The COVID-19 pandemic has actually changed the way people work forever. Remote work is now more commonly accepted by organizations, versatile work schedules are becoming more common, and countless employees are resigning from their tasks looking for something much better.
For a great deal of people, that “something better” has implied stating goodbye to their life as a full-time 9-5 worker and hello to life as a full-time freelancer.
It makes good sense– its a great time to be a freelancer. Companies seem hesitant to hire back full-time employees after experiencing pandemic-related layoffs. And supervisors seem energized by the rapidly growing swimming pool of freelancer skill readily available to them.
As a freelance copywriter, you might be reading this and believing to yourself, “Sounds terrific … how do I leap on this train!?”.
Its something to quit your job and start calling yourself a freelance copywriter, however how do you land gigs, specifically understanding that there are potentially more available authors than ever prior to gunning for the very same tasks?
How do you stand apart from the crowd and persuade a supervisor to employ you over everybody else?
Thats where I d like to help.
Over the previous decade, Ive hired and managed dozens of freelance authors while working for different startups and marketing agencies.
Experience has actually taught me how to acknowledge a good copywriter from a not-so-good copywriter.
If you desire more independent copywriting gigs, you need to prove to the hiring manager that youre excellent from the get-go.
When Im hiring a copywriter, eres how I choose the great from the bad.
14 Qualities a Manager Looks for When Hiring a Copywriter.
1. Excellent Copywriters Are Passionate About Writing.
Every high-quality writer Ive ever understood has actually been passionate about their craft. They didnt simply choose to end up being a freelancer, pull “copywriting” out of a hat, and get to it. The majority of them have been writing for a very long time, in either a expert or personal capability.
Notice I didnt say great copywriters have to like writing. Their desire to develop great copy and the finest outcome for the client comes before their desire to compose about subjects they enjoy.
One concern I like to ask candidates to determine their enthusiasm for writing is, “Do you compose or check out for enjoyable?”.
Im not trying to find individuals who are writing (or perhaps checking out) numerous novels a year. I simply wish to get a much better understanding of how essential writing is to them as an individual.
2. Good Copywriters Ask Questions.
A decent copywriter will take a project, craft the copy, and deliver it back to the client on time. The best copywriters Ive dealt with all ask concerns prior to starting.
They ask questions about editorial standards, organization goals, success metrics, audience demographics, brand name voice, rivals, and anything else that will assist make their task easier and their content much better.
They likewise ask about my expectations for them as a freelancer, which right away puts them on a course toward success.
3. Great Copywriters Have Proven a Track Record of Success.
When I hire a copywriter, Im not just looking for someone who can put words on paper– I want someone who has a proven track record with other individuals who have actually employed them prior to me.
Excellent copywriters should be able to talk about and reveal examples of past successes and wins. What those past accomplishments are will depend on the type of composing they do. If Im working with an SEO author, I anticipate that they will have the ability to show me examples of material theyve written that ranks on page one of Google for highly competitive keywords. If Im employing a writer to develop Facebook ad copy, I anticipate them to be able to show and talk about real, effective advertisements they assisted customers launch.
A good copywriter will keep a file of their best-performing and most impactful content and make it offered for employing managers to review if the subject turns up.
4. Excellent Copywriters Can Provide Recent Writing Samples.
Thats usually a caution indication for me if a copywriter does not have current composing samples easily offered. Its definitely not a deal-breaker, however it will lead me to ask more concerns.
To be a great copywriter, you have to practice your craft routinely and frequently. An accomplished concert violinist does not get to where they are by practicing once a year.
As a hiring manager, I need to understand that you are not using me as a chance to dust off the cobwebs.
In some cases copywriters cant share recent work because of NDAs. My recommendation is to take on a few jobs that you understand you can share openly if youre in this position. Or discover chances to contribute as a guest author.
5. Good Copywriters Have References from Past Clients.
Great copywriters preserve excellent relationships with previous customers. I always ask if they have recommendations that I can speak to if I want to discover more about them Whenever I am assessing a copywriter.
Part of the factor I ask this question is that I truly desire to hear from others about what its like to work with a copywriter Im thinking about employing, however the bigger factor is simply to just discover if an author has done an excellent adequate task to have referrals in their back pocket if they need them.
If you dont have any references on hand, return and ask some of your past clients. The majority of people are more than happy to be readily available as a referral– but you have to make the ask.
6. Great Copywriters Have a Website.
If they have actually taken the time to create and launch their own website, I tend to rely on freelance copywriters more. It doesnt need to be an elegant site. All I wish to see is a little information about you and your company, some examples of your work, and possibly a few reviews from previous clients.
