Back in the day when computers ran through stacks of punched cards to complete their calculations, one computer lab hired a young woman who knew nothing about computers to do quality control. That young woman was my mother. She’s gotten better with computers over the years, but back then she had absolutely no idea about – or interest in – how computers worked.

So why did they hire her?

Precisely because she knew nothing. The manager at the lab knew that she would see things that he and the rest of his team couldn’t see, blinded as they were by the work they were ensconced in every day. With her outsider’s perspective, she became a valuable member of the lab during her short assignment there, helping them troubleshoot and streamline their processes.

A drawing in black chalk on a sidewalk using forced perspective of a house at Christmastime

Forced Perspective in Sidewalk Chalk Art

3 Ways the Non-Expert’s Point of View Helps Your Business

Many companies prefer to work with copywriters who have experience in the company’s industry, but they may be missing out on valuable input by passing on copywriters without that experience. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can help you see things in a new light. Think of the things an outsider can do because of this perspective:

Discover problems. Outsiders can spot discrepancies that you might have overlooked. We tend to see what we expect to see (which is why proofreading our own work is hard), whereas an outsider will see what is actually there.

Suggest improvements. Outsiders make no assumptions about how things are or how they should be. They may end up suggesting improvements that you hadn’t considered, simply because it’s never been done that way.

Spark discussion. Outsiders bring their different backgrounds and knowledge to the project, so their take on a product, service, or company may be unlike anything you’ve heard before. And because this is new to them, they have not grown bored with it. Their enthusiasm and genuine interest can inspire you. Real discussion occurs when complacency ends, and outsiders help bring that about.

Good Copywriters Use Ignorance to Their (and Your) Advantage

Good copywriters help the companies they write for, even when they are not experts in that company’s field. In addition to being quick studies who love to learn new things, they:

  • Write simply, avoid jargon, and never assume that the reader understands the ins and outs of the industry.
  • Communicate their understanding of a complex product or service to others (i.e., customers) who are also non-experts.
  • See how a particular product or service benefits the end user, and write to that point in order to increase interest – and ultimately sales.

The bottom line is: Don’t be afraid to hire a copywriter who’s not an expert in your field. If you like their samples and have confidence that they can deliver the type of project you want (web copy, white paper, case study, etc.) then go ahead and work with them. An outsider’s perspective might be just what your company needs. Who knows – you may end up with a new perspective on things.

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