I’m a massive cheerleader for outsourcing the things that you don’t enjoy or are time-consuming these days. For years I’d done everything myself—call it an unwillingness to let go or lose control because that’s exactly what it was. What it also meant was it was a big, fat headache whenever I had to deal with certain tasks that I hated doing or didn’t understand how to do properly. Because, full confession time, there’s definitely a perfectionist streak at work here too. That, friends, is the recipe for never getting anything done. Believe me! Hiring my awesome bookkeeper changed all that. I realised I could let go of parts of my business and entrust them to other awesome business owners. And, for some of you, finding someone to write for your business might be the thing you’re willing to let go of. But how do you know who to hire?! Fear not, I’m going to walk you through this in this meaty blog post. So, keep on reading to find out how to find the right copywriter for your creative business.
Do I Really Need A Copywriter, Though?
Fair question! And only you can decide that. But have a think about these five questions to see if outsourcing your copy is a sensible move for your business:
1. How much time are you dedicating to writing your copy?
Whether that’s website copy, your emails (sequences and otherwise), your social media captions, your blog posts, your lead magnet, landing pages and on and on it goes. When you start to add it all up, there’s actually a hella lot of words you need to write for your business on a regular basis.
2. How easy do you find it to write for your business?
Many people struggle to write about themselves or to sell their services so hiring someone to write for you can take this awkwardness factor away.
3. Are you super clear on your brand voice and messaging? And are you able to write with that in mind consistently?
An outside perspective, especially from someone trained to recognise aspects of messaging and brand voice, can help to make this clearer for you.
4. Are the words you’ve already written for your business doing their job and connecting with your audience and converting them to clients in the way you hope?
It’s totally ok if the answer to that is no. If writing for your business isn’t your strong suit, then it could be that you’re missing key aspects within your copy that a copywriter can pull in for you.
5. Most importantly, do you ENJOY writing for your business?
If the answer is no, then don’t cause yourself stress and strain any longer by forcing yourself to do it! (That’s exactly WHY I hired a bookkeeper and I won’t ever be going back!)
Finding the right copywriter for your creative business can benefit you in so many ways. They can help you strengthen and clarify your brand messaging and positioning, increase your brand’s visibility and credibility and improve the quality and effectiveness of your words in a way that connects and converts so you’re increasing your bookings and sales. Having a copywriter as part of your team will also save you time and mental energy, as well as give your clients the best possible experience of working with you. It’s a win-win!
So, if you’ve read through those questions and thought to yourself, “Ok, maybe I DO need a copywriter,” then keep reading. I’m going to be covering:
- How to define your needs, making it easier to find which copywriters will work best for you (not all copywriters are the same!).
- How to search for copywriters and build up a shortlist of names.
- What to look out for when evaluating different copywriters.
- Why trusting your instincts is also an important part of finding the right copywriter for you.
Are you ready?
Let’s Start With Defining Your Needs
What Type of Copy Do You Need?
Yep, before whizzing off on a crazy journey around the internet and getting lost down the “find a copywriter” rabbit hole that is a Google search, let’s focus on you and figure out what your needs are and what you want and expect to get from working with a copywriter. Because it’s not as simple as saying you want someone to write for you. As with most industries, different types of copywriters do different things. Some specialise in website copy. Others only deal with launches. Some might work within a specific industry niche such as the wellness industry. So if you’re a life coach who focuses on NLP and hypnosis, you’re not going to want to hire a copywriter who writes for realtors. Make sense?
So, before you go any further, be clear about what tasks you’re wanting to outsource to a copywriter. Do you want fresh website copy? Are you needing someone to write blog posts for you? Are you launching a product and need someone to crank out all the launch copy you could ever want to make that launch a success?
What’s Your Budget?
This is another key question to ask yourself before you start reaching out to every copywriter you stumble across because, again, it’s a wide-ranging field and you can find copywriters that charge a few hundred dollars (or pounds) all the way up to tens of thousands. Average costs for copywriters vary and it’s dependent on a wide range of factors—their experience, location and deliverables being just a few of them. It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for a launch copywriter or someone to write a sales page for your product, the value of your product is also a factor. For example, expecting a copywriter to write a sales page for a few hundred dollars when your product is several thousand dollars is unreasonable. So do be aware of this and try to be realistic about your expectations.
