Any copywriter with any sense, and someone they can ask, will get a second opinion on their work before they expose it to the client. Even the most detail-obsessed scribes need a quality control safety net. But a second pair of eyes will see much more than typos – especially if it belongs to another experienced copywriter.
While we’re writing, we try our best to put ourselves in the reader’s shoes. It’s the first rule of copywriting. But no matter how good we are at this, we’ll never see our work in the same way as someone who didn’t write it. Fresh eyes are vital. Objective and emotionally detached, they can spot any breaches of clarity, and opportunities for sharpening the message, before we launch it towards its target.
The main benefit of this is obvious: we end up with clear copy that gets results. Happy client. But there are two more reasons I’d recommend this type of editing to anyone involved in copywriting.
1. It saves time
Okay, you need to give your ‘editor’ time to read and comment on your stuff, and then for you to make any necessary changes. But compare this to the time you save by not having to agonise over every word and phrase, confident that a like-minded writer will suggest improvements and pick up any weaknesses.
2. It helps you push boundaries
With a constructive critic between you and the client, you can try ideas you might otherwise shy away from. You can be free with your thinking, wild with your wording, cavalier with your constructions. If it’s not right for the reader, it’s filtered out before anyone with career-threatening powers has chance to see it. And if it does hit the mark, you’ve now got some copy that’s fresher, more interesting, and therefore probably more effective than if you’d worked in cautious isolation.
Of course, all this relies on having an editor whose judgment you trust, and who you know will be honest with you. So choose your second pair of eyes carefully – or it could all end in tears for the first pair.