Tuesday August 23, 2016
Often, when entrepreneurs first contact a copywriter, they aren't sure what to ask the copywriter, what information the writer will need in order to produce their materials, and what the entrepreneur needs to know to give themselves the best possible chance of getting a return on their investment.
Today, I'm going to demystify the process for you, so the next time you want to hire a copywriter - whether me, or someone else - you'll know exactly what information you need to give and receive to make the job go smoothly and successfully.
Here are 8 key things you need to know or ask about when you hire a copywriter:
1. Your target audience, or client avatar
In every aspect of your marketing, it's important to know exactly who you're speaking to. When you know precisely what demographic you want to attract, you're better equipped to speak about their exact needs, desires, fears, hopes, and challenges.
The more specifically your message matches your clients' needs, the more compelling it will be for them, so more people will take you up on your offer. It may sound counterintuitive, because many people think that the wider the net they cast, the more fish they'll catch. But when you use a net that's perfectly suited to your ideal clients, you'll "catch" more of the people who need your help and are a great fit for you.
Here are some things to determine about your target audience:
2. Age (Choose a ten to twenty-year range)
3. Marital/family status
4. Their most important top-of-mind problems in the area you address
5. Their most cherished desires in your area
6. Their budget and income
7. The common concerns and objections that they have when it comes to your type of service
If you aren't sure what your target audience is, be sure to choose a copywriter who can help you identify your niche. Alternatively, you can get more in-depth instructions for choosing your niche in my Marketing Message Guide.
2. What you're selling.
What problems are solved in your product?
What key questions are answered?
What specific, tangible benefits will your clients experience?
What materials are involved in the product or service, and how do you deliver it?
The more you can give your copywriter a clear idea of what you're selling, the better a picture they can paint for your clients.
If you don't yet have a product or program, or you're working on putting one together but need help with the particulars, I invite you to get in touch with me so I can help you to decide what you want to include in your product, and to create a step-by-step plan for turning your idea into a product.
3. Your deadlines.
Having a clear deadline helps you and the writer to plan your project, keeps you in action, and helps to ensure that you have your materials when you need them.
When establishing your deadlines, give clear date and time guidelines for:
1. When you want each draft to be completed.
2. When you'll review each draft and send your feedback.
3. When you want the final draft after the feedback is given.
4. Revision policy.
Some writers, including myself, have had clients who requested change after change until we'd basically written 5 items for the price of one. As a result, we set a limit on the number of free revisions, and encourage our clients to request all desired changes at the same time.
So before hiring a copywriter, make sure you have a clear knowledge of their revision policy, including how many revisions are included in the quoted price, and what the process is for creating and reviewing these revisions.
5. Method of delivery for your materials.
Do you want your materials to be sent in the body of an email, in a Google doc, or in an email attachment?
Is there another method you'd prefer?
When editing the second draft, do you want the writer to edit the document directly, or to make suggestions?
Be sure to specify how you want the materials to be sent to you, how you want the editing process to go, and how you'll send your edits or edit requests.
6. Be sure to specify that this is work done for hire.
An ethical writer will not reuse or claim ownership of the materials they create for you, but when you're working with someone new, it's best to ensure that your investment is protected. So be sure to specify in your agreement that the materials they're creating for you are work done for hire, and that the finished product belongs to you, not them.
7. Are any additional materials needed?
It does no good to have an awesome sales page if you have no means of attracting viewers to it, or to have great social media posts that lead to a mediocre or nonexistent landing page.
Because of this, before I start writing for my clients, I make a point of finding out how much of their marketing system they already have in place, and offering to fill any holes that I find in it. I think of a marketing system as a bridge between your clients and your product, and I don't want to sell anyone an incomplete bridge that few or no clients will completely cross.
When you're hiring a copywriter, it's important to either know all the steps that your clients will need to take to go from not knowing about you to buying your product, or to find a copywriter who will help you to determine what you need.
8. Sample writing.
It's important to know that the person you're hiring is a good writer, and to equip them to mimic your voice when they write for you.
So before hiring a copywriter, ask to see some examples of materials they've written that are similar to what you want, unless you've already seen some. Also be prepared to provide samples of your own writing, or a video you've created, so they can better imitate your voice.
Thinking about hiring a copywriter? Let's make the process super easy!
In this blog post, I gave you some broad categories of questions you can ask, as well as a few specific things that you and your copywriter will need to know.
But you might still be wondering a few things, like,
"Which pieces might I be missing from my marketing system, and how do I find the gaps?"
"What are all the selling points I'll need to give my copywriter, so that my materials bring as many clients as possible?"
"How do I know if I'm giving my copywriter most or all of the information they need on the first try, so we can get the project completed as quickly and easily as possible?"
I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you and your copywriter to get all the information you need, so you can save yourself time, consultation fees, confusion, and problems with missing data when you form your plan and get your materials written.
So I took all the questions that my clients and I frequently ask each other, and put them in a convenient questionnaire that you can fill out on your own schedule, so you can find the answers in a relaxed environment that doesn't require you to figure things out on the spot in the middle of a conversation.
If you're thinking about creating some marketing materials or having them created for you, or even if you just want to check your own marketing system to make sure you aren't missing any pieces, I invite you to download the questionnaire at no cost.
Just fill out the form below, and I'll email you your copy.
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