I’m a freelance copywriter in Sydney, Australia. When I tell new acquaintances what I do they usually ask “What’s that?”
I’ve also found many business owners don’t know what a freelance copywriter is or does.
A lot of people think it’s to do with copyright law. It’s not.
“Copy” refers to the text of a brochure, advertisement, website or other marketing material or promotion. Thus a copywriter is a person who writes copy. In a nutshell, a copywriter is a salesperson in print.
A freelance copywriter works for themselves rather than an agency or in-house with a company.
And why would you need a freelance copywriter?
There are four basic reasons why companies hire freelance copywriters:
1. They don’t have an ad agency or staff copywriter
Most companies in Sydney (or elsewhere in Australia) don’t produce enough marketing materials to justify the cost of a staff copywriter or ad agency retainer. So when they need the occasional brochure, sales letter, ad or website content, they call in a freelance copywriter.
2. They don’t know how to do it themselves
Smart marketers let professionals produce their marketing materials, because even a hint of amateurism can lose sales.
3. They don’t have time
Even when a marketing manager does have the skill and experience to write their company’s marketing materials they usually have a dozen other more important things they should be doing. So they hire a freelance copywriter who can devote a week of his time to handling the project.
4. A freelancer can do it cheaper
Let’s say a company needs to freshen up the content on their website. Most PR and ad agencies are reluctant to take on small, one-off projects. And if they do, they often charge exorbitant fees. The company can hire a freelancer to write the content for their website without having to pay all the agency overheads.
To summarise: companies hire freelance copywriters to do it better, faster or cheaper.