Writing copy for a business audience
The principles behind good copy apply whatever your audience. People are just people after all, with a number of emotional and illogical impulses that influence their buying habits. However. If your client is a business owner, there are practical questions that will need answering before they make a purchase. Here are a few pointers to help you write copy that sells.
The 27th of January to the 3rd of February marks National Storytelling Week. Established in 2000 by The Society for Storytelling, this annual event seeks to promote the oral tradition of storytelling, celebrating this powerful way of “communicating life experiences and the creative imagination.”
We engage with stories every day. A good story grabs attention and takes the listener on a journey, engaging people on an emotional level. They help us understand our place in the world with common themes such as heartbreak, frustration, joy and humility. Communities are built as we bond over shared experiences. From the time we embarrassed ourselves in front of a crowd of people, to hard-won childhood scars – everyone has a story to tell.
I’m always impatient for the arrival of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. The bright pink stems act as a colourful, sharp antidote to a winter full of earthy root vegetables and irony kale. Grown as a medicinal plant by ancient Chinese cultures, this tart vegetable didn’t become popular in Britain until the 1800’s. By the early 20th century, the forced rhubarb industry was thriving. The Yorkshire Triangle sat at the centre of all things rhubarb.
Rhubarb makes a simple and healthy pudding when poached with orange juice and honey, but this savoury alternative is a great way of using up a few leftover stems. Team the salsa with pork chops or griddled halloumi as part of the main meal, or serve alongside salty nachos for a group of friends.
Over the Christmas break, a post on Twitter highlighted the strange conversations creatives have with their clients, many of them hilarious. Judging by the stream of reactions that followed, these scenarios are being encountered every day by freelancers all over the world. Common topics included late payment, last minute changes to the brief and requests for free work in exchange for exposure.
When I asked my community of freelancers about the issues they faced in their work a number of themes popped up. Here are just three of the things that every copywriter needs you to know.
I can smell violets from the next room. One whiff of their heady floral scent and I’m back in my Nan’s living room circa 1986. Sucking on Palma Violets, while Perry Mason gets busy clearing a hapless but innocent defendant in court. All is well with the world.
I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I can never resist a good homebaked shortbread. So much better than shop bought and so incredibly easy to make. The moreish nature of the Scottish biscuit is achieved through a mix of three parts flour, two parts butter and one part sugar. How simple is that? To celebrate National Shortbread Day let’s take a look at one of the nation’s favourite sweet treats, starting from the very beginning.
You love what you do. At some point, you took the final step into self-employment. Your work is your passion and you love sharing it with others. Working for yourself is easy right?
Not quite. We both know that running a small business is bloody hard. We might be good at what we do, but we don’t always have the skills to handle technology issues, complete admin tasks and market the business in the way it deserves.
I am an obsessive book owner. Cookery books, writing books, marketing books – the collection outgrew our home years ago and is now slowly taking over the office. As a food writer and small business owner, I am constantly on a journey to increase my knowledge and improve the service that I offer my clients.
As much as I love the printed word, there are some fantastic development tools available online. From professional blogs to a downloadable pdf, the opportunities for learning are limitless. For me, 2017 was the year of the podcast. I love the flexibility of listening as and when it suits me, they certainly make the washing up a more interesting task!
Long-term followers of my work will know that my love of words started with a devotion to food. Occasionally I get to combine the two again. This is one of those times – an invite to enter the Love Cheese Challenge with a unique cheese recipe. A box loaded with delicious cheese was hand delivered to my office at The Natural Entrepreneurs Workspace. Let me tell you, not much work was achieved that day.
All three of the cheeses for the Love Cheese cookery challenge are fine examples of the quality on offer from British producers. However, my particular favourite is definitely the Summerfields Alpine from Botton Creamery.
Bursting with deep, nutty flavours this Comte-like cheese immediately inspires thoughts of woody thyme, hazelnuts and sharp apples. It reminds me of a previous recipe from my food history blog – a pumpkin and apple pie baked in 1685 by ‘Accomplished Cook’ Robert May. This 17th-century pumpkin pie combined winter squash, sharp apples, thyme and nuts to make a savoury version of the dish we know today.
So with those component parts in mind, here is my vegetarian cheese recipe using Summerfields Alpine.