(Or, Why Should You Outsource Writing When You Can Do It Yourself?)
There are many reasons that businesses seek out and hire copywriters. Some clients simply hate to write and are thrilled to pay someone else to perform this service. Others enjoy writing but either do not have the time OR cannot afford to neglect their ‘real’ jobs to write what needs to be written. Still others have fears ranging from those that are budget-related to “how can anyone else know as much about my business/industry/customers as I do?”
Whatever the reason for hiring a copywriter, and there are many, it is always, almost without exception, a wise investment in terms of time, money and other valuable business resources.
For physicians, attorneys, consultants and other professionals, including business owners, the decision to hire a copywriter is an especially fiscally-wise one. Why hire a copywriter? For many reasons, including:
- These are professionals whose services are billed at $150, $200, $300 – and more – per hour. For every hour they spend copywriting, they lose an hour in billable time.
- Even if they are expert in their area of business (and chances are that they are), they are not professional copywriters. (Writing for academic or trade publications does not count as copywriting.) I have found that the ratio of their time writing to our time writing, as professionals, is somewhere in the vicinity of 1:3 or even 1:4. So for every three or four hours they spend writing (and not billing clients), they could be paying a professional for just one hour of professional copywriting. This means, as well, that the launch of advertising/marketing materials and campaigns can and will be significantly delayed due to copywriting time. New brochures, websites, newsletters and ads will not be seen or read by your prospective clients or patients for sometimes months (or more) because the writing of the words is taking so long.
- Many of these professionals, while experts in their fields, are not experts at marketing their services and expertise. So even if and when they do go ahead and write their marketing copy, the finished product is in the vast majority of cases not actually marketing copy but what I call “story-telling” (or sometimes worse). They write on and on about ideas and observations, losing sight of the fact that the words are supposed to be selling a product or service, not simply telling an often-rambling story. Even after turning billable time into writing time, they have little of real marketing value to show for their efforts. Often, these professionals/businesses cut their losses at some point and end up hiring us – after they have already put in a considerable amount of time and effort.
- One more point: We are not attorneys, physicians, financial advisors, high-tech professionals or management consultants. We can, however, write effectively about virtually any area of business or industry. We do not need to be the experts they are, we simply need to know enough about what they offer, to whom, how and why (and who else is offering it and how) to sell them, their practices, their services and their expertise to prospective (and sometimes existing) clients and patients.
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