How to Work With Your Copywriter – Reviewing CopyDecember 31st 2013 Sally Ormond briefing a copywriter, working with a copywriter
Congratulations, you’ve hired a copywriter to help you with your sales and marketing materials and have just embarked on the collaborative.
Yes, I did say collaborative. I hope you weren’t just expecting the writer to magic copy out of the air without any input from you.
To start with you must provide them with a comprehensive brief, telling them everything they need to know to create a first draft. Don’t assume they understand your business, make sure you cover everything as this will save a lot of toing and froing later.
What do you do when that first draft pops up in your inbox?
Reviewing the copy should be done in three separate steps.
Here’s the first.
1. Get to know it
Before diving in with your red pen, get to know the copy by reading it through several times to get to know the copy.
Reading it out loud is a great way to get to grips with it. As you go through it, make a note of any places where your attention slips, or areas that you find confusing, or that simply don’t seem to flow well.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for step two.
2. Soft edit
A soft edit only looks at the spelling, punctuation and grammar. In theory, as you’re using a copywriter, there shouldn’t be too much to do here, but typos can be notoriously hard to spot, so one or two may slip through.
Once that’s done, you’re ready for the final step.
3. Hard edit
This is where you need to look at the content itself and highlight areas that may be incorrect or where information should be expanded.
In theory, your brief should have been comprehensive enough for your copywriter to add all the detail required, but sometimes things get missed.
This is the point where you have to place your trust in your writer’s abilities and trust their professional instincts, which have been honed over many years.
Put your feelings aside and forget about how you would have written it – that means word choice, sentence structure and the use of rhetorical devices.
If you just wade in changing things willy-nilly because ‘you would have written it differently’, you might as well have just written it yourself.
You hired a copywriter because:
- You don’t have time to do it
- The materials you were using simply weren’t working
- You don’t have the necessary skills to produce great copy
They’re not going to write like you; they’re going to write like a professional writer who has a lot of experience in what they do – so trust them.