We sometimes get requests for last minute copywriting. It’s not that the client’s project is last minute: they will have had it designed, maybe even had photos or illustrations done, but at the last minute they realise their copy isn’t up to scratch.
This is an understandable oversight – design, photography and illustration are specialised skills. But writing? Many people have to write in their jobs every day, so they feel confident that they have what it takes. They don’t realise that writing copy is a specialised skill too.
For copy to be effective it needs to be concise yet evocative, communicating the message clearly, in the right tone. Every word counts. Writing like this takes time. It takes longer to ‘knock up’ a pithy paragraph to promote your business or service than to write a whole page extolling its virtues.
It also takes creative thinking. When I’m writing copy I want to make sure I’m doing the absolute best job for my client. If I am rushing, or trying to squeeze it in between other jobs, I’m not able to give it the creative brain space it deserves.
On top of this, it’s important to allow for a couple rounds of review. The first cut might be on the right track, but no doubt there will be some tweaking needed. You, the client, may need some time to consider the copy, test it out with others, see how it fits with the design.
So back to the last minute job. Maybe you’ve written that page of virtues and you are in the process of engaging a designer to create your look. This is when you need to think about engaging a copywriter. If you want the words to be as effective as your design, make sure you allow enough time to get them just right.
May your words pour onto the page,