7 Reasons to Hire a Copywriter

7 Reasons to Hire a Copywriter

Maybe you’ve been thinking about hiring a copywriter for a while, but you’re not sure if the investment is worth it. After all, you’ve heard the good ones cost a fortune.

Yes, there are copywriters out there who charge thousands of dollars to write sales pages and blogs. It’s reasonable to assume you’re not just paying for their copywriting ability, but for the years of experience they’ve cultivated to master their craft. They do it well, they work with high-end clients, and they demand a fee to match.

That doesn’t mean you can’t afford to hire a copywriter at all; it just means you need to find one that’s a better fit for your budget. But you should expect to pay for a specialized service, because that’s what copywriting is.

If you’re still on the fence and not entirely sure hiring a copywriter is worth the investment, here are 7 great reasons to add one to your team:

1. They can find the right words. Do you ever feel like you know what you want to say but you just can’t quite put it into words? Copywriters are masters at writing copy that perfectly captures the message you’re trying to get across. Plus, if you hire an industry-specific copywriter, they’ve got the experience you need to understand your niche and market.

2. They can spell the words right. It’s a common complaint among people who never excelled in English class: “My spelling is terrible.” Good news! Most copywriters DID excel in English class and they know which “there,” “their,” or “they’re” to use so you don’t look illiterate to people reading your content.

3. They have no emotional ties to your business. Part of the reason business owners struggle with writing copy is they have an emotional attachment to it. It’s difficult to separate how you think people should feel about your product or service from how they actually feel. That makes you less objective. Also, because you know so much about your business, it’s easy to forget your customers don’t share your extensive knowledge and may not understand the language or jargon you use. By hiring a copywriter, you’re setting up a system that fixes this: Your copywriter first needs to understand your product or service in order to effectively write copy about it.

4. They know persuasive language. If you’re not great with words, writing persuasive content will probably be pretty hard. Knowing which power words get an emotional response from readers (or viewers, in the case of videos) can make all the difference between sounding like an authority and sounding sleazy. Copywriters don’t just write words; they write content that persuades people to take action.

5. They know how to repurpose content. A well-written piece from a copywriter can be transformed into dozens of pieces of content. A copywriter can easily convert a blog into a collection of social media posts, a video script, and even infographics and lead magnets. This can save you hours of work trying to come up with these pieces on your own.

6. They write original content. Copywriters are experienced writers; that means you can expect plagiarism-free work from a professional who knows how to research and write copy properly and legally. The last thing you want to deal with is being hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement because you pieced a blog or article together from information you found on the internet.  

7. They free up your time so you can do other things. There are things you have to do yourself, and there are things you can outsource. Hiring a copywriter frees up your time to do things in your business that only you can do, like setting budgets or making important connections. By outsourcing your content creation to a copywriter, you’re maximizing your time: You can take care of things that only you can do while a copywriter is moving you toward your content marketing goals.

There’s literally no business that wouldn’t benefit from hiring a copywriter. When you leave content creation in the capable hands of a copywriter, you’re able to grow your business with valuable content that will draw traffic to your website, your social channels, and even your brick-and-mortar business.

If you’re looking for an experienced copywriter to join your team, Penbridge Communications offers 25+ years of copywriting and content creation experience. Click here to set up a time to talk with me.

How To Write an About Me Page Everyone Will Want to Read

How To Write an About Me Page Everyone Will Want to Read

One of my favorite things to write for clients is their About Me pages. Not because they’re easy (umm no, they definitely are not!) but because I think your About Me (or About Us) page is the most important one on your website.

Sure, your homepage might get more traffic (after all, that’s where your visitors land when they enter your URL), but your About Me page is the one people choose to view first. Everyone wants to know who they’re dealing with before they even think about hiring you.

One of my favorite quotes from author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek goes like this: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

Did you catch that? It’s not what you do that gets people to hire you.

There are a lot of people out there who do what you do, and I’d wager some of them even do it better than you. But when you tell people why you do what you do, they see you as a person who cares about your work. And that’s pretty powerful.

That’s why I think your About Me page is so important. It’s where you sell yourself, what you value, and what you believe.

It’s About You Helping Them

I’m going to take a step back for a minute to clarify that an About Me page is not actually about you. Maybe you’ve heard that before, or maybe not.

Your About Me page is where you talk about how you can help your customer. (So I guess it’s kind of about you. It’s about you helping them.)

That means your About Me page is not the place to brag about yourself with a never-ending list of accomplishments that don’t matter to your clients. (I think it’s great you’ve been recognized by the local Chamber of Commerce as one of the city’s 30 under 30, but what does that have to do with me?) Nor is it the place to ramble on about your collection of job titles over the years. (I really don’t care that you spent four years working as an “information advisor.” I don’t even know what that is!)

What it is the place for is bragging about the results you’ve got for your clients, the problems you solve, and the way your business supports the people you work with.

So don’t just slap up a few photos and a mission statement and call it a day. Milk the potential of your About Me page! Use it to make a connection with your reader. Tell them about who you are, how you got to where you are, and why you’re in business. If you have a team, do the same for everyone on the team. People want to know about the people they’re dealing with. Who’s running the business, and how does it operate?

