Have you ever sat down at your computer and Googled ‘how to write a blog’? You might benefit from hiring a copywriter. Copywriting is a specific skill which can help present your business in a new light, draw out the key benefits of your products and services, and communicate that to your clients and potential customers. So, if you’re considering hiring a copywriter to help with your next sales letter, brochure, website, or marketing project, there are a few things you need to know before you do.
What’s the difference between a content writer and a copywriter?
The difference between a content writer and a copywriter is in the purpose of that writing. Put simply, a content writer is anyone who creates content that either informs, educates or entertains. It needs to have a clear purpose or reason and needs to represent the brand’s voice. However, a copywriter is someone who is skilled in the art of creating compelling written content that engages the reader and leads them to take action. Copywriting is advertorial in nature and encourages customers to use a brand’s products or services.
You need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your content
Before you hire a copywriter, you need to understand the principal points you want and need to communicate. Your copywriter will want to know about your target audience, the main message you want to share, what is unique about your business, what tone you want to speak to your reader in and what response you ideally want the reader to have. Having this information before you bring a writer onboard will save you unnecessary copy revisions in the long run and help to keep your costs down.
Be realistic about your content sharing schedule
Avoid hastily hiring a copywriter and giving them an unrealistically short time frame. Not only will you not have time to choose the best writer for your brand, you’ll also end up spending a lot of time fixing drafts. Most copywriters need some time to let words and ideas simmer so be sure to allow enough time for the creative process.
Check your copywriter’s experience
Take the time to find a copywriter who has experience writing in your industry, or writing the type of content you’re after. For example, a writer whose only experience is in magazine articles might not be the best choice for your website copywriting. However, your copywriter doesn’t need to have that exact experience. A writer’s ability to write well for the medium is typically more important than having prior experience in your industry. Copywriters are proficient at diving into your business, learning it inside and out, and churning out great copy to entice your target market. Just be sure to spend the time to look for the best copywriter for your needs.
Ask for references and work examples
Just like when you’re hiring any other employee, you can ask for references or work samples from a copywriter. All writers can show you samples of well-written material, but how do you know if they’ll work to understand your communication needs, meet deadlines, and act professionally in front of your clients? A copywriter should have a list of references they can share with you. Be sure to contact at least two of them, and ask them about their weaknesses and strengths.
Give your copywriter information from the beginning
At the beginning of your project, pass on any relevant information to your copywriter about your business and the message you want to share through your content. The more information you can give them, the better understanding they’ll have of what you’re trying to accomplish through your copywriting. You may need to give them time to interview some of your staff or clients depending on your content needs, so remember to schedule in time for research.
Now that you know what it takes to hire an inhouse or freelance copywriter, it’s time to improve your company’s copywriting.