The Top Ten Checklist for Hiring a Copywriter
What do you look for in that important decision of hiring a copywriter to present your words to the world of buyers? A copywriter is first and foremost a good ghostwriter i.e. he or she writes for your voice to come through. Your brand and your company culture is what he wants to stand out. The answers from your goods and services he highlights. You end up sounding good, and you read well. The words suit and the words sell. Ten things are worth noting before you shop for a business writer. Study and check off the top ten items below to find such a copywriter to serve your company.
1. Choose a copywriter who directly addresses your audience.
You want someone who is able to discern and target your market. For such a focus, choose a copywriter who figures out how your customers use your product and why they use it. A good copywriter should also figure out who your market is. Also, find a copywriter who understands all the benefits you bring to the table and who can write one-to-one. It’s much more powerful to write to a person deemed a typical customer than it is to write to an anonymous crowd. Whether your company sells B2B or B2C, look for a writer, who structures their writing for customer feedback—who seeks it for you. Interactive is in!
2. Copywriters who count truly understand product benefits as opposed to merely features.
It’s key to hire a copywriter who writes about what the buyer will gain from your product—what they will experience and how they will benefit. Sales result from copy that communicates to the buyer what a purchase will mean to him or can accomplish for him. You want a writer who can translate product specs or features into benefits. To do this well, the writer has to understand the difference. Also, a highly capable copywriter can discern extra value that is part of the various elements of your offer and put these extras before the readers. Definitely hire a writer who can evoke human emotional responses to the prospect of soon having the benefits in hand. Word pictures can generate excitement, desire, and a “buy now” urge.
3. Employ a copywriter who can actually write.
You want someone good with words or a “wordsmith.” Wordsmiths are able to structure knowledge well. Their first lines take readers into the second line and on down the page. Their first paragraphs take readers into the whole post. Look for efficiency in what is expressed. You need someone who can condense information and write with logic. A business-minded copywriter, in particular, is able to edit out excessive wordiness or information clutter. Also, choose to work with someone who is good with grammar and spelling. Even though there is grammar check software, human language arts skills still factor in when deciding whether or not to change the final language according to standard usage.
4. Needed in your copywriter is a working knowledge of SEO fundamentals.
Search engine optimization refers to the optimal use of words and phrases to get as high as possible in the search engine rankings. Of course, having good content comes before having a certain keyword focus. At the same time, you must hire copywriters trained in SEO as keywords do affect rankings. Favor copywriters who know how to get attention with their titles and headlines and use searchable product descriptions. And choose a company that stays abreast of the changes and trends in SEO. At Copywriter Today, we do know SEO, and we do train our writers in the basics.
5. Find a copywriter skilled with employing the “call to action.”
Your copywriter must know when and where in the post to “ask for the order” whether it’s to buy, join, subscribe, click on, like or follow. Find someone good at selling with words but in a consulting type style. You want someone who can build a positive case for your good or service. And you want someone who both cares about your customers while at the same time keeping an eye on your bottom line. This combination is a major part of the art of copywriting. It’s the ability to teach while selling. And it’s skill in storytelling as case studies when told well prove the merits of products. The C2A is crucial to the entire writing project.
6. Check out a copywriter’s experience and type of background.
What kind of companies and types of products have they written about? What types of writing have they done? Inquire as to how much writing they have done. Ask how many years worth of copywriting they have yielded. Have they produced well by the hour? Prolific is what you want to pay for. Some copywriters are experts with entrepreneurs and small businesses. They understand start-ups and growth. Others know about larger entrepreneurial concerns. Certain ones are good with the professions or nonprofits. Business Marketing Engine can match you with the right writer. Sometimes you need persuasive writers. Sometimes you need those who can teach subject matter.
7. Choose a learner. Continuing education in business and industry trends is key.
You want a copywriter who reads current business journalism and up-to-date business books. You want able researchers who can find the facts on trends fast and with ease. Seek out a quick study type who can size up and help you brand your enterprise. Then find a mind who understands your company and who thinks in terms of ever changing markets and how to penetrate them. The idea of employing a copywriter in the first place is to grow your share of the market. And it’s part of building your sales team.
8. Also, choose copywriters who’ve been screened effectively.
A good hiring screen protects you. Note that at Copywriter Today, we screen all those we sign on by checking out samples of published writing and giving them real life type copywriting assignments before assigning them to you and your company. And we insure they employ AP style correctly and know how to check grammar by computer. There is a risk with simply hiring someone from an online posting service. Therefore, choose a copywriting service that won’t embarrass you with mistakes.
9. Pay a copywriter for his or her “people skills.”
Take the trouble to find someone who is graceful to work with and who communicates well. If you like them as a person, you are less likely to have the potential headache of a personality conflict. Look for the diligent. Find someone who constantly checks email and messages and who is easy to reach. Also look for someone who does meet deadlines because getting work in on time is part of building your bottom line. Time is money. Another key skill in the “people skills” category is being flexible. You should be able to critique your copywriter and have them listen. Seek out a copywriter who serves you.
10. Finally, your copywriting hire should be creative in problem-solving and in helping you reach your company goals.
You’ll need a writer who can write with originality even when stating the tried and true. And it will help if he or she is a student of the psychology of buying and market behavior. And get one who has high emotional or sales intelligence. If you find someone who by nature is engaging and interesting, such personality traits will come forth in the way they lead your readers with their words. Only hire someone who does have what it takes to get you to your goals—someone who can generate leads and delivers “yes” buying decisions. Or someone who can educate your customers and deliver loyalty and trust back to the company. Or someone who can position you as a leader among your industry peers.
In reviewing the above ten points, it’s important to understand one more thing you want out of hiring a copywriter and that is objectivity. Often those inside the company gain much from a very perceptive business writer who is able to see with broader vision all that you have to offer. Think of hiring not only a writer but also an analyst of how and why people will want your company and your products as answers to their needs.
You may be too close to the company situation to see brand new possibilities in matching your company offerings to the marketplace. An outside perspective of this type that can be put into print is worth paying for, so contact us today and see how we can work with you to bring you great copy.