At a certain point in your business evolution, you’re going to want (or need!) to ramp up your copy. Maybe you’ve been doing it all yourself and you’ve run out of hours in the day, or maybe you’ve been happy with “good enough” copy and content until now, and you know it’s time to bring in an expert.
Before you hand over the keys to the keyboard to someone else, here are four questions you MUST ask first:
1. “Do you write like YOU or like ME?”
My goal is always to make my clients shine. I never want someone to read a sales page or email sequence I’ve composed and say, “Oh, Lain wrote that.” The most accomplished copywriters are chameleons, able to adapt to your voice and your style. They will make you sound like the best version of yourself, not like a clone of every project they’ve ever worked on.
2. “What kind of research do you do?”
Of course, a copywriter should speak with you at length about your goals, your audience, your message… but beyond that, they should also be immersing themselves in the world of YOU. At a minimum they should have signed up for your autoresponder series, checked out your social media profile, and seen what else you’ve published. But in addition, they should also want to know what’s worked so far, from conversions on an opt-in page to open rates on your past email campaigns. Sometimes, the most powerful change I make to campaigns or copy is just a few tweaks to a pretty good campaign to make it great. (In other words, why re-create what’s already working?)
3. “What kind of input will I have?”
For longer pieces (a sales page, a “pillar” blog post, a multi-email relationship-building or sales sequence, etc.) you should get a minimum of two opportunities to provide feedback before you see the final version: An outline and a draft. Particularly if you haven’t worked with this writer before, you need to make sure you’re on the same page before you see a completed draft. (NOTE: While it’s standard to charge extra for additional rounds of review, at least one review round should be included in the project price your copywriter quotes.)
4. “What kind of results will you guarantee?”
Okay, I’ll admit it – this is kind of a trick question! The truth is, no copywriter can “guarantee” results. There are way too many other variables impacting conversions or sales. For instance, on an opt-in page, conversions will depend on the offer, the traffic source, the call to action (CTA) made before traffic arrives at the page, etc. So when you ask this question, the answer you’re looking for is, “None.”
If someone promises you a 20 percent increase in conversion, or says you’ll double your sales by using their copy, be very wary. That being said, it would be completely appropriate to hear something like, “I think we can aim for an increase in conversions from 2% to 5%,” or “I wouldn’t be surprised to see your sales increase $10K in the next few months.” The key is that they’re not PROMISING you it; they’re telling you what’s reasonable, and that you’ll work together to make that happen.
Bringing an experienced copywriter onto your team is a huge step forward. It’s an investment that can pay back 10X, 100X, or more — if you hire the right person for the job, and have the right expectations of what they’ll accomplish for you.
Lain Ehmann of #FastLain knows that Simplicity Sells. As a communication conversion strategist, she works with high-level entrepreneurs to create crystal-clear messaging and content that reaches their audience at the right time, in the right way. Download your messaging worksheet here.