Say what you mean, mean what you say

Good writing isn’t simply a luxury. It isn’t just an add on for when you’re feeling flush. Good writing can be the difference between launching a successful product and not; connecting with your audience and not; winning a pitch and not.

To be able to connect effectively, you need to be able to say what you mean, clearly and effectively. A good copywriter can help you to do that. Writing can help condense and clarify what you’re trying to say. It can help make what you’re saying eye-catching, as well as thought provoking. It’s also important to get a new perspective, someone who can help crystallize what it is you’re trying to say.

Let me tell you a story. I worked with a client who was launching something new. Their idea was sound but they’d done limited work on their audience and potential client base. They came to me wanting to write their product information, for online and packaging. OK, I said, I said. But let me ask you this first. Are you there yet? Think about your audience. You’re not sure who you’re selling to. Not sure where your product will sit, but you want write what should go on the box? We need to take a step back.

How about this, I said. How about we start working on articulating what your product is first and who we think might want it. From there, we can start doing some testing for the audience. Understanding what your product is and who is going to buy it is vital. You need to understand the marketplace.

OK. They said. That makes sense. Let’s do that, but we have a tight deadline. Fair enough, I’m used to deadlines, I said.

I wrote the story of their brand. With competitor analysis, brand narrative and journey, I pulled together a document telling them who might buy their product, based on what people were searching for online and who was buying their competitors products. Looking at both the digital landscape, consumer habits and how they sat alongside similar products on the market I plotted a route through for them and a plan for how they could proceed. The next step would be talking to potential customers via surveys and social media.

There were a few days of silence when they received the document. Then they called. We’re not ready to launch yet, are we? They asked. If you haven’t done any of this, I said, no, you’re probably not.

Good writing wasn’t simply about a tagline or a blog. Good writing helped them see the gaps in their business case. It isn’t simply the language, of course. It’s the work that goes into it. But understanding those ingredients and then being able to articulate them clearly and concisely could have saved these people a lot of money. They’ve pushed back launch, they’re spending more time understanding the market.

Being able to say what you mean and mean what you say enabled this micro-business to gain a better understanding of what their product is. And most importantly, how they can get where they need to be.