How to Work With a Copywriter
Are you wondering how to get the most out of working with a copywriter?
Cool, this little post is for you.
Hiring a copywriter can be a daunting experience if you don’t really know what to expect or how the copywriting process works.
The good news is that there are some standard elements that are the same for all professional copywriters. So, if you have a read and follow these tips, you’ll understand basically how to work with a copywriter and what to do to get the best results.
After all, working with a copywriter is a sort of partnership. We need to understand as much about your business as we can to write copy that represents you in a way you’ll love.
The reality is that while we have lots of expert knowledge and wordmanship (like my new word?), we can’t do it alone. We need your brain!
So here are some things to be ready for.
Spend some time nutting out what you want and why
The clearer your picture of the end result, the better it will be. If you can nut this out, you’ll be able to communicate the job affectively so that your copywriter can quote you for what you actually need.
Otherwise, sometimes the client has a vague idea of what they want until they start working through the first draft. They then realise that it’s not quite covering another 35 points they also want to mention, which creates a conundrum.
So, here are a few things to consider.
Write a list of everything you want to talk about in the copy
Include how much detail you want to go into about each of these points
Write out the goals you want the copy to achieve
Keep in mind that a standard 4 line paragraph is roughly 60 words. So if you have 25 points you want to cover, at the minimum, this will be around 2500 words, which is quite a bit.
Otherwise, your copywriter will probably have to adjust your initial quote to cover the extra work as you realise you need it, slowing down the process and complicating things.
The Briefing Process
Copywriters need to have a briefing about the job. In agencies, this brief is created and given to the copywriter. If you’re working with a freelancer, they might send you a briefing document, which is basically a list of questions about the job and your business that will give them all the information they need to do the job.
I like to go through this briefing process with my clients, usually over the phone like an interview because it can be really awkward for clients to know, and sometimes even understand exactly what I’m asking and then put it in writing. It’s nice for you to be able to ask questions while I take all the notes.
Whichever process your copywriter takes for the briefing, here are some things you should think about beforehand.
The background to your business
What makes your business different from your competition
What the goal of the job is
Exactly what needs to be made/ written
Who your target audience is
Who your competitors are
What tone/ manner of voice your business has, or what style you would like it to have
Don’t be scared to ask for changes in the copy
Lastly, don’t be scared to speak up if there are things you’d like to change. Most copywriters will allow for two rounds of amends before you will have to pay for their time to keep editing.
I’ve had clients approach me with trepidation because they wanted to make some changes to the copy. Here’s the thing, if your copywriter doesn’t have thick skin, they will soon. It’s an essential skill for any creative freelancer. So know that you are not being rude, your copywriter wants and needs to hear what you think.
Edits are a normal part of the process. Don’t be scared. We would much rather you have something you love after a few rounds of revisions than have you not be entirely happy with the work because you thought it would be rude to ask for a few changes.
Do you need a copywriter?
So there you have it - a few things to mentally prepare for before you engage a copywriter. If you need a copywriter but don’t know where to start, have a snoop around my website. We might be a good fit!
Or, check out some FAQ about copywriting :)