Good copy costs money – bad copy costs more – Phlashweb

Good copy costs money – bad copy costs more

Stop looking in Fiverr.

I recently spoke with a prospective client; they’re looking for some banging copy on their site to promote their core values and brand personality. My first review of their site is that it’s not terrible, but when talking with the client I find out all these wonderful things they stand for, the full range of services they offer, the fascinating people they’ve worked with, and it soon becomes clear to me that the website copy, in context with who this company is, is a bit, well, flat. It says nothing to very little about what they actually do, what they stand for, or how the company really solves problems.

From the website I got one service. From the conversation I had, it was multiple services with values and a worthwhile offering.

This a sad pattern. The disparity between a ten minute conversation to what they are publishing on one of their most important tools is often so vast. Then what usually happens is the client will tell me that the last person they went to for copy cost them the price of a pizza, and it all makes sense.

Don’t get me wrong, platforms like Fiverr can be a great solution for startups with limited resources. I actively encourage those of you who are in this position to use these platforms  – with some luck, you will  find a gem freelancer who does the business. But, if you’ve tried that route and experienced dissatisfaction, then provided on your resources, you will need to consider moving beyond suppliers on these platforms.

If you want to produce quality copy to enhance your brand and really promote the passion you have for your business, then you’ve got to be prepared to invest. It’s labour that doesn’t come free, and it requires the writer to emotionally invest in you.

Your website is your shopfront, it should clearly represent what you do, your core values and your brand’s overall personality. That requires someone to properly engage with your brand. So think about what you’re paying for. To immediately grab a browser’s attention, the content you are producing needs to have the ‘wow’ factor. Unfortunately it’s usually not something you will get from spending the same amount as a few cups of coffee or a pizza – or at least it’s rare.

It’s a shame because I come across so many clients who are in the same situation. When chatting to them, I can see how they could really interest their audiences if they just did x, y, z. I hear their passion about their business, their knowledge, total experts at what they do. Genuinely being themselves. But they have just had bad experiences in the past with poor quality copy, resulting in them losing motivation and hope.  It’s a pattern with other services too.

A good copywriter will go away and use your words and vision, transposing them onto your ‘shopfront’. They won’t use jargon, the copy will convey proper meaning and value to attract prospective clients and make them understand why they should care. 

Bland copy is the death of business. If it says nothing about why consumers should engage with you in particular, then why is it there?  It’s not about using clever words to whip clients into a veil of untruths, this is about really delving into a client’s key capabilities and core beliefs, and using them to truly express the brand’s offering and personality.

There has been a real movement behind ‘authenticity’ in marketing, and sometimes it gets a bit convoluted. Authenticity is definitely about the humans behind the company, the stories of the people who run it. It can sometimes be an ‘I had a hard day’ post on your socials – and those are important. But it doesn’t have to be, and that approach is not always appropriate. A copywriter who cares will give you decent advice on this.

You can be professional and authentic. Because it’s also about delving into your beliefs as a business owner on how you genuinely feel you solve problems for people. Authenticity is also about conveying your passion and energy through the client facing content so as it makes people feel something when they are engaging with you. Because a brand that conveys its truth will always be more successful than those who pretend to be something they’re not just to get sales. Users are smart and can tell the difference.

If your brand means that your copy needs to have its best suit on, then that is the route you must go. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring.

To ask someone to put their brain into writing quality copy that is in tune with what your business really does by delving into its core beliefs, then it’s worth much more than a few cups of coffee, or a pizza. I put it in those terms because I want you to really think about this. In order to get the content that your business truly deserves, you need to be prepared to invest that little bit extra. Find a professional writer who shows they actually care about what it is that you do, about what they do, and who wants to produce your content with their name and reputation attached to it.  

Every platform has a need, and sometimes that includes suppliers from Fiverr. But sometimes  you get what you pay for. If that’s the cost of a takeaway, and you’re happy with the results, then you’ve cracked it. But if you’ve been there, and are now exploring other options because you don’t have the time to keep getting mediocre results, then think about your investment and what that means for the service you are going to receive. 

So you might want to move away from costs that amount to ‘disposable’ products. Your business is your baby, so give it the best you can.

If you want more advice on content, like our Facebook group. A new installment on copywriting will be out next month.

Written by Jade Zienkiewicz, Content and Services Director  Edited by Lucy Reed, Marketing Strategy Lead

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