Must-Have Elements for Your About Me Page

Now that you know what your About Me page should do, what, specifically, should you be putting on this prime piece of online real estate?

Here are the key elements every great About Me page has:

An introduction – This includes a charming or intriguing headline that lets the reader know right away this is where they’ll find an answer to their problem. From there, you can talk about the challenges they face (and how you can relate) or tell a story that lets them know you understand whatever it is they’re struggling with. And don’t forget to actually introduce yourself by name!

A section on what you can do for them – Here’s where you can shine a light on your experience with empathy. If you’re a nutrition coach, talk about your own struggles with diet and exercise and what you learned from it that you can put to work for them. If you’re a contractor or tradesman, talk about how you can make a client’s home more comfortable, attractive, or functional.

An idea of what they can expect when they work with you – This is the perfect place for your mission statement. It’s also a great spot for testimonials from happy clients who will sing your praises for you. Don’t underestimate the power of reviews; people pay close attention to what others say about working with you. In fact, marketing agency BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey for 2019 showed 91% of consumers are more likely to hire a business because of positive reviews, while 82% of consumers will think twice about working with a business that gets negative reviews.

An incentive – No, this isn’t a kick-back for working with you. The incentive for working with you should be the promise of something better for your client. A health coach may deliver strategies that will get their clients in the best shape of their lives; a contractor can build you a warm and inviting space for you to enjoy the company of family and friends. Use this section to talk about the transformation you can bring to your clients’ lives. Where are they right now and where do they want to be? Your About Me page should tell them how you can get them there.

A call to action – A lot of people forget to tell readers what they’re supposed to do when they get to the end of their About Me page. Do you want them to book a discovery call with you? Follow you on social media? Read your blog? Your call to action (CTA) doesn’t have to be “Hire me!” In fact, it probably shouldn’t be. But you need to have some sort of CTA, otherwise people have no idea what you want them to do next.

Stay on Top of It

Although I didn’t list it as one of the key elements of your About Me page, I also think it’s smart to include something that gives your reader a glimpse into who you are.

On my own About Me page, for example, I talk about my love of Seinfeld and my secret desire to have a pet hippopotamus. Are either of those facts relevant to what I do? Of course not. But anyone who comes to my page and reads this: a) gets an idea of my sense of humor; and b) probably knows I’m a little on the silly side. For people who appreciate Seinfeld humor and silliness, this makes me stand out. And your quirks will make you stand out, too. Don’t hide them!

Above all, remember that your About Me page (like every page on your website) is not a one-shot deal. Go back and revisit the page periodically and update it to keep it current and relevant. Your experience has grown, your focus may have shifted. The photo you used when you started the site in 2007 is outdated. As an added bonus, keeping your About Me page up-to-date shows you can stay on top of things and that you’re committed to keeping current.

Tips to Communicate Effectively With Your Outsourced Team

Tips to Communicate Effectively With Your Outsourced Team

As someone who works as a freelancer (and literally relies on communication to make a living), I can’t stress enough how important it is for business owners to maintain good communication with their outsourced team members.

When you choose a third party to perform duties for your company—whether it’s content writing, graphic design, bookkeeping, or anything else—you need to be clear on what you need done and how you expect the work to be completed.

The fact that this person is working remotely and therefore communicating mostly through email or over the phone makes it even more important.

If you’re the outsourced team member, you’re equally responsible for keeping a strong line of communication open with your clients. You’re the one they’ve hired to help them run their business smoothly. You want to fulfill that promise.

Stay Connected With Your Team

Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and strained working relationships. More than that, failing to communicate effectively can cost you money when tasks are not performed properly or on time.

Whether you’re the one hiring an outsourced team member or you’re the one being hired, here are a few tips to help you communicate better for business success:

1. Set communication procedures

Decide the best way everyone will communicate, whether it’s through email or with a project management system. Every freelancer or subcontractor has had at least one client who phoned every time they had a question. You have to understand this isn’t an efficient way for outsourced team members to work. We need to manage requests and questions well so we can stay on task.

2. Consider a regular production call

If you aren’t currently doing a weekly phone or video call with your subcontractor (or client), you may want to add one to your communication procedures. Speaking face-to-face (even on video) helps you build a relationship quickly and convey a lot of information in a short period of time. A 15- or 20-minute call every week can gather and share a lot of information. Then manage the remainder of the week via email or with a project management system.

3. Verify receipt of emails

When you receive an email, don’t make the sender wonder if you saw it or what’s happening with their request. Respond simply that you received their message or request and provide an appropriate response. Not knowing the status of a request accounts for most of the anxiety that clients feel around working virtually.

4. Clarify unclear stuff

If you’re the outsourced team member, make sure you understand the task fully before starting the work. If a client’s request is unclear, get the details worked out so that you don’t waste your time or their money. It takes only a moment to verify the details of any task before you begin.

5. Check in regularly

My clients hire me because they’re busy and often overwhelmed. When I take the initiative to reach out to them to keep everything we’re doing together on track, they feel supported and less stressed. That’s why you should check in regularly to make sure your clients are sending you the work they are supposed to (or that your freelancer has everything they need to do the job). For long-term tasks (over a few days or a week, for instance), implement a system for status updates.

