"Yes, I hear you're a copyright-er?"

16 replies
No joke - that's what a (very pleasant) woman said to me on the phone this morning.

Apparently another friend of mine had verbally mentioned to her what I do
for a living... and somehow failed to make the distinction between these 2
words that 'sound' the same (lol).

Sure, she had a product...

...but she wasn't looking for help with selling it.

"Can you help me stop other people from copying my work?
That's what you do, isn't it?"


Uh... not even close.

30 seconds of polite explanation later... she DOES want helping selling her product.

I suppose deep down I knew this was bound to happen at some point... but it still
caught me off-guard.

Maybe I'll throw that on my business card:

"Jake Dennert - Copywriter (NOT Copyright-er)"

Haha...

Okay copywriting warriors, how many of you have had something similar happen?

Let's hear it.
  • Jake,

    It's happened to me loads of times over the years.

    They assumed I did (c)'s all day long.

    And like you, after I correctly explained what a copywriter is and does - it bagged new clients.

    But now to prevent any confusion and long explanations...

    If people ask me what I do, I say-

    "Advertising, I write Ads, my job is to make them absolutely irresistible to make sure they get a brilliant response so the clients makes stacks more money"

    (or similar words with the big benefit of what a copywriter achieves)

    And often I get or am referred to a new client.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jake Dennert
      Originally Posted by Steve Copywriter View Post

      Jake,

      It's happened to me loads of times over the years.

      They assumed I did (c)'s all day long.

      And like you, after I correctly explained what a copywriter is and does - it often bagged new clients.

      But now to prevent any confusion and long explanations...

      If people ask me what I do, I say-

      "Advertising, I write Ads, my job is to make them absolutely irresistible to make sure they get a brilliant response so the clients makes stacks more money"

      (or similar words with the big benefit of what a copywriter achieves)

      And often I get or am referred to a new client.

      Steve
      Hey Steve,

      Knew I wasn't alone on this one!

      Honestly, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to run into that... but yeah, I'll definitely take that extra second or two and explain that I'm involved with selling, persuasion and advertisements in print.

      I suppose I just assumed most people would know the difference...

      ...and that's what I get for assuming.

      I know better than that.


      Jake
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      • Jake,

        I also assumed that people knew what a copywriter did.

        But it's surprising how many don't.

        Particularly business owners.


        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Jake Dennert
          Exactly, Steve.

          That's kind of what's kept me from REALLY focusing on approaching brick and mortar businesses with my services... at least for now, anyway.

          Internet marketers have been the easiest 'sell' for me... simply because if they've been involved in IM for even a couple weeks, they're bound to know what a copywriter is.

          Sure, I'd help a friend if they had a 'local' or 'offline' business... but what's the point in creating a bunch of extra work for myself (i.e. explaining EVERYTHING about copywriting to someone that doesn't even see the value in it right away) when I don't have to?

          I prefer to work smart, not hard.

          You work with local businesses at all Steve?... or are you stickin' with the IM crowd like I am (at the moment)?

          Jake
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          • Originally Posted by Jake Dennert View Post

            Exactly, Steve.

            That's kind of what's kept me from REALLY focusing on approaching brick and mortar businesses with my services... at least for now, anyway.
            Do not pitch yourself as a copywriter to local businesses. It just confuses them. Position yourself as a fellow business person with some ideas on how to increase leads and sales.
            Signature
            Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
            - Jack Trout
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            • Profile picture of the author Jake Dennert
              Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

              Do not pitch yourself as a copywriter to local businesses. It just confuses them. Position yourself as a fellow business person with some ideas on how to increase leads and sales.
              Hey Joe,

              Thanks for chimin' in.

              I'm a golfer myself... kinda upset that the season in my lovely midwest state of Michigan is coming to an end.

              You're absolutely right.

              I've barely dipped my pinky toe into the 'working with local biz owners' pool... but when I did, I positioned myself more as a consultant to them -- and not "just" a copywriter.

              Worked out great--just didn't pursue that as the main objective for my business.

              Catering to the IM crowd is fine by me... like I said before, there's less explaining for me to do--and I've found it easier to pinpoint people that can afford me.

              Thanks for your input though... and it's a pleasure to meet you.

              Jake
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            • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

              Do not pitch yourself as a copywriter to local businesses. It just confuses them. Position yourself as a fellow business person with some ideas on how to increase leads and sales.
              Nail. Head.

              It's a lot easier to simply state that you're a marketing consultant and it's your mission to help business owners improve their conversion rate and profitability.

              Keep it simple. Mention the word copywriter and most people won't have the faintest foggiest idea what you're talking about.

              Best,


              Mark Andrews
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              • Profile picture of the author EricMN
                Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

                Nail. Head.

