What is the most common mistake a copywriter might make? No, it is not bad writing though that is, without doubt, inexcusable.
The worst mistake to make is not knowing exactly who your audience is and ensuring that you write for them.
Hold on! I know that we are all experts in content marketing and we all understand how critical it is to really understand the consumer we are selling to. Yes, shame on the copywriter who does not research and write directly to the core group they are looking to connect with.
But I am not talking about them. You may know your target audience perfectly, but if you do not write content to please your CLIENT, then whatever you write is worthless. I can write the most inspired copy that I know will sell a product or improve performance, but if my client does not agree with me, then my copy is utterly worthless.
- Know your client and follow their brief. Never deviate and always provide what they want. As a copywriter, I need to write great copy in my client’s opinion – not in my opinion, but theirs. My clients, whether they are business owners or marketing agencies trust me to write well. This trust is built over time, so that eventually I might be able to query a decision they might make and they may listen to me and take on board my suggestions as an expert in copywriting.
- Don’t work for a client until you understand them, and feel confident you can deliver what they want. When I take on work with businesses and agencies, I ensure I take the time to understand who they are and all about them; who their target customer is and what they are looking for in me as a copywriter. It is important to immerse yourself to understand your client’s business in these early stages and build trust (as mentioned above) and for both sides to feel confident and comfortable in the working relationship. If a client is happy to take the time to fully answer the questions in my brief, then I know they are invested in building a good working relationship with me.
- Write great copy, no matter what. So what happens if I write some great copy and my client decides to make changes? Well, it could be I haven’t followed the brief, but providing I have followed point 2 above then this is not going to happen. Maybe now is the time to respectfully push back a little and recommend my version over theirs. After all, I am the professional copywriter, so calling out my experience and expertise is justified, and given the groundwork of trust already established, I should be able to gently persuade a client to my point of view.
Ultimately though, what client wants, a client gets. If they want their version, then it is their decision to take, despite any recommendations by me – they may be paying for my expertise but it is their business and it is my job to give them what they want.