Recently, I spoke at an event with several other B2B copywriting experts. Along with the other attendees, I wrote down dozens of takeaways that will help me in my copywriting business.
As I looked over my notes, there were five B2B copywriting tips I thought would benefit any B2B copywriter, regardless of experience level. So, here are five B2B copywriting tips you can use now and as your business grows.
#1. Every project has its own best practices
First of all, each project has its best practices, which is good news and bad news.
One of the interesting things about writing for the B2B market is that there is an eclectic mix of projects you might need to know how to do in order to be an effective B2B copywriter for your clients.
You might need to know how to write websites, email promotions, case studies, white papers, blog articles, placed articles, press releases, and social media posts.
You need to know the basics of how to write each of these projects well even if you’re specializing in specific projects. For example, even if you only specialize in articles and email newsletters, you still have to be fairly familiar with the other types of marketing pieces your clients use to help sell their products and services in order to be an effective expert and copywriter for your clients.
Here’s why that’s good news and bad news. The bad news is you can’t just amble through this. You just can’t. If you’re going to write a white paper, for example, you just can’t find a couple of white papers online and read through them and say, “Okay, I think I can do this,” and guess your way through.
You might end up with something that is okay. But chances are, you might not. And it probably won’t be at a professional level.
In order to write these types of B2B projects, you do need to know the underlying best practices and formulas. You really need to know how to write each project effectively.
For example, Gordon Graham talks about the three different types of white papers. You need to know the formulas, criteria, and formats for each of these three types. You can’t just guess your way through it.
The good news is, if you master how to write each one of these B2B projects, then that sets you apart from a lot of other B2B copywriters. And believe me, clients will notice.
Let me give you an example.
During a phone meeting with a client, we were talking about writing their second e-book. They were telling me their vision for the e-book and what they wanted.
Then, I gave them my ideas for how it could be structured, formatted, and how it would come together effectively. Because I knew the best practices and formulas for writing an effective e-book, I could share my expertise. And wow, were they impressed.
It set me apart from other writers and they’re absolutely thrilled to be working with me. So, there’s a big advantage of learning the best practices of writing these different types of projects.
I encourage you to master the different types of projects you’ll be writing as a B2B copywriter. Believe me, you’ll make yourself that much more valuable to clients.
#2. Clients want your expertise
I hear this from clients all the time.
Let me give you a scenario of what clients often have to do when working with an average B2B copywriter.
Clients will find a writer who says that they’re a good writer, but they need direction. For an e-book project, the client will have to prepare a very detailed brief — maybe even an outline. And they’ll have to say, “This is the way I want it written and I want the introduction to look like this.” They have to direct and manage the writer very closely in order to get a good e-book from that writer.
Believe it or not, that’s the experience that a lot of clients have working with writers and copywriters. And clients hate it because they don’t want to hold someone’s hand. They want to work with a professional. So, clients want your expertise in completing the project in addition to your ability to write copy.
One thing I tell clients all the time is, “I can take it from here. I can take this project completely off your shoulders. I can take the ball and run with it. I can do the research. I can do the strategy. I understand how to put together an e-book effectively. I can give you some great ideas. Leave it with me. I’ve got this.”
Now, I don’t say all of that, but that’s the impression I want to leave with them. I want clients to feel that they can hand me a project, an e-book, a white paper, writing their website, managing their blog, email newsletter, or whatever project they give me.
Their project is in good hands because they’re working with an expert. I can handle all the details for them, including what I need to write, how to put it together, writing it effectively, the whole bit.
So, keep that in mind when you’re working with clients and especially when you are promoting yourself to the marketplace and talking to potential clients about your services. Make it clear you’re an expert at what you do. You’ll take a huge burden off their shoulders and they will appreciate it.
#3. There’s a roadmap to Seattle
This tip comes from Ed Gandia.
If you are traveling to Seattle from wherever you are, how do you get there? Well, the first thing you do is you find a roadmap.
And then how do you get there once you have the map? You take the steps to get there one step at a time.
So, the first step may be getting a taxi to the airport. The next step may be getting on the plane. The next step is getting off the plane in Seattle. The last step is finding transportation to the hotel. There are very specific steps you take. And when you take those steps, you know you’re going to get to Seattle.
This relates well to building your business whether you’re starting from scratch or whether you already have a B2B business and you want to grow it and take it into the next level. Your first step is to find a roadmap, such as the B2B Writing Success Roadmap to Success.
This really resonated with me because I’m the kind of person who is very “improv” when it comes to building my business. I go along by instinct. But that’s not the best process if you want to build your business quickly.
If you take the time to consult a roadmap that lets you know where you need to go and the baby steps you need to get there and simply focus on taking each step, you will get there. If you’re starting your business, your first step might be to decide what your target audience is. Who is your target audience? Who is your target prospect?
The next step may be getting a very simple, but professional-looking website template and getting it up. Each step is important in order to get you to the next step. And if you take one step at a time, baby steps, you’ll get to your destination if you have a good roadmap.
The same thing holds true with building your business. If you’re trying to take your business to the next level, create a roadmap to take your business to the next level.
If you currently have a copywriting business and you’re going after higher paying clients, your first step may be to create a profile of your new ideal clients. And then your next step may be to figure out how you’re going to reach them to introduce yourself and your services to them.
Wherever you are in your business, use a roadmap to help you get there.
#4. The power of prospecting
I am a big believer in prospecting. And by prospecting, I mean taking an active role in reaching out and contacting potential clients for your services.
Whether you do that by email, networking, cold calling, or some other strategy, you are proactively reaching out to clients. That’s prospecting.
I’m a huge believer in prospecting. Even at this stage of my business where I get the overwhelming majority of my new business through referrals, I still have a prospecting program in place. And I prospect regularly.
The reason I do is because prospecting allows you to target the ideal clients you want to bring in. If you see a potential client and want to do business with them, you can reach out and start that process. That is the power of prospecting.
It’s a big mistake to not prospect. I know a lot of freelance copywriters who are successful getting referrals so they don’t prospect.
But you know what? Sometimes their business evaporates. I’ve been around this business long enough to see it happen over and over again. I’ve seen really successful copywriters take a nosedive because they stopped promoting themselves.
Never stop prospecting. Prospecting is powerful. Prospecting keeps you in business. Prospecting keeps those ideal clients coming your way.
#5. Don’t wait for perfect
This last point is very important.
Don’t wait for things to be perfect. Whether you are just starting your B2B business or you already have a business and you’re trying to take it to the next level, don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you begin.
Don’t wait to have the perfect plan or get caught in an endless loop of studying copywriting and not actively seeking out clients.
You’ll never feel 100 percent ready.
When I started my copywriting business, I didn’t feel 100 percent ready. I read a few books. And then I started promoting myself and building my business.
When I got my first paying project, of course I was nervous. But I knew enough to get started. And believe me, it’s amazing how you rise to the occasion and learn very quickly when you have a real project with a real client.
So, if you are starting your business or taking your current business to the next level success, yes, prepare. Yes, get all your ducks in a row. Yes, create a plan.
But don’t wait for everything to be perfect. It’s not going to be perfect. When you feel ready, go for it. Take those steps. There’ll be a lot of uncertainty. You won’t feel 100 percent prepared.
So don’t wait for things to be perfect. Start now.
Those are the five B2B copywriting tips I wanted to share with you. No matter where you are in your journey to living the writer’s life, I hope you’ll use them to help you build a business that supports your goals.