A question many entrepreneurs and professionals involved in internet marketing ask is “Why pay someone to do something when you can do it yourself?” When it comes to copywriting, there are a number of viable answers to this question.
For many professionals who have taken their business online, their specialty is in their specific industry. Whether that be real estate, retail, the hospitality industry, or whatever else; writing may not be a carefully honed skill for these individuals as their professional focus has always been elsewhere. For others, the issue with doing your own copywriting might be a time constraint, or a conflict with your full time job and primary responsibilities.
Let’s face it, the bottom line drives a lot of these decisions. If your time has tangible value and if that value or the money your company could make off your having the time is in excess of the cost of hiring a copywriter (and it often will be) then you should hire a copywriter (be it from a firm or private contractor) to make sure your content strategy continues to unfold. Putting it off because you “will surely be able to do it better yourself -if you can only free up some time” is a false economy and for most of us, plain wrong.
Whatever the reason, hiring a copywriter can be one of the wisest decisions you make when it comes to your online marketing efforts. In terms of both a money and time investment, hiring the right copywriter often proves to be a sound and responsible investment.
So if you have heeded our advice and decide that hiring a copywriter is a smart move for you and your business, what do you do next? A search for copywriters in your area can return hundreds of results. Looking into each copywriter’s website and portfolio can be exhausting, as all of them promise excellent results. With all of the choices out there, how can you be sure that you are hiring the right person for your business? How can you be sure you will be getting the best service and highest quality? Here are some tips to help you choose the copywriter who will be the best fit for your business.
Chances are, you are not going to be the first professional in your physical or online network who has sought the services of a copywriter. The best way to find a copywriter who will deliver what you need is to ask your network for referrals and question your own contacts’ experience with the copywriter. This will probably be the easiest way to find a copywriter who you will be satisfied with.
If your friends and business contacts can’t be of much help, do a little bit of browsing on the web. When you come across a site that is articulate and well written in a style that you feel will fit your business, reach out to the site’s administrator. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out who wrote their copy for them. More often than not, companies will be happy to pass along the working details of any copywriter who did work for them.
While a referral from someone you know might seem like a pretty solid basis for hiring a copywriter, it is still a good idea to do a little more digging into the copywriter you are thinking of hiring.
Many copywriters will have their own website. This will be an important clue when it comes to deciding if they’re the copywriter you want to work with. What does the material on their own webpage say about them? Does it catch your attention and keep you interested? Their website is the place where a copywriter really needs to sell themselves. If you click onto the site and are put off immediately, or bored with their content, that should raise a red flag.
It is important too, to do reasonable research into other projects that your copywriting candidate has worked on. Most copywriters will include a portfolio of their work on their website. Give their portfolio a considerable browse. Take into account what types of projects they have worked on. Have they worked on something for someone in an industry similar to your own? Do you like the work that they provide for their clients in your industry?
You might also wish to contact some of the businesses mentioned in the copywriters portfolio of work. While the content might be to your liking, it is also good to know how the copywriter approached the project, how efficiently they completed the project and how easy they were to work with. If the copywriter’s work is good, but their communication style and work ethic don’t mesh with yours, you could be looking at a potentially tumultuous relationship and a hassle you probably don’t need.
Often copywriters are generalists, or, they do not specialize in a specific area. There are others, who work within a specific industry such as ones related to automobiles, hospitality, law practices, and many others. These writers usually have a carefully honed voice which works for their specific field. In instances where the copywriter works in a specific industry, it will be easier for you to determine if their work will be the right fit for your business as their portfolio will be a collection of work for others in your industry.
If your industry is very domain specific, say “aerospace” and “sports fishing” as two examples of such, then make sure that the copywriter not only can write well, but knows enough about your business to not write something embarrassing. Supersonic Cessna’s and fresh water halibut fishing will stand out to those who know the field in question. If your copywriter doesn’t, then make sure you take the time to educate them and give them some good background material. You are the domain expert, they are the writing expert, so work as a team but make sure the team has sufficient harmony to be a winning team.
There are also copywriters with more expertise in SEO copywriting where the emphasis is on creating copy around specific keywords. This is a skill set well worth looking for since copy that reads well and still plays nicely with search engine robots is the best you can hope for! Always be sure to have a clear picture of what it is you want when looking for a copywriter.
While it is important to hire a copywriter whose communication style and work ethic meshes with your own, it is also important that you are clear with your communications with your copywriter. Before contacting anyone, it can save a lot of time and a lot of hassle on both ends if you have a clear picture of what you want your copywriter to create for your business.
A copywriter’s job is to take your vision and translate it into an engaging piece of writing. When you hire a copywriter, they are not meant to create that vision for you. Once you have formulated what you want and have a clear understanding of your own expectations, begin to reach out to potential copywriters with specific instructions of what you are looking for. The clearer you are with your instructions, the more likely you are to get what you want from your copywriter.
Once you have made contact with potential copywriters, a professional copywriter will respond with a quote for the job or a proposal for how to proceed if it’s a longer-term assignment. Knowing what to expect in terms of price and timing of deliverables is also important.
Once you have gone through the motions of finding the right copywriter, we recommend that you take the time to meet with them before you sign a contract for their work. If physically meeting is difficult due to location differences, then at least take the time to chat by phone. If you are not comfortable that you can communicate with your copywriter of choice, this is a warning sign.
There remain a few things to look for and take into account before signing anything with your new copywriter.
Many copywriters will require their fee, or a portion thereof, in advance of starting work. Further, a contract should have a specific time frame from the completion of your project. Make sure you are clear on payment and time frame before signing anything with your new copywriter in order to avoid any surprises.
Keep in mind as well that many copywriters are booked well in advance. The really good ones are invariably busy so don’t wait until the last possible minute to reach out to potential copywriters as it may be too late to get the job done well and on time.
Taking these tips into account will help you hire the right copywriter who will provide copy that your business will be happy with. Once you’ve completed your project and if you are happy with your copywriter, go ahead and recommend them to your friends and business acquaintances. A good relationship with your copywriter can go a long way and serve you well in the future.
Guaranteed SEO offers copywriting services, with copywriters on staff that we work with. We will happily discuss your needs and provide a quote, or if the feeling is that maybe the domain is to specialized or the fit not right, we can happily help you find someone who can do the job best.
As SEO experts, we know the value of good copy and solid content, it’s one of the foundation stones on which we build successful online marketing campaigns.