Copywriting Outside the Box

5 minute read

Some kinds of copywriting projects are more well-known than others.

You have your newsletters or your white papers. Several copywriters focus on those specifically.

You have your blogs, articles, website content, and social media management… all great for retainer clients.

Of course, there are long-form sales letters… email messages… case studies… video scripts.

It’s a long list.

Copywriting is everywhere, and yet, many forms of it go unnoticed.

That’s what I want to dive into today — the less common (but still profitable) forms of copywriting. The unexpected writing opportunities… things you might not even consider to be copywriting, but definitely are.

If it’s writing, and it’s advertising, it’s copywriting.

And, the more you know about possible projects, the more opportunities you’ll have to fill a need for your clients, should that need come up.

Flyers

This is such an easy project. All you need is some basic knowledge of a program like Canva.

Small-business owners often aren’t very computer savvy. That means they don’t know how to create flyers.

They turn to printing houses or their local UPS store and pay good money to get these done.

But, you can do it for them.

All you need to do is gather the information they want included on the flyer. Work your magic to make the information sound enticing. Make sure all the actionable information is included. Then tinker with the layout until you’re happy with it — tools like Canva are very “drag-and-drop,” so you can produce a good result even if you aren’t a designer.

Send a picture of it to your client for approval.

If everything looks good, order the desired amount. (It’s not expensive to order from Canva.)

And voila, you have a sale for something that was easy for you to do, and also solved a problem for the client.

Once you master Canva, this project can take you just minutes. So, don’t bill for time, bill for knowledge. And, make sure you factor in the price of the order when calculating your fee.

Business Plans

I wrote one of these about a month ago.

I’d never heard of it before then. But, a friend of mine was starting a business and needed a business plan to submit to investors and the bank. It was one of those unexpected writing opportunities that just fell into my lap.

So, I consulted the internet and found some examples. Then I created something for his business that mirrored what I found online.

There are sections with start-up fees, plans for charging customers, how much you expect to make, the vision of the business, etc.

Business owners don’t usually have any idea how to do this. It can be a lot of work. And, if their writing isn’t clear and accurate, it won’t go over well with investors.

Enter the professional writer, here to take the stress off their plate and deliver a great (and effective) result.

Writing a business plan can be lengthy and time-consuming. Do a lot of research first. Read through several business plans online, preferably in the same industry or one that’s closely related.

Then ask a lot of questions before you start writing, and schedule time to ask more questions later. (You’ll need to.)

Writing a business plan isn’t a hard project, but it does take time, so make sure your prices reflect that.

This is the type of project business owners would much rather pay you to do, than do themselves.

Car Sticker Promos

Businesses like to advertise on their cars. You’ve probably noticed this just driving around your own town.

It makes good sense for the business owner, especially for a local business. If they do a lot of driving, it’s a good way to get their name out in front of people. And, they might even be able to write off some of their mileage because of it.

With a car sticker promo, you’re trying to fit the most important information into a small area.

You might think this would be easy enough for business owners to do. But, pay attention to some of the car advertisements you see — they aren’t always good! And, I’ll bet you can see ways to immediately improve a lot of them that you come across. (I saw one yesterday that was placed in a way that blocked the phone number, making the whole thing useless.)

A car sticker needs to capture people’s attention, tell them how you can help them, and how they can get in touch with you.

You can easily add this to the list of things you offer as a copywriter… another one of those unexpected writing opportunities that you can suggest when working on a website or email newsletter for a local client.

If you’re competent at Canva (or a similar program), you can even design and order these for your client.

Just make sure you get their approval first, and factor in the price of printing the car magnet when setting your fee.

Business Card Design

As a copywriter, I bet you’ve created your own business cards.

I made mine on VistaPrint, another easy-to-navigate program.

But, there are people who really struggle with creating their own.

It’s not something you’d necessarily think of as a copywriting service, but the words on those little cards matter. Use the skills you have for crafting elevator pitches and put them on business cards.

Then (you guessed it) get approval from the customer, order the cards, and charge what you’re worth.

Easy peasy.

Labels

Every product you find on the grocery store shelf (or any store shelf, for that matter) has a label. Labels advertise! They focus on benefits and try to get people to pick that product over a competitor’s (likely located on the adjacent shelf).

Who better to decide what goes on the label than a copywriter?

With such a small amount of space, it’s essential to use the right words.

As a copywriter, you know the importance of speaking your audience’s language. You know how to grab a customer’s attention with just a few words. You know what works.

And yet, you’ve probably never considered labels a form of copywriting, have you?

As you begin working with companies, ask if they have any products. Ask if they have a copywriter working on the scripts for their labels. Offer to work with their designer to strengthen the copy.

It’s as simple as that.

A Few More

I could go on and on about the random unexpected writing opportunities you might be overlooking.

I’ll list a few more here just for inspiration.

  • Building Signs
  • Information Packets for New Hires
  • Manual Translation (taking boring service manuals and translating them into real-world words)
  • Patient Intake Forms for Doctor’s Offices
  • Information Packets for Patients or Customers

The point here is to get you thinking outside the box. Writing is powerful. And, you can help businesses in so many ways with so many different forms of writing.

It’s only limited by your imagination.

Stay tuned for my next article delving into how I used this “thinking outside the box” mentality to form a new business venture.

And, if you have any other outside-the-box examples we didn’t mention here, drop them in the comments below.

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