How Do I Find a Copywriter?

Because drawing straws is not environmentally friendly.

Notebook writing

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. We work on our own terms! We call our own shots! We’re our own bosses, and no one can tell us what to do! That can be a bit difficult for business owners who’re used to having 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 and you can be vague about it, 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? That’s your best place to start.

Now, let’s talk details.

How to Find a Copywriter

When you hire a plumber, there are Yelp reviews. You can call and ask when they’re available, and what the job might cost. With a copywriter, you might have to do a little more legwork, but you’ll get an awesome result when you use the Dancing Queen method (AKA the Take a Chance on Me Technique, Waterloo Way, etc.).

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 3-4 recommendations — more if your project timelines or budgets are tight.

Budget

How much does it cost?

How much ya got?

Kidding, kidding. 

Kind of.

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.

My rates, for example, start at $150/page for simple rewrites. New copy starts at $250/page.

Projects can be done in stages, but in most cases, you’ll want to redo your entire website at one time. Strategy is hard to implement piecemeal.

Brand

You’re gathering information from your network and taking a close look at 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?

Before you start talking to people about how to reach your goals, know what you want your result to look like.

Affinity

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 you’re very welcome.) But when you read something in a style that resonates, you’ll know. You’ll just like it more.

A copywriter’s website will probably give you enough information to go on by itself — they must’ve written it themselves, after all.

Some writers will click, and some won’t. Pay attention to that first feeling. Writers can write in different styles, 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 journey.

What’s next?

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, 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 hello@kelleygardiner.com.

I’m always happy to make referrals to other copywriters who fit your project needs and style.

Like this information? I have so much more for my email buddies every month. Get on the list.

Sweet Web Copy for Cherry City Roller Derby

Sometimes you need hard-hitting web copy.

Writing about roller derby? Don’t mind if I do.

If you gave me $100 to come up with a project that was more up my alley than this, I’d have a hard time coming up with something. After all, I literally wrote the book (okay, a book) about roller derby.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Upswept Creative on the newly designed Cherry City Roller Derby website by writing and editing the web copy. I cleaned up some copy and wrote some sections from scratch. We collaborated a survey for stakeholders to find out that to include in the new site. They made the site beautiful and functional while I thought about how to communicate with all those people who use the site: skaters, fans, and sponsors.

Screen grab from Cherry City website, web copy writing

Check out Upswept Creative for brand design, rebranding, and website design in Portland, Oregon. They’re good people over there.

Need user-friendly web copy for your tough-as-nails website? Drop me a line.