How to hire a copywriter - the 7 steps your business should take | Melotti Media

How to hire a copywriter – the 7 steps your business should take

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Your business’s content needs seem to be forever growing and yet your time seems to always be shrinking.

The problem is, you just can’t compromise on producing content as your customer is out there looking for information every day. You have to be present if you want to get their attention and raise brand awareness.

So, you decide to hire a copywriter. But how? Where do you start?

Here is a 7-step guide on how to hire a copywriter to help you get it right and find the best copywriter for your needs.

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With your business’ content needs growing rapidly by the day, there’s just too much to write and not enough time or people power!

How do I know? Because I talk with B2B and B2C businesses every single day and it’s always the same concern. “How do I get to all of this and do a great job?”

Your customers’ appetites for information, answers and entertainment is absolutely insatiable and you have to meet this demand if you want to be anywhere on their radar when they’re looking for relevant solutions that your business can fulfil.

It’s about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right value to offer them.

  • Emails
  • Blogs and articles
  • Website pages
  • Social media posts
  • Presentations
  • Video scripts
  • Webinar content 
  • Sales pages 
  • Forms 
  • Collateral
  • and the list goes on.

It’s no surprise businesses search for copywriters! But…

Chances are, you’re probably looking to hire a copywriter to give you a hand as they can help take care of your content production while you focus on the bigger picture. However, it can be a bit of a challenge finding the right one. There’s a wide range of talent out there with vastly different levels of experience and abilities, all charging different amounts.

This can make it quite difficult, as it creates a confusing and costly situation for you when looking for a copywriter to help your business.

Hiring a freelance copywriter can be a huge asset to your business (and you) by providing you with a lot of benefits (which you can read here), but to obtain those advantages, you need to choose your copywriter wisely.

So, here is a 7-step how-to guide to select the right copywriter.

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Step 1: Decide if you need a copywriter in the first place

What are your needs and where are the pain points in your business? See, most people who approach me looking for a writer are feeling a little lost at sea. They know they need content but not sure where to go from there.

I totally understand and this is actually very normal, so don’t stress.

Now, thankfully – I have a marketing background, so I can actually fill that gap by providing guidance, direction and support here; even if it’s as simple as putting a business on the right track for them to develop a content marketing plan, or as involved as devising a complete one from scratch.

My point is, you can’t hire a regular copywriter unless you have a strategy first. This means mapping out who your customer is, what needs they have, how your product addresses this, and most importantly, what’s your plan of attack.

If you hire a copywriter and say to them, “ok, what do we do?”, chances are you’re going to get a blank face. Just like if you were to hire a software developer and ask them “what software do we need?”

Take the time to pull your strategy together so you have your goals and tactics in mind that the copywriter can then help you implement by writing, say, the marketing collateral for the sales team, and those EDMs to reach your database.

Step 2: Know where to look for a copywriter

Unfortunately, just about anyone can put “copywriter” on their website, Upwork, LinkedIn and wherever else they advertise their services.

Sadly, this can make it tricky as we all claim that we’re amazing (which is frustrating for the ones that do actually make a real difference for a business).

​So, what do you do?

There are many places to find a copywriter, but I believe word-of-mouth is the best way. This is because your colleagues have already worked with the writer and have had a great experience, to then be able to vouch for them. People are generally happy to connect great people with each other if you simply ask around – and today with social media, everyone knows everyone.
The majority of my copywriting work comes from my current clients referring me to other businesses – and that speaks volumes.

My suggestion is that you meet with your copywriter in person if possible. There’s just something about speaking face-to-face despite the digital world, because you can get a real sense for a person when you’re talking to them at a café.

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Step 3: Screen your copywriter

It’s time for some due diligence. Start by asking your potential copywriter some of these questions:

  1. Can I see some samples of your work?
  2. Can you put me in touch with your previous clients?
  3. What experience do you have in my industry?
  4. What can you offer me?
  5. Why should I hire you?
  6. What are your thoughts about my business?
  7. What do you think about my project?

