Contrary to what you may hear on Mad Men and ad blogs, copywriters don’t sit around complaining about clients all day. In fact, we love new projects and clients–it means more doing what we love. That said, we’ve all hit bumps in the client-writer relationship. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned through years of working with various brands and clients.
1. Make sure it’s a copywriter you actually need.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked to do PR distribution, magazine editor pitching, etc. Though I love working with clients to draft press releases, as a copywriter, my work ends when the release is in the client’s hands, while the nitty-gritty of distribution is more suited to someone with an extensive PR background. Make sure you know exactly what type of professional you’re looking for before you start screening.
2. Let the copywriter know exactly what you want, and don’t be afraid to be upfront and detailed.
A creative brief is always appreciated, whether it’s a formal document or simply an email with bullets. If you think you need a 300-word landing page to accurately describe your product, then make that clear. But if you want hte visuals to do most of the talking, make that clear as well. You’ll save the copywriter unnecessary work (and billable hours).
3. Send your copywriter examples of what you love.
We all have ads that make our hearts sing. As copywriters, it’s our job to stay on top of the marketing and advertising world in terms of best practices and trends. That said, sometimes an example or two from brands you respect will speak droves in terms of providing direction, especially regarding more nebulous details like tone, which may be more difficult to articulate.
4. Share your own competitive insights.
You know your brand better than anyone (at least, you should). If your customers hate the word “perfect,” then by all means let your copywriter know. If multiple CTAs have been proven to work better than one, pass that along. Optimizing content in the initial draft will save time in the long-run. The more guides and decks you have available, the better.
5. Put it in writing.
The number one complaint I hear from copywriters and clients is that of miscommunication. I always ask clients for a quick email confirming details like pay rate, deadlines, and whether revisions are included in the cost, even if we’ve discussed it over the phone. It keeps things clear on both ends.
If you’re looking to hire a copywriter for your brand or service, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.