How to hire a copywriter
You’re setting up a new website. First things first, you do a quick search for a web designer, send off a few enquiries. Problem solved. Or is it? Have you thought about hiring a copywriter to help you with the content?
Probably not at this stage. After all you’ve appointed a web designer, so you’re already on track, right? Soon enough you’re talking about logos, page layouts, colours and fonts. It feels like you’re making good progress. So far, so good. Then comes the bombshell – they ask you for content.
You might get a similar feeling of dread when your PR agency get in touch and ask you for the press release you have scheduled for distribution next week but haven’t gotten around to writing. Or when the deadline for an awards submission is looming and you decide to download the application requirements. Eek.
Where do the words come from?
This is the point where you’ll ask yourself, should I hire a copywriter to do this for me?
Let me guide you through the process.
STAGE ONE: REALISING YOU NEED A COPYWRITER
Often people find themselves frantically Googling ‘copywriter’ after staring at a blank page for nearly half a day and panicking because they still don’t know where the bloomin’ eck the words are going to come from.
Admitting you need the help of a copywriter usually isn’t an instant or an easy process. Especially if you enjoy writing for example. Or perhaps people are always telling you how great you are with words. You feel guilty for employing someone to do a task that you feel you should be able to do yourself. Please stop beating yourself up.
The reality is that it’s surprisingly difficult to write your own content. Yes, you know your business inside and out, and understand your products and services down to the smallest possible detail. But you might not be the best person to tell your story. Jargon, acronyms, inside jokes, assumed knowledge – you can’t talk to your customers as you would a colleague.
A copywriter brings a fresh pair of eyes and a new way to connect with your target audience. That’s nothing to feel guilty about.
STAGE TWO: DECIDING WHAT SUPPORT YOU NEED
Do you need someone to add a little sparkle to a company profile? Maybe find a new angle for your PR? Or do you need someone to add SEO to your website?
Understanding what you need is an important first step and will help you decide what kind of writing support will work best for you.
If you want to spruce up your sales letters or make your social media posting more consistent, it may be something a savvy VR can help with. A copywriter isn’t the only option.
However, if you’re looking to reposition your brand online and create website copy that converts browsers into customers, you’ll need the more specialist skills of a professional writer.
STAGE THREE: FIND A FULLY FLEDGED COPYWRITER
Lots of agencies, designers and VAs offer writing as an add-on service. And why not? This can be a perfectly convenient solution.
But, if writing isn’t their main service, it’s also probably not a main skill. So for content that really matters, look for someone who puts writing first.
For example, if you’re launching something as business critical as a new website, you should look for someone who puts writing for websites at the top of their skill set.
STAGE FOUR: DO YOUR RESEARCH
When hiring a photographer you’ll choose someone who matches your preferred style. Relaxed and natural. Abstract and posed. Apply the same level of discerning taste to selecting a copywriter.
Do you like it? Finding a copywriter who has style you enjoy, is a great indication of compatibility.