Category Archives: Copywriting? Is it for me?

Copywriting Courses and the International Divide

We have recently been contacted by someone commenting on what they thought was a series of misspellings on the Copywriting Apprentice website. This person kindly got in touch privately to point it out. In fact, the spelling mistake wasn’t a mistake at all. It was simply a difference between UK English and US English.

This wasn’t the first time that same word had been flagged up. Perhaps that’s because we use a .com extension for the website. Presumably readers don’t realise the CA is a UK-based copywriting training company.

The word in question, in case you’re wondering, is enrol. In the US, ‘enroll’ has a double ‘l’. In the UK, the single ‘l’ is correct. But this highlights just one of the differences we accommodate when working in an international market.

The Copywriting Apprentice, as a UK-based copywriting training company, attracts students from all corners of the English-speaking world. We are always delighted to enrol (note the one ‘l’) students from the US. Some are living and working in the US. Others live and work overseas, where often UK English is the norm.

Most people realise that spellings can differ between the two versions of English, but there are many more differences. Some terminology changes can cause confusion. For example, people wear ‘trousers’ in the UK and ‘pants’ in the US. Women carry ‘handbags’ here and ‘purses’ in America. In the UK, we might sit in our gardens while our cousins over the pond would sit in their ‘yards’.

While both the Brits and the Americans speak the same language, it’s important to remember we have different cultures. And this is something, as trainers, we have to be aware of when working with overseas students, wherever in the world they live.

One very noticeable difference between American students and their British counterparts, is their direct approach to sales and marketing. Here in Britain, it’s just not the done thing … what ho, old boy! … and all that. We Brits are often embarrassed by the concept of selling. There is a temptation to try to hide subtle sales messages in the midst of flowery prose in the hopes that nobody will notice they are being sold to. Then we wonder why our products don’t sell. Our US students have no such reservations. They understand the concept of selling and tackle it head on.

So how does a copywriting training company cross the international divide? Well firstly, good copywriting is the same the world over. Its job is to sell the client’s product or services.

With the Copywriting Apprentice, American-based students can choose to work in their native US English or in UK English. This allows overseas copywriters working or hoping to work in the UK market, to hone their skills. As well as spelling differences, we advise and help them with terminology and some of the nuances and different uses of the language here in the UK.

Students overseas are governed by different legislation, too. The course references UK legislation and recommends overseas students check the legalities in their own country.

In practical terms, textbooks can be sent to any location, at no additional cost. Skype is used for tutorials rather than costly overseas phone calls. Time differences are taken into account and if necessary, early morning or early evening tutorials are arranged. The copywriting course learning management system (the Learning Gateway) is online so can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

So, however you spell the word ‘enroll’, when you choose the Copywriting Apprentice and ‘enrol’ on our course, you can be sure we will be doing all we can to cross that international divide.

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