As a financial services copywriter, my job is to make every word count.

Words about retail financial products have to be treated with the utmost care.

Minding your literary p’s and q’s is all very well, but not if key benefits become buried in qualifications and four succinct paragraphs stretch to a convoluted eight.

Yet the world yearns for simplicity, clarity and brevity.

So the challenge, when writing copy for the financial services sector, is to produce engaging, informative and to-the-point propositions that are also compliant.

Start keen, stay keen
Accommodating the interests of those directly and indirectly involved in the marketing of retail financial products entails compromise. The ‘trick’, if it can be called that, is for the project owner and the financial writer to maintain their enthusiasm throughout the process — here’s how I believe that can be done:

1. There's a willingness to put assumptions to the test
2. Strengths and weaknesses are assessed candidly
3. Ideas and thoughts are aired freely from start to finish
4. The writer avoids writing anything that will fall at the first hurdle

Applying those disciplines helps keep people focused and committed.

The end result? Financial copy — that whatever the circumstances — is as good as it can possibly be.

Or put another way, copy where every word earns its keep.

As far as I'm concerned, that's what financial services copywriting is all about.

My copy is the sum of a number of parts.

Once you’ve given me the hard facts, I start the preparatory work.

I disassemble the product and pull together the loose ends. I listen to market noise and look at the bigger picture. Then I establish priorities, crystallise thoughts and identify the most important point (or points) the potential buyer needs to know.

Adopting that process enables me to extract the maximum value from any piece of copy I write.