A lot of new copywriters equate speed with getting better at writing copy. And in some ways they’re right—but in others, they’re dead wrong. In fact, sometimes it even makes sense to slow down.
Speed does not equal increased skill.
Let’s dig in to some of the myths behind why so many new, and even established, copywriters have the misconception that faster copywriters are better copywriters.
Myth #1: Faster Copywriters Nail Their First Drafts
Yes, as you practice copywriting for longer, you’ll likely find that ideas come to you a bit quicker.
But when you’re trying to be fast as you write, you don’t give yourself much time to concept and brainstorm. And, guess what? Your best idea isn’t always your first.
In fact, when you’re first starting out, your first idea is rarely your first. It takes to time to mull over a creative brief and possible solutions, before you come up with a concept that meets all of the requirements, really resonates with an audience, and truly stands out from what comes before it.
The best copywriters know when to continue to push an idea or concept so that it gets to the best possible place for their clients. And, yes, they know when the first idea they had is actually the best. But that doesn’t mean they stop there. They explore all possible angles to find the best approach to each project.
This means that you will likely have more ideas and concepts to choose from as you gain more experience and you’ll continue to have second drafts and third drafts (and maybe more). That’s part of the process!
Myth #2: Faster Copywriters Get Paid More
If copywriters work faster, they must do more projects and get paid more, right?
Fast doesn’t always mean quality. More often than not, “fast” equals “sloppy” and “half-baked.”
If you’re not giving a project the time it deserves and speeding up your process simply so you can fit other work in, you’re not going to come up with your best work.
Sure, you may get away with less-than-your-best work on a project. Some clients may not notice. But enough will. That not only hurts repeat business, but it can hurt referrals, too.
Remember, too, that being fast isn’t necessarily great; especially if you’re being paid by the hour! You want to be efficient, but you don’t want to unnecessarily push yourself to be fast and miss out on getting paid for time.
Copywriters get paid more because they have more experience and value to bring to the table. The more experience you gain, the more knowledge you have, and the more insights you can bring to each project. Speed has no place in that equation!
Myth #3: Fast Copywriters Complete More Projects
As you gain more experience, you may be able to increase the amount of work you take on. But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Copywriters with more experience may simply charge more for the projects they do because they know they provide top value and fully exploring all angles for their clients versus tossing them their first idea.
In fact, as you gain more experience, you may find you need more time to complete a project that you once thought would take you an hour or two. That’s because with more experience, you have more questions you want to ask your client, there’s more angles you know to dig into, and you know that slow and steady really does win the race.
When you’re trying to move fast, you do things like skim over the creative brief instead of giving it a good, thorough read. And what happens then? You miss key details and end up with a piece that doesn’t meet your client’s/boss’ needs.
They gave you the brief, but you missed the details. That just makes you look sloppy and unprofessional.
And sloppy, unprofessional copywriters certainly don’t take on more projects than detail-oriented, professional copywriters.
What You Should Focus on Instead of Speed
As you’re building your copywriting career, don’t focus on speed. A bit of speed will very likely come naturally as you practice.
Instead, focus on challenging yourself to get into the heads of your target audience, to understand your creative brief from both client and audience perspective, and to come up with innovative solutions.
It’s not the fast copywriter that gets the work; it’s the better copywriter that gets the work. Challenge yourself to become better in those ways, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Your turn! What have you found has helped you increase your skills as a copywriter? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on July 4, 2023