When clients approach me, they’ve often never worked with a copywriter before.

5 Important Questions to Ask Your Copywriter

Many of my clients don’t know what the copywriting process is, what to expect, or what their investment is going to bring them in return. These are a few questions you can ask before someone writes copy for your marketing or internal business documents.

1. What type of content are you an expert in?

Just like there are different types of lawyers, there are different types of copywriters. At Fine Point Writing & Editing, we work mainly with marketing materials – that is, content that customers and clients will see. However, there are also technical writers, who typically help businesses with their internal writing, or with creating user guides for products. Finding the right person or creative team for your specific project is important.

2.  Do you have experience with SEO?

If search engine optimization is important to you, make that clear and ask if it’s possible to set that as a goal for your copy. Don’t assume a creative copywriter knows the in’s and out’s of keyword research and other aspects of SEO. Also, be aware that optimized content may cost more because it requires extra research and care. A good SEO writer should be able to tell you what their process is, what tools they use for SEO, and answer most basic questions about SEO. He or she may also have a good specialist for other SEO marketing services.

3. What is the process?

Every person has a different process for creating stunning content. Business copywriters typically have to gather information about a business and project before starting. Non-profit organizations looking for a website revamp will have different needs than a construction business designing a pamphlet. We need to understand the products, services, and team, but we also need to get a grasp on the core values and branding that will shine through every word of content.
 
If a copywriter isn’t interested in hearing about the details of your business, beware! You might get a good deal, but you’ll probably get generalized content that doesn’t accurately reflect your business.
 
Be sure to ask upfront about revisions as well. Find out whether the copywriter you’ve chosen will charge extra to revise the content if you’re not completely satisfied. The Fine Point Writing & Editing team provides 2 full revisions with every piece of content to make sure clients are always fully satisfied. Many clients don’t need any revisions, but it’s nice to know the option is there, even if it’s just a few words that need to be changed.

4. When will I get a first draft?

Set out a firm timeline for your project, ensuring you give a little extra time for revisions before your deadline. If you have a graphic designer or website designer working on the project, be sure to check his or her timeline as well.
Remember that freelance copywriters work from home and may have a different full-time job. It may take a little longer to get your content draft if they’re busy at work or with other copywriting clients. If you can, find a full-time copywriting business that can communicate and deliver content on a consistent basis.

5. Do You Have a Portfolio?

Before letting anyone touch pen to paper, ask for a professional portfolio. Any artist who is dedicated to his or her craft will have a collection of previous work (and possibly even full case studies). Request a copy. I always compare this to tattoos. You would never get a tattoo without looking at the tattoo artist’s past work, right? The same goes for a copywriter, although luckily written work is usually less permanent than a tattoo.
Don’t forget that writing (even for businesses) is a creative craft. There needs to be a good match between the artist and the client. While copywriters can shift and mimic their style to suit your branding, there’s still an overall tone that needs to match up.

Fine Point Writing & Editing offers content marketing services for businesses. We write content for websites, blogs, social media, and marketing templates. For more information or to book a marketing consultation, please contact our creative director, Danielle Mohr.

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