You've come to the conclusion that you need professional help crafting your website content, blog articles, print marketing collateral or email campaign. You've found an experienced marketing copywriter with an excellent reputation, and you're ready to pay his price to get the job done. So why is he telling you things you don't want to hear -- and how should you respond?
Specialists in a given field have a nasty habit of doing that. I suppose the auto shop is an example we can all relate to. If smoke is pouring out of the back end like a secret weapon in a Bond film, the gauges and indicators are screaming redly at me, or I hear noises that can't possibly occur outside of a wild animal documentary, then I know I have a car problem. So I give it to the mechanic, only to hear that I need a new this or a rebuilt that or a massive tuneup that costs more than the car's even worth on paper. Well, I didn't want to hear that, so what are my options? I can (a) ignore the mechanic's advice and hope he's wrong (or just trying to sell me stuff), (b) ask for the minimum amount of repair that will keep the car from dying completely, or (c) authorize all the work and let the mechanic do what he does best. The final choice will be determined not just by my budget, but also by my opinion of the mechanic's expertise and integrity.
It's the same when hiring a copywriter. Say you receive a draft that doesn't quite work for you, so you ask for changes. Maybe the writer will agree that the changes are necessary and happily make them without a word -- or maybe he'll advise you against some or even all of them. wait a minute, what's happening here? You're paying this guy to do what you want done, right?
Well, that depends on how much expertise you're buying along with that copy. An experienced copywriter who knows his stuff will be able to see things you can't, either because you're not a marketing expert or because you're too close to the problem. In those cases he might say, "I understand where you're coming from, but let me explain why I wrote it this way." If his explanation sounds sensible to you, you may want to re-evaluate your evaluation. If he seems to be responding out of some kind of bruised artist's ego or a simple unwillingness to cooperate, then you can safely ignore his arguments and insist in the changes (and hire a different writer next time). If, on the other hand, you really just wanted a glorified stenographer instead of a creative partner, you're probably better off engaging a junior writer or a marketing intern; you'll certainly save money by not hiring expertise you don't need.
When you interview a professional copywriter, make sure you communicate your expectations, not only for the writing but for the relationship as well. You always have option of taking or rejecting copywriting advice -- and you'll be getting what you paid for.