Most businesses need a copywriter at some point or another. It might be for new website content, advertising efforts, blog posts or special reports.
Many big businesses and even some small ones have their own in-house copywriters, which is convenient, to say the least. But for those enterprises that don’t need or can’t afford a full-time writing-related employee, here are a few things you really need to know when hiring a freelance copywriter.
1. Don’t let your freelance copywriters push you around.
Despite being a freelance copywriter myself, I can acknowledge my industry’s tendency toward a certain deadly sin.
That would be pride.
We think we know everything there is to know about writing. Which, didn't you know, is the only important skill to have in life. Perhaps the only real skill to have period.
Which makes us utterly invaluable. Not to mention utterly awesome.
To some degree, I think this neurosis goes back to our academic days, where most of us were constantly reviled for being mere English majors. Or perhaps our inner woundedness dates back further than that, leading us to believe we were reviled when we weren’t really.
Regardless, we have issues of the inferiority kind. Self-esteem problems, you might say. And some of us sometimes overcompensate by asserting ourselves as knowing more about your business better than you do.
We don’t, of course. At least we hopefully don’t. If you’re running your own enterprise, you should be the expert on what you do and how you do it.
That’s something freelance copywriters – and even those of the non-freelance kind – need to know. And if we don’t know it, then we need to be reminded of it.
2.1 Don’t let yourself push freelance copywriters around.
Again, you’re supposed to be the expert in your line of business. And we freelance copywriters need to respect that.
However, we freelance copywriters are supposed to be the experts in our line of business. And you should respect that.
Now, you don’t have to. You are, after all, the boss. But it’s probably in your best interest and your company’s best interest to take our writing opinion into serious consideration.
Effective writing isn’t just about stringing statements together. It’s about understanding your audience and connecting with them – on their level, not yours.
Consider for-profit business website copy. This most often means laying out exactly what you can do for clients and potential clients in language they can understand.
This also typically means laying it out in reassuring language.
So they have a problem, a want or a need? In that case, you’re more than qualified to help them. Moreover, you’re more than happy to help them! Or sympathetic. Or whatever other emotion you need to convey to connect with potential clients.
This sentiment doesn’t need to be blatantly stated. And it certainly shouldn’t be blatantly stated every other sentence.
But it should be conveyed loud and clear regardless if you want to maximize your website’s use as an online business card – a moneymaking marketing tactic.
That’s what your freelance copywriter should be well-versed in providing you: content that ultimately turns engagement into interest into profits, and/or interest into engagement into profits.
Then again, as stated before, “should” has a much different meaning than “have to.” There’s no contract clause that says you have to accept your freelance copywriter’s expertise.
If you truly feel your entire website copy or other written content must fit a preconceived rigid look… then that’s precisely the look your freelance copywriter should give you…
No matter the SEO-driven argument we’ll explore next week.