When I have asked business owners who does the writing for their website, ads or brochures, sometimes I get the most alarming answers. Check out the following:
“What do I need to pay a writer for? I write my own copy.”
“Oh, I write my stuff, and my Web guy puts it on the site.”
“Nobody reads anymore, so I use a lot of graphics and Flash.”
“I want my ads to sound like me. I don’t want it to sound high-falutin’.”
Oh, dear. We’ve all seen printed or Web copy that is stunning, but not in a good way.There’s writing, and there’s typing (pardon me, ghost of Truman Capote). As a professional writer, I have run into a few business owners who had the gift of superb writing skills. But generally, business owners are better at what they do for a living: running their business. And some are not so good at spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax. Finally, some are very good at “burying the lead,” which means sticking the primary sales point or exciting news in the middle of yawn-producing text.
What can a professional freelance writer do for your business? See if you think these considerations are important —
• You know a lot. Maybe too much. Hire a naive writer.
• In other words, what you know can hurt you.
You know hundreds or thousands of factoids about your company. Which ones are relevant to a prospect? Interesting? Compelling? You may not be able to say, because ironically, you know too much about your company. A professional freelance writer knows how to pull a compelling narrative out of all your company info.
• Experience saves time and pays off.
An experienced professional freelance writer has written scores of communications, from ads to brochures to websites, about lots of different types of companies. S/he knows what works and what doesn’t and can create a custom-made approach for your company that will get your phone ringing, or people hitting your website.
• Hiring another brain makes sense.
Is there something amiss in your communications approach? Ask the writer. A professional freelance writer is also a professional thinker, a problem-solver. So brainstorm your brains out. And come up with a great solution.
• Don’t be afraid to reveal yourself in your company’s story.
• Your money or your time?
Do you spend days trying to find the time to write that Web copy or that ad or blog post? Do you struggle mightily with writing it? And maybe you try to squeeze it in between your actual job duties, which makes you stressed. Let me ask you this: Have you ever thought about how many dollars per hour your time is worth? How about your sanity? An efficient, reasonably priced, effective freelance writer can help you save both.
• Help is at hand.