                It's a lot easier to simply state that you're a marketing consultant and it's your mission to help business owners improve their conversion rate and profitability.

                Keep it simple. Mention the word copywriter and most people won't have the faintest foggiest idea what you're talking about.

                Best,


                Mark Andrews
                Unless you're pitching to direct marketing agencies, of course!

                I made the same mistake as above and have rectified it in a similar fashion.

                It was funny when I was on the phone with a gentleman from Google who tried to write my adwords for me. He wrote (and I'm not lying). . .

                Copywrighter

                It's like when some people hear my name and can't decided to use a 'c' or 'k' and they write "Erick" as if I am to circle one.

                I told him I'd write it and call him in the morning.
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          • Originally Posted by Jake Dennert View Post

            Exactly, Steve.

            That's kind of what's kept me from REALLY focusing on approaching brick and mortar businesses with my services... at least for now, anyway.

            Internet marketers have been the easiest 'sell' for me... simply because if they've been involved in IM for even a couple weeks, they're bound to know what a copywriter is.

            Sure, I'd help a friend if they had a 'local' or 'offline' business... but what's the point in creating a bunch of extra work for myself (i.e. explaining EVERYTHING about copywriting to someone that doesn't even see the value in it right away) when I don't have to?

            I prefer to work smart, not hard.

            You work with local businesses at all Steve?... or are you stickin' with the IM crowd like I am (at the moment)?

            Jake

            Sadly I am totally dense when it comes to anything technical.

            So IM and the glorious internet tends to escape me.

            I thought SEO was another name for the head of a corporation...

            I can write the copy for websites but have to leave it to the "programers" to put it all together.

            It's mainly bricks and mortar businesses for me.


            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author pdrs
              I had no idea what a copywriter was before I started in this game a couple years ago - coincidentally I also started watching 'Mad Men' around the same time... I quickly figured it out

              Originally Posted by Steve Copywriter View Post

              I thought SEO was another name for the head of a corporation...

              Steve
              This made me smile
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  • I had this on a testimonial once... I had to decide whether to leave the mispelling in. What do you guys think?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jake Dennert
      Originally Posted by RadiniCopywriting View Post

      I had this on a testimonial once... I had to decide whether to leave the mispelling in. What do you guys think?
      Hi there,

      I'd usually never recommend editing a testimonial (at least not without the permission of the person who wrote it)...

      ...but in this case, it'd be in your best interest to change it to the right word.

      "Copywriting" instead of "Copyrighting"

      IMO it'd just confuse your visitors...

      Jake
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      • Originally Posted by Jake Dennert View Post

        Hi there,

        I'd usually never recommend editing a testimonial (at least not without the permission of the person who wrote it)...

        ...but in this case, it'd be in your best interest to change it to the right word.

        "Copywriting" instead of "Copyrighting"

        IMO it'd just confuse your visitors...

        Jake
        Thanks Jake; that's what I thought. I'd normally leave errors in, mainly to maintain their validity but also because I think it can look more genuine.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jake Dennert
          Originally Posted by RadiniCopywriting View Post

          Thanks Jake; that's what I thought. I'd normally leave errors in, mainly to maintain their validity but also because I think it can look more genuine.
          Hey Radini,

          Right on, man... leaving testimonials "as is" is great... the only editing I've ever done to them is to emphasize certain words (bold, italic, underline, etc).

          And in my mind, that's not breaking any rules--just highlighting the points I want to stick out in my reader's mind.

          I like Russell's idea better than my own, actually... for those rare occasions when you get some feedback that's a grammatical tragedy.

          You can feel good about not "fudging" your testimonials, and still keep your sterling reputation in tact.

          After all, EVERYTHING on your site is a reflection of YOU... even if it IS incoherent dribble that someone puked into their email and sent your way.



          Jake
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    • Originally Posted by RadiniCopywriting View Post

      I had this on a testimonial once... I had to decide whether to leave the mispelling in. What do you guys think?
      The proper way to handle this is to remove the incorrect word and in its place put:

      [copywriter]

      This indicates to the reader that your word is not part of the original quote and instead is correcting an omission or error.

      Personally, I would definitely correct it.
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  • I got it somewhere in the middle once, when a person asked, "Isn't a copywriter just an editor?...don't they just make sure the copy is right?"

    I explained that ideally, they would hope so...but no, a copywriter is not "just an editor" - (I would hope editors would be offended as well...)

    I have seen it spelled somewhere in the middle too - "copywrighter", rather that copywriter, or copyright -

    'Copywright' is probably correct in it's definition... 'One who builds or makes copy.'

    After all, we don't just 'write copy' anymore...we build it - with words, fonts, and graphics layout.

    "I am a Copywright - and hold a copyright, to anything I copywrite right...right?".
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