What To Look For When You Hire a Copywriter (Guest Post)
The following is a guest post from Jill Clark— my go-to copywriter, content marketer, and creator of Words by Jill.
Choosing a Copywriter
How to sort the good from the bad and the ones who will do it cheaper (but not better)
Outsourcing anything in your business is tricky. How do you know you are choosing the right person in a sea of options? Here’s a few tips to get you started!
1. They have a professional website
Professional websites are a must these days. We often meet online before we meet in person!
When hiring a copywriter with a clear, concise website, you know a couple things. First, they invest time and resources into their own business. Second, they value a professional appearance. From there, it’s safe to assume their following processes and services align with this image.
2. They provide previous accomplishments
I’ll keep this one vague because many of us copywriters come from different backgrounds. Previous accomplishments could be a few things: Impressive credentials, they’ve been published traditionally, they have a high-quality blog, and/or previous client samples to share.
I studied English literature and philosophy in my first round of education, followed by marketing and public relations in my second go at the books. I’ve been published. I have a blog and client samples from large companies. Other copywriters might have many more years of experience than me, which is totally okay! Just look at what they have to show for all their hard work.
3. You like their writing style
Us writers aren’t one-size fits all. Yes, copywriters should be able to adopt to your brand voice, but we still have our own quirks. I wouldn’t say my style sits on either end of the spectrum as funny or stuffy. Instead, I lean towards thoughtful, friendly, creative wit, and a little bit of fun.
Look for someone whose previous client samples and/or blog and website copy aligns with your vision for your own brand voice. Everyone will be happier in the end!
4. They should know their niche
Again, we aren’t one-size fits all! A writer who has narrowed in on their niche is likely more experienced. They know their strengths and weaknesses and know that an interest in the topic usually makes for better copy.
When I first started out, I took anything and everything that came my way. Over four years later, I’m a little picky. I’m going to want to know what industry you are in first and foremost, so I can decide if we are a good fit from the get-go.
5. You don’t need to worry about SEO
Well, do worry about SEO, but your copywriter should know how to write keyword rich copy and headlines that appeal to both Google and potential clients without preaching it to the world. They should be able to optimize your on-page SEO for you naturally within their copy. Essentially, this will be a given with a good copywriter.
Also—an SEO specialist is different from a copywriter who understands on-page optimization. And SEO specialist likely can’t write your copy (unless they’re a copywriter too).
6. Don’t choose the writer who can do it cheaper (it won’t be better!)
Anyone can put words on a page, but not everyone can tell a story that people follow to buy.
A good copywriter has strong writing skills and a marketing background. They weave strategy and storytelling to produce copy that is engaging, concise, and gets clients clicking. A great copywriter is worth every cent because of their expertise, talent, and customer service skills to top it all off.
The one who undercuts the average or who agrees to do the same job cheaper is not only undervaluing their own work, but that of others in the industry.
7. You should connect with your copywriter
When choosing a copywriter, a connection is important. You will work closely with this person for at least a few weeks, so it’s best if you get along!
I often feel like I’m friends with clients by the end of our contracts and it’s these relationships that inspire my work. I want each of my clients to love the finished product, and love chatting with me along the way.
8. They should be prompt
Creatives have it tough. So many assume that all of us are bad with deadlines. True—some copywriters have a hard time sticking to a schedule. I pride myself in my prompt replies from the beginning. I want to show potential clients that I care about them and have strong time management skills so they sign my contract confident that I will deliver.
9. They should value customer service
Are they nice? When hiring a contractor of any kind, you should expect a friendly, personal experience. Sure, talent and skill takes the cake, but strong customer service is important in this industry!