A business “rebrand” is the most challenging and rewarding inbound query a freelance copywriter can receive. I’ve owned my freelance writing and editing consultancy for five years, and the changes to how businesses market themselves has been nothing short of extraordinary. In the past year, I’ve been approached by three large enterprises to help them update their messaging and assess the effectiveness of their customer-facing marketing materials.
Many larger businesses that never had an in-house writer before (or even used freelance writers) has seen the value of quality content (Moz’s Rand Fishkin calls it 10X content). This is the content that sparks curiosity and is shared multiple times.
The cobwebs from the 2008 financial crisis are shaking loose, and businesses are moving beyond saddling their existing employees with tasks like content creation. And they see the value in the results.
So why the shift?
A big reason, in my opinion, is the sea change in how companies view marketing (and branding) itself.
Former idea: We’ve always done business this way. It’s not broken, so it doesn’t need fixing.
Newer idea: Innovation requires strategic action (e.g. hiring writers and designers to communicate).
Many companies understand the importance of content marketing in all its forms (blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, videos, and quizzes). Sometimes they are just unsure how to find the best content creators, and sometimes they unsure how to measure results.
“Best” is a loaded word, and it’s going to mean different things depending on a company’s needs. Some business owners or marketing managers believe the “best writer” is someone who has worked in their particular service or industry before. Others think someone is the best if s/he learns quickly and works with minimal supervision.
The types of projects also vary. A company at the start of a rebrand may just want a writer to work on website content and some internal-facing pieces. Blog posts, e-mail marketing campaigns, and whitepapers may come later.
This leave writers in a surprisingly strong position. If you’ve been eager to learn about a new industry, then this is the perfect time to make inquiries. (There are multiple posts on the Copywriter Conclave of Portland’s website to help teach you prospecting tactics.)
Even if a company is seeking an all-in-one solution (web design/content/graphic design), writers are vital. You can demonstrate past projects where you worked with a web or graphic designer. You can pitch yourself to the agency handling the design work. Or you can take a pass if that’s too many moving parts. There will always be companies seeking qualified writers to help them rebrand.
Did you find this article helpful? If you’re a new copywriter, I’m available for coaching. If you’re a business (especially at the start or the middle of a rebrand), please feel free to contact me (my initial consultation is always on the house).
(A version of this article was published at The Copywriter Conclave of Portland.)