How to Hire a Killer Copywriter

How to Hire a Great Copywriter

Want to have great copy? You either need to learn how to create it yourself, or you need to hire a great copywriter. The right copywriter can help your business increase sales, build brand recognition and garner a number of other positive results.

So how do you find the right copywriter for your business? Here are some key things to keep in mind during your search.

15 Tips for Hiring a Great Copywriter

Be Specific About What You Need

There are plenty of different copywriters out there with different skills and specialties. So before you even start looking, consider what it is you’d actually like your copywriter to do. If you’re looking to spruce up copy for your company’s online ads, find someone who specializes in that format. If you’re looking for someone to write product description, then find someone with similar items in their portfolio.

If You’re Not Sure, Find Someone to Guide You

Of course, there might be situations where you’re not exactly sure what you need or where you might need several different types of jobs covered. In those situations, it could be beneficial to find a copywriter with experience in different areas who can help you decide the best route to take for your copy. You may need to pay extra for this type of guidance though.

Consider the Required Skill Level

You’ll also need to decide how much experience you need in a copywriter. Not every job necessarily requires a seasoned veteran. But if you want your entire web copy revamped, that could require you to hire someone with more experience than if you were just looking for someone to create a single ad.

Have a Budget in Mind

Before you start your official search, consider how much you can afford to spend on a copywriter. Or at least consider what you are able to spend on an overall project. For example, determine your budget for your overall marketing campaign. Then consider any other costs involved in the campaign and figure out how much you have left to set aside for a copywriter.

But Ask for Their Best Quote

You can also ask the copywriters you’re considering for their best quotes based on the work that you need done. That doesn’t mean that you should necessarily just choose the cheapest bid. But make sure that you understand what all is included in the quoted price and then use that to make an informed decision.

Consider Hiring Someone for Regular Work

In some cases, you can get better prices and a copywriter that has a better understanding of your brand if you hire someone for regular work, if your business needs copy written on a regular basis. If you can’t afford to hire someone full-time, consider at least creating a relationship with a freelancer who you can contact whenever you have new copy needs.

Get Someone Who Understands Your Audience

Great copy looks completely different from business to business. What constitutes an effective ad for a computer company probably wouldn’t work as well for a clothing retailer. So if you want copy that’s going to resonate with your audience, you need to find a copywriter who knows how to write for that audience. Take a look at their past work or ask about any experience in your industry to see if they’d be a good fit.

Ask for Examples of Their Work

Even if a copywriter doesn’t have experience in your exact niche, you can get a feel for a copywriter’s strengths by looking at their past work. See if they have a portfolio on their website or ask them for samples. Then see if their writing includes the type of voice and format that you’d like to see in your own copy.

Keep Real Results in Mind

Even if you think a piece of copy in someone’s portfolio sounds good, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to help your business. So you have to consider the results you want your copy to garner. Is a stronger voice going to resonate with the specific audience you’re looking for so that you can grow your customer base? Or are you looking to increase immediate sales through stronger ad copy or product descriptions?

Emphasize Headlines and Calls to Action

Depending on what type of copy you are looking for, there are a few very important sections that can help you grab customers’ attention and get the results you’re looking for. Headlines and calls to action especially can make a big difference. So put special emphasis on those in your search for copywriters.

Learn About Their Preferences

For some copywriters, their personal styles and preferences can make a big difference in how much care they put into their work. So when vetting copywriters, consider asking them about what types of subjects and formats they enjoy the most.

Conduct a Test

You can also ask potential copywriters to work on one job before hiring them for a larger project to see how they do and how their style matches with what you’re looking for.

Be Clear About Revisions

Even great copywriters need guidance from time to time. If you want someone to write in exactly the tone and style you’re looking for, then you need to make that very clear to them. So after you ask a potential copywriter to create a sample piece of copy, go back to them with any revisions and feedback so that they know what you like and don’t like and how they can improve going forward if you decide to hire them.

Let Them Stick to Writing

It can be tempting to ask your copywriter to focus on additional things like SEO or conversion rates. But having a SEO or sales expert try to write copy may not be the best route if you want your copy to really be effective. Instead, let your copywriters focus on writing copy that is actually well constructed and quality. Maybe give them a few keywords to include wherever possible. But search engines tend to prioritize good copy over keyword stuffed generic content anyway.

Have End Goals in Mind

Throughout the process, make sure that you keep your original goals in mind. Not only should you have an idea of the type of copy that you want, but also what you want it to accomplish. If you want to improve your product or ad copy so that you can increase sales, then you need to keep an eye on any changes so that you can evaluate the results.

Writer Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How to Hire a Killer Copywriter” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Here are Some Results-Driven Ways to Grow Your Company’s Email List

Email List

“The money is in your list.”

