Why Are B2B Copywriters in Demand?


Steve Slaunwhite

One of my favorite books is Make It Happen Before Lunch by Stephen Schiffman. In it, he tells the story of how his sales training business was about to go bust. He had no clients. No money. His telephone was about to be disconnected.

As he rushed to save his business — via a marathon week of cold calling — there was one thing he knew would give him a fighting chance.

Market demand.

Schiffman knew that so long as there were companies out there eagerly looking for effective sales training, he could overcome just about any obstacle to success.

He was right. And thanks in part to market demand, his business not only recovered, it thrived. Google him. Today, Schiffman is considered one of the greats in sales training.

What does all this mean to copywriters?

It means that if you focus on copywriting markets where the demand is high, then you have a decent chance of success. After all, the business is there. You just have to find a way to get it!

So where can you find that big demand?

In my opinion, you’ll find it among Business-to-Business (B2B) companies.

In fact, the demand for good copywriting and content for B2B companies is exploding. Just last week, a marketing director of a start-up software company told me, “If a really good B2B copywriter knocked on my door, I’d want to hire her instantly. I would ply her with tea and chocolates if I had to. Anything to persuade her to write for us!”

Okay, not all prospective clients are that eager. But I do hear similar comments from marketing directors frequently.

So why is the demand for good B2B copywriters so high? There are many reasons, but the two most compelling are these:

1. Growth of content marketing

To help sell their products and services, B2B companies need to produce great content on a regular basis, everything from emails, landing pages, and blog posts to case studies and white papers.

The problem is, they can’t keep up. Just about every B2B company feels they’ve fallen behind on producing content to support their marketing initiatives.

In a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.com, marketing directors of B2B companies where asked what their top content marketing challenges were. In first and second place was “Producing engaging content” and “Producing content consistently.”

In other words, they’re struggling to find copywriters.

And not just any copywriter, but trained professionals who know how to write clear, persuasive copy and engaging content that helps sell B2B products and services.

2. Shortage of writers

I have yet to hear a B2B marketing director say she’s inundated by enquiries from freelance B2B copywriters. Usually, I hear the opposite. Most are struggling to find good B2B writers.

Why is that?

One reason is that B2B copywriting is more challenging that general copywriting. You need to understand products you may not be familiar with. How much do you know about turbine valves or commercial restaurant coolers? Or even sales training services?

Also, you need to know how to write content and copy that educates and sells a business buyer, which is very different than persuading consumers. Do you know how to write a brochure that gets an accountant interested in a new software?

I think that’s one of the reasons why some writers shy away from B2B. And that’s too bad. Because just about any good writer can learn this stuff. It isn’t rocket science.

You can learn how B2B companies sell their products and services. You can learn the role great copy and content plays in that process. You can learn how to write intelligently and persuasively to business buyers. You can learn how to write a brochure, white paper, email series, website, case study, blog post, and so forth.

So, why don’t you?

In my 20 years as a freelancer, I have never seen the demand for good B2B copywriting this high. In my opinion, it’s where the action is these days.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.

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Published: March 10, 2016

4 Responses to “Why Are B2B Copywriters in Demand?”

  1. Steve. Your article would be more accurate if it were titled, "ARE B2B Copywriters In Demand?"

    Despite constant prospecting, I find very few clients with ongoing B2B writing needs. Two things I hear a lot are (1) "We like your samples and experience," and (2) "We don't have a need for your services right now."

    And in general, they don't have a need for you EVER. Or if they do, it's for a one-time assignment. Writing jobs are few & far between. That's the reality of B2B freelancing.

    Rob LindsayMarch 10, 2016 at 8:28 pm

  2. Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking Steve's teaching abilities. I took his "Practically Painless Prospecting" course, which has helped me to make contacts at various companies through email marketing. His courses are definitely worth taking.

    But taking Steve's course hasn't led to more work for me. I haven't found too many companies with a high demand for B2B writers, or learned how to break the "feast or famine" cycle that seems to be the reality of B2B copywriting.

    Rob LindsayMarch 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

  3. Hi Rob,

    I don't think you saw Steve's response to your earlier post. I've copied it here …

    Rob, it takes hard work and determination to launch any business, regardless of the market demand. When I started, I prospected an average a 100 companies a week. It took me six months to get my first two clients. (And that was in the '90s when prospecting was a lot tougher.)

    There may be many reasons why you're not getting traction with your prospecting efforts. It could be the type of companies you're targeting, your approach, your website, etc. Email me. I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

    Steve Slaunwhite – March 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm (hide | edit | delete)

    Will NewmanMarch 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm

  4. Will. Yes, I saw Steve's response to the other article, and I'll definitely contact Steve again.

    I've been working hard at this freelance business for 15 years, and it's never been very profitable for me. I've done B2B writing for Dell, IBM, Cisco, and other clients, but I still go through long stretches where I'm prospecting but not finding any work. It seems to be a continual "feast or famine" business. I only do it because I've never been able to do anything else, other than writing.

    Rob LindsayMarch 11, 2016 at 6:53 pm


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