I’ve been looking back over various lists of copywriting tips published online over the past several years. They provide lots of good advice.
Write a great headline Gail Goodwin advised in Entrepreneur
Focus on “you,” not “we” Susan Gunelius wrote in 2009, also for Entrepreneur
Pick one message and one message only Kimberly McCall recommended in Inc.
Update old copy Duran Inci wrote, again in Inc.
Mind the word count Heidi LaFleche cautioned here on the Wordsmithie blog
All great copywriting tips. Believe them. Follow them. But here’s the unstated corollary:
Don’t write the copy yourself
Competent writers already know these techniques. I’ve written a few lists myself. We share them to help educate current and potential clients, not other writers. Ideally, you’ll understand what we’re trying to accomplish, how and why. Because even simple communication is a challenge. No list of tips will turn you into David Ogilvy.
Here are a few additional things to keep in mind as a client:
Give your writer time
Although we should always be competent, few of us are brilliant in a crunch. Copy improves with time and perspective. Start early, and let your copywriter work.
Develop a simpatico working relationship
Get to know your writer and how he or she works. Let your writer know you. The closer the understanding, the better the copy. We all work best with people we respect.
Admit when it’s not working
Writer-client relationships are like any other. Some are fabulous. Others, not so much. If you’re not clicking with your writer, ask your agency to assign another. We’ve learned not to take it personally. Every experienced writer has been replaced, and we’ve all replaced others. Conversely, we’ve all asked not to work with certain clients, too. It’s the nature of the business. It has much more to do with temperament and personality than talent or ability.
But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Good things can last. I had one client for nearly 20 years. Her company changed almost totally during that time, evolving into what neither of us could have imagined at the start. We continued working together smoothly and creatively until she left the industry. Now that was a beautiful relationship. May you find the same.