A site is a quick method for me to decide if a copywriter is expert and business-minded.
Sites are likewise so simple to spin up with tools like Squarespace, Webflow, and WordPress, it seems odd to me when a freelancer I come across doesnt have one for their own business.
Simply think: whats the first thing a hiring supervisor does when evaluating a candidate? Most likely enter their name into Google to see what appears.
When they go browsing, a website helps you control and manage what a potential customer discovers and discovers about you.
7. Great Copywriters Are Organized.
Excellent copywriters know how to handle tasks. They use tools like Trello, Asana, or Basecamp to keep projects organized. If I ask a copywriter what they use to organize their projects and they do not have a great response, thats normally a red flag for me.
I wish to deal with copywriters who arent working exclusively off of post-it notes and scratch paper. Again, it comes down to professionalism. Youre either organized or youre not, there is no in-between.
8. Excellent Copywriters Are Proactive Communicators.
Proactive communication is the key to any successful freelancer-client relationship, but its especially important when you literally generate income helping businesses interact.
One question I like to ask copywriters when Im examining them for a project is, “How do you interact with clients if you understand youre not going to be able to hit the due date?”.
The answer will inform you a lot about the person youre considering employing. Due dates get missed out on because life takes place. As a client, its a lot simpler to stand if my author tells me ahead of time that they arent going to satisfy my expectations, as opposed to informing me after the due date has currently passed.
9. Excellent Copywriters Know How to Research.
Not every copywriter Ive worked with is proficient at looking into. The very best ones are simply as good at performing research as they are at composing copy, that makes them perfect partners for me to work with.
A great copywriter understands how to assess and use external sources. They know to keep away from competitor material, outdated material, and content from unreliable websites or blog sites. They know how to attribute sources and how to prevent unintentional plagiarism.
10. Excellent Copywriters Have Documented Processes.
For a copywriter to be great, they have to be process-driven. One of my preferred concerns to ask copywriters when Im thinking about hiring them for a project is, “How do you develop a new piece of material?”.
I ask to walk me through the whole process from start to end up. Great copywriters will have a standard process that they utilize, one that has been refined and improved gradually with each brand-new customer.
The very best copywriters Ive met have actually made the effort to picture these processes in a branded deck using a tool like Canva or Google Slides.
11. Excellent Copywriters Arent Afraid of Getting Feedback.
Youre going to have a hard time being an effective copywriter if you dont like getting crucial feedback from individuals or having to modify content.
Great copywriters do not take it personally when they get feedback from customers. They comprehend that their task is to either disagree and, as the specialist, explain why or want to reword the content how the client desires it to be composed.
Its not individual– its service.
12. Good Copywriters Think About Content Performance.
I like dealing with copywriters who believe and understand about the performance of their material– even if its only at a base level. I do not anticipate the copywriters I employ to be analytics or conversion professionals, but I do like to know that they are considering completion goal and the effect of the content Im employing them to produce.
If you wish to show to a hiring supervisor that youre a great copywriter, ask concerns about performance objectives before you start writing a piece of material and follow up after it has been published to see how it really performed.
13. Great Copywriters Are Consistent With Delivery.
The copywriters I employ over and over again are the ones who follow delivery. Since I know I can rely on them to get the job done exactly in the timeframe I set, I employ them.
Once again, sometimes due dates are not possible for one reason or another, but as long as the factor has actually been interacted ahead of time, it doesnt affect the trust I have in the copywriter Ive hired.
14. Excellent Copywriters Have Confidence in Themselves.
Great copywriters are positive. They are positive in their composing capabilities, positive in their concepts and techniques, confident in their processes, and confident working for and with other specialists.
No copywriter is best. When Im interviewing a possible candidate, I do not expect to see every identifier mentioned above. But the more I do see, the more confident I will be that Im employing the right person.
Keep this list bookmarked. If you arent closing as lots of brand-new offers with customers as you d like, see what from this list you still need to work on, and keep an eye on what you could be highlighting much better when speaking to working with supervisors.
Best of luck out there!
Rob Wormley is the CEO and creator of Pitchstachio, a marketing agency that establishes tactical messaging, placing, stories, and go-to-market techniques for brands, groups, products, and executives. For more content from Rob, follow him on LinkedIn..
Notice I didnt say good copywriters have to like writing. Great copywriters must be able to talk about and reveal examples of previous successes and wins. Good copywriters understand how to manage projects. If I ask a copywriter what they use to organize their projects and they dont have a good answer, thats normally a red flag for me.
An excellent copywriter understands how to assess and use external sources.