11 Things You MUST Know Before Hiring a Copywriter!
If you're considering hiring copywriting help for your next brochure, Web site, or marketing project. Congratulations! You should get great results if you hire a pro to do it right.
Many business owners and marketing professionals have valid concerns about letting an outsider develop their content. After all - it's your business, you know it best, and your image is critical. However, you're wrapped up in your business every day. A good copywriter can see your business in a new light, draw out the key benefits of your products and services, and communicate that excitement to your clients and prospects.
Working with a writer isn't a complicated ordeal, however it will benefit you tremendously to become familiar with how the relationship typically works and ways to help the process move along smoothly. So, here are my top 11 tips on how to choose and work with a copywriter:
A crucial factor in streamlining the writing process is determining the principal points you need to communicate - *before* you bring in a writer. Who is your target audience? What is your message? What is unique about your company? In what type of tone do you want to speak to your reader? What type of response do you ideally want the reader to make? Having this information agreed upon before you get a writer involved will save you unnecessary copy revisions and keep your costs down.
Yes, you've heard this all your life, but haste makes waste. Avoid hastily hiring a copywriter and dumping a rush job on her. Not only will you not have time to thoroughly check her experience and references, but, no matter how wonderfully talented she is, her first draft will not be 'fully cooked.' Most copywriters need time to let words and ideas simmer.
Most writers will request a few weeks to develop your copy, so set a realistic schedule to give the creative process ample time. Count on going through one or two revisions as your writer refines the piece's angle and conveys the key benefits of what you're promoting.
Let's say you need someone to re-energize the copy on your Web site. A freelancer who has only written magazine articles won't likely have the skills to create content for a dynamic Web site. She's probably not proficient at breaking-up copy into easily digestible bits, integrating hyperlinks that entice your users to take action, and keeping your end-user in mind to plan a friendly, easily-navigable site. She may be able to learn how, but you'll be paying for her slow ramp-up speed. Take time instead to find the right person - it will save you many headaches down the road.
'So you've never written for a _______ company before?' I've heard many prospects say. Don't worry. A writer's ability to write well for the medium is more important than her having prior experience in your industry.
Many writers are true generalists and write just as well for an edgy new media start-up as they do for a giant hospital network. They're very proficient at diving into your business, learning it inside and out, and churning out great prose to entice your target market. Now of course, if you're producing a technically oriented business-to-business Web site or marketing piece, you may want to hire a writer with experience in both your project's medium and your industry. If you find a good one, hold on tightly. You've struck gold!
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 clients? Any great copywriter should have an ample list of references that she can share with you. Be sure to contact at least two of them, and ask them about the writer's weaknesses as well as her strengths.
It amazes me how businesspeople will drop thousands of dollars on Web or print design and hesitate to spend half as much on great copy. Pictures and design enhance your message, but jeez folks ...the writing IS your message!
Good copywriting does not come cheaply - you'll find writers who charge anywhere from $50 - $150 per hour and up. You'll pay more for an experienced writer, one with a particular specialty, or one who's also a proficient editor. (Many writers are also great editors, but not all writers are editors, and vice versa.)
True writing pros will give you an agreement they've drawn up for you. However, you'll occasionally find yourself having to draft an agreement for the project. This doesn't have to be complex - a simple letter that you both sign should do fine. Be sure to include the project size, number of revisions included, timetable, and agreed fee (this can be a flat fee or hourly rate).
And don't forget to ask what's *not* included. For example, many writers charge extra for in-person meetings, research time, and weekend or rush work. You should also expect to pay an upfront retainer. Most writers charge one-third to one-half of the total project fee upfront, and many won't begin your project until they have the signed agreement and check in hand. And if you have sensitive or proprietary information, don't hesitate to have your writer sign a non-disclosure agreement.
I've often heard the story of a writer being hired for a large project, and the first thing she's asked to do is come in and interview several principals of the company. After several days of interviews, the writer is then handed the company's annual report, previous brochures, and marketing plan.
If this background info had been given up front, the client could have saved hours of time and money! At the beginning of your project, pass on any and all previous brochures or sales kits, direct mail, Web site URLs, annual reports, research results, or business or marketing plans.
Appoint one person at your company as project captain. If you allow too many people in your organization to work with the writer directly, each of them will likely have a different opinion of the copy and request different edits from your writer. She may be forced to make many unnecessary revisions, adding time and cost to your project.
If you need to involve multiple reviewers in the process, have your project captain handle the internal reviews and edits and decide which ones supercede others. Then give your writer one master copy that includes all edits to be made. Also, be sure to involve your final decision maker early on, be it your CEO or board of directors. This gives your writer clear direction and avoids costly revisions down the road.
Although copywriters have egos of steel and are accustomed to criticism, make yours helpful for best results. 'This paragraph just doesn't work' isn't as effective as 'What we need to do here is stress the benefits of the non-skid surface.' Also, tell her what parts you *do* like, so she can emulate them elsewhere. And of course, everyone loves to know when they've done a good job. If you like her work, be sure to share that with her!
