How to run a copywriting business
Posted on 21st December 2023
So, this might sound like ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’, but we really like to help aspiring copywriters set up their own creative businesses.
With so many years of experience in corporate and marketing communications we’ve learned a few things. Over the last eight years Tesserae Communications has proved there is strong demand for high quality written content. However, it’s not just a question of offering your services to potential clients and hoping for the best. There are some important things you need to build a successful copywriting business.
Seven copywriting skills
Providing a professional copywriting service involves more than putting together some elegant words. Here are the top seven skills you’ll need.
Copywriting skill 1: Listening. Being an excellent listener is the first and most important skill you need. Your clients can, and will, tell you exactly what they need you to do for them if you let them. You might need to give them a nudge in the right direction, but that’s part of the process.
Copywriting skill 2: Tone of voice. Writing your own content in a distinctive and even quirky tone of voice will make it unique. However, your clients have their own personalities and personal motivation. It’s essential to create a tone of voice for their content to reflect their brand, who they are and what inspires them. The goal is to build relationships between your clients and their customers. When they meet in person there shouldn’t be any surprises.
Copywriting skill 3: Research. Part of your job as a copywriter is to create relevant material. You need to understand the context in which it is read. This means researching the sector, competitors’ content and customer reviews. You’ll get a good feel for what works and what doesn’t and gain a better understanding of your subject.
Copywriting skill 4: Purpose. Once you have a clear understanding of your client and their market sector you must define your communication objectives. This might be sharing expert knowledge, letting people know about a product or service or driving traffic to a website. Set your objectives and stick to them.
Copywriting skill 5: Storytelling. In many cases the real trick is to understand not only what your client does, but how they do it. For the readers this is likely to be the clearest point of differentiation and the heart of the story you will tell.
Copywriting skill 6: Structure. Having a rigid structure can certainly spoil the flow of your writing but you need to take readers on a journey. Depending on your style and approach you might write first and organise later, or vice versa. The key is to have a clear plan of the main point of your writing and how to deliver it well.
Copywriting skill 7: Quality. There’s no room for errors in your writing. You’ll need a thorough process to check everything from spelling and grammar to sense and meaning. You’ll find a way that works well for you, but it must be thorough.
Would a copywriting business work for you?
Running a business isn’t for everyone. Being your own boss has a lot to be said for it, but you must still keep your customers happy. Sometimes they can be demanding.
If you’ve never had to sell yourself or your services before it can be daunting. Many copywriters suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’ and therefore struggle to justify their value and their fees. You’ll also have to explain why clients shouldn’t use AI to write their content instead of you.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the possibilities of running a copywriting business we want to hear your ideas. We offer one-to-one training, mentoring and workshops and we’re always happy to make suggestions.
Please get in touch if you’re interested in setting up your own copywriting business.
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