The other day a friend asked me for some advice about writing. But this copywriting review was for a text message she’d just sent. It was a bit of a sensitive subject and she wanted to know whether I thought the words came across in the right way. So, what can the world of SMS tell us about copywriting for business?
Think about the destination
Does your writing come across exactly the way you want it to? Just because your meaning is clear to you doesn’t guarantee that it will be clear to another person. Try to look at what you’ve written from the perspective of the other person, not just your own.
Don’t overdo your character count
A long and over-complex message invites misinterpretation. Keep your message clear and to the point. Look for ways to refine your writing to make sure that your reader stays with you for the entirety of your message. This will also ensure that the important stuff doesn’t get overlooked.
Watch for coded language
As with textspeak, we all have our own special language, whether it’s for a particular industry or company. Make sure your own jargon doesn’t get in the way of the overall message. Check for any ambiguities in what you’re saying. Is your message so specific that it excludes the reader or so open-ended that the reader doesn’t feel involved at all?
Ignore your text or your writing for a bit. Then check it again. You’ll have a fresh take on your writing and whether it works. Never underestimate the power of a renewed view of your own writing. That break, whether it is five minutes, a day, or the time it takes to feed the cat, provides vital space to uncover any issues. Your content – and your cat – will thank you for it.
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, January 2017
Photo on Foter.com
Which words stick in your head because they are funny, meaningful or just plain daft? We went to Nottingham’s Market Square to ask passers-by which words matter to them and this is what we found out. Look out for a certain Impractical Joker and the Mayor of Leicester!
Thank you to Jamie Burton of Bebu Creative for his support of my original idea and for doing an amazing job of filming and creating the video. And of course, a big big thank you to all the wonderful people of Nottingham and further afield who agreed to take part!
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, November 2017
It happened again.
I was at an event. The person in charge asked about my role and my business. I told him I was a copywriter, writing all kinds of content for businesses in Nottingham, the East Midlands and further afield.
His response? “Ah, so you’ll be watching out for spelling mistakes in our presentation!”
There it was again.
The old misconception. The one I’ve heard many times over the years I’ve been creating content for business: the one which says copywriting is pretty much about having no typos. Of course, that is an important part of it. But in a way, it is the very last part of the copywriting stage.
Saying that copywriting is just for good spelling is like saying that going mountaineering is simply about enjoying a great view.
While there’s no doubt that poor spelling will drag your content down, what about everything else involved with making it a success?
Good spelling is one thing but transforming information into content that people actually want to read is something else.
Copywriting. It’s about a lot more than A to Z.
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, September 2017
4 ways to get the best from your copywriter 151 days ago
Trust is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? There’s nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from handing over a piece of work and knowing it will done on time and on budget. That warm glow should also apply to working with a copywriter. But what’s the best way to make sure your copywriting project comes out at its best, with both you and your copywriter happy with the end result? Here are four tips to keep in mind for ensuring that your copy is started – and completed – with trust on both sides.
Tip 1. Give your copywriter the full picture
Your copywriter should be keen to get to know you and what you’re about. Think of it as a special mission you’re working on together. OK, there are no top-secret assignations, but there are some important conversations. And there are (usually) no special dossiers, but there is the all-important overview of what you want. This is your time to fully brief your copywriter, about the part they have to play in your communications. The information you give them will form the basis of your copy. So, come as prepared as you can!
Your copywriter should ask you plenty of questions about your aims for your copy. Are you looking to promote a particular message, wanting to create a new tone of voice for your business or hoping to reach out to more distant potential clients? Let your copywriter know exactly what you’re after. Bring along examples, ideas and random thoughts, even if they’re scribbled on the back of an envelope (I always tell my clients that too much information is better than too little). A clear brief is great. But the best bit is getting the copywriting project in context.
Tip 2. Check your copywriter is on the same page as you
Singing from the same hymn sheet, talking the same language – however you say it, it boils down to the same thing. Does your copywriter get it? Are they clear about what you want your copy to achieve? Do they have a full overview of your aims and ambitions for your content? This is all part of the crucial first stage. Are you hearing the kinds of questions you would expect to hear? Is your copywriter mirroring your thoughts back to you, but also asking revealing little questions that get you thinking about your copy in a new way? This is all good. You need to feel like you and your copywriter are on the same side.
Tip 3. Keep the boundaries clear with your copywriter
According to the experts, a healthy relationship needs clear boundaries. Your interaction with your copywriter is no different! This could be the basis of a great future of working together. Right from the start, you and your copywriter should establish clear boundaries around expectations for the project. This is vital for issues such as timescales and costs. Check that your copywriter has given you a clear schedule for the arrival of your copy. Get this conversation going as early as possible to keep your project on track. However, this is the real world and priorities don’t always stay the same. If there are any sudden changes to what you want from your copy – or when you need it – let your copywriter know as soon as possible.
Tip 4. Keep communicating with your copywriter
So you now have a satisfactory, well rounded relationship with your copywriter! Great! But don’t lose out on all that useful knowledge once the project is over. Your copywriter has spent time really getting to know you and your business. They’ve developed a keen sense of your priorities for your communications. Make the most of them! Keep in touch with your copywriter. After all, they have both an inside and an outside perspective on what makes you and your business tick.
The four questions to keep in mind
For more joy with every copywriting project, just ask yourself these questions:
• Does your copywriter have the full picture of you and your aims?
• Is your copywriter really speaking the same language as you?
• Are the boundaries clear between you and your copywriter?
• Are you making the most of your copywriter’s insight into your business?
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, August 2017
Green Light Copywriting is 14! 176 days ago
14 years! What a lot of interesting things I’ve seen in that time as a copywriter.
So much has changed in content and copywriting since Green Light Copywriting first set up in business. Social media barely existed and mobile phones were still things you actually used for phone calls and just occasionally for texting. Blogging? Content marketing? They were yet to come for most businesses. Who knows what content opportunities and challenges the future will bring.
I love getting to work with so many great clients. Thank you for your loyalty and support. Here’s to the next 14 years…
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, July 2017