Marketers have said this over and over again throughout the years, and even in 2015 it remains accurate. Email is still a very effective form of digital marketing, and building an email list should be one of the main focuses of your marketing strategy, regardless of whether you have a car dealership or a mom-and-pop bookstore.

The simplest and most effective way to grow your email list is to offer a newsletter. It’s something that my company has done for many years. But placing an opt-in form on your website and waiting for the subscribers to pour in will leave you extremely disappointed. Sure, you will capture an occasional subscriber, but if you want to experience aggressive list growth, you will need to implement some other strategies.

Here are five strategies that my company has implemented recently on our own website that has helped us grow our email list at an extremely fast rate.

Run a Twitter Card Lead Generation Campaign

We experienced success running Twitter card lead generation campaigns. I’m a huge fan of this list-building method for two reasons. First, it allows prospects to join the list with a single click. They aren’t required to enter an email address, as Twitter automatically passes the email address used to log into the account. Second, you receive a valid email address 100% of the time, since a prospect can’t enter a bogus email to claim your offer.

We were also able to use the targeting options to draw in qualified subscribers. You pay for each email added to your list using Twitter cards, so you need to have a decent budget if you want to get aggressive. Don’t let the cost deter you, though, as no subscriber is ever free. There is a cost associated with every subscriber you attract, whether it’s from social media, SEO or other marketing channels.


Jonathan Long is the founder & CEO of Market Domination Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in creative outside-the-box branding campaigns designed for aggressive online growth. Connect with him on Twitter. Jonathan also founded EBOC, an exclusive private community for entrepreneurs and business owners.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, and small business owners.

4 Ways to Capitalize on Consumers’ Desire to Support Local Business

4 Ways to Capitalize on Consumers’ Desire to Support Local Business

Good news for small retailers (and, indeed, for all small businesses): Consumers prefer local businesses to national chains, according to a new study by GoDigital. How can you capitalize on this preference, and more effectively market your retail store to local customers in a way that appeals to their natural preference for shopping local? Here’s what the report had to say.

First, consumers don’t need a lot of extrinsic motivation to patronize local businesses: 55 percent say they do so because they like to support their local communities, and 30 percent say they do so in order to support small businesses (even if those businesses aren’t right in their local area). The factors you might think would make a big difference in choosing where to shop — such as convenience, product selection, staff knowledge and prices — are far down the list of consumers’ reasons for shopping local.

The takeaway: As long as you sell what they’re looking for, consumers are predisposed to shop at your store simply because it’s a small, independent business. The key to building on that natural desire, the study says, is to make connections with prospects and build lasting rapport with customers.  Here’s how.

Customers Support Local Business so Make that Work for You

Facebook is by far the most popular social network among surveyed consumers, with Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram tied for second place. Start your social media outreach by building a strong presence on Facebook. To get more interaction on your Facebook page, the report suggests emphasizing your independent, small business status. You can do this by sharing photos, quotes or information about yourself, your employees and your store. The goal is to make customers feel like they know you personally so they’re comfortable walking in. Don’t forget about Facebook advertising, either: nearly half of respondents in the survey say they are somewhat or very likely to click on relevant Facebook ads. Although your Facebook presence should be your primary social media outlet, the report also recommends having a presence on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter as well.

Fight Showrooming

“Showrooming” is a legitimate concern for local retailers. Some 31 percent of survey respondents say they use their smartphones to look for better prices on products sold in-store. However, you can counteract this tendency by using pay per click (PPC) mobile ads that target a very specific radius around your store. When a prospective customer searches for a better deal for product you’re selling, the ad will serve up a discount at your store. It doesn’t have to be a big discount to get results: Most respondents say just 10 percent off is enough to sway them to shop at a local retailer.

Get Good Reviews

A whopping 92 percent of respondents say online reviews factor into their decision to patronize local retailers at least some of the time. Just eight percent never look at reviews when deciding where to shop. Be sure to claim your store’s listing on ratings and review sites, and monitor your reviews daily to make sure you quickly respond to any negative reviews or complaints. Use window stickers, decals or text on your receipts to encourage happy customers to “Review us on Yelp” (or whatever review sites you use. Watch what people are saying about you on social media, too: Two-thirds of survey respondents say they would review businesses on Facebook or Google+ in addition to the typical review sites.

Plan Your Promotions

Although 27 percent of consumers don’t need the motivation of discounts to shop at local stores, 73 percent say they are interested in promotions (even though that’s not their primary motivator). Discounts and loyalty programs are the most effective promotions your retail store can offer — and it doesn’t take a huge discount, either (remember that 10 percent rule). You don’t need to try to beat big retailers at their game of 40 percent, 50 percent or even 60 percent off. Instead, the report suggests, save big discounts for slower months when you need to bring in customers, or for highly competitive times of year such as the holiday shopping season.

Shop Small Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “4 Ways to Capitalize on Consumers’ Desire to Support Local Business” was first published on Small Business Trends