Are you in the market for a copywriter? It can be tough to know where to start, what to look for, and what questions to ask. This post is designed to help make the process a little bit easier. We’ll go over some key factors to keep in mind when working with a copywriter, as well as some tips on how to find the right one for your business. So whether you’re just starting out and don’t know where to begin, or you’re familiar with the process but need a little guidance, read on!
Hiring a professional copywriter adds tremendous value to your business. Their role is to create engaging content that can help you get your brand voice across, and spur your reader into taking action.
Copywriters specialize in writing simple, effective copy that will engage your audience using powerful and well-focused words that draw in your reader. Your copywriter might write pieces to be repurposed across your website, social media and emails. They’ll expertly weave your brand voice, messages, and company purpose into your copy elements.
When copy is effective, it results in the reader taking action.
This action could look like making a purchase or signing up for a service or buying a program. A copywriter can help you increase your chances of success in meeting your business objectives and help you produce high-quality content that’s consistent – not to mention saving you a ton of time!
Where to look for a copywriter
Before you begin your search for a copywriter, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for – and where. Some places are more credible than others when searching for the best copywriter for you:
- Avoid freelancing platforms: you’ll often encounter inexperienced copywriters on certain platforms who are likely too green to suit the level of expertise you’re looking for.
- Tap into your network: LinkedIn is a great place to get the word out there about what you’re looking for. Even better, you’ll be able to tap into your connections to help you find a copywriter who has experience in your particular industry or speak to people in your network who can give a solid testimonial.
- Google it: Google is an easy way to search for a copywriter who has the credentials you’re looking for. You can also narrow it down by location.
The qualities you should look for in a copywriter
Once you’ve decided where to search, you’ll want to hone in on the what piece – and figure out exactly what it is you’re looking for in a copywriter.
There are a few things that can help you recognize a good copywriter that stands out from the others. Here are some things to consider when looking for a copywriter:
Are they passionate?
A good copywriter will exude passion about their work, and it shows because they like what they do. Regardless of the topic, they’re always passionate about diving into creating copy around it – and are willing to do the research and learn more if needed. Hearing that they try to learn more about the topics they write about, or even that they write in their spare time can help give you a sense of their passion.
What samples do they have to back up their work?
This is vital to understanding and learning more about the person you’re looking to hire. Work samples are going to be a top way for you to dig into their style and the quality of the work they produce. A key thing you want to check also is how recent the writing samples are – not having recent samples is a flag that they likely don’t have any recent work under their belt. Being a good copywriter means practicing your skill consistently, and having ongoing client work to show it.
How do they sell themselves?
A quality copywriter has a solid website that showcases their craft. If they don’t have a website, take note – they may not be as established as they claim to be. Especially if they say they write website copy! A website (or social media profile) is also a great place to read client testimonials. Beyond this, you can also ask for a few references to learn a bit more in-depth about other clients’ experiences. Covering all these bases will give you a good sense of the quality of their work, their confidence in it, and the confidence their clients have in them.
What tools do they use?
Asking questions about how prospective copywriters prefer to work with their clients and what organizational tools they use is important to know if your organizational styles align.
Do they have solid processes in place to track their work and collaborate with you? Looking to see if they use project management tools like Trello, ClickUp or Asana, or how they prefer to communicate with you are important in seeing if someone is a good fit.
How do you relate?
Understanding the process by which a copywriter plans their work and manages assignments also links to their communication style. Asking important questions around how they prefer to stay connected with you during a project, how they manage deadlines, or any unforeseen circumstances is key to knowing if their approach works for you and your business.
In addition, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of their pricing structure and what you’ll need to invest. The cost will depend on multiple factors, particularly what type of work they’re doing and the level of research or prep work required.
How to find the right copywriter for your unique business
Another thing that’s important to know when finding the right copywriter for your business: copywriters can often be aligned by specialty, so knowing what you need them for specifically is key. Thinking about the specific area of your business you want to hire a copywriter for can help you refine your search even more.
You might be looking for a copywriter for one or a combination of the following types of work:
- Creative copy: copy on your website, or creative emails
- Social media copy: copy to be used across select social platforms.
- Conversion copy: copy that will meet a specific business objective you have – like making a sale or encouraging people to act.
