How to find the right copywriter: 9 questions to ask

Are you looking for a copywriter for your small business? These nine useful questions will help you decide which one is the best fit.

You might have found this post because you're looking for a copywriter and you don't know where to start. Who could blame you? There's thousands of us out there. All promising to inject magic into your content and make your dreams come true.

But how do you find the right one for you?

It's no longer enough to hire a writer with flair to get your content noticed. You need to bring someone on-board that speaks to your specific audience and makes them convert. 

To help you find the right one I've pulled together a list of nine key questions you should ask during the hiring process. Any writer worth their salt should be able to answer all of these in a heartbeat. And if they can't? You might want to look elsewhere.

1. How can I contact you?

This sounds simple but a lot of copywriters do their business over email. So it's always good to get the reassurance that you can give them a call if you need to talk urgently or book a meeting if you want some time face-to-face.

2. How will you make sure your copy is mistake-free?

Even the best writers make typos which is why most use a good editor. To avoid playing the part of editor yourself, ask the writer what their process is. It doesn't really matter what it is (some use online tools such as Grammarly, others trust their own editing skills) but asking the question will give you peace of mind.

3. How will you get to know my business?

The copywriter in question probably does have brilliant writing skills but clever wordplay isn't enough. You need to get an understanding of how they'll get under the skin of your business. Only then will they be able to write content that impresses.

Ask them about their research practices and take note of how they grill you. During your initial meeting they should be asking about your ideal customer, your customers' problems and how your content has previously worked or failed for you.

4. What's your process?

Us writers are often creative types so planning and organisation doesn't always come naturally to us. That being said, as a business owner you need structure. You need to understand the steps you have to take and the timelines the project is working to.

That's why your chosen freelancer should have a process they can share with you. One that will guide your project and ensure that it delivers on time. You can have the most talented writer in the world on-board but if they don't have a clear plan of action, you could find your project taking up much more of your time than you bargained for.

5. How are your prices benchmarked in your industry?

Chances are you've done your research and know the average cost of a freelance copywriter in your area. This question is a good one to ask though as it usually forces the writer to give you the why.

If they're more expensive than their competitors they'll give you a reason that justifies it (they have excellent industry contacts or only submit 1,000 word blog posts, for example). If they're cheaper it should squash any concern about the quality of the their work.

6. What blogs/websites do you read?

This question gauges how in-touch the writer is with trends in their industry. The right answer might include Moz, HubspotThe Drum or even websites like Buzzfeed and Mashable since they're writing good quality, shareable content. 

7. Can you give me three content tactics/blog post ideas that will work for my business?

At this point you shouldn't really care about the answer. You just want to find out if they've done their research on your business and started thinking about the ways they can help.

They might give you a generic answer such as: 'a blog, Twitter and Facebook' but the real worthy ones will give you something a bit more specific.

Say for example, you run a personal training business specialising in getting brides ready for their wedding day. If your copywriter gave the below answer you'd know you were onto a winner:

  • A series of blog posts debunking quick-fix diet myths
  • A Facebook group providing proper weight loss advice for women in your local area
  • Creating and publishing case studies that show how you've helped other brides

8. How do you make sure Google loves your content?

One of the biggest benefits of good content is that Google likes it. So it's worth asking your copywriter how they plan to help your rankings.

A good copywriter should know that Google now favours organic content that is shared, talked about and used as a source on reputable websites. It isn't about keyword stuffing anymore. So if the answer you get is all about getting as many keywords into each paragraph as possible, they're probably not the one for you.

9. How will you keep me in the loop?

It's good to define the way you'll work together from the outset. Your copywriter might be comfortable with taking a brief, disappearing for two weeks and coming back with the goods. You on the other hand, might prefer to be kept informed on their progress a few times a week.

Likewise, they might prefer to email whereas you would prefer to talk it out over the phone. Setting those boundaries from the offset will ensure that you have a better working relationship and that all the cards are laid on the table before a contract is signed.  

 

 

So there you have it. Nine questions to ask to make sure you hire the right copywriter. Combined these questions should give you a good idea of how the person works, what motivates them and how much knowledge they have of your industry (and theirs!). 

If you're looking for a content creator to help boost the effectiveness of your website I can help. I promise I'll have the answers to all these questions!