Should Copywriters Worry About The Government Shutdown?

Not knowing how long the government shutdown will last has many people worried … but copywriters don't need to worry. Our jobs are safe thanks to the need for great copy and marketing in every business climate.

So here are four reasons to put aside your fears about a government shutdown – or any other economic crisis – ending your copy career:

1. In tough times, marketing is more important than ever.

When the going gets tough, smart companies do more marketing, not less. They recognize their marketing efforts are going to be what keeps their own doors open no matter how long the government shutdown lasts. Plus, advertising when others are cutting back on marketing is a great way to build market share – so copywriters shouldn't expect to see work dry up.

Even better? Direct response marketing – the skill taught in all AWAI programs – is the most cost effective way of advertising. Businesses use more of it in a crisis, making copywriters a hot commodity, as Katie Yeakle pointed out in her great piece from 2008, What Does The Current Economic Recession Mean To Your Future? Every point she makes in that article is just as true in 2013 as it was then.

2. Consumers desire and need to buy doesn't vanish overnight.

Just because the federal government is shutdown doesn't mean consumer needs have changed. People will still buy vitamins, clothes, shoes, restaurant meals, hotel stays, real estate, gold … everything under the sun is still up for grabs. Marketers simply have to work a little harder to tap into customers’ real needs and desires.

Dan Kennedy gives great advice in this area. When marketing in an environment of fear and uncertainty, you have to go above and beyond to demonstrate the value of your product. And, you have to have better customer follow up in the form of stick letters, autoresponders, and customer communications like newsletters. Copywriters who can show businesses they can do these things will always have a full book of clients.

3. Different market segments have different needs.

One market's crisis is another market's opportunity. For every company bemoaning the government shutdown, there's at least one thrilled about all the drama. And a smart copywriter can use almost anything as the inspiration for a new promotion.

For example, right now survival newsletters, investment advisory services, and political organizations are having a field day. And even companies outside those niches can tap into the latest government shutdown updates for ideas to use in fresh copy to reach new market segments, growing their business base at a critical time.

4. Copywriting is a truly global skill.

America isn't the only country using direct response marketing – nor are American clients the only option. In fact, in my first year as a copywriter, I had clients based in Japan, Brazil, and the U.K. This proved to me that my skills were needed everywhere, and that no single market event could stop me from being successful.

If you can write copy, you can survive – and thrive! – no matter what's happening around you. It's one of the biggest perks of the writer's life. If you get The Barefoot Writer, you can read about writers making a great living all over the world every month as something to both inspire you and remind you that no matter what the future holds, you don't have to worry.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: October 3, 2013

1 Response to “Should Copywriters Worry About The Government Shutdown?”

  1. As a retired federal civilian, I've worked and lived through such shutdowns. But when it comes to the corporate world, writing copy is the "mission essential" talent no business can do without. As long as words make all the difference online or offline, we copywriters will never have to worry about being "furloughed."

    Those among us who keep our skills the sharpest - and our eyes and ears most peeled - will always find ourselves in huge demand.

    RNin2013October 4, 2013 at 10:41 am


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