Who Is A Copywriter?
Creative copywriters are employed by agencies, both on permanent basis and as a freelancer to develop advertising concepts. They mainly deliver the words and verbal content that accompanies the visual elements. Agency copywriters usually work in close partnership with art directors and have lots of input to the visual elements. Many advertising agencies appoint them as a creative team.
Copywriters are responsible for generating the words, slogans and audio scripts that accompany advertising visuals. The typical creative process can involve:
· discussing the client's core message and target audience
· brainstorming visual and copy ideas with other members of the creative team
· writing and presenting a few options to clients
· modifying copy until the client is satisfied
· overseeing the production phase.
The copywriter and art director are accountable for checking all the content being advertised is truthful and complies with codes of advertising.
There are no formal qualifications needed for being a copywriter. Much like other forms of writing, copywriting is democratic and accepting of all walks of life, levels of education, background and so on. However, having some of the skills below will make it much easier for you to produce successful copy.
1) English Language Skills: A high level of English language skills are a must. Clients will expect copy that uses the correct sentence structure, word choice, comma usage and so on. Any copywriter should pay particular attention to the following areas:
2) An Eye for Detail: And, to go with English language skills you’ll need the ability to spot errors in your own work. You’ll have to be your own proof-reader and copy editor. All copy should be as error free as possible before being sent to the client.
3) A Wide Vocabulary: A wide vocabulary is helpful. It’s great to have a wide variety of words to choose from, instead of the same hackneyed favourites. However, in some instances it is wise to stick to the tried and tested words – when wishing to achieve a powerful headline for instance.
4) Curiosity: In order to write convincing copy, you’ll have to find out about the product you’re selling. This means discovering its features, benefits and unique selling points. And, if you want to approach the campaign from a new angle, the more you know about the product the easier it’ll be to find one.
5) The Ability to See Different Points of View: As a copywriter it’s vital to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. You must be able to persuade the customer that the product or service you are writing copy for is going to benefit them.
6) Research Skills: Knowing how to carry out research will be most helpful. Being able to use the internet will make that process quicker and easier. Having excellent research skills also applies to your communication with the client. Asking the right questions will allow you to understand the product or service inside out, which is vital if you want to sell it effectively.
7) Great Listening Skills: It is vital that you are able to listen to your client and provide what they want. They will provide a brief and they expect you to follow it. These skills will also help when carrying out your product research and finding the best angle to write your copy from.
The copywriter is responsible for taking a client's advertising brief and generating original copy ideas that grab the attention of the target audience. This can include creating straplines, slogans, body copy, jingles and scripts. Usually working on multiple projects, the typical creative process can involve:
· meeting with account executives to discuss the client's requirements and core messages
· familiarising themselves with the product, target audience and competitor activities in the market
· brainstorming ideas and concepts for the visual and words with other members of the creative team
· presenting initial ideas to the creative director, some of which may be rejected or developed into workable concepts
· writing various copy options, which may be presented to the client as a story board (a consecutive series of frames depicting the script and drawings that may be used)
· modifying copy until the client is satisfied
· overseeing the production phase, booking and liaising with designers, illustrators, printers, photographers and production companies
· casting actors and models to appear in adverts
Accuracy is essential. The copywriter and art director are accountable for checking all the content being advertised is truthful and complies with codes of advertising practice. Although proofreaders may examine the final copy, copywriters are also responsible for checking spelling and grammar.
Copywriters have to be flexible, as their work is very deadline driven. Most work Monday to Friday, although the creative thinking process can mean copywriters rarely switch off completely. Work frequently extends into evenings and weekends. Part-time, permanent contracts are hard to find. However, freelance opportunities are common, with many creative copywriters working remotely from home.
Although mainly office based, copywriters and art directors may undertake research in public areas, visiting different locations to seek inspiration. They may also visit client offices. Attending photo and film shoots and audio recording studios is likely with some agencies.
The creative environment is often very informal, with relaxed dress code. However, copywriting can be a stressful and demanding career with increased competition to create something truly unique.
An entry-level Copywriter with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹293,816 (research based on 58 salaries). An early career Copywriter with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹383,105 (research based on 182 salaries). A mid-career Copywriter with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹615,050 (research based on 14 salaries). An experienced Copywriter with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹696,343 (research based on 7 salaries).
You do not need any specific qualification in order to be a copywriter. However, the world of advertising is fiercely competitive and most agencies ask for a graduate degree in humanities, liberal art or mass communication. The selection process always includes writing a copy.
Institutes for Copy Writing
Ad agencies are now mushrooming all over the country, but there is still serious lack of designed courses to train copywriters. However, some useful programmes are as follows-The Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad, offers a six-month certificate programme in crafting advertising. Post-graduation programmes in mass communication and advertising are offered by –
1. Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
2. Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai
3. Branches of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan
4. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
Undergraduate courses can be pursued from Indraprastha College, Delhi University, and Sophia College, Mumbai. Besides, many polytechnics in India also have diploma curriculum in advertising.
