Best practice Copywriting

Why it pays to get fussy with your copywriter

Discrimination can be a good thing in copywriting. Or IS IT?

It feels counterintuitive to write words that differentiate and actively target one segment of the market, when you can just as easily write copy that appeals to anyone and everyone.

Because surely the latter means you’ll reach more people, gain more sales and therefore more revenue?

Not so.

Especially in a crowded IT marketplace, albeit with opportunities aplenty – as clients seek ever more inventive ways to boost efficiency with technology.

If you pursue the line of appealing to everyone, what you end up with is any old work from any old customer. That means projects that don’t play to your strengths (or are simply dull), and clients who aren’t quite as likeminded as you’d prefer them to be.

This is fine if you want your IT business to meander along aimlessly, just about making enough to survive, while your talented programmers flirt with juicier opportunities on recruitment boards.

No ambitious, creatively-minded software development company wants that

So the real object here is to be a little more fussy about who you work with.

It sounds arrogant, pernickety even. But if you’re good at what you do, and really believe in it, the right kinds of clients, with the right kinds of jobs are already out there for the picking.

You just have to reach out and connect with them on common ground.

Copywriting is an effective way to do that

By giving your marketing efforts a consistent voice and message that speaks to these people, on terms that resonate with.

I’m talking about how your brand comes across; the kind of things it talks about, how it sounds when read, and the points it emphasises. In copywriting terms this is called tone-of-voice development, brand voice or brand copywriting for websites and marketing.

It’s what I do with IT consultancies and software developers all the time – I help them find their voice and tell their story to the people who matter: those likeminded clients out there waiting to find some copy we carefully crafted together. People who read, then then exclaim ‘Yes, that’s us – you get where we’re coming from! I need to work with these people’.

So a decent copywriter will analyse and gather all the information about what you stand for, what makes you unique, and how you’re positioned in the IT marketplace. Most of this is locked away in your head right now, but I can tease it out. Stories, examples and strong personalities.

A copywriter assimilates all these raw materials, then pans for gold dust which perfectly captures who you are, expressed in words.

So in a way, your brand voice helps positively discriminate, if you will, for the right kind of clients.

In this way, copywriting builds self-selecting customers upfront, rather than drag-netting for any old IT project (and all its inevitable problems later).

To extend our piscine analogy, good copywriting is more like sustainable, line-caught pole fishing, than trawling.

It’s only fair

It can feel counterintuitive to hang a red rope in the doorway like this. I should know, every part of me frets about focusing purely on the needs of IT consultancies and software development companies for my copywriting work, at the expense of all the other copywriting jobs out there.

Yet I know, rationally that it’s the correct thing to do because it works, and it’s what I’m best at.

So you also have to be bold, and more importantly, proud of what you know and do best. There’s nothing wrong with being upfront and clear about that.

It’s only fair too, if you thing about it. Isn’t it more ethical to serve people you’re most qualified to serve, and give them the best service possible? I think so.

How to get fussy and discriminate with a copywriter

You might positively discriminate on the basis of which technology you deploy your systems on, or the language you programme in. It could be the industry you serve, like finance or retail, and your deep understanding of their problems, people who gain the most from your data know-how. Maybe it’s the open-source platform you give back to, or the cloud computing service you know inside-out.

(This is where I start to give my copywriter’s secrets away, but I’m on a roll; I feel like you’re with me on this one).

You can go a step further too – which is how I like to write copy. We’d explore what it feels like working with you, how that experience differentiates you. We’d echo how our ideal client likes to work too – that common ground I wrote about earlier.

Then we’d go even further still, and explore why you do what you do. That vision, and those values you hold dearest, driving everything you do in IT. Too often, that strength lies buried in your strategy, staff induction materials or pinned to a wall gathering dust.

Let’s get more value from what you stand for – and make your mission central to your copywriting. 

I’m not talking about ‘to become the global leader in IT service delivery’ or other such guff.

I’m talking about ‘to take on the problems other IT consultancies are afraid of’, ‘to make IT human again by putting people first’, or ‘rebuild society with hard-working data’.

These are just some of the underlying messages I’ve helped IT consultancies and software development businesses craft.

You get the idea

So let’s laser-focus your copywriting. Let’s talk about who we’re trying to reach, what you’ve got in common and how your values make you a good match.

This is my mission: to destroy ‘safe yet same’ copywriting by helping people say what they really mean to. With clear, concise and purposeful copywriting.

Hence ‘cultivate more of the right kind of clients’ on my homepage. None of that blanket-wide ‘gain more of everything’ other copywriters promote.

I grasp the subtlety of what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing. And that deserves a considered, artisan approach to copywriting.

To do all this, we need to get fussy about who we’re writing for, and what you really want to say to them.

The time is now. Get in touch.

By Chris Kenworthy | Coach

I help people like you tap into your more playful, resourceful, less serious side(s).

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