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By Dave Turner
It is wise, particularly in these recessionary times, to ask yourself whether or not hiring a freelance copywriter, business writer or editor is worth the investment.
Here are 10 reasons to bring in a professional:
1. Content is king.
The Internet has outmoded the old models of advertising, marketing and public relations. Websites, blogs, email and social media are central to marketing communication strategy today. Print has become less of a message carrier and more of a driver to online media. Content must be written and presented so that your customers will seek out your messaging through search engines and pathways based on their preferences, permissions and information they share online. Rather than passively watching a TV spot, listening to a radio commercial, or noticing an ad, your customers interact with you directly via the Internet on their terms and schedules. Businesses today need specialized writers and editors who can optimize content for search engines while creating messaging that is also compelling to human readers.
2. Time is money.
You could write and edit copy yourself, or have one of your employees do it. But chances are, your time is better spent running your business. Your employees will likely make a far greater contribution to the bottom line if they're not trying to do copywriting and editing on top of their other job responsibilities.
3. The message builds the brand.
Every word that goes out into the marketplace about your organization impacts its identity and brand. This includes everything from the organization's name, slogan, business letters, business cards and press releases to websites, blogs, e-mails, newsletters, print advertising, and content in all other forms of electronic and print media. It is critical to craft all of your messaging carefully.
4. A fresh perspective makes a big difference.
Often an organization's management team and employees are too close to daily operations to see the marketing communications picture from every angle. A freelance copywriter brings in a fresh perspective that can lead to previously untapped opportunities, as well as new and better ways to tell your story.
5. You get a higher return on your total marketing investment.
It's a given that you need websites and other media for marketing communications. Even without a copywriter, these media require investments in graphic design, hosting, printing, broadcasting and other areas. Professionally written and edited copy ensures that from a messaging standpoint, you get a higher return on your total investment in marketing communications.
6. There's more clutter than ever.
Anybody can publish their own content on the Internet instantly. Although this represents unprecedented ease of publishing and one-on-one access to readers and customers, it creates massive amounts of clutter. Bringing in a copywriter to create the most distinctive messaging possible—combined with the right search engine optimization strategies—will help you break through, get noticed and achieve your desired results.
7. Good copywriters have great connections.
Copywriters collaborate with other creative professionals in completing their work. If you hire a good copywriter, you can also tap into his or her trusted network of graphic designers, web developers, SEO experts, art directors, and agencies for full service marketing communications.
8. It's cheaper than hiring an in-house writer.
Establishing a relationship with a freelance copywriter gives you most of what you get from an in-house staff writer or editor, but without the cost of paying a salary and benefits. To handle regular copywriting or editing needs, many freelancers will set aside a certain number of hours per month for a client in exchange for a monthly retainer.
9. The work is done better, faster.
You or your staff members may be world-class writers and editors. But when you have other job responsibilities, hiring a freelance copywriter who does this kind of work daily makes sense. It will get you top quality finished work faster than you could produce it in-house.
10. It's about more than words.
In addition to mastering the writing process, copywriters have to be market researchers and strategists to do the job effectively. A good copywriter will make new discoveries about your marketing scenario, and then map out sound marketing communications strategy.