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Do you need a copywriter?

Well now, that depends on what it is you're trying to do (but yes, the answer's yes).

If you have any kind of platform, brand or point of view, then finding a copywriter will always be a smart choice. Because as much as images can say a thousand words, you'll probably need to use a word or two to cement your point.

So let's get down to it.

What is a copywriter, anyhow?

Well, the Oxford English dictionary defines it thusly:


- a person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material.

No surprises that the dictionary managed to masterfully extract any sense of verve, skill or necessity with that definition. How about a slow hand clap for the copywriter who wrote that one (which, incidentally, is sure to be the case).

That rather clinical definition does describe the literal function of a copywriter. But what it doesn't mention is the fact that the things you say to your audience, fans, prospects or customers will ultimately determine their next steps. Though crucially, in the world that we live in today, everything that you do as a brand acts as advertising or publicity.

If President Obama drinks a Coca Cola, then the Obama administration, all of a sudden, backs Coca Cola over Pepsi. If Ryan Gosling strokes a cat then Ryan Gosling is a stolid supporter of animal rights. If the CEO of Odeon is seen walking into a Cineworld, then Odeon has lost its credibility, and there'll probably be an advert on Total Jobs for a new CEO of Odeon.

All messages, verbal or otherwise, tell you something about who said it

So for a retail brand, if a potential customer happens upon your website, but isn't remotely swayed by the messages that they see, then guess what? No customer, no conversion, no extra change in your pocket for that yacht you've been eyeing up.

For an influencer or celebrity, if someone clicks onto your page, and notices shoddy grammar, garbled sentences and a generally sloppy approach to speaking, then guess what? No new fan, no new follower, no new advocate that'll go out and evangelise your personal brand for you.

See the picture I'm painting? OK, one more example. Imagine if there was (yet another) new social media channel that aimed to rival Facebook. Let's call it 'Twerk World'. You hear people are talking about it, and your curiosity is piqued. So the next time you have a minute to kill, you throw into the url bar to see what all the fuss is about.

The first bit of copy that you see?

'Twerking akl over the place because twerkin is super'

Huh? Did their spell check catch a cold? Has anyone in the history of Earth ever described twerking as 'super'? Is that seriously the best tag-line that Ms. TW could come up with? Exactly. You're immediately confused and disinterested, and that's the end of Twerk World for you.

In case you're interested, if Twerk World hired me, the tag-line would be:

'Twerk, twerk, twerk!'

Because that is all you want to see on Twerk World, not some lame explanation for why you should keep scrolling. When you read 'Twerk, twerk, twerk!', that's all the reason you need. And hey presto, Ms. TW has a new convert, a new follower, and a larger audience that'll eventually help fill them pockets.

We can all mash together some words and punctuation. But if you want to make your mark, and speak to your audience in the right way, the way that'll strike a chord, then recruit a professional. You wouldn't attempt to build a house all alone, so why attempt to do the same with building your brand?

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