You need to feel comfortable with your writer in order to work effectively together. Take the time to find a great copywriter whom you truly like and develop a good working relationship together. You'll get top-quality work that will help your business thrive. And you'll have a skilled and knowledgeable copywriter on call for your next communications effort.
(c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Half vicar, half assassin: the documentarian's camera turns on copywriting icon Tony Brignull - The Drum
Progressive Headlines Guide Customers To Buy
Headlines are, without a doubt, one of the most important elements in copywriting. As has been said countless times before, if you don't get your readers' attention with the headline, the chance of them reading your copy is virtually none.
Should You Use Testimonials When You Create A Web Site?
You've probably seen web sites with testimonials - they can add legitimacy. But sometimes they are believable, and sometimes they are not.
Hook Your Direct Mail Sales Letter Readers With Good Transition Sentences
Anglers in Maine catch trout using dry flies with barbless hooks. Unless they keep tension on the line all the way to the net, they lose the trout.
Website Advertising: 10 Tactics To Make Your Ad Copy More Impactful
If your ad is not generating a lot of sales, the reason may be because it is not effective.Here are secret website advertising tactics to make it more impactful and therefore generate more orders:1.
Is Your Content Provider Selling You Ripped Content?
Ripped content: well the term itself is self explanatory. Content that has been copied from some other site, without any official authority to do so.
Want a Sticky Site That Sells? Forget Content!
An interesting debate is currently raging among copywriters, web designers and content developers about the differences, if any, between writing copy for the web versus writing content.According to prolific copywriter Nick Usborne of ClickZ.
How To Be Creative
Network marketing is an art as much as it is an applied science. To take a blank sheet of paper or canvas and draw or paint an interesting picture, you've got to have an imagination and creativity.
How To Become A Freelance Copywriter In New York
As a freelance copywriter in New York, your work is never done.What?Do you mean to say that it is hard to find regular freelance writing jobs, even here in New York City?For those looking to succeed, employment is hard to find only because we lack the knowledge of where to find the work we want.
The Power of Saying You Can
If you have children, you will doubtless remember saying to them, "You can do it."It's what we say when our toddlers first struggle to their feet.
Finding Your Clients Business Problem Leads to Better Copy
WHAT'S THEIR PROBLEM?How do you begin a dialogue with a prospect, be it in person, on your website or in print?You talk about your client's business problem.What IS your client's business problem?Answering this question is the hardest part of marketing.
Freelancers Can Jump-Start Your Publicity Initiative
If you find that your progress is blocked by a lack of time or experience, consider hiring a freelancer to jumpstart your project.Writer's block got you down? Don't let it.
The Formulas Freelance Copywriters Employ When Creating Web Content
What is it exactly that copywriters DO when they produce new text for a site makeover? You often see the advertisements; a designer is looking for a freelance web writer who is going to create content around a number of keywords. There's not a lot more information about the process.
So Youve Decided to Hire a Freelance Copywriter - A Guide to the Collaboration Process
Whether you're an executive or a small business owner, chances are you will have to hire a writer somewhere along the line to create your marketing material. Here is some insight into the process, what is expected of you, and how to get the most out of your investment.
Copywriting for Astrology, Numerology, Tarot, and the Mystic Audience
These days, you don't have to traverse the dark forest on the eve of the Full Moon to find a gypsy, psychic or "intuitive" as many now call themselves. Chances are, the local astrologist or tarot reader is making more than a comfortable living for herself in a corporate complex near you.
Super Verbs Really Move Your Copy
Run or hustle? Eat or devour? Move or scurry? You can boost the power of your copy by boosting the quality of verbs you use. Verbs show action, and the way you describe that action can have a dramatic bearing on your readers.
3 Copywriting Tips - How To Edit For Mass Appeal!
Web copy that's intended to sell or generate leads needs to quickly reach out and grab attention and build rapport with a target audience. You can connect with your audience more effectively if you understand something about how people process information, and how they think.
12 Copywriting Tips to Make Your Advertising More Profitable
Year after year people make the same mistakes in direct-response copy and advertising. You can avoid the most common and costly blunders by following these profit-enhancing tips.
Freelance Writers: Double Your Income
Freelance writers are a strange group of people when it comes to running their own businesses.They are outspoken and enthusiastic while selling their clients' products and services, but are hopelessly shy and reticent about blowing their own horns.
Want to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer? Here are 10 Reasons To Consider Copywriting
Looking to chuck that full-time job for a life of full-time writing? Or maybe you've already dumped the day job but aren't quite as busy as you'd like to be. Why not take a closer look at copywriting?Copywriting, also known as business or promotional writing, can do more than put a few extra bucks in your wallet - it can also help you develop as a writer.
How You Can Find Freelance Children's Writing Positions That Will Last
Freelance children's writing positions are always advertised. Rather, the schooling to learn how to write for these jobs is advertised.
|home | site map|