Category Archives: Uncategorized

What to Look for in a Really Good Copywriter

copywriterThe hardest thing any business owner can do is to write about him or herself or their business. It just can’t be done—or at least done well. You need that outside eye—preferably a writer with a good marketing background and solid writing reputation—to create copy about you that others will find compelling. If you try to write about yourself, you will get bogged down in too many details, wondering which are the most important. You will also labor for hours on end trying to get the copy “just right.”

What Makes a Really Good Copywriter?

When you’ve decided it is best for both your sanity and your time to hire an outside writer, here’s what you should look for:

Style of copywriting experience

Your copywriter should be up to date on the latest ways to write for the particular medium you’re writing for, be it the web, brochures, a media kit or an author bio, for example. The writing styles for each are entirely different. If the writer doesn’t know the difference, look for one who does.

Great interview skills

Most of the information for the copy will come from you. A great copywriter has the confidence to conduct an interview to gather what they need in the shortest time possible. We know you’re busy and we need to use our skills to ferret out details quickly that make your copy shine. Expect some “off the wall” questions, and roll with them. We’re also looking for insights into your personality so we can inject that into the copy.

Ability to handle details

There are a lot of little details that go into writing good copy. The writer must be an expert at gathering information through research and interviews. They need to know the right questions to ask, and how to get this information quickly and accurately from you and your staff, or their research. You need to trust that the writer has checked credible sources and accurately reported details so that you don’t need to spend your time fact checking. A good copywriter will also be sensitive to proprietary or sensitive information as well as deadlines.

See the Types of Work we do at All the Buzz

Lack of an ego

The writer must understand that the represents you, not them. Seek a writer who doesn’t involve their own ego in the copywriting process. A writer with a big ego about how perfect their work is will make it much more difficult to make edits along the way. Make sure they are easy to get along with and are honest and up front through each stage of the work.

Gumption to take the reins

A great copywriter knows what to do on a project and can take the reins and run with it. A not-so-good copywriter will wait for you to give them all the directions. Be impressed if the copywriter offers new ideas on how to present your copy, and even more ideas on how to market it once it’s done. Be open to their suggestions; they’ve helped make hundreds of clients successful.

Patience and clarity

Expect that the copywriter will need to interview you and perhaps others in your company. Also expect the copy to go back and forth a few times for editing. A professional copywriter will establish a limit on the number of times you can edit the copy and then charge for further edits. Look for a clear presentation of the first-round copy, clearly defined. This will make it easier to modify it or make any changes as needed.

Make sure the writer clearly defines what is missing and understands your changes. Changes during final edits can at times be frustrating, especially if there is a difference of opinion. Both sides should show patience. The outcome—the final product—is the goal, not the personalities involved. However, trust the copywriter to know what they are talking about. They are experts in getting the message across and have experience in what does and does not work. What you personally like may not be the best way to get the message out there to convert readers to customers.

Quality of work

Your written product should be clear, well laid out, well written, and well designed—in each stage of the process. It should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. If the first copy comes in messy and fraught with errors, that is not a good sign for a final product. A good writer makes it easy for you, their client, to give go-ahead approvals at each stage.

Need a Great Copywriter? Contact All the Buzz.

Linda Barrett, the principal at All the Buzz, is a Clio Award-winning writer (that’s like an Academy Award in the advertising business!). We also employ other writers to assist us with projects and social media programs. However, all work comes through the top so you can be assured of the best product every time.

When you need great copywriting for your website, marketing and communications materials, magazines, social media, etc., contact All the Buzz.

Advertisements

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

blog post template graphicDo you write a blog for your business and keep posting to it regularly? It’s a great way to talk about your industry, provide information about your business, and to entertain. It’s also a great way to build a following for your business. Yet many business owners ask how to make people aware of their blog and to attract followers.

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

  1. Tell everyone you have a blog
  2. Post your blog name and link in your email signature
  3. Include your blog link on your business cards, stationery and all forms
  4. Add your blog link to your bio
  5. Post snippets of your blog posts on your social media with links to the blog
  6. Add your blog link to your social media profiles
  7. Be active on your social media accounts and social networking sites like StumbleUpon and Mixx
  8. Continue reading →

Check Out Our Travel Blog: Mid-Atlantic Traveler

Barrel-Oak-Winery-Mid-Atlantic-TravelerSince I like to travel and I like to write, I thought I’d combine my two loves into a travel blog called Mid-Atlantic Traveler covering the area I know best: the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. I’ll be posting about some of my own adventures as well as interesting finds, hidden gems and plenty of things to do through our region…and beyond.

Recently we wrote about the new Frank Lloyd Wright property where you can stay overnight, the Maine Avenue Fish Market in DC, the International Water Tasting Competition (where I am a judge), the Green Bank Science Center and telescope in WV, York County PA Factory Tours and how to explore Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, to name a few. And there are many more stories to come. Continue reading →

Do You Have a Good Story? Share it With the Media.

public-relations-All-the-BuzzAs a journalist, I hear fabulous stories from people every single day. Whether they are my clients or people I meet in the grocery store, I realize that everybody has a story and I am all ears to hear it.

