With that said, here are five questions to ask before you hire a copywriter:
1. How Good Are They?
For many companies, hiring a freelance copywriter is the only way to get first-class creative talent. But watch out! Not everyone who calls him/herself a copywriter really is one.
As you look for a qualified freelancer, you're likely to meet everyone from moonlighting agency writers to unemployed surfers. Worst of all, you may find a novelist or magazine writer who thinks that, because he has published "real writing," working on your little project will be a cinch.
I am a professional copywriter. I have no other job, and I'm not looking for one. My customers are all repeat customers, for one reason -- my copy works.
2. How Much Do They Charge?
One of the advantages of hiring a freelance copywriter -- instead of an agency, for example -- is cost. Yet freelance copywriters' fees vary widely, and the real cost of doing business with one is often hidden.
Copywriters who charge by the hour may give you a bill for many more hours than you expected. Those who work on retainer will send you a monthly bill, whether they've done anything to earn it or not. And some copywriters charge extra for revisions...in effect making you pay more for work you can't use.
Not only are my fees at or below the average among top professional copywriters, I charge only by the product. Best of all, revisions are FREE for up to 30 days. You always know in advance how much you're going to pay to get the job done right, no matter what.
3. Are They Dependable?
Let's face it. If you had all the time in the world to write a piece of copy, you could try to do it in-house. One of the most common reasons for hiring a freelancer is to meet a deadline when time and on-site talent are in short supply. The last thing you need is a writer you can't count on.
I seldom ask my clients for more than two weeks to complete a project. Rush jobs usually can be completed in a week or less. Sure, I'll fight for as much time as I can get. The more time you give me, the more I can polish your copy for maximum effect. But once I've agreed to a date, it's sacred. I have never missed a deadline, and don't intend to start now.
4. Can They Work Long Distance?
A key advantage of using a freelance copywriter is the chance it gives companies around the country to work with the kind of specialists found only in major metropolitan ad agencies. But that advantage is lost when the the freelancer can't work without frequent meetings, constant handholding, close supervision and repeated brain-storming sessions. You need a copywriter who will grasp your problem quickly and work alone to find the right solution for your unique situation.
My office is equipped to serve you quickly and efficiently, no matter where you work. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, if your company is on the planet, we can do business together!
5. Are They Easy to Work With?
When you judge a freelance writer on the basis of talent alone, you're asking for trouble. You may wind up with one of our profession's famous prima donnas -- people who refuse to take direction from clients, who treat minor revisions as a personal affront, who charge royalties on their successes...and walk away from their failures.
An effective collaboration between client and copywriter takes more than just talent. It takes reliability, courtesy and respect. It takes a willingness to compromise, and an ability to listen.
I am proud of the fact that many of my clients have also become my good friends. But it's no coincidence. It's a direct result of my personal approach to every job. Maybe that's why clients trust me with confidential information and sensitive personal projects.
My goal is to bring copywriting know-how and marketing techniques, that were once reserved for the Fortune 500 companies, to small businesses and organizations. That's why our motto is "global marketing brought down to earth."
Regardless of who you choose to write copy for you, make sure they're qualified, easy to work with and dependable. Make sure that your project will not be lost in the shuffle of a dozen others. A copywriter is trained to find just the right words to reach your target audience in the most effective way possible. When dollars and market share are on the line, every little word matters.
Thanks for indulging me in a little self-promotion this week. Since copywriting is my "thing" I wanted to get this information out there right up front. I think it's important for you to know, as I said, whether you hire me or not.
But please do! I'm very dependable and easy going -- not unlike a golden retriever -- and I won't tear up the furniture.