Job Opportunity in India
With more and more young graduates with attractive profiles entering the advertising industry looking for jobs, we are witnessing a parallel blast in the demand for copywriters. Jobs are available in various levels and the remunerations depend on the size of the agency. The starting salary for freshers and trainees is slated between Rs.3,000–8,000 per month. The starting pay may appear low but, in a year, or two a talented copywriter can earn really big depending on creativity, agency size and dimension of its business. The interesting part for a copywriter is that he or she gets to do different things every day which include working on a TV commercial to writing copy for a radio jingle or print ad. The job profile is diverse, demanding, and exciting. It requires a lot of ingenuity, imagination, and the aptitude to deliver under narrow deadlines.
Why take up Copy Writing as a career?
1) A Professional Copywriter Can Perfectly Capture Services
When a company hires a professional copywriter, they aren’t just getting someone who can write amazing pieces, they hire someone who can capture the services. Copywriters are trained to learn as much as they can about various industries to make sure they write quality content.
2) In-sync With Upcoming Trends
We know the power of internet and several businesses use viral sensation as a way to market to audiences and create a fun atmosphere. The companies are aware that hiring an expert copywriter is that they will never have to worry about keeping to date about viral sensations again. A recruiter can give a copywriter the freedom to utilize the current trends to create excellent, fun content for blogs and social media channel.
3) Surpass Grammatical Issues
Not everyone is skilled with grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and that is usually perfectly fine. However, when one is writing web content, one wants to make sure every aspect of the article is perfect for the big Google machine. So, it is a good idea to make sure a copywriter is hired. Copywriters all have various degrees in fields that require great grammar, perfect spelling, and understanding punctuation, which means they will be able to craft expert material for you, Google, and the readers. Grammar is vital when it comes to having great SEO, and companies make sure they always have excellent grammar simply by hiring a copywriter.
4) Copywriters Know the Importance of Variation in Content
Writing content means that one needs to know the importance of variation, especially when it comes to content length. While longer content is still the most popular with SEO, one should also have different lengths such as a short piece or medium length to give clients the ability to choose the content they consume. And companies know that copywriters are adept in this task. A copywriter can make sure that each and every piece of content is written in different lengths to provide that ability.
5) Copywriters Keep Up-to-date with Every Single Google Change
Google is a great place when it comes to people finding business and boosting revenue. However, it can be a difficult place due to every single change the search engine giant makes. There seems to be a new update every month or so, and lately there have been some mega changes that everyone needed to be prepared for. Whether it is the large mobile-friendly update or something a little smaller, a copywriter will know all of these changes. So, to be safe, companies recruit copywriters.
6) Copywriters Can Help You Generate Organic Traffic and Bring in Sales
Organic traffic is something that every business would prefer to have instead of needing to pay a lot for ads. While ads are still an important aspect of any online presence, but with generation of more organic traffic, it is likely to have more legitimate customers. In fact, organic traffic can lead to quick sales, as well as helping to keep the clients. Companies know that copywriters can help create content that drives organic traffic such as creating content for social media, and then creating content on the site that keeps visitors once they reach the landing pages.
1) What are the responsibilities of a copywriter?
The copywriter is responsible for taking a client's advertising brief and generating original copy ideas that grab the attention of the target audience. This can include creating straplines, slogans, body copy, jingles and scripts.
2) What is a copywriting test?
A copy test is simply a little sample writing exercise a company will have you complete so that they can get a feel for your writing skills. Usually, they'll send it to you and give you a day or two to complete it and send it back to them.
3) How Much Experience Do Copywriters Need?
This depends entirely on what your goals are. If the company needs a writer that understands extremely technical products such as software, they'll probably want a writer with extensive experience and even a Bachelor's degree. If they want a writer to create catchy social media posts or pamphlets, they may not need as much expertise and a high school diploma may suffice.
4) What are the ways to improve my copywriting skills?
Some steps that could be inculcated in order to improve these skills are:
a) Write for one.
b) Brush up on the basics of grammar.
c) Work in groups.
d) Write a killer headline.
e) Keep it short and interesting.
f) Imitate writers you admire.
g) Use bullet points.
h) Edit ruthlessly.
5) What software do copywriters use?
Some must-have free tools for professional copywriters are-
· Copyscape (free)
· Flickr (free)
· Un-Suck It (free)
· Thesaurus.com (free)
· RhymeZone (free)
· Read-Able (free)
· SEO Book Keyword Research Tool (free)
6) How can I learn copywriting for free?
5 Best free copywriting courses for 2020 are as follows-
a) Copywriting secrets – How to write copy that sells (Udemy)
b) Digital Copywriting Course : How To Write Web Copy That Sells (Skillshare)
c) Marketing Copywriting Course (LinkedInLearning – Lynda)
d) Free Copywriting Classes Online (Skillshare)
e) Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales (Skillshare)
7) Are copywriters in demand?
Web copywriters are in high demand. Companies need their help in crafting home pages, landing pages, product pages, subscription pages, sales letters to customers, blogs, articles for e-magazines and e-newsletters. The demand is great right now and growing at a high rate.
8) How competitive is copywriting?
Copywriting is one of the most competitive writing fields in the industry, but also one of the most lucrative for those at the top their game. Copywriting is simply the art of writing sales copy for purposes of advertising and announcements, such as print ads, brochures, press releases, catalogues and website content.
9) Can you be a copywriter without a degree?
Many freelance copywriters have studied English language, literature or journalism. Others get into the role through marketing and business degrees. If you do not have a formal education, you can still become a first-class copywriter. The lack of a degree should be no barrier.