How to Hire a Freelance Copywriter

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Hiring a freelance copywriter is rather easy.

But hiring a freelance copywriter suited to your task-at-hand and business needs, however, takes slightly more effort.

But if you spend the time to look for a writer who matches your needs, you can save:

  • The trouble of micro-managing
  • The time from making unnecessary revisions, and
  • The added cost of possibly re-hiring another copywriter

The words that represent your business – be it in a webpage or in a simple leaflet – can make or break your sales pitch. Words can compel people to get in touch with you, or take their business elsewhere.

So if you have something that needs to be written, these steps could lead you to the right writer:


Step 1: Identify Your Project

IdentityI know, this sounds like a no-brainer. But it is the basics that are often overlooked. Completing this step is critical, because there are many types of copywriters out there, such as:

– Advertising Copywriters
– Direct Marketing Copywriters
– Web/Digital Copywriters
– Technical Copywriters
– Business Copywriters
– Public Relations Copywriters
– Industry-specific Copywriters (Health, Beauty, Finance, Technology, Non-profit)

So if you know your project involves primarily a website and some printed materials, go for a Web Copywriter with some experience in Print. Or if you want a Tender Document written, skew your search towards Business Copywriters instead.


Step 2: Ask the ‘3 Critical Questions’

QuestionsWhen you do make contact with copywriters, ask these 3 critical questions from the get-go. They will help you fine-tune your search and help ensure your project runs smoothly.

Critical Question 1: Are you a fulltime freelancer?

If the answer is no, you have a decision to make. Do you want someone who already has a day job to handle your project? These guys may be good at what they do, but are often overworked due to the nature of the business. You want to have a fulltime freelancer on your side; someone who can commit the time and dedication.

Critical Question 2: Are you currently busy?

Even fulltime freelancer copywriters can be handling multiple projects at any one time. So be sure to ask if your copywriter can deliver by the deadline, especially if it’s a tight one. Your writer needs to know your expectations; and vice versa.

Critical Question 3: Have your written for my industry?

Finding a copywriter who can write in your medium of communication is often good enough. But if your copywriter has prior experience in your business or industry, that’s even better, for obvious reasons.

Step 3: Meet Up for a Chat

ChatBy now, you should have a few copywriters in your shortlist. Now arrange for a meet with all of them.

Never ever assume scanning through the writer’s portfolio or website is enough. Take the time to meet with your prospective copywriter in-person to gauge his or her character, and whether you will be comfortable working together.

Sometimes, the best copywriter on paper may not be the best fit for your business. Besides, most copywriters are eager to meet prospective clients as well. It offers a window into your personality, business and style of working; we’re looking for a good fit as well.

Step 4: Discuss the Rates

CoinsOne golden rule here: cheapest doesn’t always mean the best. Remember that you only get what you pay for. It is very easy to spend a ton to develop a visually stunning design, but skimp on copywriting fees.

Although a picture speaks a thousand words, you’re in trouble if they aren’t the right words.

Most freelance copywriters charge based on projects, but will be more than willing to charge based on pages or for a monthly retainer. Be up front with your budget so your prospective copywriter is in the know.

Step 5: Go with Your Heart

hand 2 heartThere is no guaranteed way to ensure the copywriter you hire will live up to all your expectations. But you can minimize the risk of hiring an unsuitable copywriter by taking the time and effort.

Once you have completed all previous 4 steps, you should have a pretty good idea of the person (or persons) most suited to your needs. At this stage, let your heart lead the way. Refer back to the comfort level you felt when you had the initial meet. Who stands out?

If you’re still torn between a few good copywriters, look at the little things; like mannerisms, punctuality or people skills. Did you get a ‘thank you’ note from any of the copywriters you met; or which writer responded promptly to queries?

Go ahead and hire the copywriter that felt ‘right’ to you. The beauty about hiring freelance copywriters is that you can always switch to someone else in the future. Only if needed of course.