Whether you’re looking to hire an inbound writer, or become one yourself, there are a handful of key copywriting competencies that are essential to inbound marketing.
9 Traits of an Inbound Copywriter
9. Stellar Research Skills
Inbound marketing is all about problem-solving – and to be able to identify and solve our audience’s pain points, we need to understand their industry. In particularly technical B2B niches, this can be a real challenge. Your inbound copywriter has to have a systematic and efficient approach to research. They need to be able to digest whitepapers, research and technical content, and turn dry, dull content into emotive, engaging copy.
8. An Analytical Mind
Empiricism and analysis are just as crucial to inbound marketing as creativity and experimentation. Without an analytical mind, it becomes impossible to track the efficacy of your content, and understand the type of copy that resonates with your audience.
7. A Love of Reading
The best writers are also the most devout readers. In the same way that musicians often immerse themselves in a particular genre, and draw upon other musicians in creating their own style, a diverse interest in literature is crucial to effective copywriting. From The Elements of Style through to Stephen King’s epic post-apocalyptic odyssey The Stand (BEST. BOOK. EVER.), reading will improve a writer’s abilities both directly and indirectly. Industry-publications offer practical, hands-on advice, and novels improve a writer’s ability to weave enthralling stories.
6. Teaching Ability
Actionable content is one of the easiest ways to provide value through inbound marketing. How-to guides, case studies and tutorials are perfect for connecting with your audience, and solving their frustrations and problems. To be able to do this effectively, an inbound copywriter has to be able to teach – breaking down complicated concepts and processes into simple, manageable steps.
5. Flawless Grammar and Spelling
I’m a huge fan of virtuosic guitarists (think Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Guthrie Govan), and their approach to music is directly comparable to copywriting. These masters immerse themselves in music theory, learn it inside-out and back-to-front – not so that it directly informs their playing, but so that it never limitsthem. Inbound copywriters need a similarly innate understanding of grammar and spelling, using their familiarity with language to explore new ways to engage with their audience.
Inbound copywriters have to tailor their writing to the needs and problems of dozens of different audiences. Empathy is essential to engaging each of these audiences is a meaningful way – and whilst I don’t suggest hiring a method-acting copywriter, it’s important that your writer can understand perspectives very different to their own.
3. Desire to Learn, and Keep Learning
Even the best copywriters can improve upon their craft. With developments in the marketing field, and an ever-expanding ocean of industries, niches, products and problems, it’s crucial that your writer is hungry for new knowledge and skills.
2. Passion for Inbound Marketing
Passion is crucial to success in any career. Thankfully, that passion is pretty easy to find in the inbound marketing industry – after all, it’s our job to connect genuine problems with genuine solutions. We don’t confuse or mislead; we just do our damndest to help. If your inbound copywriter doesn’t understand that, then they don’t understand inbound marketing.
1. Get Sh*t Done
These are all essential traits for a pro inbound copywriter – but if they can’t meet deadlines and create killer copy on demand, they’re as good as worthless. In other words, your copywriter needs to be able to get sh*t done. We’ve all obsessed over a piece of content, and spent hours editing and adjusting. Whilst this might be fine for the casual copywriter, a professional inbound copywriter has to know when to put down their pen and hit publish. It might not be perfect – but as long as they’ve illustrated all of the traits listed here, it’s going to be pretty damn close.
About the author: Ryan Law
Ryan Law is a freelance marketing copywriter, specialising in white-label content and content strategy for digital marketing agencies. When he’s not busy creating coffee-fueled copy, he’s usually working on his marketing blog or playing a mean guitar. Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn!
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