Copywriters are a weird breed.
I admit it. We’re opinionated. We’re hypocritical members of the Grammar Squad. We go on and on about how bad YOUR copy is…
But sometimes, the copy you wrote isn’t “horrible.” <— copywriter version of VERY HIGH PRAISE!
Sometimes it’s pretty damn good.
Because if you’ve been in business a bit, you know your client and your audience. You know where they’re at and where they wanna go.
And that’s a crazy important ingredient in good copy.
So what do you do when a copywriter is pushing you to invest in 100% brand new, freshly written copy?
You take a step back and listen to WHY the copywriter is recommending new copy.
And if they aren’t explaining why new copy is the best choice, ask them, “Hey awesomely talented Copywriter, why do I need brand new copy? How will that benefit me?“
If they don’t give you an answer that makes sense – that rings true to you, take another step back.
It’s not fresh copy…it’s RE-freshed copy
The alternative to new, original copy is a rewrite.
Some writers refer to it as editing…some call it optimizing…others call it polishing.
I still call this copywriting because that’s what it is. It just begins at a more advanced point than a fresh copy job. And that can be a good thing – or it can be a bad thing.
If you’re asking a copywriter for a rewrite, have a frank discussion about how much wiggle-room they have in changing the copy, the hook, the headline and so on. Because what you think are key ingredients to your copy may not be what the copywriter develops during the rewrite process.
When I work with a client on a rewrite, I insist on seeing the copy BEFORE I agree to work with them and before I provide a quote to them.
Because I need to be able to gauge the level of work my experience and training tells me the copy will need to meet the client’s goals. I don’t understand how copywriters can accept rewrite work without first seeing what they’ll be “re”-writing. It’s like agreeing to renovate someone’s house without first seeing the house. #crazy
How to tell if a rewrite is right for you
This begs the question, how do you know if your copy is prime for a rewrite?
Well, a good way to find out is to ask a copywriter!
I know, crazy-talk, right? But seriously, for those of us that offer free 15 or 20-minute calls or “Discovery Calls” (I call them Disco Calls because why the heck wouldn’t you?) this is exactly the kind of thing we want to be talking with you about.
99% of all copywriters are hardworking, honest business owners who will tell you outright if your copy could benefit from a rewrite or if it needs a total overhaul. Just keep asking “why” when a copywriter makes a recommendation one way or the other.
And if that why makes sense, accept it. Then make your decision from there.
If you can’t or won’t speak to a copywriter (we don’t bite, honest!) ask a colleague or fellow business owner (not friends or family!) to read your copy and to NOT give you any feedback or critique…
That’s right, I said don’t let them give you feedback!
Here’s why: they aren’t a copywriter!
So feedback is going to hit or miss and likely uninformed and based on personal bias. You don’t need that and you don’t want that.
Instead, ask them to read your copy and then ask them to summarize it back to you. Ask them if they can explain what you wrote…
- What was your offer?
- What are the benefits?
- What didn’t make sense to them?
- What tripped them up?
What you’re checking for here is clarity.
Did you communicate clearly in your copy? Or are they totally clueless about what you’re offering? Do they understand the next step they should take? Did they get your point or do you need to explain phrases, terms, or whole paragraphs?
If they can paraphrase your copy back to you, if they understood what you were trying to say, what you were offering or what you wanted them to do, then your copy has a good base. Because clarity…or lack of it, is the biggest problem I see when clients bring me their DIY copy.
If your copy is mostly clear and understandable, a rewrite could be a great way to take your copy to the next level.
If it’s not clear, if your reader is confused by the end, chances are you need a copywriter to start from the ground up so your message has a chance to connect with your clients and audience.
The last thing you want your copy to do is to confuse your audience and turn them away. Especially if they’re coming in as paid traffic!
The “I don’t do rewrites” copywriter
Okay, let’s be real.
There are copywriters out there who absolutely will NOT consider projects that even hint at being a rewrite or an editing job. And that’s fine.
If you’re in the market for a rewrite, they’re not the copywriter for you.
Here’s what you can choose to do next
If by this point you’re thinking, “Hey, I’ve got some copy that’s kinda meh…I wonder if it could be improved with a rewrite?” then your next step is to chat with a copywriter.
Here’s a really easy way to do that…
(Admit it, you knew this part was coming, right?)
Click that button and get yourself on my calendar today.
Together we can determine if a copy rewrite is going to help your copy resonate more powerfully with your audience. Or if something else (or nothing else!) is the right choice for you.