What does a copywriter do?
A whole bunch of stuff, really.
A good copywriter knows to focus on the customer’s transformation, whether it’s through a product or service.
A good copywriter knows to address objections and create peace of mind around buying.
A good copywriter knows to do research, solve the customer’s problem(s), and answer questions before they’re asked.
A good copywriter uses storytelling to strengthen the connection with a potential buyer.
These are all prerequisites. I would like to share some other qualities to look out for when you’re ready to hire a copywriter.
Here are five unique qualities to look for when hiring a copywriter
1. Don’t be afraid of a copywriter who disagrees with you.
A good copywriter won’t be afraid to disagree with your ideas about your business.
When we are inside an experience, we sometimes don’t see it clearly. We get caught up in our way and our opinions. We don’t have a clear point of view.
A copywriter has fresh eyes on what you’ve been doing or what you’re starting to create. You want someone who asks questions about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it so they can help your business be more effective.
A copywriter who agrees with everything you say doesn’t care enough about helping you. You want someone with the confidence to give you new ideas and perspectives.
A copywriter who isn’t afraid to disagree with you is focusing on the business and how it could be better.
2. Make sure they ask lots of questions.
Copywriters are researchers.
Take note of how many questions your prospective copywriter asks about your business and what they focus on.
Getting to know what’s been working and what hasn’t, what ideas you’ve implemented that may need tweaking, and understanding where you want to take your business are all imperative for a copywriter to know.
During a discovery call, the majority of the talking should be done by you so the copywriter can assess how they can help, what copy will work where, and what changes or improvements are necessary to grow your business.
And a little fun tidbit here: did you know asking lots of questions is a sign of intelligence? It’s true! Asking questions is the only way for us to form a deeper understanding when we’re first getting to know something or someone.
If you’re being asked a lot of questions in a discovery call, this is a good sign your copywriter is research-ready.
3. Does their energy match your business or needs?
Starting a business relationship has to feel good energetically, otherwise, it won’t work.
Everyone has a different style of working.
Make sure you like how your copywriter feels energetically for your business and future communication.
Do you (or will you) feel comfortable giving them feedback?
Do you like how they communicate? Send emails? Update you?
Do they feel trustworthy?
Do you feel they ‘get’ you and your business/service?
Aside from their work, do you like them as a person? (Keep in mind, you will be in an intimate co-creation with this person, so it’s good to like who they are, right?).
Asking these questions can save both of you lots of awkward emails going forward 🙂
Do a gut check before signing a contract and notice what you feel. Trust it.
4. Do they think differently and take risks?
I learned this when I was taking my copywriting class and I thought it was so cool!
Did you know when Febreze first came out, the marketing campaign was kind of a flop?
Well, it was.
At first, Febreze was selling the odor-neutralizing benefit of their spray on clothes, carpets, furniture, and fabrics after they were spritzed with the stuff. They figured it was obvious what the product does, so we’ll sell that. Easy.
No one cared. No one bought it.
After doing market research and asking why people didn’t want the product, they learned something: most people didn’t realize they have home odors because they’ve grown accustomed to them. They can’t smell the cats, the garbage, or the musky basement because they smell them all the time. They didn’t know they needed a spray to neutralize it. The need was not obvious.
Febreze re-grouped and asked: so, what’s the transformation for people when they use our product? Apparently, it wasn’t to neutralize odors.
If it wasn’t that, what was it?
It turns out, the transformation was the feeling of completing a task and having a reward.
Febreze took this idea and reformulated their spray to include a ‘fresh scent’ essence to create the feeling of a reward after clearing the house. The promise of a reward releases dopamine in the brain. They found their hook and the stuff flew off the shelves. People loved the feeling of completing a task, in this case, a clean-smelling house.
Hire a copywriter who isn’t afraid to think differently and take risks. Being bold and looking at strategies with fresh eyes can yield wonderful results. If something isn’t working, hire a copywriter who isn’t skittish about tackling it from another angle.
5. Does the copywriter have a network of support, are they involved in continuing education, or do they have a mentor?
Here’s something to ask your potential copywriter: what support do you have for your craft?
The world of copywriting (and writing in general) is a never-ending journey of learning.
No copywriter will know everything because we all come from a unique set of experiences. Some of us have more technical skills and some have more storytelling gusto. How we put it all together will be dependent on our writing style.
Having support is crucial.
Hire a copywriter who has a network. This will benefit you in several ways:
1. The work will be more specific because a copywriter with a network can ask for feedback and edits from trusted people in the field.
2. A copywriter who is involved in continuing education will know the latest trends, insights, and tips to make their writing stronger and more target-specific.
3. A copywriter with a mentor has a direct line to someone with more experience, which instills confidence, competence, and creativity into their work.
4. A copywriter with support is a copywriter who is practicing their craft all the time.
I’m so lucky to have an incredible network of support and a mentor. Just knowing they’re there helps my work because I can reach out to them whenever I want. If I have a question or have no clue how to approach something, I have thousands of minds who can help me. It’s awesome.