It’s always nice to to try before you buy, so here’s a brief description of my freelance copywriting service in Leeds, so you know what you’ll get before you hire me to write copy for your website, insightful case studies, brochure and other marketing campaigns.
I’ve also drawn a few helpful parallels along the way for anyone looking to hire a Leeds event photographer, which is the flip side of my freelance business.
1. A quick chat to grasp the problem or “what needs fixing and when?”
When you call, chances are it’ll be urgent – you need your copy yesterday so there’s no time to waste. First, let’s get to the root of the problem: I’ll tell you what’s feasible and work out how to best put our heads together. That way we can make the most of this precious opportunity.
Right now, my goal is to grasp the circumstances which lead to you picking up the phone, and to understand where this new project fits in the wider context of where you’d like to steer your business.
2. A face-to-face meeting to explore the detail or “let’s break everything down into what needs doing”
This is where we scope out the artefacts you need; whether that’s digital copy for a brochure website or a batch of sizzling case studies that put you front of mind with your customers. I’ll also work out a roadmap for getting copy to you on time – based on your priorities and deadlines. If you were hiring me as an event photographer this is when we’d investigate where your photos will be published – magazine, online or press, and whether you need copy space for design.
At this point I’m beginning to immerse myself in what makes your business tick. The usual way I do this is by asking the right questions and letting you talk about what you know best, all the while frantically scribbling notes. Other information comes to light at this point too – like who has a stake in your project, who we’re trying to attract and persuade with your marketing and who else I’ll be working with on the project, like graphic designers.
When stage 2 is done properly, I’ll leave with a notebook full of scrawl to return to my office in Headingley, Leeds and decipher it all.
3. I plan and research or “Chris shuffles things around until they make sense”
Any freelance copywriter worth their day rate will tell you that thorough planning and research are the pillars of compelling copy. Done properly, they can make the difference between meandering bilge, polluted with aimless waffle and streamlined copy that grabs a reader’s attention and propels them towards action.
The process itself involves shuffling facts around, culling some and expanding upon others. I also take a look at what other industry leaders are up to, for inspiration from both their successes and failure. If you’ve hired me as your Leeds event photographer I’ll look at similar events you’ve had shot in the past, or dig some photos out of my archive to establish how you’d like your photos to look.
By now, creative ideas are already fermenting which eventually influence the final copy. When it’s over I’ll present you with a proposed solution which we’ll discuss and refine.
Next it’s on to the actual copywriting part.
4. I write or “Chris locks himself in a room with a pencil”
OK, I don’t always use a pencil – sometimes a keyboard works just as well. But what often surprises my clients in Leeds, when they hire me as their freelance copywriter, is that the process of writing only represents a relatively small part of my service. The bulk of the work is in the preparation and the creative support – distilling your problem and helping you articulate your ideas better, like I write about on my copywriting page:
“You’re here because you need a second opinion from someone who speaks up if there’s a better way to do something, who’s fearless in the face of complexity. Someone who’ll collaborate on difficult decisions with compassion and insight, then give your project the final energetic push it needs to get out the door.”
When I’m steeped in the facts, with new ideas and a good plan, copy tends to write itself – I just let the words flow out and refine them later. Just before those words hit the page thought, they’re mixed with my style (sometimes described as clear, educative with momentum and a strong thread). If we’ve agreed a unique tone of voice for your copywriting, that’ll also dictate the style – like wry humour, colloquial phrases or extra empathy.
The equivalent step for my Leeds event photography would be getting behind the viewfinder and throwing myself into whatever event you’re hosting, with total creative abandon. Before you know it you’ve got several hundred useful photographs of people happily engaged in activity.
5. You review and approve or “how can we tweak this and make it even better”
Along the way, I’ll send you early drafts of your copy to make sure it’s along the right lines. We can do it page by page for your website, or if you need longer case studies I do you a short synopsis so it’s quicker for you to read and provide feedback.
We’ll look at what works and what could be improved with the draft copy too. If you’d like more of one part, but less of another we’ll agree that, along with any factual tweaks. When everything has your full approval, I’ll retire to edit your copy one final time.
At the end of my copywriting process I’ll present you with the finished product – usually shared online via Google Docs. It’ll come complete with helpful notes to guide you or your designer through layout and presentation.
Afterwards, when your copy’s glowing online or in print and working hard to attract new custom, I’m sure you’ll want to see your face beaming out from amongst my many satisfied clients.