‘Simple and quick’ projects are usually nothing like that, needing concentrated effort and extensive skills. It’s a bit like making cartoons – simple to watch but hard to create. That’s why my motto is ‘less words, more impact’.
Occasionally potential clients tell me “I just want something that’s simple”. Business translation is: “Give me something quick, I don’t want to pay much for it.”
There are a few problems with that. Firstly, there’s nothing simple in marketing communications. Secondly, almost anything you broadcast to an audience requires thought and consideration. Thirdly, you’re competing in a very noisy media environment. Unless you can hit the right buttons at the outset, you’re lost for sure.
All this takes effort and tends to carry a significant price with it. Let’s say that you need to prepare an introductory letter to potential investors, seeking to get them interested in your product or service. Is it enough to say ‘Here I am – I’m really passionate about what I’ve developed – you will be too’? Hardly.
The copywriter has to study the business plan or offering to find out what’s special about it. He or she has to extract all the ‘gold nuggets’ of interesting information. At the same time the copywriter needs to hear first-hand from the proposer of the product or service what is his or her passion and what has brought the person to this point.
The creative work then involves weaving the two elements into an interesting story that will prompt the reader to take the next step: pick up the phone; send a mail; get more information – above all, make contact. All this is far from simple!
A single A4 page may contain just 350 words of text. But that content needs to be carefully prepared, shaped and placed in the right order – otherwise the words will have as much effect as water that runs off a duck’s back.