SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

Does my small business need a copywriter?

Does my small business need a copywriter?

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So, you’re wondering: does my small business need a copywriter? 

Well, the answer is simple: yes, you do. 

But we know you want all the details, so, in this article, we’ll walk you through a few topics that will help you better understand why you need a copywriter for your small business:

  1. Why is copywriting important?
  2. What is a copywriter and what do they do?
  3. Can’t I just write my own copy?
  4. The 3 main benefits of hiring a professional copywriter

So, let’s dive in and examine why your small business needs a professional copywriter.

Illustration of a copywriter's computer screen with a blank document open.

1. Why is copywriting important?

Before we can explain why working with a professional copywriter is so critical to the success of your business, we should first explore why copywriting itself is so important. 

Consider this: You’re a small business with a product or service. Now, how do you get potential clients or customers to use your services? Let’s break it down into four primary steps:

  1. First, they’ve got to know about your services, right?
  2. Then, after knowing about your small business, you want these people to be interested in your business.
  3. You then want these people desiring your business.
  4. Finally, you want these potential customers using your business.  You want to convert them from non-clients to clients.

So, how do you move your customers through these four stages? How do you get them to buy from you? How do you convert them to paying customers?

Well, in large part, you use promotional and advertising materials (also known as “digital marketing content”). Let’s call these materials and the strategy you use to deliver them to your target audience your “digital marketing strategy.”

So, where might a small business get promotional or advertising materials? Where does all that digital marketing content come from? 

Well, you don’t get them, you create them. 

And this is where copywriting comes in. Copywriting (along with graphic design and brand strategy) is the process of designing the written components of your digital marketing materials. As such, it is the substance of your digital marketing strategy. 

And this is why copywriting is so important; because it is the process of carefully crafting every written word that you will use on your website, in your digital ads, in your physical ads, on your storefront, in your social media posts, and so on.

Having poorly written content or content that doesn’t speak to your customers can have a substantial negative impact on the success of your small business marketing strategy. 

It is because copywriting is so important that your small business will definitely benefit from a copywriter.

For a more detailed explanation of what copywriting is, you can check out our beginner’s guides to understanding what copywriting is here: Part 1 and Part 2

Or, for a better understanding of how to write effective copy for each stage of the sales funnel, you can check out this article.

2. What is a copywriter?

Let’s consider what a copywriter is.  Why do they exist?  Why is copywriting a job?

Simply put, a copywriter writes content that aids in the marketing and promotion of a business.  A copywriter will literally put words down on paper (or a virtual document) about a business. But not just any words.  

A copywriter is not just providing information about a business; they are providing information in a way that gets the reader to want to get involved with said business. They also write in a way that ensures their words will appeal to the desired audience. 

The copywriter writes a magical elixir of words that make that reader want to buy something from a business or makes the reader want to click on something, provide their information for a sign-up campaign, book an appointment, or, at the very least, learn more about the business.

The copywriter does not want to provide a story with an ending but, rather, they want to provide a story that makes the reader hunger for more. They want to provide a story that makes the reader want to get involved, take action, find out what happens next.

The copywriter turns a business’ promotion materials into an unending bag of chips.  Bet you can’t just have one, right?  

When a copywriter is successful in their writing, you won’t be able to read just one page or one blurb.  You’ll want to attempt to finish the bag.  You’ll want to delve further and further into the small business.  You’ll want to reach all the way to the bottom. And, hopefully, you’ll want to follow through with the call to action the copywriter puts in front of you.

A copywriter knows how marketing works and they know how to write for it.  They know how to write for you and your small business.

The copywriter will help define your brand, make sure that all written materials are consistent and will give your company a voice that people will begin to identify with.  They will write, edit, and proofread.  

They will, in essence, be your public image.

Your small business’ copywriter will do all the things they should to best ensure you and your product or service are professionally represented to your potential customers or clients.

And, make no mistake, big businesses use copywriters, too!

Big businesses have whole departments that deal with promotional materials.  They hire advertising firms that take care of everything.  But within these advertising firms, there will likely be an entire team of copywriters, let alone one.

Big businesses are obviously onto something.

Now, while you may be small, there is no reason that you shouldn’t operate on a scaled-down version of how a big company works. Sure, your small business may not need an entire team or agency at your disposal, but it can only behoove you to hire at least a single copywriter. 

And, fortunately, if your small business doesn’t yet have the budget to hire a full-time copywriter as an employee, there are plenty of freelance copywriters and creative agencies around who can help you with your copywriting on a retainer or as-needed basis. 

So, any business, whether big or small, could most certainly benefit from some outside help.  But the copywriter will not provide that bottom or end.

3. Can't I just write my own copy?

You probably could write your own copy, but it isn’t advisable. 

Why not?

Well, we all have our strengths.

