Choosing a copywriter to work with might, at first, seem like it just comes down to rates. Yet, we know from experience that hiring the right copywriter for your project involves a lot more than money.

Here are a few of our tips for how to choose the best copywriter for your next project.

Experience matters

While many copywriters can write, often the big difference between stellar copywriting and bland, ill-matched text comes down to the individual’s career experience and their personal experience with the subject.

Longevity is a good sign. Anyone who has written for clients for a while is obviously good enough to stay in business.

But how can you tell the difference between ‘good enough’ and ‘great’?

Look for (or ask about) the copywriter’s direct experience with your industry, or with projects like yours. If you are looking to have website copy written, look for a copywriter with some web copywriting experience.

When we work with our network of copywriters, we carefully match projects with a copywriter’s experience. For example, if we have a website for an insurance company, we match up the project with a writer who has direct experience with the insurance industry because we know that he or she will be able to jump right in and start working on the project without a lot of lead time.

Experience isn’t all, however; some copywriters are better than others at picking up new information.

Talk to them

There is simply no better way to choose a copywriter than to talk to them. Ask them questions about how they work, what experience they have, and when they can schedule your work in.

Ask yourself a few questions during and after the conversation:

  • Is this someone you would enjoy working with?
  • Do you sense they can do the job?
  • Did she convince you that she is the right person for the job?
  • Does he sound supportive and collaborative?

Trust your instincts and go with the copywriter you feel most comfortable with.

Get a sample

Another way to sway your decision is to ask for a sample of something relevant – either related to your sector, or something similar to the type of project you have in mind.

If you need something specific, then commission a sample from the copywriter. This will be a cost-effective way to judge the copywriter and to see whether they will fit with your process and marketing requirements.

Seriously.

This is money well spent, especially when you have so much at stake. You want to be certain your copywriter is someone you can work with, and who can write the way you need them to.

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2 Comments

  • Hi, I’ve just read your blog post with interest (I’m a copy writer who subscribes to your blog). It’s all great but I would just like to add one tiny point. I’m quite often asked about my experience in certain fields but I always tell my potential clients that having to do some research into a given area / industry is often a strength. If I’ve never had experience of a topic but the client is looking to commission some copy aimed at the general public then I have to teach myself about the subject before I can write about it in laymen’s terms for the readers. I’m less likely to lapse into the jargon of the industry (as I probably won’t be familiar with it) and am more likely to explain it and write about it in a clear and concise way.

    I’ve actually just written a blog post about this very topic: http://in-the-detail.co.uk/2012/02/06/not-a-specialist-not-a-problem/

    • You bring up a good point, Helen. As you say, if your client is aiming a topic at a ‘layman’ audience, then being a layman yourself (as a copywriter) could be an advantage; as you learn the subject, you uncover the kinds of questions the audience will have. Even with experience in a subject, a good copywriter must always remove jargon and make their writing clear and concise. ~Steve

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