Three things you must know before hiring a copywriter

Photo: LOTR Book Page Credit: Tomas Vogelsang

Tiffany Clarke Harrison

featured contributor

Copywriters can do wonders to enhance your reputation and to spruce up your copy.  Hiring the most accomplished and/or most talented copywriter could be a poor decision if you haven’t worked through a few details first.  Here are three things that it is essential to consider before making a hiring decision.

How much money do you intend to spend?

Know your budget—contrary to popular belief, copywriting is not just writing. It’s telling a strategic yet honest story in order to get your right people on board with and buying what you have to offer. In order to do that, a copywriter conducts research, learns all the crazy good details about you, your industry, and what your right people want most in order to paint a compelling picture with words to make you look all boom boom pow online.

It takes time and effort, not unlike any other service you pay for (e.g. graphic design), and will cost you.  A lot of copywriters list their rates on their website and other writers are happy to send you a quote upon request. If you want to work with them, be prepared to pay those rates. Because it’s not a garage sale and haggling isn’t cute.

What do you want to accomplish?

Know your goals (i.e. what the heck you want)— Have you ever seen one of those brides on Say Yes to the Dress who goes into her appointment with the consultant and when asked what kind of dress she’s looking for she has no idea? They generally become one of the more difficult clients to work with and please. Why? Because when you don’t know what you want it makes it infinitely harder for you to get it.

A copywriter can help you focus your ideas and bring out the overarching message in all of your seemingly sporadic thoughts on your business. But you have to have a place to start from.

You have to work together, so…..

Discover if it’s a good fit—remember applying for 9-5 jobs and trudging through the anxiety inducing interview process? Sure, a lot of the process is to talk about your skills and how you can help the company, but the part that’s harder to quantify, but equally important, is whether or not you’re a good fit for the company. Basically, your skills are awesome, but if you suck to work with well, the best skills won’t keep you in that job for long.

Before hiring a copywriter (or any service provider for your business) conduct your own interview process. Find out if the person behind the copy you love so much is someone you can actually work with before forking over the dollars just to find out that working with him or her is awful!

What do you think?  Are there attributes or considerations that I missed?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Tiffany Clarke Harrison
Tiffany Clarke Harrison is a copywriter for creative women entrepreneurs who are rockin’ their talents through businesses that help others live and enjoy their best life (e.g. business and life coaches, culinary goddesses, fitness instructors). She's the author of 'Read All Over: The Creative Girl's Guide to Writing for her Business' Website', and 24/7 husband & toddler-wrangler. Want more from Tiffany? Subscribe today!
  • Susan Silver

    #2, I feel more like a guidance counselor more than a writer sometimes.The process on finding the right person is much more streamlined if you already have an idea of what you are working towards. I find that most people just don’t know what they don’t know and require a little education. Then they understand pretty quickly what they want.