Hiring a copywriter – or rather the right copywriter for you – can be a lengthy process.
Not only do you want to be sure the person you’ve found has the right skills (i.e. is a professional copywriter rather than a content writer), you also have to be sure you can work with them.
Copywriting is a collaborative discipline. You will have to work closely together, so it’s essential you gel.
Whether you go by recommendation or Google search, call them, have a chat and tell them what you want to achieve. If they’re any good, they’ll listen to your ideas, offer advice and be happy to work with you to develop your strategy.
Once you’ve found your writer, you have to brief them.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, here’s an article I wrote a couple of years ago that illustrates how you should approach a copywriter with your project proposal.
How to Approach a Copywriter With a Project Proposal
In my experience, you usually start looking for a copywriter at the 11thhour of a project.
If it’s a new website, the design is done but there’s no copy.
If it’s a brochure, you’re ready to go to print but there’s no copy.
If it’s an email campaign, you want to send it tomorrow but there’s no copy.
First of all, whenever you start a marketing project you’re going to need copy, so don’t leave the hunt for a copywriter until the last minute.
Look now for the right writer
Copywriters are not all the same. Some will specialise in certain industries, some will only work in specific areas (e.g. digital marketing), some are experts in what they do and some are not.
That’s why it’s important to start looking for your perfect writer as soon as you begin your marketing project because they may also be able to offer guidance on the overall project – they are marketers after all.
You will also find the really good ones get booked up. You might be lucky and catch one just as they’re completing a job, but as a rule get in early and get them booked.
Tell them what they need to know
There’s no point emailing saying, “I’m looking for a copywriter to help with our project. Please tell me your rates.”
First, you haven’t told them what your project is.
Secondly, because you haven’t told them they can’t tell you how much it will cost.
Any writer you speak to will ask for a comprehensive brief about your project. That’s the only way they can put a quote together for you.
- The outline of your project and what you want to achieve
- The scope of it
- Whether there is copy in existence (if so let them see it) or whether they are expected to research it from scratch
- Details about your business – what you do, why you do it and how you do it
- Your USP (unique selling point)
- Who you sell to and how you benefit them
That might seem a lot of work, but assuming you’re getting several quotes it will save time in the long run if you provide the information upfront.
Respond to them
Assuming they have capacity and are interested in your project, they will return to you with a proposal and quote (or will ask for more information so they can put a quote together for you).
Once you’ve looked through them all and made a decision, please can I ask you – on behalf of all copywriters – to respond to all the writers you approached.
Well, every copywriter is a businessperson, which means they will follow up all leads.
And there’s nothing more frustrating than spending time putting together a cracking proposal only not to hear anything.
You see, in the meantime they would have had several other enquiries and allocate their time on a first come first serve basis.
If you don’t respond for a couple of weeks, you may lose your chance of working with them.
If you decide they’re not the writer for you please let them know. It only takes a few seconds to send an email that says, “Thank you for your proposal, but on this occasion we have decided to use another writer.”
They won’t be offended, and it saves them a lot of time sending unnecessary chasers.
- Approach potential writers early – don’t leave it until the last minute
- Give them as much information as possible about your project
- Respond to them – even if you decide not to use them
Thank you on behalf of all the copywriters out there.
I hope that helps you build a strong and lasting relationship with your copywriter of choice.
Sally Ormond (yes, she is special) is a freelance copywriter with over a decade’s experience in creating compelling marketing content for both external and internal communications.