Another important question to ask yourself, when considering your budget, is how much is outsourcing a service like this worth to you? Not only in monetary value but also in time and mental well-being. Because if you have to sweat and swear over writing a blog post for days at a time, feeling stressed and falling behind on all the other things on your to-do list, isn’t it worth investing in someone who can take that stress away from you?
Are You Clear About Your Message And Overall Voice?
One of the trickiest things about working with a copywriter, especially the first time, is having them be able to write in a way that fits in cohesively with your brand. And this is a much tougher task for your copywriter to achieve well if your message and voice aren’t even at least roughly defined. I’ve worked with lots of businesses in the past where they’ve come to me and said they don’t know what it is they’re trying to say or how they should be sounding. And when I’ve read through their copy, their blogs, and their socials, it’s clear they’ve had multiple people write words for them without taking their brand voice or message into consideration.
Your brand voice and message need to be clear, consistent and YOURS. And even if you’ve got nothing formally written down, it helps to have a strong idea in your head that you can convey to your new copywriter before they start writing for you.
Time To Start Searching For Your Copywriter
Ahhh, now the fun begins! You get to go on the hunt to find a copywriter that’s going to support you exactly where you need it most. Hurrah! But where do you even begin?
Good Old Google
I don’t know about you but Google (or whatever your preferred search engine is) is my first port of call when I’m seeking out anything new. One of the great things about looking for copywriters, though, is that you don’t have to limit yourself to a location if you don’t want to. I write for clients right here in Canada, but also in the USA, UK, Australia and Europe. The majority of clients who found me through searching on Google were looking for a copywriter who wrote for their specific niche so, in my case, that’s usually “copywriting for photographers” or “copywriting for creatives”. So these are terms you could use to find your own list of copywriters. If location is important to you though, perhaps you want the copywriter to visit your location and write about your shop or venue from the perspective of seeing it with their own eyes, then searching for “copywriters near me” or “copywriters + [your location]” is a great way to start.
As you search, you’ll notice lots of job boards and websites like Upwork, Fiverr and so on coming up. These are all acceptable ways of finding copywriters and I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of getting what you pay for or the level of work you might expect on some of these platforms here. That’s a subject for a whole other blog post! When searching for service providers, I’m a fan of the personal touch. I like to find freelancers and self-employed business owners with their own websites so I can get a good sense of who they are before I decide to reach out to them. But no judgement here. You do you!
Professional Organisations And Associations
Another way to search for copywriters that meet your specific criteria is to look at professional organisations and associations that they might be registered with. While copywriters aren’t required to be registered with an organisational body, some may choose to be if they did their training with them or they want that added credibility to showcase on their websites for example. I’d say this isn’t the be-all and end-all way of finding new copywriters though as many aren’t registered with any bodies at all (like me!) so you could be missing out on some great names if you only use this method to find your copywriter.
Networks And Social Media
Ah yes, social media and online networks are where many people are presenting their businesses these days, aren’t they? In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s now a whole generation that uses TikTok instead of Google to find anything out! While it’s possible for any business to function without a social media presence (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!), a vast majority of small businesses use at least a couple of platforms to make their businesses visible. Using hashtags or searching on Facebook can definitely bring up a big list of possibilities for you to check out. I also like diving into some of the business network-type groups I’m in on Facebook and searching through the other members or asking them for referrals for specific services I’m looking for.
This brings me to the old favourite… word of mouth referrals. There’s nothing better than a referral from someone who has actually used the services of the person they’re recommending. Or knows the person well. Referrals add a layer of trust which is hard to get straight off the bat from a search engine or social media post, right? If you’re struggling to find names anywhere else… ASK. Ask your friends and family. Ask fellow business owners who they’ve used. Ask other service providers you’ve worked with—like if you’ve hired a website designer, they’ll know a few copywriters they’d be happy to tell you about!
Choosing The Right Copywriter For You
You’ve got your names all laid out (or, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a spreadsheet) so, now what? It’s time to create a shortlist and start figuring out who will be the right copywriter for you.
