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        10 Things to Keep in Mind While Hiring a Copywriter

        • calenderJun 16, 2020
        • calender 5 min read

        According to a survey by Roper Public Affairs (2012), 80% of people prefer to know about a company through written content. But in the decade since then, we know that the scope of  content marketing has grown exponentially, and now relies on social media content, Google ads, email marketing, and much more — besides long-form articles. A compelling piece of content is likely to generate more internet traffic which will convert into leads, ergo more sales for your company. 

        Web content and the writing on your website’s landing page will also determine whether your customer will stay. A lot of business persons do not have the time or experience to create copy that is engaging and interesting to your customers. This is why it’s important for you to think about hiring a copywriter for your firm. 

        But what factors must you look for when you do this? Let’s have a look. 

        1. Research your target audience

        Who is your copywriter targeting through their copy? Who is your main target market? It is better to do your research thoroughly and then hand over that data to your copywriter so that they can write targeted copy instead of undefined copy. Even the best copywriter in the world will not be able to give you the desired results if they don’t have a defined target audience. Make sure that you have the following data before you hire your copywriter:

        1. Your (potential) customers’ key pain points
        2. Their desires and their problems
        3. Their spending habits and what they dislike

        Your resultant copy will be highly targeted and powerful. It will speak to them directly and is more likely to convince them to invest in your product or service. 

        2. Have clarity about what you want the content to do 

        What results do you want to get? Even if it may sound obvious, saying “to make more sales” or “increase web traffic”, is too vague and undefined. Your copywriter will need to understand what your targets are and what results you want to achieve. Do you want to increase your website conversion rates? Do you want to increase your followers? Share these goals with your copywriter. They will be better able to suggest ways to reach those targets and suggest realistic options suited to your company’s needs. 

        3. Experience within your industry isn’t always necessary 

        Even if an experienced writer for your particular industry isn’t available, a writer’s ability to write well for the medium takes precedence above all. A good copywriter will write just as well for a hipster book cafe as they write for a giant mobile apps company. A copywriter well-versed in industry standards will have the necessary research skills to learn about your industry and your organization, and make necessary recommendations about what content strategy will work for you. 

        This may differ if you need strictly technical content which requires an in-depth knowledge of the industry. In that case, you may have to hire someone who has more experience in copywriting for that field and knowledge of the medium you want them to write for. 

        4. Vet the applicants and contact their references 

        All writers can give you samples of written work, but you need to understand how they work, how they communicate, and what their work ethic is. For this, you need to contact their references and enquire about all these things. An experienced copywriter will have a bunch of references, but you have to at least contact two of them and ask about their strengths and weaknesses.

        This way, you get a more thorough understanding of their work experience and their knowledge about copywriting, industry practices, and their fields of expertise. 

        5. You get the copy that you pay for 

        A good copywriter will demand a due fee and rightly so. Just as you pay graphic and web designers their quote, you must pay for good copy. Remember that a copywriter is not just being paid for writing – what you see are just words, but what goes behind the scenes is a lot more. You’re also paying them for the time and effort they put into research, revisions (perhaps multiple), editing, proofreading, possibly even keyword optimization. 

        All of this takes hard work, but investing in an efficient copywriter is absolutely worth it because well-crafted web content is timeless, provides utility to your clients, and brings you leads! It’s a win-win situation, wouldn’t you say? 

        6. Look for a voracious reader 

        It’s always better when it’s a reader, isn’t it? Even if this is not the most important thing that you need to keep in mind, it is definitely an added benefit when you look to hire a copywriter. Being a voracious reader certainly gives them that edge and a flair for literary language. 

        A vibrant reading habit also exposes them to a variety of topics and ideas (perhaps many of them unrelated to your niche), allowing them to think from different angles. A good reader always has good instincts and a good copywriter should always think from the customer’s point of view. This is a combination of skills you can’t go wrong with and allows them to give their content that human touch. 

        7. Hire someone (who can make you) likable 

        Since we’re on the subject of copy that speaks to the human spirit, it’s an apt time to remind you that effective content is so because it makes you friendly, helpful, and approachable. 

        So hire someone who understands communication and is just as friendly, helpful, and approachable in person (or virtually). A copywriter will help you create digital content that is probably going to be many people’s first impression of your company, so you want someone who will help you craft that image. Moreover, they might even have to interact with clients when necessary. (Plus, they’ll be around you all the time!

        It may seem obvious, but it’s worth remembering that it’s important that your copywriter’s demeanor is pleasant and their work ethic suits your company.

        8. Hire a copywriter, not a wordsmith 

        Of course, prose is a priority. But with digital content, sometimes it’s better to be straightforward than to be clever or obscure. 

        A copywriter writes copy, first and foremost, but that’s also the beginning of the process. They also have to keep track of technical aspects of writing for the web; this includes checking for SEO, doing content research, understanding the target audience, using keywords and phrases that will tell internet algorithms who to direct your content to, and so on. 

        It is important that you hire a person proficient in all of this process.

        9. Clarify their turnaround times and deadlines in advance 

        If you’re working with a freelance copywriter, this is something you should definitely be on the same page about, preferably before they even start working with you. 

        No matter how great a copywriter’s work is, your content has a timeline that they need to follow. If they are already overworked, your company may not be a priority. This can result in the late delivery of your content or poor communication.

        10. Test their skill before hiring them

        It’s important to give the copywriter a test that offers a practical example of the kind of content they’ll be expected to write for your company. 

        Once they complete a test, offer them feedback on what they can do better. Give them another test and check whether they’ve incorporated the feedback. This is a great way to test their responsiveness and how well they retain your feedback. 

        A great copywriter is an amalgamation of a good editor, writer and collaborator. With these tips, make sure that you hire the best for your company. 

        For more tips and tricks on writing business copy, subscribe to the Resource Center by PaperTrue.

        Author

        Rishi

        Rishi was a zealous student at IIT Bombay when he realized, firsthand, the power of good language in effective communication. As part of this belief, after a brief stint in a hedge fund, he co-founded PaperTrue in 2014.

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