At a recent business seminar, I met with a potential customer who wanted to know a bit more about what it was I did for a living.
I am a copywriter.
What does a copywriter actually do?
Why you need a copywriter for your business?
Finding the right copywriter isn’t straightforward after all, how could they understand your business the way you do?
Will they be able to interpret what you need and really understand your brand and business?
Wouldn’t you be better off writing it yourself?
And even if you do find a good copywriter how do you know you can get the most out of them so they work with you, not for you?
There are 5.7 million SMEs in the UK and they account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses. With so much business competition being able to stand out in an already crowded marketplace requires a different and unique approach when it comes to promoting your products and services.
Many SMEs don’t have a marketing team or a dedicated copywriter and manage internally.
But they are missing a trick because without developing your brand and by not focusing on your marketing you’re missing out on potential opportunities.
How can a freelance copywriter add value to your business?
1. Do your planning and research.
It makes sense to ask around and check out copywriters. The good ones don’t necessarily have an all singing and all dancing profile. When you find one you like, talk to them and find out what work they have done and for whom.
2. Decide on a budget for your project. This helps your hired copywriter as they will be able to tell you what you will get. I should point out that marketing is an investment and not an expense and if you are not committed from the outset you will be wasting your time and money.
3. Interview them. Ask them if they have written anything for the sector you are in. If they are familiar with your industry that is a bonus but if they are good and you like what they say they can quickly learn about you and your product.
4. Try them. Can they show you examples of the types of work they’ve done? Let them draft some sample copy to see how they perform. I like to draft sample copy so I usually ask the customer to give me something that they’re working on or go directly to their website if that is relevant and ask them what areas they would like me to improve. I then take a small portion of it to show what I can do.
5. Customer brief. If you don’t know what you want how can you expect your hired copywriter to produce a work of art. You need to share the specification and know exactly what you want. Listen to what the writer needs and work collaboratively. Providing focused messages and relevant details so they can highlight the areas of the service or the product that you want your audience to read. You might find that after chatting, your copywriter provides a load more ideas that go way beyond what you initially thought of.
6. Give a realistic deadline. If your project involves five new webpages or a 1,500-word blog and you are expecting your writer to do the research and copy and get it done in 24 hours it’s not going to happen. You need to plan your campaign with the end date in mind.
7. Most copywriters will be happy to make amendments to the draft they submit but in return, you need to give them clear constructive feedback. If there is an aspect that you are not happy with or a paragraph that doesn’t read right you need to be able to express that not in an email but on the phone.
8. Investment. If you are going to invest your own hard-earned cash in hiring a copywriter to rewrite your website or to take on an email newsletter campaign or write a direct mail piece along with several follow-on pieces then make sure that you put the time in. If the copy you get back isn’t exactly as you hoped it is most likely because you haven’t provided an adequate brief. In which case, you’ve shot yourself in the foot. Hiring a copywriter should be seen as an investment, not a cost.
9. Good website content that is well written and appeals to your audience is absolutely essential. The way people search for products on the internet is changing so dramatically that having a poor performing website can make a difference as to whether people buy from you or go elsewhere.
10. Treat your copywriter with respect and as one of the team, they are there to collaborate with you so they can give you the best copy. After all, they want to continue working with you so they will do the very best for you.
- Know what you want
- When you want it by
- Have your brief at the ready
- Determine your budget
- Do the research
- Hire them and make it work for you.