Man, the airwaves have sure become overpopulated with copywriter’s websites over the last half a decade! Worst is, so many of them all sound the same.
It’s just lazy copywriting, people.
Your task, as a copywriter is to first find the unique, compelling idea you are selling. Then to put that into words. That applies even when you’re just writing your own stuff.
To say you are a great copywriter because your copy focuses on selling, you write error-free copy, and your turnaround and rates are reasonable is to just say exactly what every client EXPECTS as a bare minimum from any copywriter they hire.
To make your copywriter’s services stand out, you first need to dig deep, find what you do best. Don’t be afraid to say it out loud.
There are two main ways copywriters pick a specialization: by choosing an industry to specialize in or by specifying a medium.
When I first started working at an ad agency, I was expected to understand and write for every single type of media they produced. I came from a technical and catalog writing background. Boy did I study hard that first few months! I read up on and created cheat sheets for myself on writing for radio, TV, the Internet, PR, editorial, brochures, advertorials, magazine print ads, and so on. It was a really great experience, as I was forced to become educated in a very rounded way for a copywriter, though now I write nearly exclusively for online audiences.
The types of media I had to write for spanned a broad spectrum, and so did the client industries. Fire service equipment, gym memberships, insurance, car dealers, real estate, banks, septic tank manufacturers, the list goes on.
Every time, I had to learn something new. And as a copywriter, that’s expected. In fact, the curiosity that drives one to enjoy digging into a new area is a common trait among copywriters.
However, coming back to specializing… I believe the state of the copywriting industry these days necessitates copywriters call out what they do best. Don’t fall prey to the syndrome of fearing a limit and therefore promoting yourself as a jack of all copywriting trades.
When you find the medium and the industries you write best for, your copywriting will shine like never before. You’ll be able to charge rates reflecting that, as you’ll be in high demand throughout the industry you’ve specialized in.
And you certainly won’t sound just like every other copywriter out there when someone lands on your website.
What about you? Have you specialized yet?
Toritseju Onyemejo-Kebi says
Great Post. Just new in the industry, trying to find my voice. This will help greatly.
Tobias Pettigrew says
Great post. I really think the key here is overcoming that ‘fear’ that, if you specialise, you’ll somehow lose out. That couldn’t be any further from the truth!
I specialise in writing for creative companies (designers, photographers, boutique retailers) and start-ups. In your opinion, how focussed should your specialisation be? Is a ‘creative copywriter’ too general?
Look forward to your reply,
Lisa Banks says
Hi Tobias, thanks for commenting! I think the degree you focus your specialization may be related to the breadth and depth of your experience and knowledge. “Creative copywriter” might be too general. Love the start-up slant. That would tell me you understand the issues and stages a start-up business goes through, and you’re comfortable working in that nimble environment. Good luck!