Because drawing straws is not environmentally friendly.
How do I find the right writer to work with my business? I’ve worked with freelancers before, and it’s been hit-or-miss. It’s such hard work to find the right fit, that it seems easier to sit on this project (which, to be honest, has been on the to-do list for waaaay too long anyway). How can I make this happen so it’s worth the time and effort?
Professionals Get the Job Done
There’s a lot of apprehension when it comes to hiring freelancers. They work on their own terms! They call their own shots! They’re their own bosses, and no one can tell them what to do! It’s a scary prospect to hand over control.
Having control over the big picture is why a lot of us got into business in the first place.
But when we need to fill holes in our expertise, or when we don’t have the time, training, or inclination to complete a particular task, it’s time to hire out.
I don’t take my own headshots or do my taxes, and you don’t have to do your own writing.
How do you find a copywriter?
The ABBA Method
Ask for referrals. Get a few names of people your friends like and trust.
Budget. How much do you have to spend? It can be flexible, but “$200-300” is going to be a different project than “$2000-3000.”
Brand. Think about what you want your brand voice to be. What kind of client are you appealing to?
Affinity. Read some writing from the writers you’ve been referred to. Do you feel drawn to any of them?
Now, let’s talk details.
How to Find a Copywriter
When you hire a plumber, you can check Yelp reviews. You can call and ask when they’re available, and what the job might cost. You hope that there’s one right way to fix your shower, and they accomplish it in an efficient manner without your having to take out a second mortgage.
With a copywriter, you might have to do a little more legwork. When it comes to creative output, there’s more than one way to get to the result you want—but you’ll get those results when you use the Dancing Queen Method (AKA the Take a Chance on Me Technique).
Ask for referrals
Designers, marketers, coaches, agencies, and any of your particularly well-connected business pals should know some writers. Ask around, and try to get three or four recommendations — more if your project timelines or budgets are tight.
How much does it cost? How much ya got?
Like any other professional service, it varies, and most writers get scared when you lead with “what’s it going to cost?” First, we don’t know, because we don’t have an idea of the scale of your project. Secondly, it makes us think that maybe you’re looking for a bargain. Red flag.
If your budget is $500, you won’t be able to get a website written from scratch from a professional copywriter. That’s just too much work and time. If you want a professional result, you need to budget for a professional rate.
Some ideas for typical rates, thanks to Mandy Ellis:
Short blog posts: $100-400
Website content: $300-100o/page
Landing page: $1000 and up
You’re gathering information from your network and scrutinizing your annual budget. Now it’s time to take a close look at your current communications, and how you’d like them to change.
What kind of writing are you looking for? Is your brand voice quirky, calming, or conversational?
Are you adding another project with a goal in mind, or because someone told you “should” do it?
Before you start talking to writers about how to reach your goals, know what you want your result to look like.
Writing is not an exact science, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. You might not like my writing, and that’s okay! (If not, it’s kind of weird that you’re reading my blog anyway, but welcome.) When you read something in a style that resonates, you’ll know. You’ll just like it more. You’ll keep reading.
A copywriter’s website will probably give you enough information to go on by itself — they must’ve written it themselves, after all. But check out their portfolio, too. Writers can mimic different voices, some more than others. They’ll want to meet you in the middle to create “your” voice in their words. Make sure your middle ground isn’t a long, arduous journey. That does not sound like fun.
Did you find one or two people whose style you like? Get in touch! See if your budget and timeline will work for them. Get a feel for how they work and communicate.
Okay, you found a couple of people you might be interested in. Cool! Contact them! It might be an email or a phone call where you can feel each other out and get an idea if it makes sense to move forward with a longer introductory meeting.
When you like their writing style, the budget and timeline work for you, they’re enthusiastic about the work you need done, and they seem like good people, congratulations. You found a copywriter. Hold on to them!
What issues have you had with hiring communications professionals?
Let us know in the comments, or email me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m always happy to make referrals to other copywriters who fit your project needs and style.
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