What’s So Great About B2B Copywriting?
I'm pretty new to copywriting. Even though I bought AWAI's Six-Figure Program in 2005 and went to Bootcamp in 2006, a rude and unwelcome sickness completely derailed me in early 2007. Then recently, I received an email inviting me to join B2B Writing Success.
Who knew one stray email could spark a fierce fire within me? I joined B2B Writing Success, brushed off the Six-Figure Program, and dove back into copywriting.
I did everything recommended by experienced writers. Things like:
- Getting up early to write every day before going to work
- Studying controls
- Creating a website
- Reading books by Bob Bly, Robert Cialdini, Mark Ford, Eugene Schwartz, and Steve Slaunwhite
- Copying great sales letters by hand
- Mailing a letter to my personal network announcing, “I'm open for business as a copywriter”
- Building an effective LinkedIn profile
- Joining AWAI's Circle of Success
- Starting and participating in a peer review group
- And of course … picking a niche
I chose B2B as my focus, mostly because I've worked in a business setting for 28 years, and I'm comfortable writing for that audience. I toyed with self-help, fund-raising, and financial copywriting, but I kept coming back to B2B. And because every job I've had since 1988 has been in a health care information technology position, I chose B2B health care IT copywriting as my niche.
While thinking through the niche decision, I realized something. I love the role businesses play in society. They provide a structure where smart, hard-working people can turn their ideas into products and services that bring financial, emotional, and social rewards to themselves. Businesses also bring worthwhile benefits to our entire society by creating jobs and providing products and services that make life better for a lot of people.
How would life be different if we didn't have washing machines, smartphones, bricks, or sore throat medicine? And what if there were no restaurants, grocery stores, auto mechanics, or plumbers?
Consequently, one thing I like about B2B copywriting is I can help businesses that help people. But that's not “what's so great about B2B copywriting.”
Another benefit of being a copywriter is I can target companies that are shaping culture the way I want it to be shaped. They do this through their products, services, and profits. Writing for these companies essentially gives me influence to create the kind of world I want to live in.
Here's an example: I recently wrote a spec assignment to help a company promote its house-flipping system. I know people can improve their futures dramatically if they work through their fears and summon the courage to flip houses. At the same time, they improve the value of other houses in that neighborhood (happy neighbors!) and increase the tax base (happy local government!). I want to see these changes around me, and I can help it happen through copywriting.
But then I think about cigarettes. I have no problem with people who smoke, but we all know it's harmful to the human body. I don't want tobacco companies to succeed, so I won't write for them.
How cool is that? I can work to create the kind of world I want to live in by writing for some companies and NOT writing for others.
Yet, that's not “what's so great about B2B copywriting” either. Because all niches offer this same opportunity, right? If I wrote for the health market, or for information products, I still could seek writing assignments from companies that share my values and goals. I still could target companies that are working to create the kind of world I want to live in.
Then my brain rallied and struck on what I decided has to be the greatest benefit of B2B copywriting.
Check this out …
If I write a killer B2C sales letter for Nightingale-Conant, I help the company make money and nurture relationships with its customers. And I help the tens of thousands of people who read my promo and are inspired to do something to make their lives better. That really is a nice gig.
Furthermore, if I write B2B copy to help a company sell its HR software to Nightingale-Conant, I help that company make a sale. I help Nightingale-Conant with its HR workflow. And since I help Nightingale-Conant, I indirectly help all its customers. No, my influence isn't as potent as if I write a Nightingale-Conant control, but I'm still at least indirectly helping every person who buys any Nightingale-Conant product.
But get this. I'm also helping all the other companies that buy the same HR software, as well as all their customers. Suddenly, that's a lot of people I'm helping. Sweet!
Here's another example: If I write case studies for a local hospital, I help that hospital and its clinicians care for their patients efficiently and effectively. But if I write case studies promoting CareCloud's Electronic Health Record (EHR) software,
- I help CareCloud make sales and establish lasting relationships with its customers, including my local hospital
- I help my local hospital schedule and bill its patients quickly and accurately
- I help my local hospital's 8,500 clinicians place orders and document notes faster and more accurately
- I help the 400,000 patients at my local hospital get better care, because their providers aren't stressed out with frustrating patient care systems
- I help (let's say) 100 other hospitals that also use CareCloud's EHR system for their scheduling and billing processes
- I help hundreds of thousands of clinicians at those other hospitals with their ordering and documenting
- I help tens of millions of patients get better care at those other hospitals
And that's exactly how I see it. With B2B, the influence of my writing is compounded. When I find an exceptional B2B company with an exceptional product and get the opportunity to help it, I'm helping the company and its customers and its customers' customers.
I can create the kind of world I want to live in through copywriting, but I can do it much faster through the compounded influence of B2B copywriting.
Now THAT'S Glicken. And THAT'S what I think is so great about B2B copywriting.
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