When it comes to offering a service, people seem to prefer a neatly packaged product. They find it much easier to understand something with clearly defined boundaries. With a tangible end result. Or so I’ve observed through countless conversations that go something like:
Me: “I’m a copywriter. And photographer.”
“Copywriter?” (blank questioning look)
“Yeah. I blog … write content for web sites, print … that sort of thing.”
“Oh you do web sites?”
“Well … Sort of.”
With that exchange over I’m already on the back foot. Next I find myself firing off a few volleys of recent work to define what copywriting is. Closed off with a short lesson on marketing and communication.
Not great when you’re supposed to be setting out your stall. Time for a change of tack.
Skills are better understood in context
OK. So most new media agencies and people working in digital media will understand what a copywriter is. But those outside our industry (clients) perceive our skills in a broader context. We do web sites, we design graphics or program computers. We’re defined by our outputs. Rather than our skill sets.
To that end I’ve decided to put my copywriting and photography skills into context. I’ve added doing web sites to my arsenal.
When I grow up I want to be a content spaceman
When I started as a freelance copywriter, I didn’t want to be labelled as someone who just makes web sites. Years spent hacking away at HTML code building web sites from scratch took their toll and put me right off.
It was valuable experience. But I’ve graduated into a much richer and engaging realm. That of creating content. Using words to talk to people, stir their interest and capture their imagination.
So at the start I actively tried to distance myself from building web sites. Sub-contracting as a freelance copywriter with people who do. But in the process I created a trail of missed opportunities. Not so any longer.
“Oh so you do web sites?”
Yes. Thanks to the breath of fresh air that is WordPress, much of the cripplingly dull coding is now blown to one side. I spend more time customising a web site to match what a client wants. Than coding from scratch. I tweak and perfect. No longer reinvent the wheel over and over again.
And as for design, that’s covered by the vast array of blisteringly gorgeous WordPress themes out there. Check out the WordPress showcase examples.
Of course other content management systems are available. But there are countless reasons why WordPress is becoming a de facto industry standard (if it isn’t already). In fact I’ll never get bored of praising how flexible, fast and extendible WordPress is. I just hope my clients don’t either.
You can feast yourself silly on all of WordPress’ excellent benefits in the new Your new web site in 7 days section.