27 Sep Consumerism and copywriting
Why I’m selective about who I work with
As a copywriter, my job is to write words that persuade people. Often, usually, that’s to persuade them to buy something. Yet, one of my personal values is conscious consumption and trying to live in a sustainable way. So, how do I blend my views on consumerism and copywriting?
Selling expertise, not stuff
Firstly, I predominantly work with service-based businesses. By this, I mean people who are offering a service rather than a product. This includes lawyers, accountants, IT consultants, health coaches, graphic designers, travel agents, property buyers’ agents, and more. Within this space, I love working with businesses who genuinely care about the results they can achieve for their clients and how they can make a positive difference.
Writing for the greater good
Next, I also regularly work with not-for-profits. I use my copywriting skills to persuade people to give rather than buy. Copywriting that taps into the emotions is a very important element of fundraising, sponsorship proposals and general awareness raising campaigns.
The right stuff
Of course, I do still write about products. I just try to be intentional about what ‘stuff’ I’m writing words about to sell. When it comes to writing about physical products, I mainly focus on the food and beverage sector – after all, we all need to eat, and I believe we should be more mindful about our food choices. Food waste, particularly by households in first-world economies, is one of the biggest environmental issues of the world. Frankly, we have access to too much, and we don’t take enough care and consideration over our choices. We can easily and cheaply buy an abundance of food with minimal effort. I prioritise working with food and beverage businesses who are producing quality products in an ethical way.
I also am a believer in buying good quality products once rather than getting caught up in a cycle of “buy, use, break, throw away, buy again.” If a product is well made and designed to be used for many, many years, or is able to be easily repaired and this is something to be promoted, or reduces the need for single-use items, then it meets some of my core criteria about sustainability.
Ultimately, I want to work with businesses and organisations who give a crap. Whether that’s caring about our environment, our society, or just wanting to get the best result for their clients. I care about doing a great job for my clients, and I want to feel good about the work I do and the ultimate impact it has in the world. For me, in addition to the flexibility it gives me for family life, being able to make values-based choices about who I work with is a big reason for freelancing.
Over to you
How do your values inform how you do business? Have you taken on work that felt icky and then regretted it? Or do you always let your ethics guide you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.