I’m in the nurse’s office. What do you do, she asks?

A writer, I say.

She stops. Gives me the look.

We’re looking around a house for sale. What do you do, the estate agent asks?

A writer, I say.

She stops. Gives me the look.

A mortgage advisor comes round to value our house. What do you do, he asks?

A writer, I say.

He stops. Gives me the look.

I don’t blame them. It’s strange to me every time I say it.

My friends wonder if I haven’t gone mad.

My grandparents wonder how I’m not living in poverty.

My dog, Pablo…actually Pablo doesn’t care, so long as he gets his walks.

But there’s no denying it’s a weird thing – to say you’re a writer.

But to say you’re a copywriter!

Jeez…

That’s when the alarm really goes off.

What is this madness?

It usually goes one of two ways:

Either a) they write you off as someone who they assume protects people’s intellectual rights in some way…

Or b) they intensify ‘the look’ a stage further and add a tinge of anger for making things even less clear.

I’ve done the double-whammy…I’m a writer who’s written a book about copywriting.

(You can order The Art of the Click on Amazon here – it’s only 996p.)

Explaining you’re a copywriter

Trying to explain what copywriting is all about to someone outside of marketing and advertising is no easy thing.

ME: I help people sell things…with words.

OTHER PERSON: How’s that?

ME: You know the copy on adverts-

OTHER PERSON: You mean the writing?

ME: Yeah, the writing on adverts. I write that.

OTHER PERSON: Someone writes that?

ME: Yes someone writes that. What did you think happened?

OTHER PERSON: I don’t know. I just. It’s all advertising isn’t?

ME: Well, yes. It is. Anyway, I write the copy for adverts. And sometimes the content pieces too.

OTHER PERSON: The content?

ME: Yeah, an article. Or a blog. A special report maybe.

OTHER PERSON: Isn’t that done by a writer?

ME: I AM A WRITER.

OTHER PERSON: You said you’re a copywriter.

*takes a moment to breathe*

ME: Yes, sometimes copy means the sales piece itself…sometimes it can mean the content, which is ultimately all part of the bigger sales process of engaging the customer and providing value today so they’ll buy another day.

OTHER PERSON: Like it’s all part of one big direct-response campaign?

ME: Yes, how do you know about direct-response?

OTHER PERSON: Because this whole set up of you talking to an imaginary character is actually just you talking to yourself. You thought it would be funny if the person who didn’t know what copy was suddenly said ‘direct-response’, thus confounding the expectations of the reader in this narrative.

ME: You’re right. Do you think people will appreciate it, or is it just self-indulgent?

ME: I don’t know – you’re the writer.

ME: No, I’m a copywriter.

ME: What’s the difference?

Copywriter confusion equals missed opportunity

I guess being a writer of any kind is weird. And being weird often goes hand-in-hand with being a writer. (See above.)

On a more serious note, I think some of the confusion about what a copywriter actually does means a lot of businesses don’t fully understand the benefits of good copy.

They don’t realise good copy can turn features into benefits that help the customer picture how the product or service will help them…

They don’t realise good copy can charge a message with an emotional narrative that turns a seemingly dull thing into something exciting a customer can relate to…

They don’t realise good copy can engage customers in a way that keeps them coming back time and time again and develop loyalty…

This is what my book, The Art of the Click, is all about…

Understanding not only what copywriters do, but also how good copy can help any business make more sales.

Though it may seem a lofty ambition, the book aims to teach you, whether you’re a copywriter or not, how to write good copy.

It’s full of practical advice that any business owner, marketer, or entrepreneur and put into effect.

Does it aim to turn everyone into a good copywriter?

Maybe – but that would be weird.

P.S. Did you know we’re up to four lovely episodes of The All Good Copy Podcast, which are all available to download for free?

It makes for nearly four hours of copy-based chat that will brighten up the commute to work, warm-up a wintery dog walk or give you a little inspiration when the day is dragging on.

You can currently listen to copywriter and author, Tom Albrighton…direct marketing legend, Brian Kurtz…content wonder, Jo Duncan…and tone of voice expert, Nick Parker…all sharing entertaining and insightful thoughts on copywriting, marketing and some other random stuff too.

All episodes are available on Soundcloud, Spotify and on Steve Jobs’ library in the sky, iTunes.

Author

Glenn Fisher was born in Grimsby in 1981. After a number of years working in the local council, he left to become a copywriter and founded AllGoodCopy.com, a free online resource for direct response copywriters and marketers. For over a decade he worked with The Agora, a multi-million pound international financial publisher and in 2018, having helped launch and grow Agora Financial in the UK, he left to write copy on a freelance basis, focus on coaching aspiring copywriters and publish his first book, The Art of the Click. He now lives happily with his partner Ruth and dog Pablo on the east coast of England.

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