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Thinking of hiring a freelance copywriter?
Finding the right professional to help you take your small business to the next level may seem like a daunting task.
After all, you want to find someone who understands you and your business, who you get along with, and who creates top-tier content, but there are so many freelancers out there that you may wonder how you’re ever going to find the right person for the job.
To find the right person for the job, start with some online research. Think local. Try to find available freelancers in your area.
While you may be tempted to look for the best freelance copywriters in the country, be mindful that their prices will also be higher and they may only work with larger-scale clients.
Keep track of your research and try to create a list of 3 -5 freelancers you think would be the best fit for you and your small business.
Then, schedule calls with your top 3 picks and get the conversation going by asking these 10 questions:
Each question is unpacked in the article below, where we share tips on further questions to ask, what to look for, and how to ultimately ensure you find the best freelance copywriter or content writer for your small business.
You may also find it helpful to ensure that you have a rich understanding of what copywriting is and why it’s so important for you and your small business.
While sector relevant experience isn’t always necessary, it’s usually a helpful bonus, especially if you’re in an industry that requires special knowledge and includes a lot of technical information, such as the medical sector.
When interviewing freelancers, also be sure to ask to see relevant writing samples and ask for concrete examples of their relevant experience. For example, what clients have they worked with in your industry? What sorts of projects did they complete for those clients?
You will also likely want to ask whether the freelancer has any client reviews or reference letters they can share.
Many freelancers work with subcontractors, and this isn’t an inherently bad thing.
However, you deserve to know who’s going to be creating the copy for your business and should ask how your freelancer ensures the quality of their contractors’ work, who to communicate with regarding any feedback you have, and what steps the freelance copywriter will take to ensure their subcontractors meet your deadlines and other expectations.
In exchange for going the extra mile to accommodate your needs and for the necessary recalibration of schedules, most companies and freelancers will charge a premium rate for last-minute and rush projects.
So, be sure to ask your freelancer: If you have a last minute project come up, will the freelancer’s rate be different? If so, what is their premium rate or rush fee?
Asking these questions upfront will save you any surprises down the road and help ensure your expectations are aligned.
To write effective content for your business, your copywriter will need to have an excellent understanding of who your target audience is.
Chances are, your copywriter will ask you a series of questions intended to gain a better understanding of who you’re trying to reach, what your customers are like, and what content you’ve been creating so far.
They will most likely also request a copy of any information you have from your marketing team or marketing consultant that identifies particular personas you’re speaking to, SEO and keyword strategy, broader strategy, etc.
If you don’t have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and don’t have a clear digital marketing strategy in place, you will want to ask your copywriter whether they are able to help you with this information or if you will need to connect with a marketing professional yourself.
In any case where a freelance copywriter tells you they will obtain the information themselves, be sure to ask them how they plan to obtain that information.
What sources do they use? What software do they use? How do they develop their strategies?
Alternatively, if you are planning to give your copywriter very specific instructions as to what topics they will be writing about and how the content should be structured, just make sure this information is communicated from the get-go to avoid confusion or misunderstanding down the road.
Asking your freelancer to explain this process will give you insight into how knowledgeable and thorough they are and will help you determine how well you’ll work together.
An experienced professional will have an already-established operational process in place and will likely ask you a series of questions, review your website and social media accounts, and will also likely have a list of additional information or materials they need from you.
At the end of the day, you want to ensure you enlist the services of a copywriter who will take the time to understand what your business is all about, enabling them to write in a consistent, brand-appropriate tone that meets your audience’s expectations.
If you’re going to need more than one service or anticipate needing additional services in the future, you might as well ask if you could get a better rate by signing up for a package deal now.
Otherwise, you may end up spending more money in the long-run.
For example, let’s say you currently need 4 blog posts per month but also anticipate needing help with your social media content in the future. This is an opportunity to ask the freelance copywriter whether they offer a package deal that would save you money or if they offer a discounted rate if you purchase multiple services.
It never hurts to ask, but just be prepared for some copywriters to have firm prices or be unable to offer packages!
Let’s say you’ve signed up for a freelance copywriter to create 4 blog posts and 16 social media posts for you each month.
But let’s say you decide you want some changes made to the second blog post.
Are there any revisions included in the fee you’ve paid your copywriter?
If so, how many? Are there any limitations? Often, one round of revisions will be included, but there are sometimes restrictions on what types of revisions are included. For example, revisions correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are almost always included, but customer-requested changes to content or optional restructuring and additions are usually not included.
If no revisions are included, ask what the freelancer’s fee is for revisions. Do they charge per word? Hourly? A flat-rate?
It’s best to have a good understanding of how your freelance copywriter works and what types of revisions are included before you actually begin working together.
This important question will help you determine whether you and your freelance copywriter will work well together.
Here are some more specific questions you can ask to gain a better understanding of how your copywriter works:
These questions will give you a better sense of what it will be like working with this person and tell you whether your work styles are compatible.
Some people are excellent writers but are not necessarily thinking about SEO when they’re writing.
So, if SEO is something you’re looking for, make sure it’s included in your freelancer’s services!
Are you looking for specific services delivered according to a specific schedule? Do you need to ensure that your new blog post or social media post goes live on a particular date at a particular time?
If so, it’s best to ensure that your freelance copywriter can commit to your desired schedule.
For example, if you’re looking for a copywriter to create 4 blog posts a month to be sent to you every Monday but your freelancer can only handle 2 per month sent to you on Thursdays, it may not be a good fit!
If you anticipate needing additional services, such as last minute requests and ad hoc projects, you’ll also want to ask your copywriter:
Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to understand how your copywriter works from the get-go, before you actually begin working together.
Doing so will help ensure you’re both on the same page, with clear expectations, and will save you unexpected invoices and delays in the future.
If you’re thinking of hiring a freelance copywriter, we suggest making a shortlist of 3 – 6 your favorites based on:
Once you’ve narrowed it down to the people you think you’d like to work with, reach out to your top 3 to see if they are open to schedule a call.
Once you have the call scheduled, you can then walk through these 10 questions, which will help you gain a better understanding of whether they’re able to meet your needs and whether you’d work well together.
For a free, no obligation consultation for our content editing and proofreading services, you can get in touch with us here.
Or, for more guides and resources to help your business thrive, you can check out our blog here.