Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Working With a Copywriter? Remember These 3 Tips

Congratulations on hiring a freelance copywriter! This skilled, experienced professional should greatly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing content while also freeing you from the burden of writing that content yourself. Just keep in mind that your experience, and your final result, can only go as smoothly as your interactions with this expert will permit. If you want to get the most out of working with a copywriter, take heed of the following four helpful tips.

Tip 1: Discuss the Process

Different copywriters have different ways of working, so don't assume that your experience with your current copywriter will necessarily follow the same process as any previous experiences you may have had with others. Always ask plenty of key questions in your initial conversation. How much does the writer charge, and on what basis? What's the schedule for making those payments? How long will it take the writer to deliver a first draft and any revisions? What materials do you need to give the copywriter before the work can start? What other professionals (web design team, SEO specialist, etc.) do you need to copy on all communications with your copywriter? Make sure you're clear on all these points right from the beginning.

Do you want to engage your copywriter to address recurring content needs, such as weekly blog posts or content for a quarterly newsletter? If so, you need to work out a long-range editorial calendar that clarifies exactly what content you want and when you want it. Ideally, you and your writer can hash out a whole schedule of article topics and delivery dates to prevent any last-minute scrambles or crossed signals. You can always adjust the details as you go -- but only if you set those details down first.

Tip 2: Consolidate Your Feedback

In an ideal world, your copywriter will deliver such a brilliant first draft that you see no need for any changes. But even if you and your writer communicated like a dream throughout the initial phase of the project, you may still see little bits and pieces in the text that require tweaking. You may also need to include some additional point that you forgot to tell the writer about or only just discovered during the composition of the draft. Most revisions can easily accommodate these changes. However, if your changes actually change the scope of the project, don't be too surprised if your writer has to charge an additional fee to reflect the new work.

Try to avoid the "committee rewrite" if you can. You might have no choice but to send the draft past multiple respondents, each of whom may make contradictory rewrite requests. This approach can cause two major problems. First, you may have to sit on those comments forever until everyone has chimed in. Second, you may end up sending your writer little constant dribbles of comment after comment, creating a state of perpetual revision. Make sure all the necessary comments go through one person, who can then coordinate them into one cohesive set of requests. Require all parties to submit their comments within a set timeline.

Tip 3: Keep the Ball Rolling

That set timeline I mentioned above will help you follow this third tip. Don't let a copywriter's first draft or revised version go unnoticed once you have it. I've had clients who sat on a project for weeks or months before finally replying with revision requests -- by which point, I'd moved on to the next project without even remembering much about the previous one. Sitting on content forever (as opposed to requesting changes promptly or indicating your acceptance of the content as is) may also hold up the work of your web designer, blog manager, graphic designer, or other professionals who need that final approved content before they can finish their work.

Make these three tips part of your overall plan for working with a professional copywriter, and you'll always get exactly the content you need, on time and on budget. Contact me to learn more!