When you’re starting a new business, it feels really important to get everything right. “Perfect”, even. (PSA: Perfect is not a thing. Give it up.)
And, yes, especially with things like pitch letters and portfolio sites—and client work!—you most certainly do want to put your best foot forward.
But sometimes wanting to “get it right” can lead us to overcomplicate things and try to pack in so much more than we need to.
Case in point: The “services” section of our website.
Now, first, do you even need a services section? It’s definitely not required. The “service” you provide is copywriting, full stop. You can write copy for a variety of different kinds of companies and for all different types of work.
I know, though, that some new copywriters worry that if people come to their websites those people won’t know exactly what copywriting could encompass and, so, want to describe it. In detail. 🙂
First, people are only going to come to your website if they’re interested in hiring a copywriter. Either they were given your contact information or you send them a pitch email. Or even in the (very unlikely) scenario that they found you via a Google search, they were looking for a copywriter.
And, if they’re interested in hiring a copywriter, they have at least some idea of what projects they’d like you to work on.
“But I want them to know I can do so much more!” I hear you. But the best time to explore all of the things that you could do for a client is when you’re actually on a call with that potential client, discussing THEIR unique wants and needs.
Some of you are still bucking against this—I can feel it. 🙂 So, okay, list out your copywriting services, but list them out in broad strokes. As in, “Digital Copywriting” or “Print Copywriting”. Or even “Email Copy” or “Website Copy”.
Do NOT list out all possible iterations of copy. As in “welcome emails, email funnels, about me pages, home page copy, sales page copy, opt-in lander copy, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, banner ads…” and so on.
First—and I say this with love—this makes you look like an amateur. The only people who scream “I can do all the things! Please hire me to do any of these things!!!” are people who are brand new to an industry and desperate for work.
Second, an exhaustive list doesn’t inspire potential clients, it overwhelms them. They’re looking to YOU to be the expert and help them decide on which projects they need and when.
Third, the longer your list of services the more it’s going to have overlap and it’s going to miss things that you’re capable of doing. A big, long list implies that you’ve taken the time to list out ALL of your possible services and, if you’re newer to this, I guarantee you’re going to miss something a potential client might be looking for. And, of course, if they don’t see it on your big, long list, they’re going to assume that you don’t do it.
So, what’s a better way to show what you’re capable of than listing it all? SHOWING them. Demonstrate your wide variety of skills in your portfolio. And if you haven’t been hired to do work yet, create spec pieces.
Remember, your portfolio is there to demonstrate that you know how to do what you say you do—which is SO much more persuasive than just saying “I can do this and this and this and this.” That old writing adage is true: Show, don’t tell.
And, again, it’s not all of the things you could do that matters—it’s what your client needs and would benefit from. So the best time to explain the full (or fuller) scope of what you do is after you’ve had a good, in-depth conversation about their needs. That’s the time to tell them what you can do to help build their business.
Your turn! Did this make sense? Are you willing to skip the exhaustive list of services? Let us know in the comments below.