I was listening to Erik Fisher’s excellent productivity podcast, Beyond the To-do List, in the car as I drove back to Cheltenham across the Cotswolds yesterday afternoon. His guest was social media and content strategy guru Jay Baer. Something Jay said resonated with my recent observations about the role of freelance copywriters – and sent an important reminder to business owners and managers in Gloucestershire and elsewhere.
Are you robbing yourself of opportunity?
Baer said: ‘You need to do only the things that you are uniquely qualified to do. If you’re doing things that other people on your team can do, you’re robbing yourself of opportunity.’
This quote came in the context of growing an organisation’s social media presence through blogging and podcasts and suchlike. Baer drew on his own experience as he grew his own social media interests and was making the point that with only so much time and a lengthening list of things to do, you should concentrate on those where you can make a unique contribution to your organisation. Put another way, you should think carefully before you burn time on things you can’t do so well (or don’t enjoy doing) – like copywriting, your accounts or designing your website.
It all comes down to time, skills and inclination
I’ve been saying this for years, and seeing the consequences when it is ignored. Too often, websites sit idle while managers struggle to craft effective website or SEO copy. Much needed brochures remain unwritten because other urgent business tasks get in the way. And client case studies remain just an idea because no-one has the time to research and write them. It’s a shame, when it is so easy to get all of these jobs done and working for you.
Those of you who have heard me speak at business networking or other meetings will know that my elevator pitch includes the following lines: ‘I craft the words that you don’t have the time, the specialist skills or the inclination to do yourself. I get vital copy off your to-do list and out in the marketplace where it can work for you.’
Identify what you do best and stick at it
Time is a factor, so it pays to identify what you do best and stick to it. That’s why many marketeers (who are fine copywriters) will appoint a freelance writer. Doing so frees them up to do what they do best. And to do what makes best use of their time when their hourly rate is a lot more than a good copywriter’s. Besides, they often find it exceptionally hard to ring fence a few hours a week for concentrated creativity.
Clients are often amazed how quickly a skilled freelancer can get a project moving and deliver results – often after the job has stalled for weeks or months. And of course, as a copywriter I bring professional skills and love writing – not everyone does.
That’s why I write day-in and day-out – so you don’t need to. To do anything else would be robbing myself of the opportunity to do what I do best.
‘Crime prevention’ begins when you hire a skilled freelancer
Are you robbing yourself of the opportunity to make the most of your unique skills by struggling with copywriting or something else? It’s a crime when you could be outsourcing the work to a specialist? Don’t be a victim and don’t let that copy stay unwritten. Whether you need a graphic designer, an accountant or a wordsmith, ‘crime prevention’ begins by hiring talent and freeing your time for more of what you do best.
Got a favourite productivity podcast I should know about? Please share.
Al Hidden is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.