This is a guest post from the most wonderful Bob of Phronesis Freelance . I really appreciate the input so thanks Bob!
The north-west gets a bit of a bad rap, with Liverpool and Manchester often losing out to Birmingham in people’s assessment of which is England’s ‘second city’.
And sure enough, if you’re talking about population alone, London’s is over eight million, Birmingham’s over one million, Manchester’s little more than 500,000 and Liverpool’s slightly less than that.
But when you hire a copywriter in Liverpool, you’re not getting somebody who works in isolation. Merseyside as a whole has a population of 1.4 million people, Greater Manchester contains 2.6 million, and the north-west has around seven million residents in all.
Look at the Google Trends data for people searching for ‘Liverpool’, and you can see that interest in the city comes from across the north-west.
Searching for Liverpool
Understandably, Liverpool itself is the location where most searches for the word ‘Liverpool’ come from, so let’s use this as our Google Trends base measure.
Roughly a third as many searches come from St. Helens, 15 miles away, while around an eighth as many come from Preston, 30 miles to the north of Liverpool.
Manchester, roughly 35 miles to the east (and home to me!) conducts about a ninth as many searches for ‘Liverpool’ as Liverpudlians do themselves, with a similar proportion coming from Chester, 20 miles to the south.
This gives Liverpool a local area of interest that stretches for 20 to 30 miles (or more) in any direction, at least on its landward side.
Even London searches for ‘Liverpool’ 8% as often as Liverpool itself – although the evidence suggests that a lot of those searches are actually for Liverpool St Station, which is in London itself.
I usually describe myself as a Manchester copywriter, but I’m proud of my Northern heritage as a whole – I’m originally from Scunthorpe, my family are of Yorkshire blood, and I work closely with Bethan (the eponymous Write Sprite) in her capacity as a talented, home-based copywriter in Liverpool.
We may live and work almost 40 miles from one another, but thanks to the internet (and Twitter, in particular), we can collaborate as a two-man north-west copywriting team, and have done so in the past.
I think the point is that London is so self-contained, that its surroundings are often overlooked. Birmingham, too, is relatively isolated in its West Midlands location.
But the North of England as a whole is strongly linked by the M62, the Transpennine rail route, and a strong sense of community. Not to mention the fact that we’re cheap.
I have had London-based clients who were frankly astonished at the quality of content they could get from ‘up North’ for a fraction of the price they would need to pay a London-based copywriting agency.
So if your budget is stretched, or you just want to maximise your return on investment, look North and hire a Liverpool copywriter (or a Manchester one, for that matter…) and tap into a region that is often overlooked on a national scale.
Bio: Bob Bardsley is a freelance Manchester copywriter; he and Bethan have worked closely together on several client briefs in the past, and collaborate regularly in their freelance careers via Twitter and email.