What’s the reaction when you tell people what you do for a living?
If you’re a dentist, or a vet, or a doctor, then everyone gets that you did a large amount of training, so probably never try to tell you how to do your job. If you’re a programmer or a personal trainer then they might also think twice about telling you your job.
But there’s a definitely a tranche of jobs that everyone thinks they could do. Like run a restaurant. Or be a photographer. Or a writer.
Now, I know, everyone generally can write. Just like everyone can take a photo. I had this conversation with Richard Budd this week when I was interviewing him for a post in a couple of weeks time, and it made me rewrite some of this post. There are many similarities between the two roles in terms of doing them for fun and doing them for business.
The lucky shot versus the consistent shot
When you choose a professional photographer, then you’re going to a get a consistent shot, time after time. If you do it yourself, you might get one good shot in ten. Perhaps you have got a great eye, maybe you even hit four out of ten being great shots.
The fast shot
Building on the last one, a professional will get more great shots more of the time, and in less time than it would take you. Guaranteed.
Covering all the angles
Ever have that moment of getting your great shot and then trying to use it with your logo, only to find something is in the way? Or you want to use it in a landscape space and you shot it portrait? With the right photographer, who knows their stuff, then they’ll be advising you on this kind of thing. Unless you give them a really restricted brief and are not open to their suggestions. Maybe you think you’ll be saving money.
Maybe. In the short term.
Pushing it beyond your imagination
A great photographer will take your idea, and then add some flair and magic to it. If you’re not sure, check out Richard’s shots of cocktails. That definitely wasn’t in a brief from his first cocktail shoot. But you pay for more than just some bloke turning up with a camera. You get experience, creativity, time spent perfecting his craft.
So much more than a man and a camera
And there are big similarities when you choose to work with a copywriter or content writer. They should be consistent in producing high-quality work that gets a reaction from your customers. They should do that in less time than it would take you.
They’ll have thought about spelling, grammar and the readability of your content. Did you know that Hemingway wrote at the equivalent of a ten year old’s reading level? It’s incredibly eloquent writing, but also simple and easy to read. A great writer shouldn’t just stuff a load of fancy words into your content, they should be picking the right words for your needs.
What else could you be doing?
I know that David Hieatt felt different about all of this, and you can read about that here. Warren Knight expresses it differently in his informative book Think #Digital First. He talks about asking yourself if you have the ability to work at the speed required, and the accuracy.
Warren also talks about how copywriting is now integral to doing business. He even goes on to say having a copywriter who understands the tone of your business is the future of business online. He just keeps asking you to ask yourself if you can really afford the time. Could your time be better spent elsewhere to bring in the money?
Where’s your expertise?
Look, copywriters and content writers don’t come free. Well, not the good ones. But you have to ask yourself what freeing up your time is worth? Where is your time best spent?
I know I talk about this a lot, but being consistent with your posting, in terms of timing and quality, is key. Yes, it’s important to Google, which is important to your business. But it’s also important to your customers, and that’s more important.
Like many things in life, play to your strengths, and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. You will recoup the investment, through the work you invest in from a content writer, and the work you do by not writing. It’s always tempting to do everything yourself. It’s not always the right answer.
What do you think?