Why do I think I’m qualified to do technical copywriting.
I’ve done a lot of it in the past, but I’m an adbiz guy, not a technical writer. I know how to separate out the boilerplate and chaff from a company’s literature and pare it down to the red meat of their story.
What I want to do is to write brochure sites for technology companies who want to let the world know what they are doing.
I’ve been studying science and technology all my life. I never completed my engineering degree, but I’ve been able to talk to engineers and translate their achievements into text that anybody can understand. I do it by being wrong about everything and letting the engineers show me where I was wrong, until I get it right.
My niche is not a certain category of companies. I see technical and industrial companies that are not explaining themselves well, companies that have a market advantage that the market is not seeing. Companies that have a new product that they want to distinguish from what the competition is offering. New companies with a breakthrough product.
I see them not only not explaining themselves well, but not explaining themselves at all.
As an outsider to their industry, I see that they are using the same word structures as other industries to make a generic façade of self-approval. They aren’t talking about what they actually do, they’re talking about industry norms in very abstract terms. So when they have a new product or a new method, they are unable to see it as an outsider might see it.
I can’t talk to anybody in any field without them telling me how technology has transformed their field. But they are so busy with their own field that they haven’t noticed the transformations in the next guy’s field. People think the changes in their own field are normal and well known.
I create a plain explanation to give potential customers a clear view of what you are offering in concrete terms, in active language, in context with the onrush of technology in your field.
How I do it
My creative goal is to learn what the engineers have accomplished and write it down clearly. My process is: rewriting. I interview the subject matter experts and get suggestions for further reading. I write a draft and show it to the engineers, and they laugh and point out my blunders. I rewrite it with my new understanding, and this time my errors are more subtle, but the engineers still find them.
Then I present a draft that they admit is a clear true explanation. And from there we devise a plan to market this explanation.