TIPS FOR THURSDAY! Simple Strategies (4 of 8) – Copy Writing

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Welcome to the 4th article in an eight part series that digs deeper into the 8 Simple Strategies so you can save time, money and energy on your journey to the best marketing materials around.

Dear Jessica,
I am a small business owner and I recently had a brochure created for my company. I thought it would be a super easy process but it ended up being a nightmare and costing me way more than I had expected. I noticed that there was a lot of back and forth between me and my designer because of some text changes I wanted to make. What do you think I could have done differently to make this a less tedious and costly project?

If there were one thing out of all the things in the design process that I could have my clients be the most prepared with, it would be their copy. Can I stress this again?…
If there were one thing out of all the things in the design process that I could have my clients be the most prepared with it would be their copy.  Not just for my sake but for your sake!

Raise your hand if you don’t want to save time and money in your business?

That’s what I thought…
Here’s the thing, having your copy ready isn’t just good practice, it’s a strategy!
Why?
Most designers are not copywriters. When we look at text on a page it becomes not words, but another image or graphic that must beautifully fit into the puzzle of your design. There are also certain typographic rules in design that are implemented in the development of layouts. The sense of balance and hierarchy can get thrown off if even just a letter is added.

Also, when changes are made in a body of text it can completely disrupt the shape that the text makes. This can throw off the aesthetic of the design and cause the need for shifts in all other elements surrounding the text. So it’s not always just a quick fix.

Let me be clear, don’t be scared to make changes after the initial design is presented if you feel a sentence needs to be reworked now that you see in use. The point is to keep these modifications to a minimum by being prepared.

By flushing out your copy a few times before it even reaches your designer, you can save a ton of time and money and, let’s face it – frustration. (You’ll make your designer happy too!)

It’s like when you are making a meal. You want to have all the ingredients ready to go before you start so everything goes in the oven and in the pan at the right times. When you come in at all angles, at all different times, with the wrong ingredients your meal will take hours to make and quite honestly just won’t taste good.

The same thing applies with having your copy ready with design. If you want to discuss possibilities with your designer on what copy to have that’s fine too, but be well aware that you might be charged for that time and they may not have the experience to truly help you get anywhere. There are many great copywriters out there that can help prep you in this area. Or if you are doing it yourself bounce your ideas off a few others to get feedback on what’s most intriguing and informational. Just trust me on this one…and you’ll make huge strides in completing your design materials in a more efficient and cost effective way.

So let’s recap…

* This strategy is very critical in saving time and money.

* Most designers are not copywriters, so have your copy completely flushed out before submitting it to a designer

* Extra special care and possibly external expertise (copywriters and editors) should especially be used with text heavy design projects such as e-books, catalogs and brochures.

* It takes precision, time and the implementing of certain typographic rules to layout copy in a manner that creates hierarchy and is easy for your audience to read.

* Unnecessary back and forth can be avoided with thoroughly prepared copy and can limit fees adding onto your final invoice as well as decrease your production time.

* Do not hesitate to make minor changes and additions here and there so you get the effect you desire, but massive overhauls should be avoided at all costs (literally!)

Happy Copy Writing!

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