What You Need To Know Before You Hire A Copywriter

Most businesses go to great lengths to ensure their brand message is portrayed accurately and that they have a strong web presence. However, it is my experience that many companies will invest in a functional website, an eye-catching brochure design, and jump through hoops to find the right people to help them market and promote.
The one area that is often neglected is one of the most important aspects of your marketing-your marketing message. The words you use are equally if not more important than the images and the design. Your message is what connects you to prospects. Your copy tells people what you do and whom you serve, and shows your brand personality.
If you use poorly written marketing materials to promote your business, you’re most likely turning prospects away. Copy that is irrelevant to your brand message, poorly written, or riddled with spelling and grammatical errors looks unprofessional to potential customers and competitive businesses alike. Whether you’re looking to hire a copywriter to write your online marketing materials, press releases, or your web copy, it’s essential that he or she is an expert in his or her craft. Ideally, you want a copywriter that will listen to your needs, has a solid understanding of your brand, services, products, and company culture, writes compelling marketing copy, delivers on time, and is professional from beginning to end.
Easier said than done, I know.
To ensure you find the right copywriter for your marketing message, I’ve created a list of questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Can they right? Yes, I spelled “right” wrong. You would be surprised at how many copywriters make these mistakes in the final copy. Aside from proper spelling, can the copywriter form proper sentences? Is the grammar correct? All of these elements, if done incorrectly, can make your business look hasty and unprofessional.
2. What does their sample work reveal? Look through some samples of previous work. With a good copywriter, it doesn’t matter whether or not he or she has written about your industry because it is a copywriter’s job to research your business and know everything about your company before a single word is written. The important thing to look for is whether or not the person has the ability to effectively communicate to the target audience.
3. What do their personal marketing materials look like? Look at their web copy, press releases, blog, and even their social media presence. Doing so will help you get a feel for how they market themselves. You can also get an idea of personality, business savvy, and industry expertise by looking through their marketing materials. Do they know how to market themselves appropriately? If not, you probably don’t want them to market for you.
4. Are they business savvy? A good writer can write. A great copywriter can both write and understand how the business world works. Writing copy isn’t about flowery language and sounding literary. It’s about getting prospects to act, to purchase from you. Along with reviewing copywriters’ marketing materials, talk to them on the phone. Listen for the questions they ask you. Are they dedicated to your goals and objectives? Do they listen? Do they understand the meaning of a deadline? If you’re not confident with the copywriter after the phone conversation, he or she is probably not a good fit for you.
5. How quickly did they respond to you after your first inquiry-whether via phone or email? Time is everything when you reach out to copywriters. If they take two days to get back to you, they may take two extra days past set deadlines to deliver your copy. You want a copywriter that delivers when he or she promises to deliver.
6. Do they have testimonials? Taking some time to read what previous clients have to say about the copywriter’s work is an easy and effective way to get an idea for the copywriter’s approval rate.
7. Do they offer a rewrite? Great writing means rewriting-it comes with the job. Be wary of copywriters who want to charge you a ton of money for rewrites. Ask them about their policy beforehand.
8. Do they have an editor? Who edits the copywriters’ work? Do they have a second pair of eyes looking over their work?
9. Do they understand SEO? If they don’t have a clear understanding of SEO, they will not be able to optimize your web copy accordingly. Your keywords will be off, and you won’t get found in search engines if they do not understand SEO.
10. What does your gut tell you? If you find that perfect copywriter and you still have that gut feeling that something isn’t right, listen to your gut. It will never lead you astray.

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