Specialist Copywriter – Niche or Not?

So, you sell costumes for pets.  Great idea – whose heart wouldn’t be warmed by the sight of a Pekinese Che Guevara?

And now you want to create a direct sales letter to be sent to local pet owners.  It’s a reliable way of generating new customers and you need to get it right, so it’s time to find a copywriter.  After all, the small investment in quality copy leads to far greater returns in new business.

The question naturally arises of which copywriter to choose.  There are plenty of considerations here and a common thought in many people’s minds is the importance of finding someone with experience of their particular area of business.  Not that animal costumery is going to be easy to find as a copywriting speciality, but perhaps you suspect someone with experience of writing for pet food manufacturers or animal charities might be a better bet.  They’ll have an understanding of the target market, after all, which is a boon, right?

Well, probably not.  In fact, copywriters on the whole are very flexible and adapt quickly to any business sector.  That’s actually one of the joys of the job – constantly having interesting new areas to write for.  More importantly for you, that’s also why a general copywriter is going to be best for your writing project.

A Matter of Perspective

A golden rule of cheap copywriting services is always to look through the eyes of the intended reader.  If the copy is written for the client it will fail; if it’s written for the target market it will succeed.  That’s why a non-specialist copywriter brings great benefits, because he or she isn’t part of your world.  Without familiarity and specialist knowledge the copywriter is in the same position as the consumer and consequently will ask the sort of questions that a specialist would take for granted, focusing on the aspects of the product or service that really matter to the people buying it.

This is true of business-to-business copy too.  If a company wants to buy a photocopier they’re not remotely interested in the fact the PDL is PostScript3 Emulation and UFR II, they want to know if it copies quickly and reliably, whether it’s economical to run and what sort of technical support they can expect.

In most situations you actually want someone who has to ask the right questions.  The skill of the copywriter to present your product in a way that sells is the key.  The speciality you want is in communication, language and generating action.  That’s what a good copywriter brings.

Familiarity vs Novelty

Chocolate’s great.  Snap off a chunk and let it sit in your mouth as you enjoy the wonderful flavour sliding out over your tongue.  Just like Charlie Bucket as he savours his rare taste of Willy Wonka’s marvellous bars.  As a treat he appreciates it, in stark contrast to the bloated Augustus Gloop, who eats the stuff morning, noon and night and actually ceases to have any meaningful pleasure from it.

This is why it’s so important to have someone fresh to produce your copy.  If your copywriter specialises in a certain area then are they really going to produce something novel and imaginative?  How likely is it that they will come up with a wholly original take that will grab the attention of your target market?  Is it actually more likely they’ll come up with something rather similar to the copy they produced for another company the previous month?

General copywriters take pleasure and interest in working with you to understand your business, your product and your target market.  It’s this process and collaboration that ultimately generates highly original, skilfully focused copy that produces the action you want.

Except…

Realistically, of course, there are some circumstances where you will want a specialist copywriter, and you’d be right to do so.  If you need articles for professional journals or technical white papers drawn up then you would need someone with expertise in that area, be it legal, financial or technical.  99 times out of 100, though, you don’t need to worry about finding a copywriter who specialises in your area of business.  A skilled general copywriter will be able to meet any business writing need and just like a bar of Willy Wonka’s finest, will leave a pleasantly sweet aftertaste in the results their copy generates.

About David

I'm a professional copywriter from Nexus Copywriting and there's a little more about me here. Or, if you'd like to see how I can benefit your business, find out about my copywriting services.
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