If you have been following my stories, it would be quite obvious to you how much emphasis I lay on the power content has in building your business.
Entrepreneurs are storytellers. We are telling stories all the time. Be it to a potential recruit, someone we are trying to court as a co-founder, a prospective customer, or that elusive investor. We are always sharing one story or the other. That’s our job. That’s how we take you through the amazing journey we have been on. But, just because we are storytellers doesn’t mean we always present words the best way possible. And that is why we all need copywriters! And that is what this story is all about.
In one of my previous stories, I even talked about the fact that teams of all types and functions need a copywriter — someone who can articulately summarise everything that the team wants to convey, be it an internal memo, or a quick overview for its users/consumers.
It looks like I wasn’t wrong in my thoughts there. Today, I came across few interesting job postings.
Theoretically, this is a good thing. Companies understanding the importance of a good copy, and how it is not limited to your landing pages and ads, might change a few things for better. The problem? I am not quite sure the theory is translating to reality — yet!
Just look at the Crowdfire job post above. Crowdfire totally plagiarised the copy from Google. And that’s a shame! Because in all probability, they may not quite understand what exactly a UX writer is supposed to do. And if they themselves don’t understand it yet, odds are we would either end up with a bad hire — someone who isn’t the right fit, or we would end up with a good resource not being utilised to the best of his/her potential.
Problem #2. Most companies out there are still oblivious to why they badly need someone who can help translate ideas, grand visions and the product roadmap to a language that is interesting, engaging, and yet simple enough for a reader to understand. The result is catastrophic. For both the company, as well as the consumers they are working so hard to serve. Landing pages bloated up with text, ad copies that talk about everything yet fail to connect to the audience, vanilla play store app-update descriptions (‘whats new’). All these could be avoided by having 1 copywriter in your team.
Think of the copywriter as the final stage of a filtration process. All content that you produce have to pass through him — without fail. Give him the liberty to trim down the hedges, add a word or two here and there and make it perfect. Any content that your copywriter hasn’t laid his eyes on — shall not pass.
As a result of this state of oblivion, in addition to having job postings that probably aren’t well planned, we also face the problem of scarcity. The number of job posts out there seeking copywriters is — to put it mildly — thin.
Just look at the results of a quick Google search.
The quick search revealed one more interesting point, something I wasn’t quite aware of:
UX writer is not exactly a new role.
SO. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
I’m not sure. There are multiple things that we need to do:
- Realise that we DO need a copywriter. Maybe two.
- Figure out what would their job entail. Don’t bring the heavy-hitters in the game unless you have a gameplan for them.
- Work together with them and evolve your working dynamics. It is quite possible that you weren’t very clear on what you want out of them and what would be the best way for their work to add the most value to the business. That’s okay. Keep working towards improving those dynamics till you get a hang of it. It is still a new field, and you are in unchartered waters. So it will take some getting used to. Accept that, set fear aside and get working.
Let’s circle back to the UX writers again. What would they do?
Let me take a leaf off of Google’s job page.
UX Writers advocate for Google design and help shape product experiences by crafting copy that helps users complete the task at hand.
To be honest, that line does nothing for me. It doesn’t help me understand what should my UX writers do, it doesn’t help me figure out the next steps. In short, a bad copy. #Irony
Luckily, the next segment changed that.
They set the tone for content and drive cohesive product narratives across multiple platforms and touchpoints. As our resident wordsmiths, they work with a variety of UX design-related jobs including researchers, product managers, engineers, marketing, and customer operations to help establish connective language and a unified voice.
Emily Luthra, a UX writer says (on the same page):
Tell stories within a relatable context, at a cadence that is easy to read, in a positive and engaging tone. The better you explain an idea, the more time it gives readers to use that information to make a positive impact on the world with their creations.
Help solve problems by figuring out all the variables involved, and describe them with brevity and clear actions. Come prepared with expertise beyond writing. Learn the basics of design, information architecture, or frontend development. Understand the gestalt that informs the content you’re creating.
In short, use fewer words to describe the grand scheme, and do so in style. Make a statement. Do you think your business needs a copywriter? I do, and am fanatically searching for the right guy.