How NOT To Hire A Copywriter (Unless You’re Determined To Waste Money And Get Disappointing Results)

Image for post
Image for post
Thanks to Oli Dale for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Sometime ago I asked a client, “Why did you hire me, out of all the copywriters out there?”
She said, “I thought you had a cute dog in your picture.”

When someone hires me for a frivolous reason, I’ve learned there’s an underlying story. They don’t have any idea how to hire a copywriter. They have no idea what’s reasonable to pay. So they toss a dart at a board and hope they hit the target.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo from Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash.

Sometimes clients turn to job boards, such as Upwork. Typically they’re even less sure of how to hire a copywriter.

You can tell by the jobs they post. Here are just 3 from a recent list.

I’m looking for an experienced B2B copywriter and content developer on a contract basis who can write case studies, datasheets, landing page copy, and email marketing copy. $35–50 an hour

I’m looking for a B2B & B2C copywriter and content developer who can write case studies, blogs, landing page copy, email marketing copy, ad copy and help me with creating social media posts. $8–20 per hour

Copywriter Needed for a Case Study Blog Piece $20-$75 an hour.

These business owners seem even more clueless than someone who hired me because she liked my dog. At least she went to my website.

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay.

An experienced B&B copywriter won’t be working for $35–50 an hour — which means the first 10 hours will be paid at $28–40 an hour after Upwork takes it’s cut.

The second ad seems even more ludicrous, especially if they’re seeking someone with a variety of experience. For that sum, they could hire a trainee, if they were lucky.

The third specifies a wide range of payments, signally they have no idea what they should be paying. There’s a huge difference between a copywriter working for $20/hour ($16 after Upwork’s cut) and $75/hour ($60 after Upwork’s cut). Cases studies can be very difficult to write; it’s rare to pay less than $750-$1500 for just one study of 1500 words.

Image for post
Image for post
Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Here’s a better way to hire a copywriter.

First, do you really need a copywriter? And if so, what role should that copywriter play? Experienced copywriters will want to offer guidance as well as wordsmithing.

Join copywriting Facebook groups, such as Copywriter Club. Their members often will be available to write, but usually not for bargain-basement prices. If you belong to a professional group or mastermind, ask how others are handling their writing needs.

An experienced copywriter won’t just jump in and start wordsmithing. She’ll want to know about your company, your clients, your goals for the project, your story, your client’s backstory, and a whole lot more.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Get on their mailing lists. Attend their webinars. Read their blogs.

Someone who has taken the trouble to create and maintain an account will have some marketing savvy, and you can read their testimonials as well.

If you like the way the copywriter thinks, you can request a consultation, even if you don’t finish the course.

As a bonus, you’ll know how to communicate your needs to a copywriter. You’ll get a sense of what the copywriter knows. For instance, I have a free training call on writing bullets — the most important component of copywriting. Click here.

You can also visit my low-cost Udemy course on copywriting. Click here.

You get a partner for your marketing team. I’ve written a free report you can download right away — 3 Big Benefits Of Hiring A Copywriter For Your Small Business. Click here to download.

Helping entrepreneurs and independent professionals grow their businesses one story at a time.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store