How the best Bristol copywriters survive a downturn

Even the best copywriters in Bristol (us) are feeling the pinch this time of year. Whether it’s the rise of Chat GPT, nervousness in the market, or cost-cutting, things are tough out there. So, what can you do?

Here are some strategies that every Bristol copywriter (well, any copywriter anywhere in the world) can use to survive in a downturn.

How do we know they work? Copywriting Bristol has been in business for over a decade, and we’ve experienced fluctuating fortunes. These are some of the strategies we’ve followed to stay relevant, and we hope they work for you…

Get analytical

Do you know how your website is performing? If not, you need to get analytical.

Every great copywriter must understand how to use Google Search Console and Google Analytics. These tools are incredibly powerful at identifying any issues with your website, tracking your ranking performance, and any penalties that could be affecting it.

You can also see how you’re performing against the key search terms for your site and your industry.

Understanding analytics won’t just help you improve your website’s performance; you can use the same skills to create better – and more relevant – content for your customers and clients.

Optimise your website

Is your copywriting or content website still relevant? It’s a question you should ask yourself (especially when business is slow).

Tools such as Smartlook enable you to see how users navigate your website. Watching these can identify any sticking points that could impact the user experience.

Are users struggling to access a contact form? Do they get stuck inside the site and can’t navigate out?

These tools can provide vital insights that you can use to optimise your site. But you don’t need to pay; most are free!

Even if you don’t have the technical skills to install such tools, you can approach your website with fresh eyes, working through each page and proposition to assess its effectiveness.

Get serious about SEO

Do you know what your customers are searching for?

You may think you do, but customer search terms can change over time. A great way to win new business as a copywriter is to target some AI content search terms, for example. How to do this? By creating valuable content that’s customer-focused and packed with relevant keywords.

Again, Google has the answers here. Its powerful Keyword Planner is totally free as part of its Google Ads platform delivering the insights you need. You can identify your industry keywords and narrow search terms to a specific location.

Then it’s up to you to showcase your skills, creating engaging content that will appeal to customers and algorithms.

You’re a content professional, so we won’t patronise you here. But make sure your copywriting content is detailed, fresh, and engaging. And always write over 750 words.

Update socials

If you’re not using social media, you’re missing out on creating connections with your customers. But don’t waste time on vanity platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. LinkedIn is where you’ll build connections with clients and customers.

You can work on your personal profile, but it’s also worth spending the time to create a business profile where you can showcase your work. Business profiles present a more professional face for your business and enable those searching for work to connect with you.

You don’t need to post every day, but regularly updating your page and sharing new work is essential.

One thing to remember is that nobody likes aggressive approaches or constant communication. If you find someone looking for services you offer, message them, and then leave them alone. If they want to connect, they will.

Create connections

In a digital world, human connections matter more than ever.

What do we mean by that?

Reaching out to your network can be the most effective marketing strategy that you will ever use.

Check out lukewarm (or even stone-cold) leads. Reconnect with old customers. Email old friends. Search for local networking events. Take people out for a drink.

Building connections create opportunities.

Bristol is full of professional networking groups and professional organisations. An excellent place to start is Bristol Creative Industries. There are more, but you’ll have to use Google to find them (it’s easy, trust us!).

What not to do in a downturn

So we’ve outlined some of the strategies we use when confronted with an empty calendar (or, in our case, a free few hours). But financial pressures can cause even the best copywriters to do things we usually wouldn’t.

Here are a few things you won’t want to do if you’re serious about safeguarding your business.

  • Don’t lower prices –stick to your charging schedule and have confidence in your prices. If you’re charging over the odds, you’ll always struggle, but a fair day’s work deserves fair pay.
  • Don’t chase work – When worried about not working, we can often chase work that isn’t suitable. This can lead to disappointed clients and damaged reputations. Instead, follow the advice above and build your professional profile.
  • Don’t stray from your niche – As an agency, we only accept copywriting work we know can deliver and stay away from work we can’t. In a downturn, it’s easy to take on work that’s inappropriate to pay the bills, but while it may pay in the short term, the long-term impact could be damaging.
  • Don’t break non-competition clauses – We often work as an outsourced provider to agencies with an agreement we won’t contact clients we’ve worked with this way. When cash is tight, there’s a temptation to break this (un)written rule but don’t. Word gets around…
  • Don’t compromise your ethics – Your agency and reputation are based on your word, so don’t do anything dodgy (like outsource to content mills, pass off AI content as your own, or plagiarise content). Even if you have no money, you’ll want to maintain your ethics.

The secret the best copywriters share…

The best copywriters and content professionals are confident in the quality of their work. There are literally hundreds of Bristol copywriters and content professionals out there. Still, we’re optimistic about the future – because we know we produce great work at an affordable price.

Our clients and customers rely on us to create copy and content that gets results, and we’ll keep doing that. So keep your computer on, keyboard ready, and head up – things can only get better.

If you want to work with the best Bristol copywriting agency, contact us today!

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