There is one major problem when it comes to selling your skills as a freelance copywriter: everyone else is a writer too.
People hire a plumber because they don’t have the first idea about how to stop the pipe from leaking.
They hire a web designer because they don't have a clue about HTML or coding.
But writing is different.
After all, everyone learns how to write in school. It’s one of those basic life skills like riding a bike.
On top of that, writing is personal.
Whereas most people will openly admit that they don’t have the first idea about how to design a website from scratch, they will often take offence if they are told that they cannot write well.
One of the common reasons given for hiring a copywriter is that clients don’t have time to do the writing themselves. And lack of time is indeed one of the main reasons that businesses decide to hire writers.
Writing is a time-consuming activity, as well as often being a mentally exhausting activity. And sometimes inspiration doesn’t always arrive when you want it to.
Hiring a copywriter to take the burden off your shoulders and free up your time is a great way for you to refocus on your other tasks.
But many people like to imagine that if they did have the time, they would do the writing themselves and it would be just as good. Because everyone can write.
Writing is like that.
Whenever you read a good book, or an interesting article, it’s easy to think that you could have done a better job – if only you had the time.
But it’s not that easy. Good copywriters make it look effortless. The copy is clean, simple, uncluttered. It gets its point across clearly and succinctly. Upon reading it, the natural reaction is to assume that it must have been easy to write.
But the clean lines of persuasive writing can hide pages and pages of notes, scribbles, first drafts, second drafts, screwed-up balls of paper and late nights.
When it comes to copywriting, the result is less to do with the reader’s opinion of the writing (“I think that’s interesting, boring, exciting, etc”), and more to do with the actions the reader takes during or after reading it (“I’m going to buy that, order that, sign up for that, etc”).
And that’s a whole different ball game.
So although many people can write, and some of them can write quite well, when it comes to creating writing that inspires the reader to act on what they read, it makes a lot of sense to hire a freelance copywriter.