Great copywriting is a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. But how do you find the right writer for your business? Konrad Sanders, founder of The Creative Copywriter shares his advice on how to choose a copywriter.
What should marketing managers look for when hiring a copywriter? There’s a bunch of things I can think of, off the top of my head, starting with:
1. The ability to write bloody well
I know – this seems pretty obvious. But I’ve come across companies who have hired copywriters based purely on their ability to ‘talk the talk’ at networking events. Or the fact that they’ve been around the block for a while.
Don’t be silly.
Have a read of the copy on their website first of all, and samples of work they’ve rustled up for previous clients.
Does it grip you? Is it brimming with uniquely-branded personality? Do the words flow seamlessly? And are you itching to do whatever the copy’s supposed to make you do?
Or is it just… mediocre?
This will be your first, and best, clue.
2. The right kind of copywriter
Copywriters come in all shapes and colours. Some are skilled in the art of sales-ridden direct-response copywriting, but little else. Others have years of ad agency experience under their ever-expanding belts, but know jack all about SEO copywriting or content marketing.
So make sure you choose a copywriter with experience in the particular type of project you’ll be setting them. And ask to see samples.
A copywriting agency like mine (The Creative Copywriter) will usually have at least one writer for every discipline. So you’ll get talent, wisdom and experience across the board.
Oh – and if your field requires especially technical language (like in the wonderfully intricate worlds of medicine and law) – you might want to track down a niche-specific copywriter.
3. Someone who asks and listens
If your copywriter dives straight into the project head first, then there’s something wrong.
Writing copy isn’t about fancy words and eloquently written prose. It’s about achieving a specific goal.
This might be to convince your customers to buy on the spot. To reinforce your brand’s distinct personality. To tempt, engage and inform potential online prospects… Or all three.
Either way, your copywriter won’t be able to deliver results without first truly understanding your business, your brand and your objectives.
And this requires research. Thorough research.
Here are the kinds of questions they should be firing at you:
- Who are your target audience?
- How will they find this content?
- What’s the main objective you hope to achieve with this copy?
- If for a website, what is your main call-to-action?
- What kind of style and tone do you want the copy to have?
- Do you want the style/tone to be similar to any other brands (name them)?
- What are the core values of your company?
- Who are your competitors? What are their strengths/weaknesses?
- What’s your unique selling point?
- What sets you apart from your competition?
- What problem do you solve?
- If your company were a person, describe them.
- What do customers say about you?
In my next post, I’ll look at some of the most common mistakes companies make when it comes to content marketing and copywriting.