Please can I buy some words?

As a copywriter, I’ve found that one of the key factors in writing successfully about a company or organisation is getting to know and understand their clients. This is important for two main reasons:

  1. It makes it easier to work out what their clients need;
  2. It allows me to use language that their clients will respond to.

A networking colleague recently mentioned the importance of creating a customer avatar; in other words, a representative of your ideal customer. When I started to investigate, I realised it was something I’d always done but without much structure to my process.

Selling a solution to a problem

Marketing, as it is often said, is not about selling a product, it’s about selling a solution to a problem. A commonly used example is that power tool companies and DIY stores don’t sell drills, they sell holes.

Please can I buy some words?

When I’m working with clients, I’m ultimately looking for the best way to help them sell their products and services to their clients. In the case of copywriting, this is done with language, but no client has ever phoned me up and asked to buy some words. They tell me what they are trying to sell and ask me if I can help them sell it.

Your customer avatar

The first consideration when creating your customer avatar is:

Q. What problem(s) does your customer have?

For a copywriter, the answer would be something like: They want to tell everyone how great their products and services are but don’t know how to go about it.

The next point to consider is:

Q. Who is your perfect customer?

Someone once told me that their ideal client was like a good chocolate cake: very rich. With the cash flow problems many companies are currently facing, it’s not a bad idea to ensure first of all that your customers have the funds to pay you.

For a copywriter, it’s important that you can communicate well with your customer to ensure you get their message across, but also that they trust your professional judgement.

For those of us interested in repeat business, it’s also important to work with clients with whom you can build a long-term relationship that benefits both parties. In the case of copywriting, spending time getting to understand your client’s organisation produces better results and working together over time means that you get to know their company inside out and your client doesn’t have to spend as long briefing you.

And finally:

Q. How can I help my perfect customers with their problem(s)?

If you know who your perfect customers are and what problems they face, you are a good way towards being able to find solutions for them.

Because copywriting encompasses so many different areas, it’s important when I meet a new client to first establish what their needs are and how I can help them. They may come to the meeting with a fixed idea that what they need is copy for a brochure, or web content, but along the way they may also decide to take advantage of other good ways to get their message out there, for example, a press release, newsletter, email marketing campaign or blogging services.

Ultimately, it’s about establishing a good understanding between two people or groups of people, which benefits both parties and builds into a long-term profitable relationship.


Creative, affordable copywriting that will help you sell your products and services. From blogging packages and web content to press releases and e-marketing, we offer professional copywriting in Huddersfield and Leeds and across West Yorkshire and the UK.



Read my monthly column in The Eye magazine, interviews with top authors in Excelle magazine, features written for Around Town magazine and a variety of articles written for the national press.



From Joanne Harris to Iain Banks, find out more about events with bestselling authors and creative writing courses in Huddersfield run by Key Words.

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