Also, do the usual checks of seeing how prepared they came to your meeting, what information and background they provided about themselves, what their website is like and so on.

Once you’re happy, it’s time to discuss the project in a bit more depth.

Step 4: Provide a detailed brief

Writing is subjective. Combine this with being external to your business as a freelance copywriter, and it can be really tough to read your mind and deliver on what you envision.

So, when speaking with a copywriter about a project, take the time to detail everything about the project, including background information, target audience, deliverables expected, time frames, calls to action and more.

A quality copywriter will actually provide you with a brief template that helps guide you.

I do this for every client as I understand that you’re working within your business and you probably take your level of knowledge for granted! You’ve probably never had to think about explaining who your customer is or how they act because you know it all back to front.

My brief asks the questions I need to know to write copy that works well.

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Step 5: Did they ask lots of questions?

Now it’s up to the copywriter to sus out more about your project by asking probing questions that you probably never considered they would need.

A good copywriter will ask some key questions before you even start working together, such as what has worked and not worked in the past, your branding guidelines, strengths and weaknesses, your aspirations for the project and so on.

They should always ask you for more detail about your project because if they don’t, chances are what you’re getting back is not going to be what you hoped.

I always ask a tonne of questions during a brief – not because “it’s the thing to do”, but because both your time and mine is precious and so a few minutes of questions will save both of us a lot of time in rewrites later. We BOTH want this.

Step 6: Did they seem excited?

It sounds simple, but it’s very important.

From my personal experience, nothing fuels copywriting better than a real driving passion for it. You want your writer to actually care and be enthusiastic – not just thinking ‘this is another job.’

I come across some super exciting brands and copywriting projects all of the time and this drives me to produce phenomenal copy that my clients really love. Now, granted, I’m an eccentric passionate person normally, but if I’m really pumped about a project, you’ll know it and that should help you decide.

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Step 7: Get them to quote and negotiate terms

Here’s where the transaction part comes in. At this point, you have all the info you need, except for how much.

How much does a copywriter cost?

This is impossible to answer. Every copywriter’s fees and price card will be very different and there is really no right or wrong here.

Some copywriters charge $50 for a project, and others charge thousands.

So, my best tip here is, set your budget and your expectations, and then get them to quote off your brief. Hopefully, these two align nicely.

If not, ask yourself:

  1. Do they offer you a range of prices?
  2. Do their prices seem to match their experience level? (Remember that quoting too low can be as much of a worry as too high!)
  3. Did they suddenly offer you a massive discount? (this can be a red flag)
  4. Are they collaborating with you as you discuss the project, or are they wanting it only their way?
  5. Do they respond well and quickly to your comments, questions, and suggestions?

See if you’re able to negotiate, but remember – a lot of the time, you get what you pay for.

I know that my prices are cost-effective for what I’m delivering, yet they’re still at a premium (but not ridiculously expensive). I find this a nice compromise and my client’s sense that I’ve read the situation well and priced it accordingly.

I personally would avoid copywriters who charge per word or per hour – why? Because it becomes quantity over quality. You never want that.

Pricing per project competition with a round of changes means that they’re working hard to deliver quality work at the agreed rate, and it’s not going to go on and on forever. I do this and it means that my clients are confident I will deliver what was briefed and there are no costly surprises or sub-par deliveries. 

To summarise

A quality copywriter can be a tremendous asset to your business. I’ve witnessed the great results and the happiness from clients that come from nailing a project.

If you follow my 7-step guide on how to hire a copywriter, you’ll do just fine.

How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You?

To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need quality copywriting and consistent content. However, we understand that this is easier said than done.

You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!

For more information or to speak to a quality copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at chris@melottimedia.com.au.

I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!

Christopher Melotti

Melotti Media Copywriting and Marketing Solutions
www.melottimedia.com.au
 
Click here to view the Copywriting FAQ page for all you need to know ​​

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