6. Be brief but detailed

Don’t write an essay every time you send an email. Focus on being concise in your messaging: greeting, purpose of email, items or information required, brief details, and expected delivery. Keeping your messages brief allows you to leave out unnecessary “stuff” and focus on clarity in your communication.

7. Incorporate your personality

Being brief and focused in emails doesn’t mean you need to be boring. You still want to build a good working relationship. On production calls, greet the caller and ask about their weekend and show interest in them, then move on to busines.

In emails, include friendly wording (but don’t get carried away with stories or explanations!), and if something requires a detailed explanation, jump on a quick phone call to do that.

Always be friendly and supportive

Communicating well with your clients will help you to build a very loyal client base, which helps you get clients more easily. Plus, when you communicate well, you’re more relaxed and confident.

Take charge of the communication in your business relationship

If you’re the outsourced team member, you’re the support professional; your client is relying on you to make sure your work together runs smoothly. The more supported your clients feel, the better your working relationship will be.

If you’re leading an outsourced team, remember that virtual work is very different than the work done by your on-site staff. Freelancers are expected to meet your deadlines, but they set their own schedules, which means it’s very important to be clear about how you’ll work together to get the job done.

How to Write Content When You Have No Time to Write

How to Write Content When You Have No Time to Write

When I ask clients what prevents them from creating content consistently, I usually get one of two answers: coming up with ideas and finding time to write.

It usually takes just a few minutes of chatting to brainstorm some content ideas, but finding the time to write? That’s not so easy.

To say you’re busy is an understatement. Aside from being a business owner trying to build a profitable company, I’m sure you have other obligations that eat up the rest of your time, like a family, volunteer activities, and time for yourself.

That doesn’t leave much time to write content. And without content, your content marketing strategy is pretty weak.

But if you take a closer look at your day, I bet you’ll find little nooks and crannies of time where you can squeeze in a bit of content creation. Who says you need hours of uninterrupted time to sit and write?

When clients tell me they’re constantly losing the fight to find time to write content for their business, I remind them that there aren’t hard-and-fast rules about content creation. Instead, I encourage them to create content as they go about their busy day, rather than trying to find a block of time to sit and do it.

There are much better ways to create content for your business if you’re willing to consider alternatives to parking yourself in front of a computer screen for hours. At some point it’s inevitable that you’ll end up there, but you won’t need to be there for nearly as long if you try out these methods.

Outsource It

Obviously, the easiest way to create content without sacrificing your own time is to get someone else to write it.

Just because it’s your business, who says you have to be the one to write all of the blog posts and email newsletters?

In the world of online marketing, hiring a content creator is a tried and true method for getting content written for those who:

  • Have no time
  • Don’t have a “feel” for writing
  • Just don’t want to

Whichever camp you belong to, working with a copywriter or content creator can make it easy to achieve your content marketing goals in much less time than it would take you to do it yourself.

Plus, you can find writers for any niche and for any budget. But keep in mind you get what you pay for.

That doesn’t mean you should expect to shell out hundreds of dollars to hire top talent; there are plenty of copywriters online who charge low rates and provide satisfactory work. But if you’re shopping around to find a bargain basement cost, the quality of work you get will probably match.

If you decide to outsource your content creation, interview several writers before you make a decision. Ask for samples of their work, read reviews or testimonials (if they’re available), and choose the best you can afford.

Remember, you can always edit their work, but if you have to edit too much, what have you saved?

Repurpose It

If you’ve been marketing your business for a while, you probably already have a fair amount of content that can be repurposed:

  • Your blog
  • Email autoresponders
  • Free opt-in gifts
  • Paid products
  • Podcast episodes
  • Training webinars

Content you’ve already created is content you can use again. A blog post, for example, has all the content you need to create at least five social media posts or a video for your YouTube channel. Your training webinar can be broken up into free opt-in gifts (like checklists or printables).

A single piece of content can be edited and repurposed in a number of different ways, so don’t be afraid to reach into the archives to find old content that you can transform into something new for your audience.

Transcribe It

Why write when you can talk?

This is an excellent option for people who spend a lot of time driving, but it will work for anyone with a cell phone (so… everyone.)

What I love about the concept of dictating your blog into your phone is you can do it anywhere: while you’re waiting in line to pick up the kids after school, while you’re out for your morning walk, while you’re washing the dishes, or even in between client calls.

Take it one step further and send your audio files out to a virtual assistant be transcribed and all that remains is to edit the transcription. It may come back a little disjointed, but you’ll still find it’s way easier to edit even bad content than to start from scratch.

You’ll Never Have Time

I know I’ve uttered the words “I don’t have time” more than I care to admit. And I’ve used that phrase as an excuse for not writing content for my own business.

The truth is, I never bothered to look for the time. It was always there. I always had the option of outsourcing my content creation. My phone is always by my side and ready to take a quick dictation. And so is yours.

I hope you won’t let a lack of time hold you back from creating content anymore. There’s no better way to build your audience and establish your expertise than to share valuable content consistently.