The Copywriter’s Paycheck: Share Your Expertise

Elizabeth ShortBy Elizabeth Short

Now that you’ve assembled a solid portfolio of your copywriting work, guess what? You’re just steps away from establishing yourself as an expert! Read on to learn how.

Getting Started Tip #9: Share Your Expertise—write a column, make a presentation
What is the definition of an expert? A person who has a special skill or knowledge in some particular field. That’s you, the world just doesn’t know it yet. Luckily, getting the word out is easier than you might think, while the payoff—free publicity for your business and a boost in your credibility—are huge. To establish yourself as an expert you need a venue for getting your know-how in the public eye. Here are some ideas: Approach your local paper about a copywriting column geared for business owners. Host a copywriting workshop through your chamber of commerce. Give a presentation on crafting effective marketing copy at your local Rotary Club. Offering content that empowers business owners to tackle their own copy will inspire gratitude for valuable information; just as likely, it will inspire your audience to skip the hassle of copywriting altogether and hire you instead. As with any newsworthy development in your business, don’t forget to send a press release announcing your event.

Copywriting Tip #9: Craft descriptive headings
Unless your intended market is extremely bored or obsessively meticulous, no one in today’s busy world has the time or inclination to read every word you write. Instead, readers will scan your copy for the specific information they need, zero in on pertinent details and disregard the rest. While your job is to accurately capture the details your market seeks, it’s also your responsibility to display the road signs that will steer your audience in that direction. Descriptive headings that precede distinct blocks of copy provide these signals. For example: Flowering perennials for fall color. Fragrant ground cover. Natural and composite pavers for paths and patios. Make sure the graphic or web designer you’re collaborating with doesn’t let your headings go to waste. Use a different font, larger point size, contrasting color or bold formatting to make your headings stand out for easy scanning.

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.

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