How to Hire a Copywriter: 7 Helpful Steps
I did a blog post on why you should hire a copywriter. Now, let’s discuss how to hire a copywriter.
If you learn better by watching a video, I got you. Scroll to the end to see the video I recorded on this topic.
How to find a good copywriter & how to hire a copywriter
1. Turn to Google.
If you want someone local, search on “copywriter” and the city you’re in or the nearest big city. Or search on “copywriter near me.” Being local isn’t a requirement for something like copywriting. But this can be a good way to get your search started.
You can also search for the types of copywriting you’re interested in:
- Website copywriter
- SEO copywriter
- Radio copywriter
- Case study copywriter
You get the idea.
PRO TIP: Remember, what shows up on the first page of Google isn’t the end of the search. Copywriting is competitive, and even with good website optimization, not every worthy copywriter will end up on the first page of Google. Be willing to scroll to the second or third page.
2. How to hire a copywriter: Assess the copywriter’s website and portfolio.
When you land on a writer’s website ask yourself the following:
- Does it look professional? Professional doesn’t mean a ton of bells and whistles. Simple is fine. Amateurish is not.
- Is it well-written? If the writer makes sloppy mistakes with their own copy, imagine what they’ll do with yours.
- Do they have a portfolio? Is it easy to access and navigate? Does the copy resonate with you?
- Does the portfolio have a good range of examples in different categories? The big categories to look for in a copywriter’s portfolio include the following:
- Email marketing
- Premium content (white papers, guides, ebooks)
PRO TIP: Has the writer done the sort of project you’re looking for? Don’t dismiss them if they haven’t. For example, if you’re looking for a writer to pen case studies, but they don’t have any examples—and yet you love all of their other work, reach out. A good writer can likely do what you’re looking for. (And they might have samples they can send you. Not all of our work ends up in our portfolios.)
3. How to hire a copywriter: Check out their LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn offers another way to vet and verify. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is their profile professional?
- Do they have endorsements?
- Do they have testimonials from clients/colleagues?
PRO TIP: Have they given any testimonials? What do they say? You can tell a lot about a person by the things they write and say about other people they’ve worked with and for.
4. How to hire a copywriter: Check out their social media activity.
Look for social media icons on their website and check them out. (I’m talking about social media platforms beyond LinkedIn.) Think Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. People tend to let their guard down on social media (for better or worse). You might get a better sense of the person and whether you’d want to work with them.
PRO TIP: I know it’s easier said than done, but when you’re looking at someone else’s social media profiles, you need to check your own biases at the door. For example, maybe you’re not into cosplay but the writer REALLY is.
5. How to hire a copywriter: Reach out with details about your project.
Once you’ve found a writer you like based on their website, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles, reach out to them with details about your project.
Provide as much detail as you can. Ideally, if you have a creative brief, include that. If not, that’s OK. Essentially, you want to provide the following info:
- Who you are
- Company snapshot (elevator pitch + info about your audience)
- Project details: What it is, expectations, etc.
Here’s an example of what an email might to a copywriter might look like:
Hi Carrie Copywriter,
I’m the marketing manager for a background check company. We work with HR managers and recruiters in a variety of industries, but our top three are healthcare, professional services, and real estate. We have a full-time writer in-house, but she’s stretched thin, so we’re looking for outside support from a freelance copywriter. I found your site on Google and liked what I saw. I’d love to set up a time to chat. Our first project is a series of case studies that we like to write in a problem, solution, and results format. No more than two pages. See the attached example. We have four clients ready to share their stories. We simply need a writer to do the interview and drafting. We handle design in-house. We want to issue one a month starting next month. So we’d need the first draft in two weeks or so. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in discussing (and if you have the time to take it on). If this project goes well, there’s an opportunity for more regular monthly work if you’re up for it.
Looking forward to connecting!
Awesome Marketing Mary
PRO TIP: Don’t call the copywriter. I can almost guarantee that you’ll get voicemail. Instead, send an email or use the contact form on the writer’s website. (I think email is the better option.) Send as much info as possible since this will help the writer know if they’re a good fit AND they can prepare before the initial call. Sending an email saying that you have “a project you’d like to discuss” isn’t helpful to anyone (including you). You’ll have a much more productive first call if you share details beforehand.
6. What to look for during your first call.
Once you arrange a call, here’s what to look for in a copywriter: . . .
- Have they come to the call prepared? (For example, they’ve taken the time to review your website.)
- Do they ask good questions?
- Are they prompt, friendly, and courteous?
- Do they seem to have a genuine curiosity about your business?
- Do they make good suggestions?
- How do they charge? I’m a fan of project-based fees. I’d be careful about working with anyone on an hourly basis, and not just copywriters. To understand why, read my blog post on how I advise copywriters to charge for their services.
7. Does the copywriter follow up promptly with a thank you and a proposal?
Here’s a good sign: The copywriter sends you a quick thank-you email for your time and reiterates when they’ll get you a proposal. You shouldn’t have to wait long for a proposal. Figure a couple of business days max.
From there, it’s a matter of seeing if they do what they say. If you have to nudge them about something as basic as getting you a proposal, that doesn’t bode well for your time-sensitive projects. Consider moving on. If they disappear completely, cross them off your list. (Sadly, this does happen.)
Once you get the proposal, review it carefully. Has the writer captured the project deliverables accurately? Does the project quote feel fair? (This is relative, of course. Even if it feels fair, it could still be beyond your budget.) Does the writer clearly indicate timelines? What are the payment terms?
How to hire a good copywriter: listen to your gut!
I know this isn’t your first polka, so you’ll likely have a good sense of whether this writer is the person for you. But use the above as a guideline as you begin your search.
Got a Question for the Copy Bitch?
That’s me! I’m the Copy Bitch. Contact me or visit my YouTube channel and leave a comment on one of my videos. I might make a blog post or video with the answer.