So you’re thinking of hiring a copywriter?
A skilled copywriter will add value and clarity to your communications.
But how do you go about choosing a copywriter who’s right for you and the best fit for your project?
Six things to look for before you make contact
1. Industry knowledge and expertise...
Some sectors benefit greatly from using copywriters with specialist experience. This is especially true if there is a heavy emphasis on regulations, compliance and due diligence.
Examples may include financial services, pharmaceuticals, health and safety.
Some copywriters work solely or predominantly in specialist niches. Their expertise in these areas can be invaluable, so expect them to charge a premium for it.
Finding a copywriter with experience of writing the thing you want to commission could also be of benefit.
…or a more general approach.
Other copywriters, like me, work for clients in a variety of industries. This can approach can be effective in a different way.
We learn about your business and industry from a different perspective — and often start with the same level of understanding as your potential customers.
This means we’re more inclined to write in layman’s terms — explaining things clearly, simply and without the industry jargon that confuses some customers.
With our broader experience, we can often identify new markets and selling points you may not have considered.
So, when deciding if you need a specialist copywriter, consider who your audience will be and their level of understanding.
2. Project specialisms
Some copywriters specialise in certain styles of copy, or have experience in many styles. These might include:
- Business-to-business communications (B2B)
- Business-to-customer communications (B2C)
- SEO copy, for the web
- Conversion copy, to convert leads into customers
- Instructional copy, to explain how to do something correctly or safely
- Plain English copy, to explain things simply and clearly
- Technical copy
- Tone of voice copy, to give your brand a personality.
3. Who they work with
Some copywriters only work with large companies and big brands — with big budgets and marketing departments to brief them.
Others are used to working with smaller businesses. They will expect to work with you, to help you decide what you need and formulate a suitable brief.
If the copywriter is not explicit about the kinds of companies they work with, you can check their portfolio to see examples of their past clientele.
4. What their website is like
A good copywriter should:
- Have a website that’s well designed and easy to navigate
- Sound friendly, professional and competent
- Seem interested in you and your business
- Speak to you and understand what you need
- Sound confident and knowledgable in the area you want them to work.
5. Their portfolio of work
Many copywriters will have work samples on their website. Others prefer to send samples on request, so they’re more relevant to what you’re looking for.
Some may not be able to provide suitable examples, because their work has been done under a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA), which prevents them from sharing or discussing it.
When looking at their work samples, take note of the:
- Quality of work — good grammar, no typos, not too wordy or waffly
- Versatility — different styles of copy for different clients
- Clientele — companies they have worked with before.
6. Their terms and conditions
This will often give you an idea of the way the copywriter works and what you can expect from them.
Three things to consider when you make contact
1. First impressions
- Do they seem personable and professional?
- Do they seem interested in your business and project proposition?
- Does their way of working sound right for you and your project?
- Do you feel reassured, confident and comfortable?
2. Project discussions/proposal
- Have they done some research before they meet with you or submit their proposal?
- Do they ask relevant and sensible questions?
- Do they make interesting and intelligent suggestions?
- Do you feel they have a good grasp of what you need?
- Is the scope of the project clearly defined?
3. The quotation
Inevitably price will be a significant factor in making your final decision. But instead of just accepting the cheapest quote, consider who is the best fit for your company/product and who you think will do the best job.
Many aspects of copywriting are designed to secure you a return on your investment, so many copywriters quote based on the returns they believe they can achieve for you.
Hiring the copywriter who’s best for your business is more likely to do a better job overall and generate higher returns.
What kind of copywriter do you need?
A copywriting all-rounder?
I am a copywriter with more than 20 years’ professional writing experience.
I have written all kinds of materials, on all kinds of subjects, for all kinds of organisations.
And, though I don’t tend to specialise in any industry or style, I do have more extensive experience in certain sectors.
My words have made a real difference to the clients I have worked for — and they could do the same for you.
To find out more about me and see if I would be a good fit for your project, visit my main website.
A specialist copywriter?
The Professional Copywriters’ Network is a good place to start. Here you will find more than 700 copywriters with specialist experience of writing for a wide range of industries.
I’m on The Professional Copywriters’ Network myself. You will find my profile here.