Okay, so your company needs a well-written brochure, a short press release or some fresh website content. Well, the smartest decision you can make is to hire a professional copywriter. Why? Simple. Because the words of your message are more important than glossy images and graphics… so don’t skimp on your copywriting budget.
Now, you may think you know your own business best and can do the job perfectly well but you’d be wrong! First, you’re too involved to see things as an outsider would and second, you’re not trained to write about it!
First, let’s look at some copywriting FAQs.
What exactly does a copywriter do?
Copywriters or marketers are responsible for creating clear articles for various advertising channels, such as websites, print ads, and directories. Their tasks include searching for words, creating well-written content, and reading evidence of the accuracy and quality of their work.
Is copywriting a good career?
Copywriting writing is a very lucrative type that is often overlooked as a career option. Copywriting skills are in high demand. … if you ever subscribed to websites, it’s probably because you read good articles that persuaded you to join.
How do you become a copywriter?
- Learn the basics of persuasive writing.
- Learn these 6 basic copywriting skills.
- First, attract some customers.
- Develop and improve your independent business.
- Create a flow of customers.
Do I need a degree to be a copywriter?
Copywriters generally have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or any other similar field. Some employers may hire a writer with a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Now, let’s look at what you need to look out for when you’re looking to hire a copywriter.
Finding the right copywriter and working well together is the tricky bit… so here are some terrific tips to help you do just this:
Finding a Copywriter
Ask your work colleagues if they know of, or have worked with, a professional copywriter before. If not, ask some of your clients if they can recommend one. If all else fails, just Google “Copywriter.” Then go through the results and check out the websites until you find one or two copywriters that strike a chord with you.
Remember, you can easily work with a copywriter who’s in another part of the country as, in most cases, everything can done via e-mail. It may be copywriting style, previous work or just a sense of humour that impresses you about a particular copywriter. Now, ask for a few samples of their work as well as client references. Read through the samples and contact at least two of the references.
Note: Unless your business is very technical, don’t worry if a copywriter hasn’t done similar work because all good copywriters will research your particular type of business and, in the process, become very knowledgeable.
Preparing a Brief
It’s important that the copywriter knows exactly what you’re looking for, so write out a short brief of what you require, who your intended audience is and your completion date. Include your thoughts on the tone of the communication and list some of your company’s unique strengths.
Now send this to your chosen copywriter and ask for comments and a quote. Some copywriters will respond with a few initial ideas as well as their costs and this is the kind of copywriter you should look out for… one who is prepared to spend some of his or her own time on your ideas.
Contracting a Copywriter
Once you’ve decided on your copywriter then, in writing, confirm the job, the deadline and the cost and make a point of reading the copywriter’s Terms and Conditions normally included on his or her website. These deal with copyright issues, reproduction rights, client confidentiality, rejection fees and a host of other important aspects.
Working with the Copywriter
Your writing project will probably involve a few people in your organization but make sure that the copywriter does not have to deal with each of them as they will normally have their own ideas and may request changes and edits which will be confusing and add to the cost of the job.
Appoint one person to liaise with the copywriter. He or she can obtain input from other colleagues and then relay these comments or suggested changes to the copywriter in one document.
Note: It’s also vital that you keep the final decision maker – be it your CEO, Managing Director or Marketing Director – in the picture every step of the way so as to avoid costly revisions later on. Remember that most copywriters will advise you how many drafts are included in their quoted price (if not, ask them). Try to keep within this number otherwise further costs will be incurred.
It’s a Two-Way Street
Be sure to let your copywriter know what works and what doesn’t… and be specific. For example: “Yes, we love the way you’ve explained the printing procedure….” “Sorry, but the Managing Director is not happy with the section on Recruitment. Please re-write it in a more business-like tone.” Copywriters need this type of feedback and the work will be better for it.
Client Copywriter Chemistry
A good chemistry between you and your copywriter is important. Working together effectively means you’ll end up with top quality work… and you’ll now have a copywriter who now knows a lot about your company and is eagerly awaiting your next assignment.
What skills should a copywriter have?
When it comes to copywriting there is a very simple formula which is used to write good copy easily and effectively. When sticking to this formula and learning how to master it you can very easily increase your rate of conversion. The name of the formula is the Hook, Line and Sinker formula and with it you can become a good copywriter.
The very first thing that will grab your readers’ attention is the heading. If the heading of your piece is boring, the reader will not even bother to read the rest of your article. Keep your headings interesting, punchy and full of promise. Once you have them hooked on the title, you need to keep them hooked during the opening paragraph, which is just as important.
The body of your message needs to have information which pertains to how the reader will benefit from what you have to offer. You will then also need to ‘sell’ these benefits by providing supporting facts. The trick is to deliver the facts and keep people interested at the same time.
You need to string people along from one paragraph to the next offering information yet also not too much. Stick to one benefit per paragraph and end each paragraph with a promise of the ‘full’ story waiting in the next paragraph. This is how you keep people interested in reading your entire post.
Everybody loves a good story but the job of a copywriter is not solely to entertain. A copy writer needs to be able to convert readers to customers. The purpose of copywriting is to sell and not merely entertain. The sinker is what ‘closes’ the deal, it is in fact one of the main purposes of the post.
The sinker is your call to action. Copywriting need not necessarily be to sell a product, the purpose may also be to get more followers or to get people to subscribe to a blog. What is important is that you have an end result in mind which is your call to action.