Sometimes I wish I’d stuck with 15-year-old me’s plan to be a dentist. Everyone knows what a dentist does. But want to see a tumbleweed moment?
Tell people you’re a copywriter or a content writer.
Yeah, family get-togethers and social events over Christmas were entertaining. But I don’t think it’s just copywriters that have this challenge. And sometimes you just need to remind people what you do, again.
Why? Here’s some possible reasons:
What you do is new
You’re the person who invented the wheel. Or the printing press. Or TikTok. You’re going to have to explain it to people because they’ve never seen or experienced anything like it before.
Not many of these truly come along in any lifetime, but if you do, I imagine you’ll be ready for some quizzical looks and head-scratching.
You now do something really different to what you did before
People think they know what you do. But that’s what you did. Now you’ve run away from the circus and become an accountant. You’re going to have to help them reframe what you do.
Maybe that’s just the legend of John Major. But if you, or your business, have done a major pivot then you’re going to have to tell the new story.
You’re kind of unique, but not quite
Sometimes you have to help people by connecting two things they do understand to try and explain where you fit in. Like pitches for products or new theatre shows, sometimes it helps to have a known thing to jump off from. Though in the case of “we’re like Titanic meets The Office” I was probably left with too many questions.
But we do hear things like this all the time. The Uber of footwear. The Deliveroo of stationery. Trying to find something to help people understand through the familiar.
You’re easily confused with something else
Copywriter. Not copyrighter. Which is not a word, but some people have some understanding of what copyright is, but possibly not copywriting.
Likewise, you remind them of two things, and they’re not sure which one you are. Paralegal for example. Are you some kind of paramedic, or paratrooper, with legal knowledge? You’d be surprised.
You have a story to tell them
Your business might be the same as someone else’s but how you do it, and why is unique. It’s always valuable to remind people what makes you a bit different.
They need more than the job title
Sometimes a name is not enough. Sometimes you have to give them a little more to go on. I mean most of us understand what a dentist does, maybe even an orthodontist. But when you get into the territory of periodontist or prosthodontist then they might need some help.
So what is it that this copywriter and content writer does?
I can’t speak for all of them, but I write words to help tell stories, in different places. But if I say to people I’m a freelance writer then they want to know when my book will come out, or which magazine my work will be in.
As a copywriter in 2019, I wrote all kinds of things for different types of businesses, at different stages of their business growth. Here’s what people asked me to work with them on:
- Created the brand story for a startup business to act as the guide for all types of communication going forward, from product copy to webpages
- Wrote web page copy for new courses for a well-established cookery school
- Created pack copy for new products from food to beauty and healthcare
- Wrote web page copy for a new site in beauty
- Created the words for the signup sequence for an email newsletter, to ensure the brand’s tone of voice came through in those first points of contact with a new customer
- Created the email content for 23 summer events for a major hospitality group to encourage early bookings
- Wrote tone of voice documents for three new brands to help ensure their story gets told consistently by all their agencies in the different channels they’ll be launching, and promoting, the brand in
- Created and agreed the outline for the different types of blog posts for a brand, as well as writing them
If it involves words, then I can work with it. I’m particularly good with words for food and drink businesses, as well as those in beauty and wellbeing.
So while one of my aunts may still not understand what I do, if you’re looking for help with words to tell your story in 2020, then I’d love to talk about what I can do for your business. I can help remind people what you do, why you do it and how.
But please don’t ask me about copyright. Unless you want me to recommend an expert where that really is what they do.