Need some web content for a landing page? No problem, hire a copywriter. But when you’ve invested heavily in your website and need compelling copy that effectively generates sales, leads, and conversions, what you need is an epic copywriter. Yes, there are many good writers out there, but not all of them can produce the type of copy that prompts action. Even those who can may not always be suitable. As Karri Stover points out in her post, there are factors that distinguish great copywriters. Epic copywriters get you results – ROI. They are skilled wordsmiths versed in the art (or science) of linguistic persuasion. They are also reliable professionals who take a genuine interest in your business. Here’s how you spot the pros…
How to Spot an Epic Copywriter
1. They have a website
Every serious copy writer has a website. Not just a website, but one that is active (check out the blog), was obviously professionally developed, and makes you feel confident about procuring their services. Is the copy on the site effective? Did it engage you and make you want to hire this person? If the writer can’t sell his own product, he won’t sell yours.
2. They have a portfolio
Does that snazzy-looking website have a portfolio? If it does, and it contains a long list of real clients (that you can contact) and testimonials, that’s a good sign. An epic copywriter understands the value of making this information available. If they have live samples up of their works, even better. Note that some writers only provide a portfolio upon request.
3. They have high-profile clients
Are there any big brands or companies on that list of clients? If your potential copywriter is working with well-known businesses, particularly those known for their high-quality web content, she may be worth hiring. Of course, this requires some due diligence on your part, but major companies don’t normally outsource to second-rate providers.
4. They have other skills
An epic copywriter has skills beyond writing persuasive copy. The great ones understand the web and websites. They are well acquainted with SEO best practices and know how to effectively optimize the content they create. One way to identify these skills is to check how past works have fared in search. Do those pages rank? Are their own sites visible?
5. They have an online presence
A freelance copywriter relies on his online reputation to land sales and clients. If you run a search on their name, you might come across guest posts, blog comments, forum discussions, etc. Copywriters are usually active on social media, too. This info can help you gauge their authority among peers. It’s also another opportunity to evaluate their writing.
6. They aren’t charging pennies
An epic copywriter knows the value of his time and efforts and charges accordingly. Whether he or she charges flat rates or by the hour, prices toward the upper end of the copywriting scale indicate that the writer is confident in their ability to produce measurable results; it suggests that she is prepared to put in 100% to ensure the success of your project.
7. They communicate
Not every great copywriter has a silver tongue, but the professional ones do take communication seriously. Usually, there are multiple ways to contact them. They respond promptly when you do. They follow up. They conduct interviews efficiently. They explain their working processes clearly and candidly. Top copy writers may be booked way in advance, though.
Tips for Hiring Copywriters
- Hire the right specialist. There are different types of copywriters. Some specialize in technical writing and sales brochures, while others excel at creating search engine optimized content for websites. Once you identify the skills needed to complete your job, seek out writers with the relevant expertise.
- Start small. As a first time client, you may want to test the skills and work ethic of who you hope will be an epic copywriter, so start small. For example, if you need content for every page on your site, have the new writer start with just one. If he or she delivers in line with your expectations, award the rest of the job.
- Fixed rates are better. While website copywriting is not an area of your business where you should skimp or cut corners, nobody wants to pay more than they have to. That is often the case when you are paying by the hour. If possible, negotiate a fixed rate per project when you hire a copywriter.
Got a few of hiring tips of your own? How do you spot epic website copywriters? Please share in the comments.