Hiring a copywriter: your 5-point checklist
Here are some tips to ensure your outsourced writing projects run smoothly and achieve their objectives.
1. Choosing the right writer
It’s often difficult to find a writer who is suitable and available, particularly if your projects vary in their requirements of skill and experience. For example, a writer who only has magazine experience probably won’t be suitable for writing website content.
If you want to save yourself a lot of time − choose someone who works with a pool of other writers with differing skills and experience. That way you only need one point of contact − if they’re busy on another project or they don’t have the specific skills/experience for a particular job, they can organise an alternative writer for you.
2. Briefing the writer
Providing your writer with a clear brief will save you unnecessary copy revisions and keep your costs down. Points to include are:
• your target audience
• what message you want to convey
• what tone you want to speak to your reader in
• what response you ideally want the reader to make
• your schedule.
3. Setting the schedule
Writers need time to develop the ideas and words, so set a realistic schedule to allow for research and the creative process. Also, don’t expect the first draft to be perfect − allow for one or two revisions so your writer can refine the content.
4. The agreement
The agreement should include:
• the project size
• number of revisions included
• agreed fee (this can be a flat fee or hourly rate).
Also check what’s not included. Many writers charge extra for face-to-face meetings, research time, and weekend or rush work. Most writers charge 35−50% of the total project fee upfront. And if you have sensitive or proprietary information, don’t hesitate to have your writer sign a non-disclosure agreement.
5. Providing background information
Provide as much background information as possible up-front. This can save you and the writer considerable time. And if they still need more information, they can always come back to you.