For example, imagine that you make the world’s very best pizza.  Your mother taught you her secret recipe for the dough, for the sauce.  Her mother before her taught the very same secrets.

But it’s now your turn to get that pizza out into the world — you’re turning your family’s secret recipe into a business.  And it’s great.  The people who try it love it.  You’re excellent at making pizza.  In fact, when people think of you, they think of pizza.

However, to make a business out of making pizza, you have to actually establish your business, purchase a shop, create a name and logo, decorate the interior and exterior of your shop, order all the equipment, then, once the shop is ready, you have to find a way to spread the word that you’re here and your pizza is the best. 

Think about this: Would you hire a lawyer to help you incorporate your business and establish your company by-laws, or would you do it yourself? Would you hire a graphic designer to create your logo, or would you do it yourself? Would you hire a plumber and electrician to finish the plumbing and wiring in your new shop, or would you do it yourself? 

Now consider the written content for your business — the copy, the writing. Would you hire a copywriter, or would you try to do it yourself? 

You’re obviously doing something great or you wouldn’t have your own business. And ,sure, you may know more about making pizza than anyone else in the city, but that doesn’t mean you’re the best person to spread the word about your business. 

But when it comes time to getting your business’ name out there, when it comes to using the right combinations of words to accurately portray just why you’re so good, there’s probably a specialist you could bring in to do that.

You’re good at offering whatever product or service it is that your business offers. Someone else is good at marketing that service.

So, stick to making those great pizzas, stick to what you love doing. Hire a copywriter for the rest. 

And, if you do decide to go ahead with writing your own copy, at least ensure your content is reviewed by a professional proofreader and editor before it goes live!

4. The 3 main benefits of hiring a professional copywriter

While the benefits of hiring a professional copywriter are many, here are three of the most important ones: 

A. Hiring a copywriter will free up your time.

You’re running a business, and that’s a lot to deal with.  Getting a small business off the ground and keeping it afloat is no small feat. There’s a lot to focus on.

And the reality is that you can’t do everything on your own.  (Well, not if you want it done well and not if you don’t want to be working 16-hour days.) And that’s okay. 

The odds are good that you’ve realized this and reached out to find the best-suited people to take on specific roles within your company; you’ve realized that everyone involved in your small business offers something specific, and each person focuses on their specialty.

But maybe you’re on a tight budget. Maybe you’re not sure whether you should invest the final dollars of your budget in hiring a copywriter. And, perhaps, you’re wondering whether you can’t just gloss over your business’ copy, skipping much of it altogether or doing a “good enough” job to just get it done.

Even if you’re on a budget and trying to cut costs, just glossing over your small business’ copy won’t benefit you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: failing to take your business’ copy and written content seriously can actually damage your business. For example, imagine if you carelessly write or post something that offends your customer base or that is laden with spelling and grammar issues. 

So, you do not want to simply “gloss” over anything.  

Not only will the copywriter bring their expertise, but they will also allow you to focus on what you’re best at while the important task of marketing is left in their capable hands.  And ensuring something is left in capable hands is ensuring that it won’t be glossed over.

Think of all that needs to get done — there are blogs, social media posts, brand messages, keeping your website copy fresh, crafting product descriptions, writing the content for your digital ads.  And that’s just on the digital marketing side; chances are, there are other areas of your business that would benefit from copywriting as well.

Regardless of what your specific digital marketing needs are, you want your copy to be well-written and effective.  So honestly ask yourself, “will I have time to do all that and do it well?”

Product descriptions, SEO, gathering email addresses to do email campaigns.  Do you have the time to focus on all that?  Depending on the size and nature of your company, that could be another full-time job in itself!

And, if you’re burning yourself trying to handle too many aspects of your business on your own, chances are you won’t be performing your primary function as well as you could. You also may not get to enjoy the aspects of your business you love most and may find yourself bogged down with mundane, frustrating tasks. 

For example, if you’re a freelance web designer trying to start up a small, boutique agency, will you have time to actually craft brand-appropriate, effective websites for your clients if you’re also juggling your own marketing and copywriting? Will you be giving your customers the attention and exceptional service they deserve? Will you have to work 16 hours a day to pull it all together? 

In the end, this move will not only save you time, but it will save you money.  Think of all the time (and therefore money) you’d have to spend overseeing everything.  

Trying to tackle all of that is a surefire way of making sure that none of it is getting done as well as it should or could be getting done.

On the other hand, investing in a copywriter is a surefire way of increasing your small business’ productivity and it’s a move that will most likely end up earning you money, rather than taking it away.

Investing in a pro to take some of the burdens off of your shoulders and allows you to focus on what you do best and what you love most!

B. Fresh eyes are good for perspective.

Have you ever heard the saying, “can’t see the forest for the trees?”

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into overseeing your small business, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture or key elements.

