I’ve been a copywriter for over a decade and during that time I’ve heard the same tragic stories from potential clients who’ve had negative experiences hiring freelance writers.
It sucks. It sucks for them, for the freelancer, and the community as a whole. Everything about that just sucks.
After hearing their stories, I think it’s fair to agree that sometimes their problems were in fact due to poor behaviour on the part of the freelancer (shame!), but more often than not, their experiences had more to do with making common mistakes when choosing the right copywriter for their business.
Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or content enthusiast, avoiding common mistakes in the selection process is vital to ensure you find the right wordsmith who can bring your brand to life and help you reach your business goals.
So, buckle up and let’s uncover the top 5 common mistakes people make when hiring a copywriter and what you can do to avoid them.
5 Common Mistakes when Choosing a Copywriter
Focusing Only on Price
Let’s dive right into the deep end and get the money question out of the way nice and early. One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a copywriter is focusing solely on price.
While budget considerations are important, choosing a copywriter solely based on affordability can lead to subpar results. Remember, quality writing comes at a cost. Invest in a skilled copywriter who can deliver high-quality, impactful content that aligns with your brand’s value, voice, and vision.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and a higher price may be worth it if it means getting high-quality content that drives results.
Pro-tip: Be up front with what your budget is to save everyone time and resources; there’s no need to be shady. The more we talk about money, the less awkward it gets. I can’t tell you how many hours–sometimes weeks–I’ve saved clients (and myself) by having transparent, candid, and open conversations about budgets.
Not Checking Their Portfolio
Another mistake SO MANY people make is not checking the copywriter’s portfolio. Before hiring a copywriter, take the time to review their work samples to ensure they have experience in your industry and can deliver the tone and style you’re looking for.
That said, 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. Even then, 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.
Also don’t be afraid to ask for reviews or testimonials. These can provide valuable insights into their work ethic, reliability, and overall satisfaction. Don’t underestimate the power of social proof. A copywriter with a trail of happy clients is likely to be a safe bet for your project.
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.
Ignoring Communication Skills
Communication is everything. In business, in relationships, and in life.
Effective communication is crucial when working with a copywriter. Unfortunately, many people overlook a copywriter’s communication skills when making their hiring decision and then spend the majority of the project wondering where their deliverables are.
Look for someone (like me!) who is responsive, clear, and willing to collaborate with you throughout the process.
Not Defining Project Goals and Expectations
Before embarking on the copywriter hunt, take a moment to clearly define your goals, objectives, and how you’ll measure success. Without a solid understanding of what you want to achieve, you risk ending up with a copywriter who may not align with your vision. Know your brand, target audience, and desired outcomes to find a copywriter who can hit the bullseye.
Then, be sure to clearly communicate your expectations, deadlines, and goals for the project. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same end result, and will help everyone avoid disappointment and frustration later on.
Rushing the Process
Finally, many people rush the copywriting process, leading to poor-quality content and missed deadlines. After 11+ years freelance writing in Vancouver, I don’t typically take on projects from clients who “need it yesterday!” because I’m not able to deliver the quality results they’re investing in. No one can. Requests like this are a big red flag for disappointment and stress.
That’s not to say I won’t take rush projects, but if I do, I always make sure the client takes the time to understand my approach and workflow.
Remember that good copywriting takes time and effort. By aligning their process with your expectations, you’ll avoid surprises and ensure a smoother collaboration.
Get it Write: Tips for Hiring A Copywriter
Hopefully by sharing these common mistakes, I’ll save you the headache, disappointment, and lost revenue of hiring the wrong person. If you’ve struggled with hiring a writer in the past, I’d love to hear from you. Remember to take your time, communicate clearly, and choose a copywriter who is a good fit for your budget, brand, and project.
You want a copywriter who can creatively connect you with the right consumers and communities. Guess what? That’s what a good copywriter wants, too.
After all, your success is our success–we all deserve to win!
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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.