So many business people either miss or disregard the opportunity to share their unique story with the world. And hence, they miss the many public relations opportunities the media can provide.

Why You Should Get Your Story in the Media

It Gets People Talking

If a journalist finds your story interesting, and a publisher thinks it is interesting enough to write about, then thousands of other people will too. I published a feature story about “What really goes on during spring break,” and was standing behind two moms in the grocery line one day when I overheard them talking about what they learned from the story. “I’m not sure I’ll let my daughter go without a chaperone now,” I heard one say. Think of all the people you can impact from your own story!

It Establishes You as the Expert

Continue reading →

Types of Blog Posts

types-of-blog-postsWe all know that we should be blogging in our business. Blog posts not only keep relevant content on our website for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, they give people a way to learn more about what you do and what you can do for them. There are a number of types of blog posts, as we’ll discuss here.

Types of Blog Posts:

  • Story
    Tell readers a story about your product, your company, a client case study, or an industry happening. People love to read about other people’s experiences.
  • List
    Offer an easy-to-read bulleted list of items that can help someone overcome an obstacle or organize their lives, for example.
  • How To
    Take the reader step by step through a process to an outcome. Highlight how to best use and benefit from one of your products or services.
  • Continue reading →

Up Your Company’s Professionalism with an Online Media Kit

create-online-media-kitThere is nothing more exciting–or better for your business–than media coverage. Landing a feature story in print, or being quoted as an expert source in an online article can exponentially boost your footprint in your market and set you apart from your competitors.

As a member of the media, I am always looking for good stories to write about. But most companies forget this side of marketing. Or they don’t know how to achieve it. Especially if they are a smaller company.

So far this year I’ve published more than 20 feature stories about local businesses and business people that appeared in newspapers and high-end glossy magazines. Not only did these people receive a beautiful story, they were able to use their media appearance in their marketing and social media programs to garner even more coverage and credibility. Some printed out copies of their articles and used it as a giveaway at appearances and trade shows. Others framed their article and mounted it prominently in their place of business. A few made podcasts or videos of their radio or TV appearance and posted it on their own media channels. Even more referred to their third-party coverage in sales presentations to help close the deal. Continue reading →

Startling Statistics About Social Media for Business

As social media continues to grow, some of the things we thought we knew about it have changed. Here are some of the latest statistics for 2018.
social-media-statistics

GENERAL

• 95% of adults aged 18-34 online are likely to follow a brand via social networking.
• 71% with a good experience with a brand will recommend it to others.
• Visual content gets 40% more views than other types of content.

FACEBOOK

• 50 million small businesses use Facebook Pages to connect with customers. Four million of these pay for Facebook advertising.
• 68% of marketers have posted video content on Facebook.
• The best time to post is 3PM on Wednesdays, 12-1PM on weekends, and 1-4PM on Thursdays and Fridays. Continue reading →

Why a Well-Done Intake Interview is Vitally Important to Writing Copy

intake-interview-importanceWhen working with a new client, we always perform what we call an “Intake Interview.” This interview is valuable in a number of ways.

Get the Facts

First, it provides us with the facts we need about a company’s products, services, customer service policies, history, background, target customer audience and goals.

Get the Tone

Second, it gives us the opportunity to “hear” the company owner. We listen not just for the facts but for how the owner represents the business. Does he or she speak using technical language? Are the sentences long or short? Is there humor? This helps us to write in “their voice,” not our own, and is especially helpful when writing a speech the interviewee will be delivering. Most of the time our client remarks, “It sounds just like me!”

Get the Customer

Listening also helps us to uncover problems the owner may be having in the business, or issues their customers might be having. These can and should be addressed when creating good copy. Continue reading →

Write Well to Stand Out From the Crowd | Writing Quotes

fountain-pen

“By writing well, you can stand out from the crowd.
There is too much poor writing in the business world.”

Dr. Andrew Sentance, Sr. Economic Adviser, Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP
and
author of Rediscovering Growth: After the Crisis

Seeing the Sale From the Other Side of the Desk

<a href="https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business">Business image created by Katemangostar - Freepik.com</a>When I was director of marketing for a national company, my office was situated right next to that of the president’s. One day, he walked by my door and saw me sitting in the visitor chair at the opposite side of the desk than my normal chair. I was just sitting.

The president stopped in the doorway and asked me, “What are you doing?”

I answered, “I’m looking at the company from the customer’s point of view.”

We are often so busy working at our own jobs that we can overlook the point of view our customer sees. Therefore, it is good to either take a moment to “sit in their chair,” or hire an outside eye (trained consultant) who can identify just what it is the customer sees…and needs.

As a hired marketing consultant, I have made the tiniest tweaks in someone’s presentation, look, office, retail space or marketing strategy that have made huge differences the next time they Continue reading →