Here are the 14 important factors to consider when hiring a freelance copywriter to boost conversions for your startup and business.
14 Top Factors to Consider When Hiring A Freelance Copywriter
1. Because context is key, always consider the project type before anything else.
Make sure the copywriter has extensive experience writing in the medium that you’re looking for help with.
There are different best practices for each medium and platform. This will help you determine what your expectations should be.
Make sure you have a baseline of what good and bad copy looks like, and have points of reference to draw from to ensure quality.
2. Once you have the context, it’s time to get the details on scope, length, and process.
Ideally, you want a copywriter who can deliver copy that meets your goals and desired length. They should also be able to tell you how they are going to go about the copywriting process, step-by-step.
The process is everything. If they claim that they are a copywriter but can’t tell you exactly how their writing process works, run.
3. Next, consider if this copywriter is a contractor or employee.
Contractors essentially work under a recruitment agency or as outsourced freelancers, and typically work with set rates.
Employees will be on your team permanently unless they are fired. Which means they are salary based and available for part-time or full-time.
Most experienced copywriters who are worth their salt will only be available for contract work. If they are begging you for a full-time role, chances are that they are probably not as good as they claim to be.
4. Then it’s time to determine the level of experience.
Typically both freelancers (contractors) and employees are experienced enough to keep landing work, but there are rare exceptions to the rule.
You can tell their level of experience by looking at their work, deadline submissions (timely or not), as well as their writing process.
Get more than one pair of eyes to review their portfolio work.
5. Talk about project goals and timelines
An experienced freelance copywriter will usually start out with a meeting with you, the client or employer, and any other relevant teams, to determine project goals and timelines.
Then the writer will conduct research, outline, draft, and edit before submitting in a timely manner. If the copywriter never asks questions, that is a big red flag.
6. Evaluate first before you hire a freelance copywriter
Specialists and hobby copywriters should be evaluated, since they are very different, and will, therefore, serve different purposes.
A specialist freelance copywriter tends to write about no more than a handful of related topics, and their portfolios and client lists showcase that.
Hobby writers will write about anything and tend to be ideal for projects that do not require extravagant depth or knowledge of the subject.
7. In a perfect world, all copywriters would be proven, but that’s not the case.
Before hiring anyone on the team, as a freelancer or otherwise, you should always ensure they have a digital, accessible portfolio that you can read through.
Also, look for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from previous clients attesting to their skills.
Don’t be afraid to ask for granular details about their testimonials, as well. A lot of times, you can sniff out the BS copywriters by asking questions that only a more experienced copywriter would be able to answer.
8. Next, be honest about your deadline
Want it rushed?
Even exceptional freelance writers will not deliver top quality work if not given the proper time frame. Which means it is on you to ensure that you are not setting the bar unrealistically high.
The rule of thumb is an hour per 200-1000 words, depending on subject matter complexity. With an additional hour for research, outlining, and editing.
9. Again, not all projects require extensive research and analysis.
Those that do, however, are typically charged more. Because the freelance copywriter is having to gather much more information and organize details prior to writing, which adds to the task list.
These are the projects that typically require outlines and note-taking. So don’t be afraid to ask to see the results of that process before they get to the actual writing. This is your chance to request changes to the scope.
10. Tell your freelance copywriter what you want
Good copywriters will know exactly how to deliver what you want, when you want, and will go out of their way to ensure all deliverables are specifically designed to help your audience.
If you are not reaping the rewards. If your ROI is not leaving you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, then it might be time to look elsewhere.
Of course, the alternative is that you hired an exceptional writer but assigned them the wrong tasks, which happens quite often. In this case, the onus is on you.
11. Is everything that your writer submits done in the right tone?
A good copywriter should be capable of changing their tone per assignment, per client, and per purpose.
If they can’t, they are not versatile enough and are probably new to the game. Seek to work with a copywriter who can match tones on command.
12. Is your copywriter communicating with your audience?
The entire reason why anyone would hire a freelance copywriter is to get their messages, goals, missions, and CTAs across to the right people in a clear way.
If this is successful, conversions go up. If your copywriter is overhauling copy, but your conversions aren’t going up, it is likely your writer isn’t effectively communicating to your audience.
13. How fast is their revision process?
Contrary to popular belief, even talented writers have to make post-submission revisions from time to time, largely because it is part of the writing process.
However, revisions should be kept minimal. If they are cutting into your other business endeavors, or becoming more of a hassle than they are worth, then you are dealing with the wrong writer.
14. What is their conversion rate?
This one is specifically for email marketing copywriters. They should facilitate strong open and click-through rates because that is their primary objective.
If they are not improving your conversion rates and they are not able to give you good reasoning behind their experimentation process, chances are that they are not very good.
That’s it for now, but I hope it was helpful.
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Award-winning growth marketing consultant and digital strategist with over half a decade of experience building brands, growing communities, and directing marketing strategy for hundreds of venture-backed startups, creatives, and companies worldwide. I help tech and ecom companies scale with growth strategy, copywriting, and CRO.