Starting a brand is a serious undertaking involving heavy lifting, experience, and skill. You need to effectively communicate your brand's message across social media, blogs, and marketing campaigns. But where do you begin? And who can help out?
A skilled copywriter is one of the critical ways for your company to break down new barriers and reach potential clients.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
A copywriter specializes in writing compelling web copy for different brands across different mediums. For example, copywriters can draft social media posts, advertisements and create content in other marketing channels. As such, copywriters are also known as 'market writers.'
Copywriting is perfect if you're on the lookout for the next best way to improve your advertising campaigns. It's a simple way to market your products or services and expose new audiences to your business.
In short, copywriters will be able to sum up your company's strengths, all while effectively advertising to potential clients.
When hiring an experienced copywriter, it's helpful to ask these seven questions to see if they have what it takes to make it work.
Questions to Ask A Copywriter
Now that you're on the hunt for a skilled salaried or freelance copywriter be sure to ask these seven questions during your search.
Do You Understand the Brand's Tone of Voice?
The brand's tone of voice can set the tempo for a lot of copywriting. Are you a startup dealing in IT that has a bit of a casual attitude? Or are you a financial service that's no-nonsense? It depends on who you are as a company and how you communicate ideas to the public.
A copywriter should familiarize themselves with your company's tone of voice. Through this expertise, copywriters can create with conviction, confidence, and authority. And don't forget, Google loves pages that display authority in a subject.
If a copywriter doesn't gel with your tone, it probably won't work between you two. You need adaptability, content marketing experience, and writing prowess.
What Does the Writing Process Look Like?
This copywriting question is a great way to get a helpful peek behind the curtain. A copywriter's creative process is essentially how these content creators build your brand online.
For example, how much research do they do prior to copywriting? Does your copywriting candidate focus on research before penning a single sentence?
This ties directly to understanding your brand voice. For a copywriter to authoritatively write compelling content, they will need to understand your target audience.
When asking a copywriter about their writing process, don't be afraid to ask for nuanced answers on any aspect. How much time do they dedicate to research? How long does it take to write a particular article or advertisement? These questions can help you understand the copywriter's process, and therefore, what you're potentially signing up for.
How Many Revisions Do I Get?
If you're a company looking to capitalize on copywriting, the ideal answer is 'unlimited.' Copywriters aim to write until their content is perfectly optimized for a marketing or advertising campaign. Now, successful freelancers might have specific stipulations and policies. But overall, delivering shoddy web copy is a big blunder in the copywriting world.
In short, find someone willing to revise the content until it shines.
Are You Well-Versed In My Industry?
This is a great question to ask a copywriter to determine how seriously they take research duties. This question simply shows preparedness, how a copywriter approaches a project, and if they know their subject.
But copywriters don't necessarily have to be bona fide experts in a particular field. That's what their researching skills are for, after all.
As long as a copywriter can understand an industry, its clients, trends, and optimization strategies, they'll likely be a good fit.
What Is The Copywriting Timeline?
When formulating the next winning project idea for your business, it's vital to get a feel for how and when they can complete a piece. Consider the copywriter's writing process, research skills, and how it all comes together. Should you expect a small project in a few hours? Allow the copywriter to share thoughts on how long a project takes them from inception to completion.
Furthermore, are these potential copywriters good on a deadline? Maybe ask them for a few follow-ups about past projects, timelines, and turnarounds in which they excelled.
Do I Own Everything Written For Me?
This can be a bit tricky, depending on the circumstances. For example, a freelance copywriter often owns their work unless they sign something that explicitly says otherwise.
The State of New York instituted a law that freelance contracts over $800 require a written contract to assure there aren't any mix-ups.
It's well worth it to research your own state's copyright laws to determine who owns what. Also, keep in mind the Copyright Act of 1976 for further federal copyright laws.
In short, if you want to own what a copywriter creates, you need to be explicitly clear. Not only for clarity's sake but to avoid potential legal trouble down the road.
Can You Offer Any Advice on How to Best Utilize My Content?
Copywriters serve as more than just human typewriters. An experienced copywriter will be able to point you in the right direction, content-wise. For example, a copywriter can tailor content to lean into a concerted search engine optimization effort. With this in mind, a copywriter can help suggest what SEO strategies could work with their content.
Any copywriter worth their salt will be able to take basic outlines of content and offer you suggestions.
Wrapping Up: Write Copy For Results
An experienced copywriter will quickly and confidently answer these questions to illustrate their knowledge of their corner of the marketing arena.
When you've finally settled on a copywriter that fits all of your criteria, it's time to get to work promoting your business. Keep in constant contact with your copywriter, notifying them of tone, voice, creative directions you want to take, and more.
Through this process, you'll help your business and customers alike.