What Skills Do You Need To Become a Copywriter?

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As we know, copywriting is writing that persuades people into taking a form of action.

Copywriters have become increasingly in demand since Covid-19 struck the planet and more businesses have had to adopt digital strategies.

For us writers, the demand has always been there (digital marketing is nothing new) but a big ol’ spotlight has been shone on creating exceptional customer experiences and copywriting is an integral component.

So, if you might be considering a switch in career or just fancy learning a new skill, here’s a high-level view of copywriting.

There’s plenty to love about being a copywriter:

  • It’s incredibly creative
  • You’re always learning new things
  • It’s possible to work entirely remotely from anywhere in the world
  • You build large networks of creative minds
  • As flexible as you want it to be
  • Can be highly lucrative
  • Often leads to adopting new skills around marketing

That’s the good stuff but in the interest of balance, let’s talk about some of the challenges:

  • Depending who you work for, creativity can be restricted
  • Working remotely can be lonely
  • You’re accountable for yourself, no one will do it for you
  • Easy to get chained to your desk by saying “yes” to everything
  • You have to get comfortable being out of your comfort zone often

So that’s a quick snapshot of the pros and cons of being a copywriter and of course, whether you perceive these things as such, is dependent on the individual.

Still, catching a vibe for copy? You might just possess the skills to pay the bills!

Believe it or not, no actual writing experience or journalism degrees are required to start a career as a copywriter.

Genuinely. That’s not some sales trick to pull you in.

I and countless others started with neither and are doing just fine.

That being said, if you’re going to set yourself apart, there are a few soft skills that will certainly help get the ball rolling.

Here are a few examples of skills that great copywriters possess:

You’re a word nerd

To put it more eloquently – you have a real passion for choosing the right words.

This is reflected in your personal life, your relationships and your workplace. You are conscious of how language and tone impact the person or people you’re speaking to.

If you’re serious about making a career out of anything, it damn sure helps to be totally in love with the core element of it, in this case: communication.

You have a high emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is quickly climbing the ladder for employers’ most desired qualities.

The ability to interpret how you feel in situations and channel a positive outcome is paramount for personal growth and for careers too.

If you’re the sort of person that can deescalate a stressful situation and flip negativity into positive perception, you’re ideal for understanding customer journeys and how to solve their problems.

It also makes you easier to work with.

You can take feedback and criticism

No one likes hearing negative things being said about their work. That’s universal.

But it’s important to separate feedback from criticism.

Criticism tends to be negative with no supporting argument or suggestion to improve or solve.

Feedback is constructive. It can help to fix what’s wrong and create an iterative workflow.

Understanding the difference is one thing but if you can accept either with total humility or lack of ego, you’re untouchable.

Having an eye for design

As a copywriter you’re bound to get asked to design something at some point in your career, it’s inevitable.

If you’re comfortable doing it great, if not, just say so. It’s not what a copywriter does after all.

But, recognising what looks great visually and having a basic knowledge of visual design and user experience (UX) will go a long way with collaborators and the writing itself.

You have a growth mindset

Having a growth mindset will help you overcome the many forms of resistance you will likely experience as a writer.

Instead of seeing obstacles or challenges as soul-crushing endeavours, you see them as opportunities to learn and develop.

To be frank, if you solely had this one skill, it would carry you the whole way.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about copywriting and what it takes to become one.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please do share them! It’s always great to hear from fellow writers and potential new ones.

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