What’s a Copywriter, and Why Your Business Needs One

You hire a content agency like Wordsmithie to create a brochure, datasheet or website. The agency promptly assigns you a copywriter. Who is this person, and what should you expect when working with him or her? (Here’s an interesting post on the origins of the word copywriter.)

The background of a copywriter

Often, your copywriter is a former journalist. Many of us of a certain vintage began in print. More often now, copywriters launch their careers in digital media—which is ideal, because most what of you produce will be repurposed and distributed across multiple media. Your exquisite two-page customer story ultimately may be reincarnated as a 140-character tweet … as it should be. Copywriters know how to handle that transition.

Many copywriters, too, spend time in corporate settings, perhaps even in positions like yours. This also works to your advantage. We understand many of the pressures, demands and goals of marketing communications. In fact, we sympathize when your project suddenly takes a new direction, because someone higher up has a sudden inspiration. (Been there, done that.) We’ll get through any abrupt change together.

Things to know about your copywriter

You also should know that a copywriter usually works on several projects simultaneously. Some may have very little connection with your particular field or requirements. Over time, we learn a great deal about a great many diverse products and industries. But we’ll never know as much about your field as you do. That’s why we’ll ask for workshops or briefings on your project, service or product, and return to you for explanation or additional details. You (or someone on your team) is the subject-matter expert that every successful project requires.

It’s neither fair nor accurate, however, to say that copywriters are jacks of all trades but masters of none. We’re masters of our trade, which is communication. That’s why you hire us. You need us to do your job properly, just as we need you to do ours. So please understand when we ask just one more question about that new feature or option for your top-selling product or service. We simply want to make your copy perfect.

And, oh, in case you wondered … yes, some copywriters do begin their careers clutching degrees in literature or creative writing. Once these poor souls recover from their immersion to the workplace (and repayment of their student loans), many perform very well. It helps in our business to appreciate language and style.

Jim Leeke

Widely experienced in journalism, marketing communications and advertising, Jim has worked with top creative agencies to deliver print, Internet and interactive projects to Fortune 500 companies. His expertise ranges from technology and healthcare/pharmaceuticals to defense and veterans issues. Jim is also the author/editor of six books, writing extensively on the Civil War and baseball. In addition to his Wordsmithie role, Jim is Co-founder and Creative Director of Taillight Communications.

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EU: +1 (650) 488-7700

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