You know the importance of great copywriting, but how do you choose the right copywriter? Your copy helps you connect with your target audience, share your brand story, and ultimately drive conversions. However, finding the right copywriter isn’t always easy.
I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me with horror stories of writers gone wrong. Not everyone is going to be a perfect match and with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
How to Choose the Right Copywriter
A copywriter’s job is to create written content that is engaging, informative, and persuasive. This can include everything from website copy, blog posts, social media updates, product descriptions, and more. A great copywriter understands your brand voice, your target audience, and your goals. Then, they use this information to craft content that resonates with your audience and inspires them to take action.
So how do you find that golden needle in the haystack that will make your words shine?
Ten Questions to Ask a Copywriter
In this article, I’ll share with you 10 questions to ask a copywriter to ensure you find the perfect match for your unique needs.
Question 1: What is your experience as a copywriter?
Experience matters when it comes to copywriting.
I’ll be honest–my ability to turn conversions as a copywriter with 11+ years experience is far higher than it was with only 2 years under my belt. While it’s certainly possible to find a great copywriter who is just starting out, generally speaking, the more experience a copywriter has, the better.
Before hiring a copywriter, be sure to ask about their experience level, the types of projects they’ve worked on, and any relevant certifications or training they have.
Question 2: What is your writing process like?
Every copywriter has their own process for writing. Some may start with an outline, while others prefer to dive right in. Some may prefer to write multiple drafts and get lots of feedback, while others spend their time fine-tuning it the first time.
I’m fairly flexible in terms of overall process and personally prefer to work with my clients in a way that feels best for them. If they want to be hands-on in the process, I’m excited for the collaboration; if they prefer to delegate and get it off their plate, I’m experienced enough to handle that responsibility.
By understanding a copywriter’s process, you can get a sense of whether it aligns with your needs and preferences, and establish a foundation of communication that makes everyone happy.
Question 3: Can you show me some examples of your work?
One of the most important questions to ask a copywriter is to see examples of their work. Not everyone can show them though–many copywriters (myself included) do a lot of ghost-writing and sign NDAs that don’t allow us to divulge that we’ve worked on certain projects.
That said, they should be able to provide you with some samples from either their portfolio or blog to showcase their style, ability to connect with an audience, or their experience in your industry or niche. They will also likely have reviews or testimonials to back up their results. Make sure to ask for a variety of examples, including website copy, blog posts, social media updates, and anything else that is relevant to your unique needs.
Pro-tip: if a writer is unable to provide the specific writing samples you need, hire them for a small, one-time project to see the kind of work they do and how well you work together. I often do this for new clients because so much of my writing is under NDA. If it goes well, you can partner on a bigger project.
Question 4: How do you handle revisions?
Revisions are a normal part of the copywriting process. Make sure to ask a copywriter how they handle them and how many rounds of revisions are included in their fee. The industry standard is often 2 per project. You’ll also want to understand how quickly they can turn around revisions and whether there are any additional fees for revisions beyond the initial scope of the project.
The divergence here is with on-going partnerships. Rather than establish a set number of revisions, I sometimes have clients who prefer to retain a set number of hours per month and I’ll revise as many times as needed, or move onto a new piece of copy if it’s in the queue, until we use up the hours for the month.
Question 5: What do you charge?
This is a bit of a trick question because copywriting fees vary widely depending on the writer’s experience level, the scope of the project, and other factors.
I tend to price per project, rather than per hour, because I like to make sure everyone’s expectations are aligned. So rather than throw out a random number, I spend a bit of time to truly understand a particular project and ensure the client and I are a good fit. I’ll be honest–I’m not the cheapest option, and you don’t want me to be. Choosing a copywriter is an investment in the future of your business; you get the results you pay for.
So if you ask me what I charge, I’ll probably ask you to hop on a discovery call and we’ll go from there.
Question 6: How do you approach research for a project?
Research is a critical part of the copywriting process. Ask a copywriter how they approach research, what resources they use, and how they ensure the accuracy of their information.
I typically like to ask a lot of questions and get familiar with a brand’s tone and voice before we begin. Then I do an environmental scan to make sure we’re creating something of value and that resonates for the target audience. Some of my clients do their own research through interviews and SEO strategy, while others prefer me to do the heavy lifting.
A great copywriter should be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of your industry or niche.
Question 7: How do you ensure the content is optimized for search engines?
Not all content is meant to be optimized for search engines; some of it’s more conversion or awareness based. That said, if the copy you want written is meant to be found by Google, you’ll want to make sure either your copywriter has a foundational knowledge of on-page SEO or someone on your team does. You also want to consider how this piece of copy fits with your larger SEO strategy.
I personally love writing copy with a strong SEO focus. Between keyphrase and competitor research, to headings and the copy itself, to image titles, alt-tags, and meta descriptions, making all the pieces fit together is one of the most satisfying parts of my job.
SEO can be a bewildering concept to those not trained in optimization, so your best way forward is to simply ask a copywriter how they approach SEO, what tools they use, and how they ensure the content is optimized without sacrificing readability, user-experience, or quality.
Question 8: How do you collaborate with clients?
Just like any other relationship, communication is key when you choose the right copywriter. Ask a copywriter how they prefer to communicate with clients, including how often they provide updates, how they handle feedback, and what tools they use to stay organized. Don’t be afraid to voice your preferences, too! You’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable with their communication style before hiring them.
In my business, I have a tendency to over-communicate with clients, rather than under-communicate. I call this luxury client service. I only take on a few projects per year because I want to give my clients the full attention they (and their projects) deserve. I never want to leave a client wondering what the status of our work is and where their investment is going. I take your project as seriously as you do–even if we have fun doing it.
Question 9: Are you familiar with my industry/niche?
While it’s not always necessary to hire a copywriter who specializes in your niche (that’s what the research phase is for), it can certainly be helpful. Ask whether a copywriter has experience working in your industry, and whether they have any relevant knowledge or expertise that could help them create better content for your business.
Again, if you aren’t sure about the match but you like them and their other work, you can always start with a smaller, one-off project to get your toes wet before committing to something bigger.
Question 10: What sets you apart from other copywriters?
Finally, ask a copywriter what sets them apart from other copywriters. This will give you a sense of their unique value proposition and what they bring to the table. Just like every business, every copywriter is different.
For example, I tend to take a holistic approach to my projects. I believe in the value of curiosity (I never settle) and collaboration (people are everything). That said, I’m not perfect and I’m not afraid to fail. I know I have terrible attention to tiny details and I need to edit my copy before I turn it over to my clients because I will never, ever, not have typos in my first drafts. This is something I continue to work on because I believe continuous growth and learning, both personally and professionally, is how I do content better.
Ultimately you want to look for a copywriter who can articulate their strengths, embrace their weaknesses, and demonstrate how they can help you achieve your goals.
Conclusion: Choose the right copywriter
Choosing the right copywriter for your business is crucial and can often feel overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time. Remember to consider experience, writing process, examples of work, revisions, budget, research, SEO, communication, industry expertise, and unique value proposition when evaluating a copywriter. Then, trust your gut. I’m a big believer in the power of intuition AND data, and I’m here to help!
With the right copywriter on your team, you’ll be well on your way to creating content that connects with your audience and drives results. Because we are stronger together, “we” is greater than “me”, and teamwork always wins.
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Hi, I’m Kristy–a Vancouver copywriter & content creator who is passionate about creatively connecting brands with the right consumers and communities. My mission is to help you share yours. Click the button below and I’ll be thrilled to discuss how I can help you empower connections and drive conversions.