Getting Started Tip #3: Craft your 30-second copywriter’s pitch

Elizabeth ShortThe Copywriter’s Paycheck
By Elizabeth Short

By this installment, you’re ready for business. Here’s one way to get it.

A copywriter walks into an elevator and her fellow passenger asks: So, what do you do? Nope, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke. It’s your future. During your career (in an elevator, at a meeting, in the check-out line), you’ll have many opportunities to pitch your services. Instead of fumbling for words (bad news for a copywriter), roll out your “30-second elevator speech”—a brief summary of your business. For example: I create marketing materials like brochures and Web sites for small businesses. My niche is supplying both the copy and the design, which simplifies projects and makes them more affordable.

For best results, I recommend that you:
1. Speak conversationally
2. Identify your market
3. Highlight the benefitsyou offer

Your speech may feel awkward at first, but with practice your confidence will increase—along with your ability to win new clients.

Copywriting Tip: Send a message
Subtle. Mysterious. Tentative. These adjectives generally do not describe good marketing copy. Instead, effective copy has an overt message and makes no bones about announcing it—loud and clear. Before you write your next piece of copy, pinpoint your client’s basic message. For example: Hot Dog, a purveyor of hand-knit pet sweaters, offers products to keep your dog warm as well as fashionable. Cover key points multiple times (hand-knit, warm, fashionable) in multiple ways throughout your copy. Worried about overloading your reader? Don’t be. Chances are, she or he will need to experience the message more than once before it sinks in.

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 ( Check out her e-book, 7 Steps to Effective Web Content ( to learn the secrets of writing copy for the web.

1 Response to “Getting Started Tip #3: Craft your 30-second copywriter’s pitch”

  1. 1 Susan Squier May 9, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    How can I get the first two tips?


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