Ask most small business owners to make a presentation at the local Chamber meeting and the first thing you see is beads of sweat forming on her forehead. That, of course is if you haven’t been overly distracted by the sound of her knees knocking. While it may be easy to admit to the fear of public speaking, it’s the fear of having to write the speech that is really the killer.
Speakers depend on speechwriters, athletes need coaches, and business owners need copywriters. Here are some areas where business owners need help with their writing fears:
Writing Big Pieces
- Web Copy: You see it every day, web pages thrown together from multiple sources, which make no sense to anyone.
- Ebooks: Business owners feel they know all there is to know about their business. And they all want a bigger mailing list. An eBook can show off the owner’s expertise, while gaining additions to that list.
- PR Releases: Think press releases are a thing of the past? Small business owners would disagree with you. If you’re in a smaller market, publicity can generate the local media coverage the business owner is looking for.
- Blog Posts: Many small business owners get hung up on blogging. Providing relevant copy for your market and a clear call-to-action can be the source of more profit in less time.
- Articles: Ask an owner about advertorials, article marketing or native advertising and you just might get nothing but blank faces. They love the idea, but don’t ask them to write it.
- Sales Pages and Landing Pages: Long-form sales letters are often familiar subjects for owners. But to pull together callouts, with long copy and calls-to-action and they’re stuck in their tracks.
Small Bits & Pieces
- Commercials: Radio and television is often very popular with small businesses, especially in smaller markets. But there’s a sacrifice- clear and concise doesn’t match up with short and quick. Take your pick.
- Catalog or Product Descriptions: For some reason, small business owners have a hard time with catalog copy, product descriptions and menu items. Why is that?
- Email:Put together a few canned response emails, template sales emails and inquiry emails and you’ll save a bunch of time.
- Ad Copy: Things like taglines, internal signage, chamber directory ads and phone books haven’t changed for some small businesses in years. They need some work.
- Brochures: Sales materials, like brochures, sales cards, etc. are still an expected way to do business. And being creative will, not only make your materials stand out and present a strong message, they are also useful in many other aspects of your business.
- Status Updates: Are you on social media? If so, you need regular status updates, which look much like commercials.
- Speeches and Presentations: Here’s where a good writer can come in handy for our small business speaker mentioned above. Whether a full body or outline, many of the very best presenters and speakers tap into the services of a good writer.
- Profiles and Bios: Guess what, small business owners seem to have a hard time writing about themselves. They are asked for bios in print or media kits, as well as pages for the web, all of which could use the touch of a professional writer.
- Video and Podcast Scripts: Ask a small business owner to produce a video or podcast and what you get is “um”, “er”, “so” and “basically.” Good writing and a little help from tools like CuePrompter can help them to sound awesome by saying the words that were written for them.
- Transcription and Re-purposing: More and more recorded presentations and interviews are being called for. A good writer can extract the valuable portions of these gems as an asset to the company in many forms.
- SEO Copywriting: Do you know how to write headlines, title tags and meta data for your web copy? You’re not alone and this is getting more important in order to be found on the Internet. This is one of the most requested forms of writing today.
- Infographics: This writing style not only requires writing talent, but also design expertise, as well. For a writer to partner with a designer adds a lot of strength and flow to the work.
- Tutorials: Instructional and technical manuals are necessary for many businesses. And where there is high turnover, operating manuals are often required for new employees. Manufacturers often need how-to manuals to include with their products.
- Grant Writing: If you think writing a blog post will scare a small business owner; wait until they are asked to write a grant proposal. The writer may even shy away from this one.
- Policies: As more businesses launch their own website, things like disclaimers, terms of service and codes of conduct are needed. Get used to the back-and-for with the legal department.
Ask a small business owner to write and you’ll often see them delegate to someone else in the company. Not all of the services above will be required by every business. In fact, some businesses may not have considered some of them yet. But they probably will. Small business owners are just that, small business owners. They are not writers. This is not where their time is best spent. Get yourself a good writer and do what you do best. Eliminate the fear and run your business.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a copywriter, content writer and blogger who writes “Snappy Copy That Sells Stuff”. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@GordonConner.com. or www.GordonConner.com.