Why everyone should be a copywriter

in Musings

Is this a situation that’s familiar to you?

It’s 9am. You’ve just sat down at your desk. You’ve got 30 minutes before your first meeting of the day and decide to quickly deal with your emails.

You open the first message. It’s from a colleague and your heart sinks. It rambles, it witters, it’s incoherent in places. The thoughts that go through your head run along the lines of:

  • what is it exactly I need to know here?
  • what is it exactly I need to do here?
  • who an earth has got the time to write an email this long?
  • what are they trying to say?
  • gaah!

The end result is that you mark it as unread, decide to come back to it later when you can face trying to decode what’s required and feel a little grumpy about the writer.

Then you open the next message.

It’s from another colleague. It’s clear, concise and to the point. You read it, then hit reply, answer the questions it poses and propose the next steps. You feel great, you’ve ticked something off your list, you feel productive and you feel positively disposed towards the writer.

Which of those emails would you rather receive? Which writer would you rather be?

As a copywriter my job is to sell using the written word. To get people to read something, feel what I want them to feel and, when they finish reading it, to do what I want them to do. This doesn’t happen if I ramble, witter or don’t make myself clear.

I try to take the spirit of what I do into everything I write – including the emails I send to clients, prospective clients, colleagues, friends and family. It means I take a moment before my fingers take to the keyboard to think about what I need to say, what’s important to my reader and what I need from them.

In other words, I want to be the writer my recipient feels positively disposed towards. Not least because I’m more likely to get what I want more quickly when I am.

Which writer are you?

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