What is a copywriter?

Put simply, they’re the words person. Today, the skillset can be a little more fluid than that, with the words making up only a fraction of the job. Every brief is different but it usually goes a little like this:

We work with an art director in creating the ‘big idea’ for a campaign. Brainstorming is the first part of getting there and you may even start with doodles at this stage depending on how you work. This concept creation stage usually involves chatting about the brief and dissecting it bit by bit. A fail-safe approach is to identify the problem and uncover a solution.

We often irrationally sweat over spelling even though we know how little people actually read those words. We work to change that by editing and re-editing our work until we find ourselves with something that sticks, something that will cut through the clutter. Above all, we fight for the words if they believe in them.

Clara Traynor, Copywriter, Guns or Knives

What does a copywriter do?

In the broadest possible sense, the role involves taking a product or service, learning about it, studying it, discovering what makes it unique (or not) then simplifying everything you’ve learned into bite-sized digestible, easy-to-understand copy.

You usually do this with headlines first; they’re the attention grabbers, the words that let people know what’s in it for them as quickly as possible. The best ones talk in an honest way and don’t try to impress anyone.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to write the way you talk. It’s probably the most widespread and sound advice no matter what the type of job you have to write for. This makes it as easy as possible for your audience to engage or to take action.