Audition the Voice for Your Business
Your Copywriter is the Voice of Your Business
Finding the right copywriter for your business is a lot like a director auditioning actors for a rôle. Resumes and CVs won’t tell you much. What you want is a person with a writing style that will fit your business and attract customers.
Don't expect your writer to talk about ROI, SEO, conversion rates, or A/B testing. The skill you want is copy that convinces and converts.
Oh, and about SEO. You can give your writer some keywords, but the current ways semantic search works is about the very thing you want from your copywriter, relevant, convincing text.
Know What You Want
Before you start you need to know exactly what that rôle entails. How will your copywriter fit into your business? The best way to start is to know why you want a content creator and what needs you have.
- Do you need web content? Or, want revisions to current content?
- Need product descriptions?
- Do you want regular emails?
- Do you need introductory welcoming emails?
- Do you want a regular blog? If so, how often? Monthly, weekly, twice a week, daily?
- Do you want to direct people to buy a product? To join an email list? To come into your establishment?
- Do you want descriptions for your videos?
- Do you want scripts for your podcasts?
- Do you need a e-book about your product or service?
- Do you want work immediately, or starting in a month?
Find Your Copywriter
Start a concerted search for recommended copywriters. Look for how content creators have worked with other businesses. Look at businesses outside your industry. You may find the style that best fits the feeling of your business somewhere you don’t expect.
- Ask other business owners who they use.
- Search online and read what content creators and copywriters have to say about their business.
- Get a feel of the range of styles and which might fit best with your team.
- If you see content that you like, ask the business owner to refer their copywriter.
- Narrow you search down to five.
When you have narrowed down your selection. Get in touch with each one. Ask for writing samples. If you like what you see, set a time for a live conversation on Skype or a private video call. One of the beauties of the internet is that you can identify writers across the country or internationally.
Before the meeting, review the writing samples.
- Do they write in a variety of styles, tone, and voice? If they do, they will easily adapt to the voice of your business.
- Do they create headlines that attract and make you want to read more?
- Do you get a sense of the business or product in the copy? Does it sound intriguing?
Questions To Ask
The interview allows you to differentiate the proficiency of each of your writing candidates. Knowing the right questions to ask after a brief introduction will put you at ease and lead you through the conversation.
Keep in mind that some writers are shy. The flashy talker may not be the best writer or even the most transparent during your interview. You are establishing an interconnection that will last throughout the project, whether it is one article or an ongoing monthly retainer. You are looking for accurate information and the ability to participate in your business.
A good way to open your audition is to ask:
How did you get into copywriting?
The answer will shed light on their writing background. You will get a sense of their experience and their areas of expertise.
Is there a product category you prefer to write for?
Even if the category is outside of your business, you may find that the skills required are just what you need. Ask
Do you feel those skills are transferable to my business?
You will learn if they would actually like working with your product line and business entity.
How do you go about doing research?
You want to hear that they want to know everything about you and your business, from how you create your product to your passion for training hunting dogs. You also want to know how they look at competitors.
Tell them you budget for the project.
Could you work with that?
If you are brand new to finding a copywriter, ask them
What would you charge to (write a blog post every week, create a series of e-mails, write a product description, etc.)?
What is your turnaround time for (what it is you want them to create)?
Some of the answers may surprise you. By the end of your conversation you should have a general idea of the writer’s proficiency, ability to cooperate, and talent for writing in a style that speaks to your target market and customers.
What You Really Want
The audition is over. No more excuses. It’s time to make a choice and hire. Storytelling and content is crucial to the success of any brand or business.
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If you can find a writer that can engage a customer, educate them and get them to buy, then you can focus all your efforts on just getting them to your site. Once they start reading all that great copy, you’ll have plenty of new customers and shoppers.