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What does a copywriter do? Top-notch writing can add great value to a company, but you may not know the services a brand writer can provide. Here are five times you should skip the DIY and hire a professional copywriter.

1. Naming your company

A small business owner has a moment of inspiration and the lightbulb goes off: That’s the perfect name for my company! While these moments do happen, they’re usually followed by great disappointment when you realize 1,800 other people already have that name and every reasonable web domain has already been registered.

Naming a company takes work. There are hours of brainstorming and vetting. A business name has to send the right message to the right audience, while remaining unique enough to stand out and simple enough to remember. This is a job for a professional brand writer. When naming a company, we only present options that are both legally available and generally unused, with coordinating web domains and social media handles.

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2. Establishing brand foundations

While the deliverables may vary, most brand writing has the same purpose: capture the heart of the company and communicate it in a concise way. Brand personality traits are a great way to keep the heart of your brand in mind. Is your brand edgy, refined, flirty, witty, stable…? These three or four one-word descriptors can be like a mental checklist when you make branding decisions.

For some, traditional mission statements and positioning statements are the best way to communicate. For others, a less conventional brand story does the trick. Your brand story explains how you solve a problem for your clients. It paints a full picture of why you exist, what you do, and how you improve the lives of others. You’ll often see part of a company’s brand story and foundations on their about page. A copywriter who specializes in brand writing can draw out the things that make your brand unique and develop your brand foundations.

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3. Defining verbal standards

No matter how many people write on behalf of your company, your communication should sound like it’s coming from the same mind. To do that, you need verbal standards: a system that defines how you communicate across channels. A qualified brand writer can create a voice guide to help you communicate with consistency and authenticity.

Our voice guides include guidance on tone (sarcastic, informational, sincere, etc.), syntax (sentence construction), and word choice. Editorial styling is a big deal, too. While most folks adhere to conventional English, there’s a lot of wiggle room within those bounds. Oxford comma or no comma? Title case or sentence case? Dashes or periods in the phone number? It should all be standardized.

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4. Writing your web copy

Writing for the web is its own particular beast. Web copy must be engaging, helpful, digestible, and concise. Not to mention, it better be SEO focused without sounding robotic or sketchy. Unprofessional web copy leaves users confused and unlikely to act. A legit copywriter will work with your web designer to create the best possible user experience.

One survey reported that only 10% of companies considered web content a priority compared with design and SEO. Sadly, writing your own web copy to “save money” will lower your conversion and cost you in the long run. This is not the place to cut corners. Plan for professional copywriting when budgeting for your website.

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5. Copywriting and content creation

There’s technically a difference between copywriting and content writing, but the nuance isn’t significant. Most professional writers do both regularly. You can hire one to write blogs, social media posts, e-books, and white papers—all technically “content.” Copywriters write slogans, ad campaigns, sales copy, packaging blurbs, brochure text, and much more. These are valuable services that help build your brand, generate leads, and convert customers.

One thing a copywriter doesn’t do is copyright law.

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Still fuzzy on what copywriters do? Post your questions below.

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