How do you know you’ll get quality work when you hire a copywriter from the freelance community?
One thing I’ve noticed in my 10+ years as a professional writer is there’s a lot of confusion about my industry. I’ve been working as a full-time freelancer since 2014, and it appears copywriters have popped up on every corner. It’s like walking through a crowded market where people scream out, “BUY FROM ME! THIS IS THE BEST PRODUCT AROUND! THE CHEAPEST IN THE WORLD!”
It’s a madhouse in the freelance writing world. Hiring a copywriter shouldn’t make you feel like you need to hire a bodyguard. You shouldn’t feel the need to chain your wallet or doubt yourself. There are good people out there who offer fair prices for this work, so here are 20 things you should know BEFORE you hire a copywriter. It’ll help you find one who’s worth every penny:
Copywriters use the science of selling and storytelling frameworks to generate leads and sales. The primary goal of blogging and content writing is to inform, engage, and delight the audience.
Do you need to sell or inform? Do you need to get a sale or a lead, more social engagement, or more foot traffic? Do you need to scale or maintain your level of revenue growth? Try creating a SMART goal using the formula below. Once you know this, you can narrow down what you need to hire a copywriter.
Goal Formula: To so that <who/what?> will <increase/decrease this much> by as measured by .
Example Goal: To increase traffic to my e-commerce website so that sales will increase by 30% by Dec. 31, as measured by the number of online purchases from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31.
You’d Need: SEO content writing for social media, website, and blog; copywriting for ads, promotional materials, email campaigns, and landing pages. They are NOT the same skill set, though equally important.
If you don’t know anything about what you need or how to go about reaching that SMART goal, aim for someone with an advanced, versatile skill set; however, someone who is totally familiar with the topic could hire an entry-level writer.
Please stop asking U.S.-based copywriters and content writers to work for pennies. That kind of budget will attract bottom feeders and foreign imposters. That sounds like paranoia, but you’d be surprised. Professional writers don’t just tell stories to sell and entertain; they become a part of the saga. We meet your customer, the hero, where they are in the plot, and guide them through to sale, ease them into loyalty, and offer new scenarios and adventures down the road.
Remember, you get what you pay for, so if you’re looking to spend less than $50/hour, you risk hiring a copywriter who may not be committed to the profession. A bad writer can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Businesses spend more than $3 billion on remedial writing training every year because a third of the workforce are poor writers.
If you’re shopping around and asking for quotes, expect the numbers to be all over the board. Instead, try asking for their best quote on your project. Provide them with a budget range of what you think it would cost. If you allow the pro to gauge and guide the project in this way, you’ll not only get a fair price, but you’ll also see the copywriter’s project management skills and industry knowledge.
Freelance copywriters are always looking for long-term clients. Not only is the work more profitable, but it also helps your sales. Customers want to engage with a consistent message and style from a brand or company they can trust.
This one is a given but see No. 8.
A predominant trait of a pro writer is someone who can write about anything that can be personally experienced, observed, or researched. What matters is their passion for your product or service and their desire to succeed.
Someone who calls themselves a copywriter but only writes blog posts will be of little use to you if you need copy that sells.
If the copywriter you want to hire can’t explain this concept to you in 3-5 sentences, they’re not someone you want to hire. Here’s my explanation in one sentence: Copywriting uses data and people analytics, buying behaviors, and market research to target keywords and messaging that inspires a specific action.
We know how to structure a message so that it tells a relatable story. Think of a copywriter as the person who writes the synopsis for a book. By using unique storytelling frameworks developed by some of the greatest experts in history, copywriters can place your customer as the hero and help them see the value in buying from you.
Choose 2-3 small projects or one big project to determine if this writer is what you need. Most freelancers are (or should be) happy to oblige.
If you need a 25-page sales letter, then you’ll need to expect a few days and a round or two of edits. If you need something shorter, like a digital ad campaign and landing page, then the copywriter will need just a few hours. Ask them to provide approximate turnaround time when you request their best quote!
Social posts shouldn’t be written like a social ad, and website pages shouldn’t be written like a blog.
I don’t usually get this request, but I’m always happy to give them; however, I believe reference checks are a colossal waste of time. The real tells are in the discovery project.
Get your project, deliverables, cost, and agreement in writing. Make sure you have a contract that says the materials belong to you to do with as you please.
Don’t overload the copywriter or content writer with dozens of documents. Unless the project is large and you’ve agreed to compensate the writer for those hours of research, don’t bog them down with all your research data. Give them an abstract of your findings.
Expect a round or two of edits and be kind to your writer. We’re proud creatures who love the art of using words to sell, engage and entertain. We’re good at it, too. We wouldn’t presume to walk into your business and tell you what you were doing wrong, so we would all appreciate that kindness in return.
Research the platform and copywriter. Google his or her name and search for what other people are paying for similar services. Google is a vast resource; use it to your advantage.
