Selecting the right copywriter is an important decision. Style, process, experience and core competencies vary from one copywriter to another thus making your decision one that requires time, patience and a solid method through which to analyze the right criteria.
Experience matters. As essential as they are, there is a limit to what can be learned in university courses that can be said to have a direct impact on a copywriter’s professional aptitudes. Some copywriters begin their careers in full-time roles of employment whereas others make their leap into the freelance marketplace immediately. In either case, an examination of existing samples and client testimonials may help to determine if the writer’s experience is both sufficient and appropriate for your company.
In a field where the diversity of requirement is as broad as the entrepreneurial spirit of clients, it stands to reason that copywriters will specialize in certain specific types of writing for specific types of enterprises. Even a brief telephone call with a potential copywriting candidate will reinforce impressions and opinions formed by samples and testimonials. If a person cannot speak to you properly, it’s unlikely they’ll write very well for you either.
Every good copywriter has a process they follow upon the engagement of any new project. The most effective process will include research, interview and ongoing consultation. Does the copywriter know something about your business before you meet? Does the writer listen attentively to your requirements and understand your expectations? Does the writer know how to access reliable research instruments and use them to harvest accurate information?
Learning, assessing and later converting the broadly expressed needs of a client into concise, digestible, compelling copy is an intensely interpersonal process. The success of that process depends to no small extent on the writer’s ability to “get along” with clients. Freelance writers must be prepared to listen and only then to advise. Bringing clients to a realistic understanding which embraces their vision and the writer’s knowledge is often a patient, incremental, respectful procedure. It doesn’t take long to identify and then to dismiss an overbearing writer who thinks he or she has a better understanding of what your company needs than you do.
In the realm of copywriting, a deadline often carries as much weight as the copy itself. Finding a copywriter who always adheres to specific deadlines is imperative to the development of a long term, mutually beneficial business relationship. Compliance with the terms of a project in a prompt respectful manner will ever be the hallmark of good business, not just good copywriting.
Take Your Time
The longer you expect the professional relationship with a copywriter to last, the longer you should take in your search for the right person. In the end, your company will profit from a copywriter who is able to represent your brand effectively and consistently, with a strong voice that resonates with your target market and produces desired results.
Choose a copywriter the same way you would make any other business decision. Weigh your options, follow your instincts and do your homework.