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Want to Know How to Find the Right Copywriter?

11/25/20

Brand Voice, Content Marketing

When you find a copywriter that just gets you, it can feel kinda like this…

glass slipper shoes GIF

After searching the kingdom day and night for them, you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you’ve found the one. The shoe finally freakin’ fits.

The point is, a great copywriter should fit your team and your brand. Otherwise, your professional relationship may feel more like this.

best of week dog GIF by Cheezburger

How do you find that magical unicorn of a copywriter? A copywriter who truly understands what you want to say in your copy and content, who you’re talking to, and how to say it? Check out our tips below.

Look at samples of their work

When you’re vetting a potential new copywriter, take a look at their work samples or portfolio. Read through a few pieces — really read them, don’t skim — to get an idea of their work.

Is each piece tailored specifically to the brand as it should be? A blog post for a fun and trendy apparel brand shouldn’t sound the same as a whitepaper for a manufacturing company. That would be a red flag that tone of voice isn’t necessarily this writer’s strength.

Part of a copywriter’s job is to write copy that sounds like you and to speak the language of your customer. The copy they produce for you should embody your brand voice, style, tone, the way you speak to your audience. Your brand personality. If every piece in a copywriter’s portfolio has a similar ring to it, that’s a problem. Their work is written in their style, not their clients’ style. That’s a big no-no.

Not sure if you understand the nuance? Let’s look at how we write for a brand like Toujours Planning. Fresh, professional, Millennial. Meanwhile, there’s our client Ponderlily, that reads softer, gentler, quieter. Do you see the difference? 

Check out what their testimonials say

We all check online reviews before buying a couch or trying a new restaurant. Make sure you’re doing the same thing for your new copywriter. What the reviews say matters. If past clients raved about the writer’s ability to “get” their brand message and audience, those are all good signs. 

Think about other qualities you want in a copywriter and how they might come up in a review. If you want someone who nails assignments with minimal explanation (and meetings and emails), a client review might say that the writer understands what’s needed or knows what has to be done.

Want someone who’s punctual and dependable? Look for reviews that say they “deliver as promised” or that they can “always be counted on.” You get the idea. And finding copywriters with a Testimonials highlight on their Instagram account never hurts. 

Ask about their process

Samples, check. Testimonials, check. Now it’s time to figure out what a copywriter’s process is like. This may be outlined on their website, or you may have to ask them about it directly.

By “process,” we mean how a copywriter gets to know you so that they can write like you. It’s nice to think that every copywriter out there can capture your brand voice in an instant, just by reading what you already have published. But that’s not how it works in the real world.

A copywriter who specializes in brand voice has a process for understanding it. Maybe they want to look at your brand guidelines. Or they’ll ask you to describe your target audience. Or they’ll ask you which words you’d use to explain your brand…and which words you’d avoid.

Look for a copywriter who is honest and thorough about their process. If you’re nervous about whether hiring them is really worth it, learning about their process may help ease your worries.

Try a test project first

You’ve learned all you can about your potential new copywriter. Before you go all in, ask if they can complete a small test project for you first. (PAID. Don’t be a cheap ass.) If it doesn’t work out, neither of you will waste time and money. Or hurt feelings.

A test project lets you feel out what it would be like to work with a copywriter regularly. There are details that just won’t come up when you’re interviewing them. Keep these questions in mind during the test project:

  • Does the writer ask to hop on video chats or phone calls often to discuss assignments, or do they prefer to hash things out through email or Slack? It’s a lot easier when their preferences fall in line with yours.
  • Do they give you an estimate of how long they’ll take to complete work? Is that estimate accurate?
  • Does the quality of their writing match their samples and testimonials? If it’s wildly off, that may be a red flag.
  • Are they reasonable about turnaround time for first drafts and edits?
  • Did they meet their deadlines?

Not happy with how the test project went? Thank the copywriter for their time, pay them, and go on your merry way to continue your search. If anything, maybe the experience helped you figure out other qualities you want in your copywriter.

If you’re happy with how the test project turns out, then awesome! You’ve found yourself a shiny new copywriter to add to your team. 

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