You’re considering whether you should outsource your copywriting tasks to a professional copywriter or do it yourself.
That’s why you’re reading this, right?
Whether to hire a professional copywriter or fire up Google Docs and write it yourself is a debate many business owners will face during their rise to success.
But what’s the correct answer? Is copywriting really that important? Can’t you do it yourself and save some pennies? (Okay, a fair amount of pennies – granted.)
We’ve got the answers for you. So, let’s begin with an open mind and let’s explore whether you should outsource your copywriting tasks to a freelance copywriter or do it yourself.
What Is Copywriting?
Let’s start at the very beginning and clear any clouds surrounding your understanding of the term “copywriting.”
Because there are a bunch of business owners who will believe that their blog articles, for example, count as copywriting. (Hint: it doesn’t.)
So, what exactly is copywriting?
Copywriting is any writing for brands that aim to convert.
While some copywriters will tell you that copywriting is “words that sell,” that’s only a very small snapshot of what it actually does. Because these copywriters have jumped straight to the end result.
However, copywriters who define copywriting as “words that convert,” are far more on-the-money.
Copywriting aims to get the reader to take the action required to help you meet the goal of a specific deliverable.
For some, this may mean making a sale. For example, if you had a copywriter create a sales page for your product, the copywriter would write words that encourage and persuade the readers to buy said product.
However, if you were creating a landing page for your new freebie (aka “lead magnet“) on your website, the copywriter would not be aiming to get them to buy anything. Instead, they’re writing persuasively to get the readers to become email subscribers by downloading your lead magnet.
Once they’re on your email list, this may spark a sales sequence, which could boost revenue.
In the second example, it’s all about conversion rather than sales. It’s about taking a reader from one stage to the next, helping them climb the mountain until they reach the top, and buying your high-ticket offer.
What Counts as Copywriting?
Remember when I said that blogging doesn’t count as copywriting? That’s because the aim of a blog isn’t to convert.
While it may convert, it’s not the prime focus and goal of the article.
So, what formats and deliverables count as copywriting? Copywriting covers words:
- On websites
- On sales pages/ landing pages
- On paid ads
- In marketing emails
- On billboards
- In commercials
Don’t confuse copywriting with content writing. Content writing is anything that aims to educate, inspire, and/or entertain. Examples of content writing are deliverables like:
- Blog articles
- Social media captions
- White papers (lead magnets)
- Case studies
- Video scripts
Is Copywriting Really That Important?
If you’ve been in business longer than a week or so, you’ll likely have heard that “your business cannot grow without good copywriting.”
So, is it true? How important is copywriting for your brand’s growth?
The answers: yes, it’s true. And it’s extraordinarily important.
While people underestimate copywriting because it’s “just words,” those words can make or break your goals.
Because we use words for everything. You’re reading words right now. You think in words. They are fundamental to our evolution as human beings.
And every word has an impact.
Think about it. We all say that “actions speak louder than words,” but realistically how many of your prized memories include something that was said? The first time a significant other told you they loved you. Your child’s first words. Equally, the negative things. The arguments you’ve had with people based on what they’ve said.
You see? Words – in the human world – are critical for everything.
And copywriting builds on that.
The Anatomy of Copywriting
So, isn’t copywriting just writing?
No. Absolutely not.
Copywriting is a three-way cocktail of creativity, business strategy, and psychology. Shake them all together and you’ll have words that convert.
How Does Creativity Play a Role In Copywriting?
People who are new to copywriting can either go two ways:
- Write in a dull, formulaic manner
- Go way over the top and provide so much detail that people drop off
It’s about having the right balance and using heaps of creativity in certain places. Professional copywriters know how to follow a structure that works. But they put their spin on said structure, making it feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and completely irresistible.
How Does Business Strategy Play a Role in Copywriting?
Perhaps the key differentiator between copywriters and non-copywriters sits inside business strategy.
A copywriter specializes in writing words for business growth. So, a copywriter will use various techniques to make that happen.
From mapping out your user’s navigation journey, providing split-tested material to determine what works best and why, and being able to set KPIs to measure success, non-copywriters don’t often know how to infuse their business strategy into their words.
How Does Psychology Play a Role in Copywriting?
To persuade someone to do something, you can’t rely on luck.
You need to understand how the brain works. Psychology is a huge player in copywriting success. From understanding how someone interacts with a certain deliverable, (for example: how someone uses a website,) to how they make buying decisions, to even how they overcome and justify their spending habits, it’s crucial to have thorough knowledge so you can lace it into your words and structure.
What Can a Copywriter Do For My Business?
Let’s circle back to the question at hand, shall we?
Should I hire a copywriter or write it myself?
Perhaps understanding what a copywriter will do and what they can bring to the table will allow you to weigh your options more efficiently (and accurately).
A copywriter will:
- Research, Research, Research!
A copywriter does so much more than write. And one of the key areas that will help make your copy stand out and be successful is the amount of research a copywriter will do when working on a project.
They’ll analyze your ideal client’s language use, spending habits, pain points, and challenges. Plus, they’ll be able to dive deep into your competitors, pointing out components that they’re doing well and other areas they’re missing out on.
Research is fundamental for success in copywriting. And, without a copywriter, it can be incredibly tricky to know what you’re looking for.
- Strategic Structure
Non-copywriters often load up a document and just start writing.
A copywriter, however, uses psychology and intertwines it with the goal of the piece. Based on research (see above) and experience, they know how someone will interact with your copy.
They’ll map out the best way to structure the piece.
Say, for example, you hired a copywriter to write the words on your website.
