message that will educate, inform, and influence their prospects and customers – and bring in more business.  And that they can learn.

Is it because your previous attempts to increase Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI) has been disappointing, or downright pathetic?

 

    • You’re not alone.  Did you know over 70% of small business marketing underperforms due to the lack of someone who has the “Ability to use the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order” to be a successful marketer/copywriter.  I call this ability the copywriter’s  Million Dollar Advantage!

    • Businesses I’ve worked with and studied grew their revenues 30% – 100% and more by simply adding a powerful and effective marketing message to their webpages, emails, and advertising.

    • This was done without increasing their marketing budget by even one thin dime.

Do you anticipate using your acquired skills as a base for a freelance copywriting side gig to help other businesspersons succeed?

 

    • It’s not unusual to see business owners who boost their own marketing results, offer to help friends understand the process.  Occasionally we see one of our Copywriting System members begin a nice Freelance side gig that can bring in some significant extra dollars. 

    • Those who may anticipate this for their futures know that, for most entrepreneurial businesses, the biggest – and most important – part of marketing is copywriting.

The Essence of Marketing is your MESSAGE; and the Essence of your Message is COPYWRITING

The Essence of Marketing is your MESSAGE, and the Essence of your Message is COPYWRITING

Time, Capital, and Other Considerations

How much is your time worth?

 

    • I don’t expect you to break down your responsibilities and tasks.  The question I’d like you to answer is, “Can you afford to take an hour or two out of your day to, first, learn the art and science of copywriting, and second, to write, and implement your marketing strategy?”

Are you currently working in your business or on your business? 

 

    • Working in your business is generally not the best position for an owner to be in.  When you work ON your business, your efforts are focused on bringing in more clients and making sure that they get the best you have to give.

Do you have a current marketing budget and what is it used for?

 

    • Without a working budget, it will be very difficult for you to determine your ROMI and what part of your marketing strategy (not tactics) is working.

Do you intend to delegate the marketing responsibility to one of your team members?

 

    • Many businesses hire marketing “specialists”.  Sometimes without really knowing what skills and experience the specialist has.  If you have a good person on staff, I might suggest that you put him or her through some extensive (not expensive) marketing and copywriting courses.

    • I would also suggest that you, as the owner, spend some time with the courses as well.  That way, if your employee should leave, you’ll be able to take over until you hire a replacement.

How long does it take to learn copywriting?

 

    • I don’t mean to sound flip, but how much quality time are you willing to put into the effort?  Here’s the non-answer answer.  To get to a point of basic competency takes about 10 to 20 hours plus another twenty hours or so of practice using your own business as a model.

    • Having someone like me available to evaluate your writing will speed up the learning curve.

    • Virtually every good, professional copywriter I know and connect with echoes my sentiments – I NEVER stop studying and never stop learning.  You’ll get better with every piece you write, with every headline, and every value proposition you create. 

    • And if your courses give you  access to a super-sized library of multi-media, how-to guides, checklists, templates, case studies, and more – you’ll always have the tools to do a superior job of writing copy and content. 

Is it very expensive?

 

    • There are Copywriting courses online free or for less than $100/year.  There are some high rollers charging $5,000 – $10,000 for either an in-person seminar or virtual courses or “mastermind classes. 

 

    • Please note: the following is a commercial break ->>>  I offer my How To Write Copy system @ Write Like A Madman University.  I believe it’s the most complete, easy to understand, and well-illustrated system on the internet.  You can get full access to the program for $49 a month…or Less!

    • When you consider the cost – compared to the alternatives – this  might be perfect for you.

Alternatives To Learning And Doing It Yourself

Hire a darn good, experienced copywriter with a varied portfolio.

 

    • On the internet you can find copywriters who charge very little (2 cents to 20 cents a word. Be careful. Most of this “cut-rate copy” is worth what you pay for it.  Request at least five samples of their writing.

Pricing

 

    • The cost for a Darn Good copywriter will average out to between $.75 and $1.50 a word for a 400 word page.  It will cost more if the writer is tasked with creating your marketing message, headlines, and other specialized work.

    • Once the writer has created the foundation of your messages(s), you’ll find the price goes down because the hardest part is already done.