Step 01: The High-Level Review
When I’m checking out any possible new person I might be hiring and working with, I always start at the beginning… with their website. This helps me to get a good overview of who they are, what they do and how they might be able to help me. And when it comes to copywriting, it’s a great place to start and see what THEIR copy is like. I guarantee you, we copywriters sweat and slog over our own copy as much as anyone else because we feel the pressure to make it gooood. Do us a favour and have a read of it, would you? It’s the best version of our portfolio and skills you’ll ever read.
Things I like to look out for on a website:
- A solid home page that tells me who they are, what they do and how they’re going to help me.
- I always make a beeline for the about page next – if I’m going to be working with a person for a while, I need to know if we’re going to get along!
- I check out their services to make sure they can help me with what I need.
- If there’s a portfolio, I’ll take a quick peek.
- But I’m more interested in what others have to say about them – testimonials are great for that!
- Finally, I’ll take a look at pricing. Not everyone includes this on their website though, although they might indicate minimum project pricing somewhere.
Step 02: Choose Your Favourites
I like to select three to five options and I’ll reach out to each one of them, usually through the contact form on their website or via email if that’s their preference. For me, this is the first “test” if you will, to see if we’re going to be a good fit. How they respond will give me a good indication of their customer experience, something I’m all kinds of passionate about. I’ve heard from clients over the last few years that the very fact I actually responded to their enquiry was a great start because when they’d enquired with other copywriters, they’d been totally ghosted! You might have different criteria though, and that’s ok. But get in touch with each of them. Find out a bit more about them if you can and set up a meeting if that’s on offer.
I don’t know about you, but a face-to-face chat (ok, a video call in this day and age!) is usually a great way to get to know if someone is likely to be a good fit with my business and needs. And how they manage the call also speaks volumes about how they’re likely to support me in my business. A great copywriter will take charge of the consult. They’ll want to ask lots of questions about you and your business and what it is you’re hoping to achieve. They might ask clarifying questions to be sure they understand you. And then they’ll let you know what they do and how it all works. A good copywriter will have a solid process that they’ll guide you through. Because let’s face it, most people don’t have a ton of experience working with a copywriter, so it’s our job to guide you and make you feel like you’re in good hands! Make sure you ask any questions if there’s anything you’re not sure about or want more information about. We’ll always be happy to answer!
Step 03: Review Proposals
Most copywriters will ask to send you a proposal after you’ve chatted, especially if you’re asking for a more bespoke service that they need to package up and quote you for. The proposal should give you all the information you need to make a final decision, so read through them before you decide who you want to work with.
Et voila! You have found a copywriter for your creative business!
A Word About Gut Feelings
Yes, there is a process for finding the right copywriter for your creative business and working through those steps will definitely get you most of the way there. But there’s a lot to be said for gut feelings and your own instincts too. If, for example, someone is looking great on paper but something feels off about the way they respond to your emails or how they were with you during your consult, pay attention to that. Sometimes our intuition is great at pointing out things we wouldn’t otherwise notice if we’re only looking at one particular area. Try to pinpoint what’s giving you the “feeling” and, if you’re not sure, ask more questions. Dig a little deeper.
The same thing can be said of getting the sense that you’re going to get on great with someone but they might not look great on paper. Yes, it’s a bigger risk going only with your gut in this case. But ask them lots of questions and find out what their guarantee is to reassure you that you won’t regret choosing them if that’s the case.
And There You Have It…
Finding the right copywriter for your creative business is a lot easier than you might think, although it does take a bit of time and effort on your part to research and make sure you’re getting someone who is going to be a good fit for you, your business and your brand.
- Start with you and review what your needs and budget are
- Use various resources to build a list of potential names
- Evaluate them more closely to decide which ones will make your shortlist
- Get in touch and speak with each potential copywriter to see if you’ll be a good fit for each other
Finding the right copywriter for your business will be well worth the effort, especially once you’ve ironed out the bumps in those initial stages of working together. Having a copywriter who understands you and your voice and can convey your message in well-crafted copy will only serve your business in all good ways. And, in the meantime, you get to go back to doing all the bits of your work that you love the most! So take your time, don’t rush it and enjoy the process of finding your perfect-fit copywriter. You’ll be so glad you did when you get there.
If you’d like to chat with me about your copywriting needs, I’d love to hear from you! Head to my contact page and fill out the form and I’ll be in touch to arrange a chat.