Building Copywriting Skills
Getting the help you need to shift your message.
I have a confession to make… sometimes I get overwhelmed by the volume of copywriting needed inside my own business. I’m not talking about the work my team and I do for clients… that’s not a problem. We have operational systems for that type of client-facing work.
I’m talking about the ever-present need to generate new content, write sales and marketing emails, generate social posts and copy, and put together marketing materials for the products and services we offer. The nitty-gritty, down in the trenches type of writing implementation that seems to be a constant part of business. Especially in times like these when the market is changing and messaging needs to pivot to stay relevant.
Nearly every business needs copywriting support in order to communicate with customers, market products and services, and tell a compelling story of value to the world. While some of this writing is best produced by a professional copywriter, much of the day-to-day marketing and customer service copy required is easily produced by someone trained in providing copywriting support.
You can use copywriting support to:
- turn your ideas into completed blog posts and articles.
- draft email campaigns and newsletters.
- revise website copy and craft social posts.
Copywriting support allows leaders like us to focus on what we do best – creating and communicating ideas, inspiring our team and audience, and providing value to our clients. In fact, I think copywriting support is an essential element on any growing team.
So, how can you get the support you need? Here are some ideas…
Evaluate your current team’s skills.
Until a year or so ago, I wrote all the copy used in my business. Things changed when I realized that this work was actually a bottleneck that prevented or delayed business growth. That’s when I started looking closely at my team and evaluating their current skill levels.
I had an unfair advantage – part of my business includes training corporate employees to generate copy for their organizations. So, I knew what potential to look for and I knew how to train for the role when I found the right person.
Enter Christina – my virtual assistant and a contractor on my team. She not only had the aptitude, but she also had an interest in writing and a desire to learn. We talked candidly about the opportunity, and here’s what she has to say about the experience:
“I started working with Michelle in an administrative role. But when she heard that I liked to write and wanted to learn how to do it better, she graciously offered to teach me everything she knows about copywriting (which is a lot). Her feedback and guidance were always spot on, and she was able to quickly point out the weak spots in my writing – and offer helpful suggestions on how to fix them – gently, of course. 🙂 Under Michelle’s guidance, I was able to learn the skills that I needed to succeed as a copywriter. I found work I really enjoyed and was almost immediately able to double or triple my rate as a virtual assistant.” – Christina Kolb
After taking the time to train her, Christina became the copywriting support person I trust with many writing tasks in my business. This was a win/win for us – she gained copywriting skills and the ability to charge more for her services while I gained the services I needed to remove bottlenecks and focus on growing my business.
Did I have to pay her more? Sure… but I don’t mind at all.
Someone on your team has a hidden ability you haven’t noticed or utilized yet. The answer to your copywriting support problem might be working on your team right now, just in another capacity. You just need to start looking around.
HINT: Does someone on your team write beautiful emails? Is someone constantly reading or working word puzzles? Does anyone on your team already blog on their own? These are indications you might have found your writer.
Look for copywriting support from a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants typically have general administrative skills along with one or more focus areas. Some VAs are interested in bookkeeping. Others are great digital marketers or graphic designers – happily helping you create graphics or format PDFs. You can find a VA with a talent for project management or HR.
You can also find a VA with copywriting skills.
The mission that drives most VAs is service. They get excited about partnering with leaders to provide help and lighten the operational load of running a business or a team. Copywriting support is one way that those with a talent for communication provide value.
What should you look for in a Copywriting VA? I recommend a few things…
- Ability to match your voice as they write (so the message stays on brand).
- Confidence in the mechanics of writing and desire to deliver a quality product.
- Enjoyment of the work itself and a love of words.
I see copywriting support as a growing opportunity for VAs… and yet many aren’t sure where to get training customized to help them better serve their clients in this way. Recently, I created a Copywriting Certification Program just for Virtual Assistants. The program is called The Virtual Writer and we’re beginning another round soon. Want to empower YOUR virtual assistant to give YOU copywriting support? Encourage him or her to join us.
Consider copywriting training for a subject matter expert.
Virtual Assistants aren’t the only members of your organization with writing potential. Subject matter experts are often a great fit for this work as well – especially when it comes to creating blog posts, articles, reports, and white papers for your organization.
An engineer on your team can be trained to share technical information and know-how in layman’s terms. Accountants can write articles about taxes and bookkeeping. Plumbing assistants can create content about troubleshooting a clogged drain or maintaining a water heater properly. There are many opportunities here that you likely don’t recognize right now.
I work with organizations of all sizes to create inbound content marketing strategy and implement it effectively to drive sales. A key component of a project like this is providing training and writing coaching to subject matter experts who will be tasked with content creation. Here’s what I’ve found…
- Just about anyone with a passion for or detailed knowledge of a topic can be trained to create content about that topic.
- With practice and guidance, subject matter experts find a comfortable writing “voice” and look forward to sharing what they know with others.
- Content created by a subject matter expert is usually highly valuable and compelling for the audience because they actually know what they are talking about.
How do you get writing training for a subject matter expert? There are a number of copywriting courses and resources on the market. You can start with a consumable like this to create a foundation if you like, however I’ve found that working 1:1 or in a small group with a trainer/coach is the most efficient approach.
Subject matter experts typically thrive when given direct feedback on their writing. The custom coaching option allows the training to be customized to your organizational needs and to the skills level of the writer.
Identify an opportunity? Here’s how I can help.
Content (copywriting) is especially important now, as we are all adapting to a new marketing reality. This means that there has never been a better time to solve your copywriting support issues so you can communicate effectively with your current and potential clients. If you’ve identified an opportunity here, I want to encourage you to do one of three things – (1) check out The Virtual Writer as a training opportunity for your VA or administrative assistant, (2) contact me to discuss writing training options for your subject matter experts, or (3) connect with me to talk about your needs. I’m happy to guide you to a solution outside of my business if that works best.