- SEO copy: copy to optimize the ranking and searchability of your website by using Google-friendly keywords and phrases.
- Branded copy: this is EG: Content & Copy’s signature creation, and covers all 4 of the above categories while writing in your unique brand voice. This is why our clients come to us and stay with us long term.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, it’s recommended to ensure that your future copywriter has the specific skills and experience that match the type of work you’re looking for them to do. Even better, if you have multiple needs, looking for someone who has experience across multiple areas might be your best bet.
Ideally, once you’ve decided what you need their expertise on, you’ll need to determine how to narrow it down a bit. To help you go beyond just their specific expertise, it might be helpful to check on the type of copywriting they have experience with and any potential relevance to your industry. Any gaps in the latter means you’ll need to commit to a longer onboarding time for them to get up to speed on knowledge of your niche. This ramp up also factors into your working relationship with them. Which leads me to my next point.
What to expect from the working relationship with a copywriter
You’ve finally found the perfect copywriter for the job, and you’re ready to dig in with them and get started.
Have you thought about how to do this?
Onboarding can be quite an in-depth process and it’s important to ensure you’ve put some thought into how you’ll work together and what your working relationship will look like. Establishing how you’ll work together is vital to ensuring you’re both working optimally together.
Here are a few thoughts on how to establish your working relationship:
- Learn each other’s style: learn how they prefer to communicate. I like to use project management apps like ClickUp. It’s a great way to organize work and updates, and follow up on ongoing projects. Also be sure to share your typical working hours and any off-limits time (including vacation) so you can be respectful of each other’s time and plan work accordingly.
- Define roles and set expectations: as the client, your goal from the outset should be to have an open conversation about your expectations. It’s all about details here, as you’ll want to discuss the number of touchpoints to have, how long a certain deadline should be, and how to communicate around progress. This goes both ways – if you’re unable to get to something you committed to, be as transparent as possible so they know you haven’t forgotten.
- Provide the necessary tools: ensure your copywriter has full access to all your guides, templates and necessary workspaces so they can hit the ground running. Don’t be the cog in the wheel who keeps them from getting work started. It’s for you and your success, after all!
- Decide how you’ll track projects: I mentioned it earlier, but establishing some sort of system to communicate and collaborate on will be key to making sure deadlines and tasks are being managed (and met). This goes back to my recommendation around tools like ClickUp, Trello and Asana.
- Collaboration: be sure you agree on how to approach the writing and editing process. You’ll want to align on how work is reviewed and how they prefer to receive feedback from you. Perhaps a comment in a Google document isn’t enough for them to absorb, and a quick phone call is what they prefer. Do your best to ensure there’s an efficient review process in place.
The key takeaway in all this is that establishing a good working relationship requires patience, and it might take a bit to find your flow. The important thing is to know that a working relationship involves two-way feedback, and doesn’t have to be static. Be prepared to pivot and adapt as each of you gets used to working together and as projects unfold.
A confident and experienced copywriter will tell you what they need to create the best results for you.
Tips for getting the most out of working with a copywriter
Optimizing your experience working with a copywriter is all about sharing. Anything that you can dream of them needing to see or wanting to know, you should share it. This could include:
- Details of an online course: gives a solid 360 view of your offering(s).
- The half baked stuff: yes, even projects you’ve started, to give a sense of how you’re evolving your content.
- Your input: by this I mean a creative brief or any other document your copywriter needs from you.
Another important element of optimizing your work together is testing and refining. As the process of working with a copywriter takes time, you’ll also want to take the opportunity to test your new copy once they’ve created it for you. This could look like testing various headlines, social content, ads, or email headlines. Finding the sweet spot means testing multiple copy pieces, and so you can learn, update and improve as you go once you know what works best.
It also goes without saying, but reading the fine print during the contract process is key to understanding the nature of your working relationship. Any changes in scope or cancellations may affect the fees you pay. It’s important to be prepared for some up front costs too, like a down payment on a project or a first month’s retainer fee.
All of these steps can help you work as efficiently as possible with your copywriter, and create a relationship that works best for both of you.
Above all, the right copywriter for you is someone who can embody your brand voice in the written word and help you achieve your goals and see success in your business. Finding a copywriter who can work with you, keep an open mind, and pivot along the way to bring your vision to life is key to supporting your writing needs.