Copywriting, Content Writing, Consulting or Content Strategy?
Photo: Ron Clifford Photography
Every so often, I get an email that goes something like this:
“Love your site! I’m interested in working with you but what the heck do you do?!”
After working in content marketing for five years, sometimes I forget that this type of marketing is relatively new. In fact, content marketing, which is the umbrella term that all my services fall under, only really became a thing less than a decade ago.
So if you’re curious about what I do and want to learn more, this is the post for you. I’m going to break down each one of my services, explain what they all mean, how they work, and how they can bring value to your business.
Copywriting certainly isn’t a new, trendy service but there can be some confusion around how it’s different from other types of writing.
The goal of copywriting is to convince your audience to take an action. That could be buying a product or service, downloading a report, or engaging with your company in some way. With this in mind, copywriting is usually the focus of ads, sales letters, sales emails, landing pages, and more. Unlike content writing, copywriting is more conversational, interactive and a bit more forceful.
When I’m working on a copywriting project, I really try to get into the head of my client’s target customer. This is how I produce copy that captures the right tone, voice, and language to compel their readers to make the desired action.
On the other hand, the goal of content writing is to engage your audience over time and build trust. Content writers typically produce blog posts, white papers, e-books, and other types of long-form content that will educate, entertain and inform your audience about a particular topic.
Investing in this type of content can be extremely powerful for business growth. It can help drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, and help you establish authority in your industry.
Also, if you know a little about search engine optimization, then you know that having high-quality content on your website can help you achieve a higher search rank, which can lead to more traffic and leads over time. This is why this type of activity is also called inbound marketing because when done well, all those juicy leads will start coming to you.
Consulting is such a vague term but essentially, a consultant is an expert or an experienced professional in a specific field that has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. Since my specialties are content marketing and social media, these are the subjects that I advise my clients on.
My consulting process goes a little like this:
- I learn as much as possible about the client. More specifically, I figure out their marketing goals, current tactics, and the specific questions they’re looking to have answered.
- I will go over what they’re doing well, what they could improve on, and what new tactics they should try out. This session can be done in-person, over the phone or on a video call.
- I will wrap up the session by outlining some steps they can take in the short-term to achieve their goals. If we have time, I’ll even walk them through one of those steps.
Where my consulting differs from my content strategy work is the depth and breadth. Consulting sessions are more of an opportunity for clients to ‘pick my brain,’ so to speak. I can give you pointers and help you define your goals, but after a consulting session, the planning and strategy work is largely in your hands.
While a consulting session is a good choice for early-stage entrepreneurs and bootstrappers, a content strategy is a better choice for business owners who have been in the marketing game for a while and are looking to level up.
When I develop a content strategy, the beginning of the process is similar to my consulting work, but the end result is a lot different. After our time together, you will receive a 15+ page document that includes:
- A content audit (to show you what areas need improvement)
- Expert recommendations for your onsite and offsite content (i.e. social media, email marketing, etc.)
- Content guidelines (i.e. how your content should sound)
- Workflow (to help you create consistent content)
- Content marketing metrics to track (so you know whether your strategy is working or not)
- Key actions to make in the short-term
While my consulting sessions cover items 1, 2 and 6, a content strategy covers a lot more. My content strategy process involves much more in-depth research and analysis, as there is only so much I can cover in a three-hour session.
This service is best suited for people who have dipped their toes into the content marketing waters. You have some idea of what’s working for you and what isn’t. Before you invest in a content strategy, you should know who your target customer is and how to attract them. That way, you can add fuel to the fire with content marketing.
At the end of the day, all of these services can be useful for businesses looking to supercharge their growth. However, when and how you use them depends on what stage you’re at in your business and what you’re willing to invest in your marketing.
Hopefully, this post helped you understand what I do and the services I offer a little bit better. If you still have questions, feel free to leave one in the comments, or shoot me a message here.