9 questions you might want to ask before you hire a copywriter
I’d been thinking about writing a post that explains why you should hire a copywriter.
Then I realised we’re off to Sydney and Canberra for Christmas and I’ll be catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while. And I expect they’ll ask what I do.
So, here are some questions I think I might hear and the answers I’ll give.
For many small business owners, it comes down to time. You know about your business but you don’t have the time to write.
Do I need a copywriter?
In other cases, it’s just about someone else being able to tell your story better. I wrote my website copy and it was excruciating talking about myself.
The other reason to hire a copywriter we enjoy writing and we’re improving our skills. We use resources like templates and apps to help make your copy shine. We also have a network of other professionals that we can bring in. When I get stuck and just can’t nail that perfect sentence, I’ve got the most amazing group of copywriters I can call on.
You need to update your website content or improve your SEO. But do you have the time to learn the skills get up to date with the latest trends? Besides our skills and resources, we also bring the experience of the other projects we have worked on.
But if you want to do your own writing, I can still assist with editing, proofreading and optimising it for the search engines.
What does a copywriter do?
I write content that tells your story – or that of your business. This might start with sitting down with you and identifying what you need written and why. It could be a one-off press release, an ongoing series of blog posts or content for a new or existing website. I can do annual reports, product descriptions, newsletters and speeches.
And for most of this year, I’ve been honing my SEO (search engine optimisation) skills. I write with your customer in mind but I’ll also make sure it pleases the google beast and gets you found online.
How much does a copywriter charge?
That depends on the project. In most cases, I charge a fixed package price, which is why I’ll work through your brief and come up with a detailed proposal.
If you head to my pricing page you’ll get an idea of the cost of a press release, blog package or website. And if you’d like to see what copywriters in Australia charge, check out this guide from The Clever Copywriting School.
I charge 50% upfront. Once I receive payment, I’ll get started on the project. I’ll confirm the timing of the second payment in the proposal once we outline the scope of the project. For smaller projects, I charge the full amount upfront. This is standard across the Australian copywriting community.
And to make it super easy, you can pay directly from my invoice via bank deposit or credit card. I can also accept overseas payments and I’m happy to quote in most major currencies.
Do you build websites?
Short answer. No. I built my website, but it was time-consuming. And I have a fantastic developer that helped migrate my website and made sure I had set everything up correctly.
I understand enough about how most platforms work to make basic changes. But I won’t build a website from scratch.
What I offer is the content and the best practices to optimise your website so Google can find you.
I know some great people that can provide that support. I’m happy to connect you directly or engage them on your behalf.
Can you manage my social media?
While I do my own, and many of my packages include social snippets and suggestions, it’s not my area of expertise.
I can help with content and ideas. But if you’re after someone to manage your social media, advise on scheduling or hashtags, I’m can connect you with one of my contacts.
I’ve got thousands of follows on social media. Why do I need a website?
There are a couple of ways to explain this.
One analogy I’ve heard is that building your business on social media is like building on someone else’s land. You don’t control the platform and you don’t ‘own’ those followers.
Instead, think of social media as your front door. It’s opening up your business to customers and it’s valuable for building your brand and engagement. But your website is your house. You need to use social media as the door into your house. Once those people are on your website, you can sign them up to your mailing list which you control.
Who do you work with?
This is different for every copywriter. Some copywriters work in-house or in agencies. Freelance copywriters like me work with many types of businesses. I’ve worked with small businesses locally and interstate. I’ve also subcontracted to other copywriters working on big government projects with teams of over 20 people. I also work with a digital marketing agency overseas providing copywriting support to tourism businesses, in Italy and the US.
At this stage in my business, I enjoy being a generalist and work with anyone, as long as I can deliver the service you need. As my business grows, I may subcontract work to other writers.
Some of my colleagues focus on a specific industry niche like health, food or IT. But for now, I like the variety that comes from working with a range of different clients. It’s great having projects of different sizes, working on my own and in teams.
Before I start a project, we’ll meet in person or over the phone. If I don’t think we’re the right fit, I can refer you to someone else in my network.
How do I know you’re any good?
I’ve come to copywriting with over 20 years of work experience with a lot of writing involved. I spent 15 years with DFAT, including 7.5 years overseas where clear, concise communication was paramount.
In the last 5 years, I’ve studied arts and entertainment management and freelance writing, run a trade consultancy and worked for a winemaker for several years.
All of that experience has given me a good understanding of the importance of good communication. But for me, learning is a never-ending process. I’m a member of both The Clever Copywriting School and Digital Masterchefs which provide ongoing learning through masterclasses with experts in their field.
Who have you worked with?
In my first year of freelance copywriting, my clients have included two wineries, a podcast expert, a local exercise physiologist and a coach working with diplomats. I’ve also been part of several big teams. I worked on the DFAT Smartraveller website update. I also work with a digital marketing agency supporting tour companies in Italy and the US. Head over to my portfolio page for a snapshot of my work.
I hope I’ve answered your questions about why should hire a copywriter. But if you have any other questions leave your comments below or send me an email.