Copywriters and content specialists thrive on autonomy and are incredibly self-sufficient. Don’t make them spend too much time on calls and emails, and don’t make them hunt you down to answer questions. Time is money. Be precise and let them get to work.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you go to hire a copywriter. If you like the way I wrote that and want to see more of my work, please click around. Otherwise, would you like to talk about your project? Get in touch!
We talk a lot about content curation and how it can help companies thrive in their industries. We often focus on helping marketers discover and curate the best content possible, as well as on enabling team leaders and executives to drive employee advocacy.
But those aren’t the only roles that can benefit from content curation.
If you’re part of a communications team for your company (including if you’re a one-person team, of course), you’ll love the power of content curation.
Because we know that your job is to keep an eye on dozens of processes at all times:
The list goes on.
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can use content curation to build an easy-to-use foundation for all your corporate communications. You’ll be more efficient whenever you need to communicate with the outside world on anything related to your company.
Many people still see content curation just as an act of sharing third-party content to social media.
While this is part of it (called social content curation), there are many more building blocks, steps, and levels of successfully curated content.
Thanks to these, you can build a content curation strategy in a similar way that marketers do and use it to hit your big-picture goals as a communications officer.
Here’s what’s included in successful content curation:
When you’re responsible for all of your company’s external communications, keeping track of all the company news, press coverage, interviews, and industry trends can seem overwhelming. Like there’s not enough hours in the day.
This is where powerful content curation practices come in. They help you develop a system—a central place—that works for you and streamlines your efforts to communicate the right messages to the right people.
Here’s an example of Saint-Gobain, one of Scoop.it’s customers, that built this central place for their external communications:
The below steps will show you what it takes to create that system for yourself with the help of Scoop.it.
When it’s time to build a company update for your investors, industry trends for your customers, or a press release about a big company milestone, where do you go to collect this information?
Chances are, you spend some time on Google searching for news articles you’ve already read or for latest industry research papers.
On top of that, you want to be prepared for any potential communication crisis that your company might go through in the future. According to PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2019, types of crises are diverse and they keep companies guessing. It’s becoming more challenging to keep an eye on everything going on.
This is where automated content discovery comes in. Thanks to features in Scoop.it Enterprise, you can track all the information sources you care about without visiting each of them individually.
You can also make sure every piece of content that mentions your company or your products ends up on your feed.
With Content Monitoring, you can create content feeds based on:
With Research Content, you can set up searches based on one or more terms at once (with modifiers like AND and OR), filter by recency, languages, content format, and even the domain.
By automating the mentions of your company in the media, you can stay prepared for any crisis that comes your way, with a safe space to store all the reports you may want to reference later.
From here, you can add any piece of content into a relevant topic page, which can later serve you as a source for a newsletter, a company update, a press release, and more.
The secret sauce? Adding context to every piece of content you curate.
Here’s how it works in Scoop.it.
In my automated search for recent Scoop.it press mentions, this article came up. It introduces a report about the predictions for the content marketing software market.
After clicking Publish below the listed article, I selected the topic page called Press mentions where I want to add this, and I’ve added an insight that will be useful for another communications team member later on.
If this scoop was passed onto the marketing team, they could quickly grasp the value of this report to use in their own work, too.
When you get into the habit of adding regularly to your library of news articles, press coverage, industry reports, and more, you will complete your tasks faster and free up some time for more creative or demanding work.
Once you’ve built your central hub for your company’s communication needs, the next step is to deliver the right pieces of content to the right people.
Within Scoop.it, there are three main ways to do that:
Embedding your Scoop.it topics to a web page works really well for curated galleries of industry news, educational reports, open job positions at your company, positive press mentions, and more.
By narrowing your Scoop.it topics and making them specific, you can dedicate each page on your website to a specific purpose by embedding a relevant topic. To match the look of your Scoop.it page to your website, you can use the Customization section and either tweak individual page elements or use one of many available templates.
You can also take web page embedding to the next level and use Scoop.it’s domain hosting feature. This will play in your favor when it comes to SEO and owning your traffic. And if you’re on WordPress, you can use Scoop.it’s WordPress integration.
If you have a list of emails for your external audiences, such as partners, investors, or journalists, you can build them into your Scoop.it recipient lists and turn your curated pieces of content into newsletters.
Want to have a better look into Scoop.it’s newsletter features? Check out this newsletter campaign guide.
Finally, if you work closely with your marketing colleagues, you can collaborate with them on scheduling your scoops to be published on multiple social channels, both from your company’s accounts and pages, as well as team members’ personal accounts when relevant.
Now you know: curated content isn’t just a great tool for marketers to build awareness and brand authority. It’s also a powerful way to build a system for any external communication purposes and to centralize your efforts.
You’ll save time, hit communication goals more efficiently, and empower the rest of your company to follow suit and contribute to your efforts.
The result? Your current and potential partners, investors, influencers, and supporters will always get the right piece of information at the right time.
If you’re ready to take your corporate communications to the next level, get a demo of Scoop.it Enterprise and get started within minutes.