Writing Copy is Easy – Right?November 8th 2012 Sally Ormond finding the right copywriter, sourcing a copywriter, working with a copywriter
No one knows your business like you do, so surely you’re the best person to write your company’s copy, right?
It’s quite true that you know your business better than anyone else, but that’s precisely the problem.
Let me explain.
You’ve spent years honing your products and services, you’re rightly proud of your achievements and as a result, when you write about them you will end up focusing on how great they are and all the different things they do/offer. Although, on the face of it, you probably think that’s OK, it’s not. You see, your audience isn’t bothered about any of that, they don’t even care how long you’ve been in business, what they care about is what your product or service will do for them.
That’s why it pays to bring in a professional copywriter.
They will bring their expertise and experience to your project to produce content that is targeted at your readers and that tells them what they want to hear.
But how can you be sure you find the right writer for you?
The process would be the same as if you were looking for a decorator to revamp your home. You’d probably start off asking friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Then you’d want to see some of their past work. And, because you want to make sure you get a competitive rate, you’ll have a chat with them to suss out what they’re really like.
Well, the same is true when you’re looking for a copywriter.
How to get the right copywriter for you
Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you find the right person for the job.
1. Jobs boards
Avoid them like the plague.
The best copywriters won’t be wasting their time trawling job boards because they are the ones with clients flocking to their doors and queuing up.
Ask for recommendations and also use Google. Don’t forget, you don’t have to work with a local writer, so make sure you search hard and create a short-list of potential writers. Have a good read of their websites and see if their words resonate with you.
Once you have your short list, ask to see some samples of their work. But don’t be put off if their portfolio doesn’t contain exactly what your company wants. The whole point of copywriting is to use the right words, to convey the right message to the right person, therefore previous experience in your field isn’t necessary. What is necessary is the ability to write clearly, persuasively and creatively.
3. Competitive rates
You only get what you pay for. Copywriting doesn’t come cheap, but it is effective and will lift the profile of your company.
Oh, and one more thing, don’t expect to pay by the hour. Very few writers work that way because you’re not paying for their time, you’re paying for their experience and expertise. Most will offer a fixed fee for the project.
So if you want an excellent job, be prepared to pay for it. After all, you want an expert and experts cost money.
If you’re tied between a couple of writers, pick up the phone and talk to them. See which one you gel with. After all, a successful outcome is more likely to happen when you’re working with someone with similar values and ideals as you.
Once you’ve made a decision about who you want to work with, make sure you have a written agreement about what their fee will cover and what is expected from you. This doesn’t have to be a formal document, an email will suffice. It just gives everyone peace of mind and clearly outlines what’s expected on both sides.
You are a business professional with a professional company, that’s why making sure your message to your audience is also professional is so important.
An experienced, professional copywriter will know who to ‘speak’ to your audience, so be guided by them and listen to their reasoning.