Copywriting is one of the biggest challenges for any content marketer. It’s totally subjective, there’s pressure to convert, and oftentimes the writer doesn’t quite capture the brand.
Your copy is only as good as your copywriter. That’s why we examined the ProCopywriters’ Survey 2019 to help you get the best from your in-house teams, agencies and freelancers.
Don’t scrimp on the brief.
Nothing grinds your copywriters’ gears more than a bad brief.
Fifty-six per cent of copywriters say their briefs lack basic information. That’s not long tail or short tail or a comprehensive glossary of industry terms. That’s basic information. Things like number of words. Target audience. References.
Copywriters don’t want an SEO guru. They want specifics. If you have preferred terminology, say so. Got a house style? Send it across. You’ll save hours of frustration.
Value their time.
Paying by the word might sound simple but not for the writer. Does this account for their rewrites? Should they deduct precious pennies if you shorten a sentence? Just 9 per cent charge by the word, and only 1 per cent prefer to charge this way.
Instead, agree a project fee or daily/hourly rate upfront. Factor in revisions and changes in copy length. This is particularly important with agencies, as they may schedule their time weeks in advance.
Assign ONE person to review copy.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase “copy by committee”, you’ve probably heard “too many cooks”. Copy by committee is the second-biggest challenge copywriters face, and rightly so. When too many people weigh in on your copy, all you get are differences of opinion and missed deadlines. Not to mention one frazzled copywriter.
Agree on your tone of voice in-house before writing the brief. Assign the role to one person – for example, the marketing manager.
Almost two thirds of clients are uncomfortable judging copy. Buck this trend. Even if you don’t know your affect from your effect, you should always give feedback on writing style.
Copywriters love feedback, good or bad. Don’t forget, with freelancers, there’s no employee of the month or Friday night drinks. That’s why 69 per cent value feedback above all else. Give them your ideas sooner rather than later to avoid go-live nightmares.
Take their advice.
Just as you would provide feedback, don’t be afraid to take advice. More than half of all copywriters have a specialism, so it’s likely they’ll know your audience as well as you do.
Taking advice will make your copywriter feel valued and could prevent critical errors in your copy. Nobody likes to hear “I told you so”.
Pass it on.
Nine out of 10 copywriters find new work by word of mouth. If you loved working with them, tell people! A LinkedIn testimonial, Google review or even a personal recommendation will put you in their good books for life.
You scratch their back – they’ll scratch yours. Many freelancers are members of tight-knit communities and advise others on where best to find work. They may be able to recommend you high-quality freelancers or extoll the virtues of working with you. Free publicity and better talent. Beautiful.
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