Each role in a business, big or small, requires specific action, an action that you may not be able to give proper attention to if you’re splitting your time and attention between too many things.

How many times have you written an email and first asked someone to proofread it?  Well, first off, if you haven’t done that, you should think about it.  Especially if it’s a professional message you’re sending out.  But the reason we get anyone to proofread anything is to not just correct grammar and punctuation issues but it’s also to make sure you’re getting the right tone out there.

Well, why would you treat your business’ brand any different?

You’d definitely want someone to take a look at how you plan to market yourself.  You’d definitely want someone else to take a look at the message you’re sending out into the world.

Your copy, your marketing materials, the words used to talk about you and your business will become the actual face of your business.

If you can’t step back and reasonably consider just how your materials are coming across to your demographic.  You’re too close.  You want nothing but the best for your ‘baby.’  And you want the world to know how great your ‘baby’ or company is.

That’s fantastic but if you’re too close, too attached you could blow it before anyone out there in the world really gets a chance to know just how great your ‘baby’ or business is.

Imagine eating nothing but popcorn for days on end.  And then, one day, you decide to try a bit of a candy bar.  Well, that candy bar is going to taste awfully sweet.  Sickeningly sweet.  You may ask yourself, “why would anyone want to eat something that sweet?”

Now, imagine someone else comes along who’s been eating a bit of savory and sweet each day, and they try the exact same candy bar and say, “well, I think this has just the perfect balance of caramel, chocolate, and nuttiness!”  They love it.

If you were then suddenly asked if this candy bar was objectively any good, you may want to consider taking in that someone else’s point of view instead of only your own.

Do you know why?

Because they have some perspective.

So, if you’re focusing entirely on one specific aspect of your small business for days on end and then task yourself with writing some engaging copy for your target audience, you may have no clue what to write other than, “it’s the greatest!”

But a professional copywriter would have A) looked into just who your demographic is, B) taken the time to intimately understand that demographic and their needs, desires, and fears; and, C) would know how to use the right, actionable words to thoughtfully encourage that demographic to take interest in you and your business.

Bringing in an outsider to look at something you’re just too close to is a wise move that can help ensure your copy is written thoughtfully, accurately, and in ways that will motivate your desired customer base to act. 

Letting a copywriter do their thing will only allow your audience to see not only what it is that you’re offering but how it will benefit them.

That’ll get your audience fired up.  That will bring interest, wanted interest to you and your small business.

C. Copywriters know how to speak to your audience and drive action.

As mentioned above, a copywriter does more than just string words together.

Sure, they string very good words together that promote a potential custom to take action.

But, before that copywriter even gets to put their materials together, they figure how they’re going to put those words together to be maximally effective.

That copywriter is going to do some research.

They’re going to figure out who you’re appealing to, what those people want to hear.  They’re going to figure out how to talk to these people and via which venue.

Does your business appeal to people who are predominantly over 60 years of age?  If so, maybe avoid using Instagram stories and TikTok videos as your main medium for advertising.

Conversely, if your demographic is quite young, perhaps they have less of a presence on LinkedIn and you can worry less about email campaigns or hardcopy materials.

A copywriter will put the leg work in to figure all of this out before they even type a single word.

Now, as a small business owner, do you have the time to take care of all of this?  

If you want to see results, you do not want to just be putting out, “great deal!” all over any medium you can.  That’s akin to running around the streets with a staple gun, posting flyers everywhere with no consideration as to which neighborhood could even use your service.

And do you know what happens with actions like that?  People get irritated.  Sure, you might get some attention but there’s a risk that a lot of that attention will be on the negative side.

Copy isn’t just about getting attention.  It can be.  But it depends on what stage of the marketing funnel you’re at. A professional copywriter will know exactly how to write effective content for each stage of the funnel.

Good copy is about generating action, action that will bring that reader to your small business.

Good copy will therefore increase your sales.  And, after all, isn’t that your small business is hoping for? 

Summary

So, don’t be afraid to invest some of your budget in a professional copywriter for your business.

Why? Because: 

  • They’ll be a fresh set of eyes.
  • They’ll know how to find your audience and then how to talk to them.
  • They will learn about not just what you offer but about how it’ll positively affect your prospective clients.  
  • The copywriter will create a consistent voice to your company, to your brand.
  • They’ll give you time to focus on the things you are good at, the things you should be focusing on.

A good copywriter will only help you and your small business by driving people to your site, by getting your target audience interested in you, and, finally, they’ll help increase your productivity by freeing up your precious time.

For a free, no obligation quote for our copywriting services, you can get in touch with us here. 

Or, for more small business guides and resources, you can check out our blog here.

Steve Chambers

Steve Chambers

Steve is a copywriter and content developer with a passion for creating effective, engaging written content. When he's not crafting content for clients, Steve keeps busy as an avid screenwriter and movie buff.

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