Okay, it’s time to ‘fess up. Is some laziness starting to creep into your copywriting? If you find yourself hitting “send” without a second look, resorting to tired seasonal puns (PLEASE no more “fall for falling prices”), or skipping the strategy stage…it might be time for a wake-up call.
Our clients rely on us for the highest quality work and, as tempting as it can be to cut corners sometimes, it’s a sure fire way to start producing mediocre work. Listen in to discover the lazy behaviors you want to steer clear of to achieve copywriting success. Plus, Nicki and Kate reveal the lazy habits they’ve been guilty of too—no one’s perfect after all 😉
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Watch the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[1:50] In this episode, Nicki and Kate are talking about the things people do that are a mark of being a lazy copywriter—and confessing to the lazy habits they have been guilty of themselves!
[2:49] Our hosts encourage us not to use the “obvious” copy. If you see everybody else writing it, do your best not to write it–especially when it comes to holidays and using subject lines like “fall for our savings”…
[6:25] Reading back through your work can help you avoid duplicating words, and make your copy much stronger. Pro tip: Reading your work out loud can make it easier to catch these things!
[10:49] Copywriting is half creativity and half strategy. If you skip over the strategy part by missing out the creative brief and the concepting phase, and go straight into writing, you end up with very mediocre copy.
[15:27] Taking the time to present clients (especially newer ones) with your work gives you the opportunity to walk through your work, review the purpose of the project, and helps to mitigate client queries.
[18:30] Kate has learned the hard way that you should never write copy directly into any sort of content management system, like an email platform or a WordPress website. Technology will inevitably fail you so you want to make sure you have a backup saved elsewhere!
[20:10] Make sure your work is auto-saving to the cloud so that you don’t lose anything if your computer suddenly goes down.
[21:23] Nicki advises us to plan ahead to be able to upgrade your computer every four to five years—this is usually when computers start to degrade and stop operating the way that they need to be operating! You might also want to consider having a backup computer, even if it’s a cheap one.
[22:54] Schedule out time to update your computer software. Computers can be a lot more temperamental when you haven’t run an update—you certainly don’t want to be in a scenario where you look unprofessional on a call with a client.
[25:19] Sometimes, if you want to save yourself time in the long run, you have to do things that feel hard (like breaking up with a client). As Kate knows, mutual ghosting is not the most professional way to end a client relationship and inevitably, they will come back to you for work in the future (which you *may* end up unwillingly agreeing to!).
[27:30] Lazy copywriters over-rely on spell check to highlight mistakes. Spell check doesn’t catch everything and it’s still important for us to carefully proofread our own work. Consider having a professional proofreader to call on if you struggle to spot typos (you can always build the cost for this into your quote for the project).
As with every episode, we highly encourage you to listen to the entire conversation! But here are a few of the highlights:
“We need to keep and rebuild these habits as we go. There’s no point where you become a copywriter that should just skip over any of these things. That’s when you start to do subpar work. That’s when you are rushing. And these are all marks of things you want to come back to, even as you become a copywriter with 10, 20 years of experience, you still want to do all of these things.” – Kate
“Especially with certain clients, you may get faster at filling out the brief, but you can never skip the strategy stuff. Because that’s copywriting, right? Half of it is creativity and half of it is strategy. And if you take away the strategy by skipping out on the creative brief, by skipping out on the outline, skipping out on planning it all out before you start writing it, then all you’re going to be left with is creativity with nothing to support it.” – Nicki
“That moment of ‘I just did all this work and it’s disappearing’ is the worst feeling. And quite frankly too, that’s not an excuse that you can use with a client. If you have a deadline coming up and the client is expecting a copy, you can’t come back to the client and say, ‘oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I had it all written. And then my computer died’ because you’re a grownup. You’re a professional. You can’t use ‘the Internet ate my homework’. So you have to plan in advance to make sure that even if your computer goes down, even if any number of things happen, you have to have backups.” – Nicki
“When you start cutting corners at the beginning is when you start producing mediocre stuff at the end, or you start getting a client going, ‘this isn’t really what we asked for.'” – Nicki
Mentioned on this Episode
- Keep Your Copywriting Creative Review from Going off the Rails
- The Creative Project Process
- Self-Edit Your Copywriting: Why It’s a Must & How To Do It
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 20+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.
Last Updated on February 14, 2024