So, you know you need to hire a freelance copywriter. You have probably Googled a few searches for things like “website copywriter”, “online copywriter”, or even your industry + copywriter.
There are tons of freelance writers online to choose from. How do you know who’s going to hit it out of the park for your project? How do you make sure you hire not just a copywriter, but a great copywriter?
Do you just email the web copywriters who turn up on page 1 results of a Google search? They must be doing something right if their site shows up, right?!
Please note: just because someone’s website shows up high in Google doesn’t mean they are a great copywriter. More on that below…
But I get it, you’ve got to start somewhere. And Google is definitely your friend when you’re starting out at almost anything new.
So, let’s say you’ve narrowed down 3 freelance copywriters who look decent from their websites.
A phone call?
While copywriters will all have their own preferences, I can tell you how I operate here.
I don’t publish my phone number on my site, because I don’t accept unsolicited calls throughout the day. It’s distracting.
So phone calls are not the best way to reach me, at least initially.
I do provide my phone number once a client and I exchange a couple emails and decide we will pursue discussions about working together. Then we schedule calls throughout the week as we need.
Ok, no phone calls. That leaves email.
What do you write in an email to a freelance copywriter?
I get a healthy handful of email inquiries every week. They usually take one of two forms:
Hello. I am getting ready to publish a new website and I need help writing the copy. Here’s my number, give me a call asap.
Hi Lisa, I am head of marketing at xyz company, and we are gearing up for launching a new product. I have a need for a writer to help with site content, product information, and emails. You can learn more about us at ourexistingsite.com. I like that you have experience in our industry and your voice seems to line up with how we want to communicate with our target audience. Do you have an opening for a new project in the next few months? If so, could we plan a time to talk in more detail?
Guess which one gets a more favorable response from this writer…
I love it when it’s apparent a potential client has reviewed my site and gotten to know me a little bit. I also love it when they can see a fit between their need and my style. That’s a big part of the initial copywriter-client dance, because ultimately you’re looking to hire someone who can speak on behalf of your business, right?
What better way to assess that than to get to know me via all the information on my freelance copywriting website. That’s exactly why it’s there in the first place.
What about using online ads to attract a great freelance copywriter?
Yes, you could use Craigslist, job boards, Text Broker, and so on. The trouble is, you’re going to get a lot of response, most likely. And then you’re back to square one with finding a way to evaluate every writer who applies.
I am also tempted to say the really good writers are so busy they are not out actively seeking ads for copywriting work. However, there’s at least one really great writer I know who has used sites like Text Broker to find work.
Copywriting job boards might help you start a great relationship with a copywriter you can depend on. But I prefer those who reach out to me via my website. Why? Because that means you are investing research into a relationship, and it shows me you are also looking to put effort into the project. That’s one important step toward hiring the copywriter that’s right for your project.
A note about why a website that ranks high doesn’t always mean the copywriter has the right stuff for your project:
I get a lot of inquiries via my site, because it ranks well for some great keywords like “online copywriter”, “website copywriter”, and so on. I created my site back in 2002 or so, so it has been online a long time – before the massive influx of people who realized copywriting makes a great work-from-home type of job. So my domain has age going for it. Also, my friend who designed it is a powerhouse in SEO, so the structural elements of the site are pretty streamlined (though it probably needs a tune-up now!) These are just a couple factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking a site.
If I were looking for a great freelance copywriter, I’d put much more focus on evaluating whether or not they can capture and communicate my brand well.
What do you think?
If you’ve hired copywriters in the past, what has worked for you?
If you’re a freelance copywriter, how have you found the best clients?