A copywriter would be able to tell you the best place to position your unique value proposition, your pain-point exploration, and where to introduce your offers.
Approaching structure without strategy often ends up in words that are notoriously “waffley,” which kills conversion quicker than you can say “nope.”
- Editing Process
For many non-copywriters, the prospect of returning to a document that took days, weeks, or even months to write in order to edit is just the worst thing in the world.
And, because it feels daunting and, frankly, horrible, you just publish the first thing you’ve written and forget about it.
But in that piece that you’ve just published, you’ve got about a hundred misplaced commas, no apostrophes, spelling errors, and words that don’t capture your brand in the right way.
The result? No results.
A copywriter, on the other hand, knows that the first draft is always a skeleton. The first draft often presents the ingredients, but they’ll redraft them to turn those ingredients into a delicious cake.
- Data and Metrics
If I asked you to tell me whether the copywriting on your call-to-action button was gaining conversions, would you be able to tell me the answer?
Or, if I were to ask you to tell me which emojis your audience reacts best to, could you tell me?
Again, probably not.
A copywriter knows the importance of discovering “little” things like this because they are – in fact – not little at all.
Copywriters know how to measure and understand key performance indicators on another level. While you may understand page view metrics and even click-through rates, non-copywriters aren’t trained in data analysis. A copywriter can unravel the story within your metrics.
They can, for example, tell you whether your audience responds better to positive or negative framing. Or whether they react stronger to pain point exploration or positioning life after the product.
These components can help you across all channels. From your copywriting to your overall marketing to the way you interact with others: these metrics are hidden treasures.
And your copywriter can dig it up and serve it to you on a platter, shiny and ready for the bank.
- Invest Money, Make Money
By not hiring a professional copywriter, you’re pretty much gambling the success of your campaign.
Of course, if you don’t hire the right copywriter for your brand, this may also be the case.
That said, if you make sure to hire the right copywriter, you’re in a far better position to make a healthy return on investment.
I understand that you may be thinking “but if I don’t invest any money and I do it myself, surely I’m saving money, right?”
That’s a trap so many business owners fall into. Because logistically, this seems to make sense.
However, let’s look at an example.
Imagine you were launching a digital course on photography. That course costs students $400. You need a solid sales page to promote and sell your course.
You have two options:
a.) You write it yourself and “save” money
b.) You invest in a professional copywriter and “spend” money
Option A – Example
Let’s look at option A first.
Your sales page took a grand total of 1 month to write. You hated every second of it. It’s littered with mistakes, but you saved the money you’d have spent on a copywriter. So, in your mind, it’s worth it.
While you’ve been writing the copy for your sales page, you’ve missed out on 3 potential 1:1 clients who wanted wedding photography. This package costs $2000.
So, before you’ve launched your offer, you’ve saved the investment of a copywriter (let’s say $2000 for a sales page). However, you’ve also missed out on 3 wedding photography clients.
Which means, at this point in time, you’ve missed out on $6000 worth of sales. Sure, you’ve saved $2000 on your new sales page, but that still leaves you with $4000 less in revenue.
And this is before you’ve even launched.
Once you launch your sales page, you gain 3 sales in the first month. That gives you a total of $1200. You can’t work out why your offer isn’t selling. Especially because you’ve worked incredibly hard on putting the course together.
The resources and time it took to build the course comes to around $1000. Which gives you a profit of only $200. When you combine that with the lost sales before you launched, you can see that this launch didn’t work nearly as well as you’d hoped.
Option B – Example
Option A is less than ideal.
So, let’s take a look at your second option.
We’ll use all of the same figures in this example. We’ve got a copywriter who is writing your sales page for an investment amount of $2000.
While they work away at your sales page, you’re able to take on those 3 1:1 clients for wedding photography.
So, immediately, you’ve gained $6000 in sales. Let’s deduct the $2000 investment you spent on your copywriter, and we’re sitting at a profit of $4000.
This is before you’ve even launched your offer.
Then, once the sales page is ready and you’re launching (on your launch date), you’ve had a whole lot more time to market your promotion and drip feed it into your content marketing strategy.
Due to the copy being written by a professional who knows how to write words that convert (and in this case, words that sell), you gain 5 (and we’re being modest here, it’s likely a far higher number) sales in the first day you’ve launched.
The cost for your offer sits at $400. So, on launch day, you’ve earned $2000. And what do you know! That’s exactly what you paid for your copywriter. You’re currently even if you don’t include the time you’ve had to work with your wedding photography clients.
However, this pattern continues. By the end of the first month, you’ve enrolled a total of 200 students. That’s $80,000 in sales.
So, let’s deduce the $2000 you invested in your copywriter.
Without those 1:1 clients, you’ve still gained a return of investment of $78,000.
Option A vs Option B
Out of the two options, it’s revealed that there isn’t really an option, right?
Of course, you’re free to run your business however you’d like.
If you want to risk it and create your own copy, then that’s your call. You are free to do so.
But when you look at these examples side by side: can you really afford not to hire a copywriter?
DIY Or Outsource?
Every business owner will – at some point – need to face the decision between writing their own copywriting or outsourcing to a professional.
Realistically, if you stick to low-priced copywriters, you may as well make a go of it yourself. You get what you pay for, after all.
However, if you’re taking your business or your launch seriously, a skilled copywriter is a must.
Bargain hunting was not made for your brand. And while it may feel like a hefty investment, it’s simply an investment that your brand needs for growth.
- Detailed Guide: Should You Keep Copywriting In-House or Outsourced? - November 24, 2022
- How to Generate More Search Traffic To Your Website Using Voice Search - February 14, 2021