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What to Look for When Hiring a Copywriter

3/21/23

Content Planning

How do you know someone is the one?

No, no, not THAT the one…I mean, how do you know someone is the one when it comes to hiring a copywriter? How do you know what to look for and if they’re the right fit or not?

I was watching Love Island the other day (make fun of me all you want, IDGAF) and listening to Islander after Islander tell their friends, “He’s my type on paper. Proper fit!!” And it got me thinking…

Hiring the right copywriter is a lot like trying to find a good person to date. You’ve got to see if they’ve got the banter, if they’re a bit of you, if they are end game…you get the idea. And all of this is especially true if you’re looking for a copywriter. 

Why? Because our job is to embody your brand in the written word, which means you can’t just hire any old geezer to get the job done. 

So how do you know what to look for so you hire the right copywriter? C’mon then, let’s crack on and find out!

First: Is now the right time to hire a copywriter?

Hiring help in your business, no matter the role, can be intimidating to say the least — and when you factor in just how important copy and brand voice are, it really feels like the pressure’s on. 

But before you stress about whether or not you’ve found the right person to be your copywriter, figure out if you’re even in the right place to do so. 

You’re in a good spot if: 

  • You have trouble getting everything in your biz done and your quality of work is suffering because of it
  • You can afford to pay a copywriter a fair wage
  • You have a good grasp on your own brand voice
  • You can delegate without micromanaging (I know…I know…it’s hard to give up control but if you can’t trust your copywriter, why did you hire them?)

Of course, this will vary from business to business, but these points are usually a good indicator that you’re really ready to hire a copywriter. And if you don’t find yourself aligning with any of the above, it’s okay to take time to figure yourself out.

Now, how do you find the one?

Look for someone with a range of past writing samples

The biggest thing to know about a good copywriter is that they can usually write different styles of brand voice and are familiar with different mediums (i.e. sales pages, blogs, social copy, etc.). But that doesn’t mean every good copywriter does it all or has done it all. 

The best way to tell if someone is a quality writer and has what you’re looking for skill-wise is to see their work. 

It’s kind of like when you go house-hunting or apartment shopping. Would you put your money on a place you’ve never seen, even though on the outside it looks great? Probably not. You could end up with a decent living situation, or you could end up with a nightmare. 

Why waste everyone’s time (including yours) when you could just take a few minutes to read samples instead?

And there is zero shame in asking to see writing samples. Most copywriters will expect you to do this actually, so they’ll have some at the ready. And if they don’t…

Check their testimonials

Have other people had good experiences with them? Are they on time with their work? Do they care about the end result they’re delivering, and the experience along the way? Again, it’s hard to trust someone else to take care of your business. But knowing other people have had a successful go of things can help soothe those jitters.

Do they know the systems you use?

Not everyone does their work the same. And just because someone does it a little bit differently than you doesn’t mean they’re a bad copywriter. You don’t have to write someone off just because they’ve never used FG Funnels or they operate out of Word instead of Google Docs (although, that’s a red flag for us). 

As long as they’re open to learning — that’s what matters. Of course, I will say that it’s a lot easier working with someone who already knows how to use the systems you’re using. There’s a minimal learning curve involved, and you can get to the juicy stuff faster. 

This counts for project management tools, content creation tools, and communication tools! Think Asana, Google Docs, Slack, etc. 

Can you afford them?

As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you’re paying a copywriter dirt-cheap prices, chances are you’re not going to get a 6-figure-worthy copy. But just like wine, expensive doesn’t always mean better (you can ask the $12 cabernet I have on my kitchen counter, thank you). 

You need to consider everything else when considering the price (experience, personality fit, etc.). If they’re expensive, find out why. And if you can’t find a good reason for them charging so much…you might want to look into that more.

The average cost of hiring a copywriter

Some copywriters charge hourly, anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour. Some charge by deliverable, like:

  • $2,000 per 5-page website
  • $150-500 per blog
  • $10-$50 per social caption
  • $1,500-$3,000 per sales page

If you’re reading that thinking, “sheeeesh, that’s a lot of money,” we won’t disagree 😂 But copywriting isn’t cheap, even when you have someone really affordable. If you are worried about the investment, you may not be ready to hire someone right now. Copywriters would like to pay their rent too, ya know?

Copywriters’ prices vary based on industry, topic, and writing format. For example, technical writing will probably cost more than social media writing. There’s much more “crossing of the T’s and dotting of the I’s” involved. 

Note from Latasha: The price of copywriting is HIGHLY variable. What one person charges is totally different from the next. It’s one of my biggest beefs with the industry — it feels like there’s absolutely no baseline. We work on a retainer basis, so all our work is the same “rate” instead of creating individual project fees for each type of content or copy.

Do you two “click”? 

Skill is great, but paired with personality? Even better. You’ll spend a lot of time communicating with your copywriter, so you may as well enjoy it. You don’t have to be besties for the resties, but you should still have a good overall experience. 

And what that looks like for you depends on…well…you. I can’t tell you what personality traits to go for because I don’t know your type on paper. But if you’re struggling to figure that out, reflect on some past experiences working with people in general.

Do you mesh well with people who are direct? Do you like people who are super bubbly and talkative? Do you prefer people who work independently? It all depends on what you want. 

But if you’re looking for people who are honest, dedicated, skilled, and can have a proper laugh with……Uncanny Content might be your crew!

Learn more about working with us here!

Ashton Hoot, Lead Copywriter + Dedicated Swiftie
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