One of the benefits of being a copywriter is that you get to know a reasonable amount of information about a lot of stuff.
Not enough to change your life or career, perhaps. But enough to make things easier when you’re buying something complex like insurance, a new car or a pension plan.
(It’s why copywriters always do well in pub quizzes too.*)
For example, back in the day I used to write sales literature for a well-known manufacturer of combi boilers. Once you’ve grasped the concept of a combi boiler (I won’t go into detail here) it’s easy to understand.
After all, I didn’t need to fit the boiler, just explain to other people like me why it was A Good Thing.
And indeed, after six months working with the client, I did know a bit about combi boilers. Not enough to install one, perhaps. But enough to hold my own in a conversation with a plumber.
Fast forward a few years and one of my main clients is a wealth management company specialising in passive investing. It’s a strategy that is proven to provide better returns over time than buying and selling shares based on what the papers say or what the markets are doing on any one day.
‘Passive’ doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But my ability to grasp and explain this counter-intuitive concept to individuals, who are bombarded with media messages about which stocks to buy and which to dump, has played a role in helping a lot of people avoid losing a lot of money.
Again, I can’t provide personal financial advice. But I can explain to someone else why they should look beyond the money section of the Sunday papers when choosing to invest.
I’ve benefited, too: I now make much wiser and better informed decisions about my meagre disposable income than I otherwise would have done.
The moral of this tale? If you’re selling something technical, or tricky to understand, don’t tie yourself up in knots trying to explain what you know to your customers.
Get yourself a good copywriter and explain it to them, and they’ll do the rest.
And make sure they’re always on your team in the pub quiz.
* Not scientifically proven