You've got a growing business and looming projects. Maybe your website is top priority and needs a refresh or redesign. Don't let your web copy be an afterthought. In fact, don't let your copywriting for any project become second rate. While you may have writers on your marketing team or within the company, is that the best choice for your needs right now?
Deciding when, who and how to snag the best copywriter for your business project right now is the subject of this blog. We'll examine some criteria you'll need when deciding whether to hire outside the company or not, and discuss how to set your copywriter up for success. So let's get started.
In-house or outside hire?
To make this choice, start first by answering a few basic questions:
Now evaluate. Based on your answers to the three questions above, you should be in a better position to choose between an in-house or outside hire. Still undecided?
Time to hire. Now what?
You've made the decision to look outside the company for the perfect copywriter. Now let's see how to find and evaluate the right candidate.
Not all copywriters are created equal. Find a contractor who knows your niche and is experienced with the type of project you're doing. Blog writing for B2C is NOT the same skillset as website copy for B2B. You want to hire someone who won't require days or weeks learning about your specific industry or understanding what makes your audience personas tick. They've got a leg-up if they've written this type of thing for others in your space, so use your network and ask around for referrals. Search for vendors who are in the relevant groups you're aware of, or who list as clients those who have similar products and services as you do.
Read their work. Your business should have a copy style or brand voice. You want to choose a copywriter who understands the differences between one style and another and can match your tone.
Is your company considered the expert in your field, with a scholarly, somewhat formal style of writing? Or maybe you represent a younger audience with an edgy, possibly maybe even a rebellious tone of voice? Or you may be first-and-foremost a service company, with a naturally helpful attitude, always wanting to put the reader as ease with a friendly and informal voice.
Read examples of possible copywriter's work and see if you can find a match. This will narrow your search to the best copywriter for your business project.
Now that you've narrowed the field and done your research you're almost ready to reach out. WAIT, I said almost ready.
Do your prep work
What do I mean by prep work? To make it easier on any contractor, you should clearly define what you want them to do in writing first. Don't make them drag it out of you by interviewing you or providing questionnaires. Especially is this important when bidding a project so be sure to level the playing field with a clearly-defined scope or brief of your project. This ensures that you are comparing apples to apples, so to speak, when reviewing your estimates.
Include answers to questions like:
Your project brief should be no more than one page. With this in-hand you can reach out to 1-3 possible copywriters and ask if they are available for the project, if think they would be a good fit, and would they like to offer an estimate? If so, answer any additional questions they may have and send them the brief.
Evaluate for success. Don't look just at the bottom line. If you have any questions about what they provide, give them the opportunity to talk you through their estimate and what the project process would look like when working with them. Consider your rapport with the contractor, their readiness to tackle the project and their level of expertise and availability. All of these factors should go into your decision.
Once you make a choice, get everything in writing and review the contract agreement carefully. Consider copy revisions and the approval process. If deadlines are paramount, be sure it's written in the contract. Then, be a good steward for your company by being transparent regarding any new vendor processes, invoicing and accounts-payable procedures, and the like. This will set up your working relationship with your copywriter for long-term success.
Decision made. Success snagged.
Well done. You've made that perfect hire. Because you followed a well-planned process, properly evaluating your needs, defining the scope of your project and researching your copywriting contractor, you are well-positioned to deliver an effective and compelling piece of content that is perfect for your business.
Hi. I'm Barbara Bogue. The name [double b] came from my initials. Here I share tips and advice on marketing, design and copywriting.
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