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The worst question you can ever ask a copywriter

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I’m sitting at the airport in Bologna, Italy, waiting to board my plane back to the UK.

I was going to write an email about airport usability, because it’s super fascinating to me how everything’s managed here. But I just got an email and have to address it.

This can’t wait.

It’s a matter of life and death. The death of copywriters if they don’t know how to address this and the death of clients and their businesses if they don’t stop asking this one question (because they will be left with no copywriters).

So, someone reached out and was like:

“To get a sense of your voice, could you share a few example B2B websites that you created copy for?”

Red flag! But still manageable if, as a copywriter you know how to guide this client.

My reply?

After sharing a few links of recent pages (because sharing is caring), I addressed it this way:

“That said, keep in mind that my job as a copywriter is not “to have my own voice”, but rather to adapt to the voice of the client and integrate voice of customer into it to make it resonate :)”

That’s it.

Not sure if this is a common perception, but good sales / conversion copy is not about having your own voice. It’s not about being clever or creative (unless you also mix in real world data).

Copy that converts, is about mirroring your prospects’ words and at the same time, being able to stand out with a strong, unique brand voice and message.

Also as a client you should not judge my work based on random examples only.

Full disclosure, this client came in through a referral, so they might not need as much proof, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that simply looking at random copy that I wrote for a client in another niche, is pretty much useless.

Instead, ask for processes, methodology, see what kind of questions copywriters ask you, and then and only then, ask for examples.

Rant over. I might still write about airport usability in another email.

Today, I had to save some lives.

Oh, and get in touch if you need help with any of this.



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