The Copywriting Process – What to Expect from your Copywriter
Updated: Jan 13
In my last blog I wrote about why blogging is important to your communications and marketing strategy. Quick summary: Blogging builds content, improves SEO, drives traffic from social media to your website, increases brand recognition and awareness and will continue to work for you long after you’ve forgotten it. If you missed that blog and want to know more, you can read it here: https://www.lianemorris.com.au/post/to-blog-or-not-to-blog
Blogging is one of those things we all know we should do, but it tends to get put on the back burner for all sorts of reasons - it’s not easy, you don’t have enough time to do it well, you don’t have enough ideas and finally – it can take a while to see results.
Of course, there is a solution – you can hire a copywriter but lots of people don’t.
Here are some reasons why you might NOT hire a copywriter:
1. You can write it yourself: Well sure you can, but do you? And how well crafted is it? Is it pitched to your target audience in a way that attracts leads? Is it written in the right tone of voice? Does it have a call to action? Is it too salesy?
2. You’re not sure who to trust: It’s true that there are a lot of copywriters out there who may not be suitably trained. A professional copywriter will have a portfolio of clients and work that they can share with you.
3. It’s an extra cost: You get what you pay for. If you go to the expense of having a new website designed and built, why would you stint on the one thing that will drive sales, communicate your key messages and build brand awareness?
4. You don’t have time to find a copywriter let alone brief them: Not taking the time to do this is a false economy. And a professional copywriter will make the briefing process as easy as possible.
What you can expect from your copywriter
A copywriter is a professional wordsmith. Some copywriters are generalists and will write on a broad range of topics and industries whilst others niche. Some copywriters are SEO experts, some specialise in long form writing, others in sales copy. There are almost as many ways to specialise and niche in copywriting as there are potential clients. No matter what kind of copywriting they do, all copywriters will do the following:
1. Scope the project – the first thing a copywriter will do will be to have a conversation with you to determine the scope of the project.
2. Quote – based on the scope of the project, they’ll quote you for the job.
3. Take a brief – different to scoping the job, this is a detailed brief. They will ask you a lot of questions and perhaps ask you to fill in a form. The more information you can provide the better the job will be.
4. Provide Creative Solutions - depending on the project, the copywriter may brainstorm with you or independently come up with ideas or creative solutions for things like tag lines, blog subjects, promotional ideas, sales funnel concepts and creative copy.
5. Partner with you – a copywriter becomes your business partner for the term of the project. Your success is their success. They want you to achieve your goals because when you do, they’ve achieved theirs.
6. Research – before they even begin to write, they need to research the subject, your competitors, your products, your target market, the facts and the figures.
7. Write – obviously a copywriter writes, and they ought to be good at it! The writing process will include editing and proofing so that no mistakes are made. The copy should flow naturally, be written in a consistent tone of voice that will appeal to your target audience, make sense and be fit for purpose.
8. Submit the first draft – the copywriter will submit their first draft to you, the client. It’s now up to you to decide whether or not the copy works for you and if it doesn’t, go back to them with the changes you’d like to see, keeping in mind that while you’re the expert at your job and business, they’re the experts at writing.
9. Changes to copy - most copywriters will want to see you happy before finalising the project but there will be a limit to how many times you can ask for changes. Check their terms and conditions which should have been part of their quotation process.
10. Invoicing – once the job has been finalised the final invoice will be sent for payment. Most copywriters will charge a deposit at the start of the project with the balance payable at the end. Check payment terms in the terms and conditions.
11. Ownership of the copy – once you have approved and paid for the copy it becomes yours and your responsibility. The copywriter may ask if they can use screenshots of your site or images of the job as well as any appropriate links for use in their portfolio.
A professional copywriter can take the pressure off you and/or your marketing/communications team, ultimately saving you precious time and freeing you up to concentrate on other aspects of your business. If you can develop an ongoing relationship with one copywriter who learns all about your business, the benefits are even greater, as they become a valued member of your team.