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So You Want To Hire An Advertising Copywriter?

Written By: Michelle Quintana
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You sit down at your PC and decide you’re going to write your own marketing materials. Then you sit. And you sit. And you sit staring at a blank screen.
What?  A little case of writer’s block or maybe creative curtailment?  You know you have a terrific product or service to offer, but the real challenge is how are you going to powerfully communicate your marketing message to your target audience? Have you even taken the time to identify your target audience?

Writing a powerfully persuasive advertising message is a perilous task to most business owners. The real challenge is getting your target audience to take action and do exactly what you want them to do. This takes time, patience, perseverance, and creative writing skills that can take years to perfect.  
Most businesses’ spend thousands of dollars developing product image or brand and website awareness but do little to nothing to write hard-hitting, effective sales copy which can make or break an entire advertising campaign.

In today’s world of marketing, you have between seven and twelve seconds to convey your message. Research proves that the average mind will process BOTH words and images within seconds and then move onto new content if the perception of what is being searched for doesn’t exist.

So what can you do when you don’t have a full fledged creative team to turn to? Consider hiring a professional freelance copywriter.

Before you rush to the internet and begin searching for the first few copywriters that pop up on the search engines, consider these hard-and-fast rules that will save you time, money and any possible misunderstandings.

What’s your outlined budget for this specific project?

Copywriters come in all experience levels. And yes, it’s true what they say; when it comes to freelance copywriters, you really do get what you pay for. Let’s say you contact three different copywriters who quote you very different bids for website copy. The first quotes you $500, the second $3,900 and the third $11,000. That’s a pretty big spread, but all bids are not created equal.

The first and most important question to ask yourself is why is the first bid so radically different than the third bid? That can usually be summed up to three words: experience and results.  There are industry fee standards amongst experienced copywriters. Someone charging $500 for a project that is normally bid out at say, $5,000 is not going to give you the marketing results you desire. Otherwise they would be charging you industry standard fees.  On the other hand, the $11,000 quote might be from an extremely experienced copywriter who is in high demand, can prove past ROI and works on a minimum fee project basis. 
If you can afford (and like the work of) the $11,000 copywriter, by all means hire them. On the other hand the middle bid, is probably the more realistic one.
Why? Because you’ll be working with a copywriter who has the experience but is not quite at the “high demand” level of the $11,000 copywriter.

Regardless of which copywriter you choose to work with, it’s critically important to ask for samples of their work. If they can provide you samples of work that pertain to your field, all the better.

Should I pay by the project or by the hour?

The majority of experienced copywriters will charge by the project. This leaves you with an exact expectation of what will be done for the quoted fee with no added “time surprises.” I strongly suggest hiring a copywriter who will give you a clearly outlined contract with scope of work expectations, deadline dates and a firm fee.

Lastly, you might want to know if the copywriter can “guarantee” his work. The short answer is no. Remember copywriting is a creative process and no copywriter, even the ones charging the higher fees can absolutely guarantee that your response rate will be 5%, 10% or even 20%. If a copywriter tells you than he or she can guarantee your outcome, do not use them. They can’t.

In closing, remember to use the copywriter that feels right to you and that is willing to explore your business and the true “voice” you want to convey to your target audience. By taking the extra time to ask questions and research these issues, you’ll have a creative marketing edge that few businesses’ have explored.

Please contact me for further questions on hiring the copywriter that's right for your business at


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