Now that your copywriting business is set up with marketing materials, a good pitch and a network of fellow business owners to send referrals your way, it’s time to get some media attention. Don’t mind the flashbulbs as you walk down the red carpet!
Getting Started Tip #6: Get publicity with a press release
Ever wonder how your local newspaper finds the time to cover the goings-on of local businesses—those mini-articles on a hair salon’s grand opening or a mortgage company’s new employee? Actually, the media doesn’t find the time. They rely on businesses themselves to do the work with a press release. A press release is a news brief (usually fewer than 500 words) that summarizes a newsworthy development within a company or organization. For a new copywriter, this might be as simple as announcing the launch of your services: “Freelance Copywriter Helps Businesses Find the Right Words.” An indispensable form of free advertising, press releases put you in the public spotlight. To write your own press release, read my article on the subject and view samples on my Web site. E-mail your press release to the business section of your local paper and to the editors of any business journals in your area. Don’t forget to include a digital headshot!
Copywriting Tip #6: Emphasize benefits
Let’s review the reasons why every business can use a freelance copywriter. Copywriters make you money by skillfully communicating with members of your intended market—and convincing them to try your goods or services. They save you money because you use their services on demand, instead of hiring a full-time employee. Copywriters save you time by delivering a professional product right off the bat.
Welcome to your USPs—your Unique Selling Propositions. In other words, the benefits of doing business with you. Unlike features (brochure copy, web content, ad copy, ghostwriting) which merely list what you do, benefits explain why someone would hire you to do it—an invitation for the reader to visualize how her business will be better as a result of using your services. Whether you’re creating marketing materials for yourself or for your clients, always emphasize one or more USPs aimed at satisfying the needs or desires of the intended market.
Elizabeth Short is a freelance copywriter and graphic designer with a passion for helping small businesses clarify and broadcast unique marketing messages. With a focus on websites and print materials, she brings together content + design in one easy, affordable package (www.write-design.biz). Check out her e-book, 7 Steps to Effective Web Content (www.write-design.biz/e-books.htm) to learn the secrets of writing copy for the web.