Want to have great copy? You either need to learn how to create it yourself, or you need to hire a great copywriter. The right copywriter can help your business increase sales, build brand recognition and garner a number of other positive results.
So how do you find the right copywriter for your business? Here are some key things to keep in mind during your search.
15 Tips for Hiring a Great Copywriter
Be Specific About What You Need
There are plenty of different copywriters out there with different skills and specialties. So before you even start looking, consider what it is you’d actually like your copywriter to do. If you’re looking to spruce up copy for your company’s online ads, find someone who specializes in that format. If you’re looking for someone to write product description, then find someone with similar items in their portfolio.
If You’re Not Sure, Find Someone to Guide You
Of course, there might be situations where you’re not exactly sure what you need or where you might need several different types of jobs covered. In those situations, it could be beneficial to find a copywriter with experience in different areas who can help you decide the best route to take for your copy. You may need to pay extra for this type of guidance though.
Consider the Required Skill Level
You’ll also need to decide how much experience you need in a copywriter. Not every job necessarily requires a seasoned veteran. But if you want your entire web copy revamped, that could require you to hire someone with more experience than if you were just looking for someone to create a single ad.
Have a Budget in Mind
Before you start your official search, consider how much you can afford to spend on a copywriter. Or at least consider what you are able to spend on an overall project. For example, determine your budget for your overall marketing campaign. Then consider any other costs involved in the campaign and figure out how much you have left to set aside for a copywriter.
Small Business Deals
But Ask for Their Best Quote
You can also ask the copywriters you’re considering for their best quotes based on the work that you need done. That doesn’t mean that you should necessarily just choose the cheapest bid. But make sure that you understand what all is included in the quoted price and then use that to make an informed decision.
Consider Hiring Someone for Regular Work
In some cases, you can get better prices and a copywriter that has a better understanding of your brand if you hire someone for regular work, if your business needs copy written on a regular basis. If you can’t afford to hire someone full-time, consider at least creating a relationship with a freelancer who you can contact whenever you have new copy needs.
Get Someone Who Understands Your Audience
Great copy looks completely different from business to business. What constitutes an effective ad for a computer company probably wouldn’t work as well for a clothing retailer. So if you want copy that’s going to resonate with your audience, you need to find a copywriter who knows how to write for that audience. Take a look at their past work or ask about any experience in your industry to see if they’d be a good fit.
Ask for Examples of Their Work
Even if a copywriter doesn’t have experience in your exact niche, you can get a feel for a copywriter’s strengths by looking at their past work. See if they have a portfolio on their website or ask them for samples. Then see if their writing includes the type of voice and format that you’d like to see in your own copy.
Keep Real Results in Mind
Even if you think a piece of copy in someone’s portfolio sounds good, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to help your business. So you have to consider the results you want your copy to garner. Is a stronger voice going to resonate with the specific audience you’re looking for so that you can grow your customer base? Or are you looking to increase immediate sales through stronger ad copy or product descriptions?
Emphasize Headlines and Calls to Action
Depending on what type of copy you are looking for, there are a few very important sections that can help you grab customers’ attention and get the results you’re looking for. Headlines and calls to action especially can make a big difference. So put special emphasis on those in your search for copywriters.
Learn About Their Preferences
For some copywriters, their personal styles and preferences can make a big difference in how much care they put into their work. So when vetting copywriters, consider asking them about what types of subjects and formats they enjoy the most.
Conduct a Test
You can also ask potential copywriters to work on one job before hiring them for a larger project to see how they do and how their style matches with what you’re looking for.
Be Clear About Revisions
Even great copywriters need guidance from time to time. If you want someone to write in exactly the tone and style you’re looking for, then you need to make that very clear to them. So after you ask a potential copywriter to create a sample piece of copy, go back to them with any revisions and feedback so that they know what you like and don’t like and how they can improve going forward if you decide to hire them.
Let Them Stick to Writing
It can be tempting to ask your copywriter to focus on additional things like SEO or conversion rates. But having a SEO or sales expert try to write copy may not be the best route if you want your copy to really be effective. Instead, let your copywriters focus on writing copy that is actually well constructed and quality. Maybe give them a few keywords to include wherever possible. But search engines tend to prioritize good copy over keyword stuffed generic content anyway.
Have End Goals in Mind
Throughout the process, make sure that you keep your original goals in mind. Not only should you have an idea of the type of copy that you want, but also what you want it to accomplish. If you want to improve your product or ad copy so that you can increase sales, then you need to keep an eye on any changes so that you can evaluate the results.
Writer Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Content Marketing