Earlier this year I made the realization that a lot of my clients and other creative entrepreneurs aren’t aware of the wide variety of potential services they could be outsourcing in their businesses. As your business grows, it’s important to give it some love and freshen it up from time to time. Maybe you want a new look or you just really hate bookkeeping (me too girl.)
In order to help solve some stigmas around outsourcing and which services are right for YOU and your biz, I decided to start a new mini-series. Once a month (on average, a girl can’t make any promises!) I’ll be interviewing some of my favorite creative entrepreneurs who I know personally and have collaborated with or have been following for a while and believe you’d benefit in hearing from.
This previous week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Shannon from Shannon Quinn Copywriting on all things copywriting and how her services work hand in hand with design. In case you’re more of a reader, keep reading for a recap on what we discussed.
Shannon’s journey into entrepreneurship started similarly to a lot of us these days – with a background in the 9 to 5 world, and a pandemic that gave her time to think. Shannon worked in the marketing and branding agency world for a little while, and loved her time there, but started thinking more holistically about her life and how she could implement her talents of copywriting into a life that truly fulfills her. After a little contemplation (and a whole lotta research and trial and error) Shannon left her 9 to 5 and turned to full-time entrepreneurship in early 2021.
When it comes to describing her target audience, Shannon, like me, uses the term “creative entrepreneurs” to describe the people that she loves working with. But what does that really mean? To her, creative entrepreneurs refer to people that are authentic, enjoy expressing themselves, and have some sort of creative background.
Whether that be designers, photographers, fine artists, or wedding industry entrepreneurs – she does have a background in the industry after all – Shannon is on a mission to tell the stories that people want to tell, and doesn’t hold back on her cleverly dubbed “personality-packed” tactics.
As a designer, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins where clients expect their designer to handle everything from messaging to the copy on their site ALONG with the design, and that’s simply not the case.
Business owners tend to wear all the hats in their business, so when they outsource, they hope to find someone who is a “one-stop shop,” but if you truly want authentic, custom services, and want to support other entrepreneurs, outsourcing multiple creatives is typically one of the best options.
Being too “in” your business and being hesitant to hire out services like copywriting can block you from reaching potential dream clients. A common problem that clients considering copywriting face is knowing what they want to say, but struggling with the how.
As Shannon says, you want to be sure not to just talk about yourself, your accomplishments, and your skills. Instead, talk about your expertise and how it can bring direct benefit to your ideal customers.
Investing in copywriting can bring clarity to your business in ways you had never thought of before. Just like I do, Shannon uses strategic pre-work assignments to dig deep into the why behind your business, shining light on the things that you otherwise may have overlooked.
If it’s not clear already, copywriting and design have a lot of overlap. Both Shannon and I provide every client with a series of small pre-work assignments to get to know our clients and their businesses on a deeper level to create work they’ll love (and that’s designed with their audience in mind, always.)
Shannon typically recommends reaching out to her anywhere from 3 to 6 months before your hopeful website launch date. Service providers often book out months in advance, myself included, so it’s important to allow for ample time when there’s a specific provider you’re wanting to hire.
On another note, copywriting should always come before design. A lot of web designers, including myself, like to have the copywriting done and in hand before touching the site to ensure that the design and messaging work well together. As a designer, it’s hard to create a website that feels authentic to your business if we don’t have the words that will go on your site. Copywriting and design work hand-in-hand to create a cohesive brand experience, and more often than not, your web design is informed directly by your copy.
Let’s say you’re wanting to launch your brand-new website in October. What that means is that you’ll want to reach out to a copywriter around June or July. You can typically reach out to your designer at this same time if you’re open to working with both a copywriter and designer on your brand at the same time!
In 2022, Shannon and I collaborated on a project for a wedding photographer and our timelines meshed almost perfectly. Shannon’s full web timelines typically take about 4 to 6 weeks. That’s the same amount of time I set in place for my full-scale brand design services.
By the time you’re done working with Shannon and have approved your final branding, you’ll be ready to jump right into the web design process.
If you take anything away from my chat with Shannon, remember this. Words are just as important as design. They work together to convince your audience that you’re an expert at what you do and the wording is what ultimately converts to sales.
If you’re wanting to learn more about how you can work with Shannon, head to her website to discover how she can bring alignment and personality into your brand through its messaging.
Keep an eye out for more lives on Instagram in the coming weeks as part of my new series!