Good copy, that's text, words - the bit that people read, is, most business women and men agree, crucial.
In a marketing campaign, good copywriting is as important as the design, the timing and the media used; sometimes more important. Often though, copywriting is overlooked, the approach taken is that everyone can write, so why pay someone to do copywriting. In reality though, copywriting goes hand in hand with graphic and web design; you wouldn't leave that to an amateur and neither should the copywriting be left to anyone without proven skills.
A Copywriter's ValueA copywriter with experience will think of new approaches, use gripping and inspiring phrases, use subtlety and avoid tackiness. A copywriter will find a balance between predictability and surprise; and will vastly improve your company's written communication, ensuring it doesn't read unprofessionally, irritate or bore. And even better, a good copywriter will ensure it stands out in a competitive market place.
Anyone Can Claim to be a Copywriter
The trouble is, unlike graphic design and web design, there are no technical barriers preventing someone from becoming a copywriter. Copywriting can be done on any PC. So you must choose your copywriter with care, there are many freelance copywriters out there and all are charging different rates for their vastly differing copywriting skills and experience.
Choosing a Copywriter
When choosing a copywriter, always ask to see work samples, this is a great guide of how good they are, make sure you ask to see their copywriting in at least three different formats. For example, a sales letter, an advert and a brochure. There are no guarantees that they actually wrote it though, so you can also ask for references, professional people who have worked with your copywriter before; make sure you follow them up.
Have a chat with the copywriter, ask them to suggest some copy ideas and explain how they will approach your project. Don't necessarily expect them to have hundreds of ideas off the top of their heads and they will only be as good as the brief you give them, but the copywriting ideas they do give you will help you judge their suitability as the copywriter for the task they have in mind.
The rates a copywriter will charge for his or her time can be as varied as their skills, be sure to ask for quotes from a selection. Please be aware though, you get what you pay for and getting a price for copywriting is more complicated than just asking for an hourly rate. Ask for a price to complete the copywriting project, you have no control over how long the copywriter will take to do the job, so an hourly rate is meaningless. One may charge 50 an hour and take two hours, another 25 an hour and take six hours to complete the copywriting project.
Richard Jebb is a Freelance Writer who specialises in writing for business. Marketing literature, Public Relations, Award Entry Submissions and Website Content are just some of the business tools he can make work for you. To contact Richard Jebb email him at firstname.lastname@example.org