    • Ask about how the money is paid.  I require (as most do) 50% up front and 50% upon client’s satisfaction.  If they are not satisfied, they don’t have to pay the second installment – but they can’t use any of the writer’s work, either.  Beware of anyone who wants you to sign off on a multi-page contract.  This has always been a “handshake” type business.

    • Generally, you get what you pay for. (I’ve been hired dozens of times to fix what some cheap-o writer passed off as great copywriting.)

Top 10 Advantages of Hiring an Outside Copywriter/Marketing Advisor

 

    • TEN – Unless you’re a marketing expert, your time might be more profitably spent running your business.

    • NINE – Your advisor has been through what you’re going through – and learned from it.

    • EIGHT – Outside advisors bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to old problems.

    • SEVEN – A professionally developed marketing program can increase results significantly.

    • SIX – Your advisors have access to all the additional talent you may need.

    • FIVE – A good advisor can also help improve other parts of your business, like sales, customer service, offers and risk reducers.

    • FOUR – Advisors aren’t intimately or emotionally involved in your day-to-day operations, so they can more clearly see the big picture.

    • THREE – Advisors aren’t selling advertising or anything else, so their advice on how and where to spend your marketing dollars is completely unbiased.  Ad reps often sell you what they have, not what you need.

    • TWO – Your advisor can save you from making a REALLY BIG or VERY COSTLY mistake.

…and the #ONE reason for hiring a marketing advisor is:

 

    • ONE – Unlike an employee – you can fire an advisor in a New York minute.

Disadvantages

 

    • Cost

    • Unless they educate you as they go (and they should) you’ll be forever relying on them.  Ask questions about what they wrote and why they wrote it.

    • It is up to you to impart as much knowledge of your business to the advisor as possible.  Most will “interview” you to find out what they need to know but, one way or another, you have to make sure to tell it all.  If you don’t, your advisor may miss a very important differentiator or benefit which might lessen the results you get.

    • You, the client, may feel compelled to put a committee in charge of working with the hired expert.  Don’t do it.  It’s a waste of everyone’s time.   [Author’s note:  I do not work with committees; it has proven to be the biggest waste of my time ever.  I only accept assignments where there is only one point of contact.]

Quote by Charles Kettering

Many Small Businesses Opt For Learning

Whether it’s an issue of cost or keeping control, DIY is a popular way to go.

With a good training package, you can be competent in a few weeks and then, by continually adding more advanced techniques to your skill set, you’ll build excellence over time.

Some even turn their talents into a nice side gig, helping friends with their copywriting needs.

You Can Start Small

As a Master Copywriter with over 35 years writing copy and content for large corporations, small and medium sized local and regional businesses, and even solopreneurs, I encourage you, or someone on your team, to at least take a close look at learning How To Write Copy.

Let me tell you about a good (and darn cheap) way to get acquainted with how to write copy and decide if it’s for you.  Check out my latest “Five Buck Book”  I Guarantee you will improve your copywriting and/or marketing skills immediately after reading it.  (I also guarantee that not one word of my book, or anything I write has been “written” by Artificial Intelligence.)

Thank You

I’m so glad you took the time to read this article.  I enjoy getting any questions, opinions, or thoughts readers might have.  You can send them direct to me at alan@writelikeamadman.com.

Now a few answers to questions I received.

FAQs

  • Is it true that learning how to write copy will absolutely, positively bring me more clicks, conversions, and sales?
  • No.  But it is true that learning how to write copy CORRECTLY, utilizing the formulas, techniques, and templates available to you can, and usually does, boost results by 30%, 50%, 100%, or more.
  • I’ve never really written much before.  Will this be a hinderance?

    Most probably not.  As close as we can figure, about 2/3 of business entrepreneurs possess what I call the “Copywriter Gene”.  How do I know?  Think of your life experiences.  Have you ever asked someone on a date, and they said yes?  Have you ever organized an outing for friends to the movies, amusement park, fish, golf, or shopping?  And have you ever made a proposal to a work group, or a civic organization that was enthusiastically received?  Of course, you have.  Well – what you did was put a proposal in front of people and they liked it.  That’s the job of a copywriter.

  • How will I know if my copywriting is any good?

    The same way you’d know if a professional writer’s work is good.  By the RESULTS.

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