Last week, I wrote about some of the things I’ve learned from writing for multibillion-dollar companies including Hasbro, T.J.Maxx, Reebok, TripAdvisor, and more. This week, we’re going to look at the other end of the spectrum: The lessons I’ve learned from writing for one-person companies.
One-person business owners, or solopreneurs, are fascinating clients to work with. They’re dedicated, they’re passionate, they’re exceptionally good at their area of expertise, and they’re also open to getting help in other key areas and, generally, willing to invest in it.
So, with that introduction, here are the top lessons I’ve learned from writing for solopreneurs, and what other copywriters can take away from it, too.
Be the Expert They’re Hiring You to Be.
Solopreneurs are often especially insightful about where their strengths lie and where they don’t. And when they know they need expert help, from a copywriter say, they’re often willing to make that investment. So, as the copywriter, you need to remember that they’re hiring you to be the copywriting expert. They’re not looking for you to defer to them and they’re not going to lead the discussion or the project—they need you do do that for them. They’ve hired a copywriting expert, and they want and need you to step in with the full magnitude of your expertise, advice, and insight.
In a similar vein, some solopreneurs may only have a small idea of what’s possible in their marketing. They’ve seen what other people are doing, and they’re planning on doing the same. A copywriter has the benefit of having worked with all kinds of different businesses and can (and should) bring that insight to the table. When you have ideas about your solopreneur client’s project, don’t hold back.
One of the great things about writing for an entrepreneur is that it’s really clear who all of the messaging is coming from. That is, instead of getting emails from a giant corporation, subscribers and followers are getting messages from one specific person. Even though it’s a one-to-many relationship, it can feel for the subscribers and followers like one-to-one. As a copywriter, this means you have a special opportunity to write copy that really creates a genuine, heartfelt connection between your client and the people that follow them.
Get at the Pain and the Joy.
Many solopreneurs have gone into business because they’re passionate and they want to make a difference in their clients’/customers’ lives. And, with life change comes some major emotions. As a copywriter, it’s your job to help your clients’ target audience understand the pain of not changing (hit the pain points) and the potential joys of changing (the benefits).
You Can’t Guarantee Anything.
It’s not often, but every once in a while, a solopreneur will ask a copywriter to guarantee their results. (I’ve never heard of a larger company doing this, so that’s why I bring it up.) But the problem is that your copy is just one small part of their marketing engine. So even if you write the most amazing sales page anyone has seen, you can’t be sure they’re targeting the right audience, sending enough traffic, providing the right features in the product, etc. Copywriters can’t guarantee the results and should feel perfectly comfortable saying that. For example, you could say, “I can’t guarantee results because there are too many other elements of your marketing program that I can’t control. However, I will make edits to your copy until you’re thrilled with it.” That’s both fair and reasonable.
Your turn! What questions do you have about working with solopreneur clients? Let me know in the comments below.