Convincing potential clients you can write great copy

Posted on: July 28th, 2010

In a recent post I asked ‘what would you like to read about?’ and one of the replies I received was: “How can I effectively get across to potential clients that I don’t have to be an expert in their particular field to be able to write good copy for them?”

Good question!

I know a number of writers who specialise in certain fields, such as pharmaceutical or financial services, and they carve out a successful niche for themselves in their chosen sector. I decided not to do this because:

a) what if my area of speciality suddenly took a nosedive and work opportunities dried up?

and

b) it gets a bit ‘same-old, same-old’ writing for the same industry day in, day out. I like to have variety.

Benefits, benefits, benefits

This means I regularly work for clients in sectors that are new to me. As I’m a marketing copywriter not a technical writer, I don’t need to understand all the techie bells and whistles about their product or service. Instead, I need to communicate the benefits of using their product or service. So, I convince a potential client that I can write great benefits-led, persuasive copy by showing them examples of my writing. Even better is to show a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ to demonstrate what a difference my input made.

So,

Step 1: make sure you have a brilliant portfolio of work up your sleeve.

Step 2: If they’re still dithering, why not offer to rewrite a page of their website or a few paragraphs of their brochure? That will show them how you can write great marketing copy without being an expert ‘widgeteer’?

Hope that reply helps.

Does anyone else have any questions to ask that I can respond to in a post? Or are there any other freelance-related issues you’d like to see covered?

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4 Responses to “Convincing potential clients you can write great copy”

  1. I agree Carole, sometimes allowing the client to test drive your service is the best way. It’s also simpler and probably generates less conflicts than a spec work.

    We used to do that in my company, we even charged a small fee for a test drive (which would then be refunded if the client went ahead with their project with us) and it worked like a charm.

  2. Freelance FactFile
    July 28th, 2010

    I like the expression ‘test drive your service’, Pawel. :)

  3. We actually used it as a tagline to market this service.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jon Buscall and Carole Seawert, Carole Seawert. Carole Seawert said: New post on #Freelance Factfile. How to convince potential clients you can write great copy. http://dld.bz/pb6z [...]

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