Hiring a freelance copywriter should be treated like a job interview. Knowing what to ask and look for will help you in the decision making process. If this is your first time or you simply need a refresher in the types of questions to ask or things to look for then this is for you.
Here are 7 tips for hiring a freelance copywriter.
1. Why Freelancing
Freelancing is often synonymous with independence so you might be thinking what benefit will it have if you ask a copywriter how or why they got into freelancing. When you are prodding for information, you will form an opinion just by listening to their story. It might surprise you to know that it’s not always the 9-5 answer that you may be anticipating. It could be a case of a past experience that conflicts with the personal values of the copywriter. With that being said, it is worth asking them about their personal values. This will give insight into what drives them.
Some copywriters charge by the hour, others by the project. You’ll find very quickly that prices vary. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes down to pricing such as the copywriter’s experience, value and presentation of the work. Therefore, it makes comparing prices a difficult task and sometimes a futile one at that. Rather than comparing prices, it will be worthwhile to have a conversation with two or three copywriters surrounding their offer.
At some stage, every copywriter will have a portfolio on their website. If you are looking to hire a newly established copywriter, chances are that they are still working on their portfolio. Therefore, don’t be discouraged if you find a copywriter you like with no portfolio to view.
Most copywriter start by writing blogs so have a look at their blogs to see what their writing style is like. Is it informative? Conversational? Engaging? This will help you determine if their writing style is the right fit for your business.
Does the copywriter require you to fill out the briefing sheet? Look for a copywriter that alleviates your workload by being proactive in taking notes of the briefing. In addition, copywriters should take notes of changes throughout the life of the project and submit the amendments to you for approval so no assumptions or assertions are made.
Getting a copy right the first time is hard so it is important that your copywriter includes at least one, or even better, two rounds of revision in their quote. There is nothing worse than discovering extra fees to do revisions when the first draft didn’t meet the brief.
Indeed, training is important; however, you’ll find that most copywriters are self-taught. Ask for the name of the institution and how long they have been working as a writer. In the case of a newly established copywriter, ask them if they had experience in producing content from past employment.
7. SEO Copywriting
Most copywriters offer SEO services (search engine optimisation). If SEO is what you are after, ask the copywriter what aspect of SEO they focus on. Is it just one aspect such as on-the-page/off-the-page or a combination of both?
All in all, getting to know your freelance copywriter is more than just asking how much they charge. Look for clues from their past employment and ask what their personal values are. For newly established copywriters, read their blogs in lieu of a portfolio, and ask what the process is for the briefing and how many rounds of revision you are entitled to receive within the quotation terms. Don’t forget to ask the name of the training institution and any relevant experience in producing content. Lastly, check how many elements of SEO the copywriter focuses on.
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