If you are a copywriter and you are reading this, there is a possibility that you are either looking for typos to flag an issue with the article or you must be a newbie looking for answers to questions that are botching up your thought process. Let’s begin by rightfully addressing you as a “Copywriter” first. Many times, a copywriter is introduced as “Content Writer” or simply “Writer”. These designations are used interchangeably and the copywriter in you feels quite offended, right? Well, this article won’t exactly help solve that issue, but it can teach you how not to get lost in the oblivion of the advertising world.
You know Copywriting?
Being a Grammar Nazi might be the basic part of copywriting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a pro. If that were the case, all the English teachers in school would be ruling the ad world now (at least some of them do). Copywriting requires that, along with a wild sense of creativity. How do you weave a story that’s grammatically impeccable and emotionally powerful, that’s the kind of talent copywriting demands.
Even if you leave the bit where you need not focus on the punctuations or grammar, if the story is conveyed with the right words and emotions to the right audience, your job as a copywriter is well done. It’s not a made-up statement to hide the verbal flaws of a copywriter. It’s the Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy who said, “I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” It doesn’t mean your copywriting should be fluent in 30 odd languages.
Let’s not get too preachy and start with how you can make an impact on “Clients” that you are working on.
1. Be merciless with your writing
The first thing that we are taught in advertising schools is to ‘never fall in love with your first idea’. You may love the way the story is building up but your client wouldn’t see it the way you do. So, when you sit down, brainstorm on an idea and start writing the copy, do not let anything interrupt. Plugin your headphones, turn on the music that you like and start composing your own, in words. Now, it’s your prerogative to decide whether you’d compose a symphony or simply monophony.
You start by setting yourself word limitations. Only then you can get to know what your threshold is. Whether you are a long-copy person or a short-copy person, it all depends on where you hit the “Creative Block”. In simple words, take inspiration from this –
2. Unlearn all that you think you know
It’s just what The Ancient One said to Doctor Strange when he entered Kamar-Taj in desperation to heal his hands. In this case, you are that broken, yet brilliant storyteller who needs to know how the ‘business’ world works. It’s in a way, a Dark Dimension, where you need to bargain with Dormammu – The Client.” So, if you think your words will alone be able to do that, you need to go back in time and unlearn all that you think you know.
To understand a brand, you need to first understand its origins and characteristics. When you get to see the creative communication through the client’s perspective, you’ll realise that your copy looks good only in storybooks and not on a full-page newspaper. Your copy has to adapt to the medium and that’s the only way you can master this sorcery of “Corporate Copywriting”.
3. Write with the “Design” in mind
Let’s admit it. As a copywriter, sometimes you get carried away and write from a writer’s perspective. But, when your designer sees the copy and tries to lay it out on the artboard, the “Clash of Titans” begins. Should we make the design look bigger or should the copy need to be given more prominence? While working in the creative department of an ad agency, it’s better to keep our “Copywriting” self in sync with the designers. They are, after all, your better half in the advertising world.
Making the copy ‘designer-friendly’ means, the paragraphs have to be short and proofread thoroughly. In this case, assume that the world has no sense of grammar and vocabulary. The responsibility to send across the foolproof word document lies on your able shoulders.
4. Never miss out on references
There are times when you think you’ve cracked an award-winning idea and the copy would get you the Golden Lion. But, if your research isn’t thorough and you haven’t checked for enough references, you might end up a “Copycat” rather than a “Copywriter”.
Plagiarism is something that the advertising industry takes very seriously. For that matter, in any industry that banks on creativity, be it music, media or entertainment, authenticity is what drives the market. In a world full of “Me-too” brands, being the “Original” has its cost. So, as a Copywriter, if your referencing is strong, and your research is concrete, half the job is done.
There’s more to copywriting than just these 4 tips. At 3 Dots Design Pvt. Ltd., we believe that copywriting and design are two sides of the same coin – advertising. Sometimes, it’s not so literal that either one of them has to win. In the world of creativity, the coin stands straight quite frequently. Being the best advertising agency in Pune, our aim is always to make sure that copywriting and design do justice to every communication that’s created here. If you think you can flaunt your copywriting skills, drop in your CV at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll show you what it takes to be a Copywriter.