You’re the owner of strategy, you come up with the great ideas, you know your audience, you know your targets and you’ve memorised the dollars you need to make from each effort – so why shouldn’t you be writing your own copy?
Working in the not-for-profit sector, time and time again I have worked with various job owners, being personally briefed by them to either a) fix their own copy or b) have a fresh set of eyes that can creatively write something that sounds good and will bring in the dollars.
If your writing isn’t cutting it, this is why:
1) It’s hard for a strategy thinker to step away from rational thinking and into emotional thinking
And who blames you – that’s what you’re getting paid for. If at the end of the day you’re the one responsible for ROI, there’s no time to ponder how it made you ‘feel’.
However, fundraising and marketing are and always will be heavily emotion-based. When you’re writing a letter to a supporter or prospective client, if you can’t empathise with their frustrations, help them conquer their fears or take into account that when they read your letter they will possibly have just sat down for two seconds before the next errand begins… then they won’t want to hear from you.
2) You keep asking for the wrong thing
This one I see daily! The issue often is that after you’ve framed your fundraising offer (e.g. give an operation to help a child walk), the programs team pulls you up on the ‘technical terms’. So instead you go for a fluffy banner statement like ‘Give a donation to help a child have hope this Christmas’. Both sound nice, right? And hope at Christmas time – it kind of sounds poetic. WRONG. What is hope? If I can’t picture what the specific thing you are trying to sell me looks like, then there is no chance I am gift-wrapping it and sending it halfway around the world.
Your job is to work out what it your programs actually do, what you want to raise money for and who you want to raise it from (or in a business context, what you are selling and who to). A good copywriter will be able to use this information and articulate it as something meaningful for that specific audience – no fluff. They should work with you to brainstorm the strong emotive calls to action that will both fit within the integrity of your programs and touch the hearts of those you want to draw in.
3) Your grammar is perfect
In case you haven’t picked it up in my own writing, copywriting to engage an audience sometimes means breaking the rules. Grammatically and creatively.
You need to know
what boundaries to cross
that will keep their eyes reading…
… yet won’t make you look illiterate.
You need someone who also knows how to write for different platforms. Have you studied the research that tracks the movement of the human eye on screens? Have you kept-up-to-date with the Facebook algorithms that will impact the way you structure a post? Surely not… you are busy doing your own role.
But seriously, that’s what a good copywriter will do for you.
Keep up-to-date with the latest trends, research and findings.
Implementing them for you, so that you can focus on strategy, on the things you would like to test and on actually having time to analyse your findings and develop better ways to improve your future campaigns.
If a client or job owner can sit down and review their campaign before hurrying on to the next one, I know I’ve done my job well.
Call 0431 402 934 or email email@example.com to get more time in your work day.
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