A freelance copywriter is not only an advertising wordsmith, but an expert in persuading on paper.
Heads of marketing departments, entrepreneurs and website owners all hire freelance copywriters to speak the language of their target demographic effectively.
Although the approach to communicating a marketing message is the same, no two copywriters are alike. From writing white papers and blog content to SEO writing and advertorials here are 5 steps you should take when hiring a freelance copywriter.
Determine the type of writing needed for the assignment.
Before you hire a freelance copywriter, make a list of your current and future writing needs. Do you need a tagline, web copy, Executive bio or brochure copy? And how much are you willing to spend for each writing task?
Think long and hard about your writing needs before you contact a marketing writer. Refer to your weekly, monthly and yearly marketing plan to determine your short term and long-term goals–and the budget assigned to these tasks–before you contact a writer for a quote.
Define your marketing budget for writing only.
If you are a search engine marketing firm, your marketing costs may include line items for graphic design, photography, print production and video. Copywriting is a separate discipline and requires its own set of budgetary needs for proper execution.
Call several copywriters within your niche and ask for a quote. Determine what the market rate is for freelance writing for newbie copywriters and veteran wordsmiths.
Hire a freelance copywriter who has references and experience within your industry.
Because a copywriter must connect with the needs, wants, pains and desires of your target audience, it is imperative that you hire a freelance writer within your niche.
An online SEO advertising writer, who creates messages for an online luxury fashion boutique, may not be the best candidate for ad placed in the Wall Street Journal discussing the availability of bonds and securities.
Look at the copywriter’s samples closely.
A writer’s samples will reveal their marketing approach, ability to speak to the target demographic expertly and highlight their creative flair and marketing know-how. Look for these types of writing samples: direct mail, outdoor advertising, sales letters, taglines, web copy, advertorials and email campaigns.
Before hiring a freelance copywriter for your search engine optimization firm’s marketing needs, determine if their approach, attention to detail, tone, experience and writing style will best serve your target audience.
Focus on measureable advertising results.
A successful copywriting campaign is research-oriented and results-driven. Before hiring a freelance copywriter, think about your own business goals.
Are you trying to introduce a new product, so you need a writer to inform and educate your demographic? Are you in need of a fundraising letter to raise 100,000 dollars for your fledgling non-profit?
Think about your business goals realistically and how you will measure them, before you hire a freelance copywriter.
A few final freelance copywriter hiring tips…
- Ask your chamber of commerce for a list of recommended freelance writers in your area.
- Call your favorite graphic designer or photographer for a writing referral. Freelance graphic designers and copywriters usually work together to create concepts for web and print advertising campaigns.
- If possible, meet with the copywriter in person, or talk to the writer on the phone a few times to determine their demeanor and personality.
- A seasoned freelance copywriter will never work for free or accept speculative assignments to build their portfolio.