Preparation and communication are key to any successful working relationship — copywriters and business owners included. Because when you do so, your copywriters can produce much better work, the process goes smoother (and faster!), and everyone walks away happy!
If you’re thinking about outsourcing some help, here’s what you need to do before hiring a copywriter.
Have a clear idea of what you need help with
If you don’t know what you want…there’s not really much we can help you with. Let me explain.
Yes, we’re totally on board with helping you flesh out your ideas and help guide you along the way (IF the agency or copywriter you’re working with also does content strategy), but what we can’t do is read your mind.
You don’t have to walk in with a whole list of assets you want already listed out, but if you’re still not sure whether you need emails, blogs, or both, or if you have a new offer but haven’t worked out the details yet, you may need to go back to the drawing board.
Otherwise, it’s not going to be very productive. Or cost-effective. And it’s just going to turn into that one scene from The Notebook. Which is cute, but, like, not for business.
Examples of your brand voice
Having keywords is helpful, sure. But a lot of brands can be “playful, witty, and knowledgeable” but sound totally different from each other. Just like two people who are both funny can have different senses of humor.
Keywords are great, but they’re umbrella terms. And the thing with copy is, you have to be specific. Is it dry humor, or goofy humor? Is it knowledgable in a formal way, or more of an older-sister-helping-you-out kind of way?
This is SUPER important for your copywriters to be able to nail your brand voice.
Don’t have that ironed out yet?
But what do you do if your business is new and you haven’t exactly worked out your voice yet? Great question! The answer is a lot simpler than you might think.
Just pass along some things you’ve written in the past.
Yep! Easy, right?
And while I definitely don’t mean give your copywriter a copy of your college English paper over The Great Gatsby, chances are you’ve got something lying around — like emails, notes, or even rough drafts of copy you’ve already started working on for your biz — that you can send their way.
You can also send voice notes explaining your values and how you want your brand to sound. Copywriters *should* be able to glean hints of your voice from hearing you talk about your business.
BONUS TIP: Already got a video strategy going? You know, Reels, IG Stories, or YouTube videos? Pass those along too. As a copywriter, this is one of my favorite ways to study a client’s brand voice is by listening to them talk.
Know what you DON’T want
Is there a phrase that gives you the ick? Let your copywriter know! Everyone has their own rhyme or reasons for hating specific words and phrases, and if there’s one that makes you cringe, you have the right to NOT include that in your copy (P.S. for future note, it might be something helpful to include in your copy style guide!).
Not sure what stands out to you? Here are a couple of phrases that make many of our clients say “ew”:
- “You got this”
- “Girl boss”
- “Lady boss”
- “Help” (as in “I can help you.”)
And don’t forget platforms!
Some people really don’t want to be on TikTok or Facebook. Or Instagram. Or YouTube. Where you want to show up is up to you. But it’s helpful to know as a copywriter because it helps us tap into your strategy and write content geared towards the platforms you do want to be on.
So now that you know what you need to have ready before working with a copywriter, go get that prepped, then give us a ring. We’re happy to help 💁🏻♀️