Being a freelance copywriter is a strange profession, surrounded in mystery and misconceptions. So, it’s no surprise that many people don’t know what to expect when hiring one.
So What Does a Freelance Copywriter Do?
Well, to put it simply — we write words that sell.
If you have a product or service that you want to promote, a freelance copywriter will learn everything they can about your industry and target market and transform that knowledge into concise, persuasive call-to-action copy.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Well, the answer to this is both yes and no.
Because whilst it sounds like a simple enough remit, we copywriters aren’t mind-readers. To get the most out of our services, we need input from you, the client.
Copywriting is Just Like Any Other Profession
Let me put it this way — let’s imagine that you want to have a conservatory built at the back of your house.
So you hire the builder and they ask you:
“What type of conservatory are you looking for?”
“I dunno, you’re the builder, you tell me.”
“Well, do you know roughly what size or style you want?”
“I haven’t really thought about it.”
“I’ve brought along some examples to help give you an idea, if you wanna have a quick look?”
“Nahhh, haven’t got the time. You just go ahead and build it however you think it should be built. I’m sure you know what you’re doing.”
The builder builds the conservatory:
“What do you think?”
“Oh no, this isn’t what I wanted at all! It needs to be at least half the size – what were you thinking? You’re a builder, I thought you knew what you were doing!”
Now this may seem extreme. But you’d be surprised at how many clients expect freelance copywriters to be mind-readers, and then get annoyed upon discovering that we are sadly lacking in psychic abilities.
I Feed on Information
In the early stages, the more information you can give me, the better.
I don’t expect you to know exactly what you want. And part of my job is to help you clarify your expectations and what you want to achieve out of the project.
But I do need your input.
Now this might mean giving me a copy of your company’s mission statement so I can better understand its ethos and objectives.
It might be sending a link to a competitor’s website that you like the style of and would like to emulate.
Or, we could start with an informal chat to ensure that our thinking is aligned.
Because if you don’t know what you want or if we don’t work together to clarify this at the very beginning, the chances of me doing my best work and you getting what you want out of the project are greatly reduced.
All I need is a brief to work with.
“But I have no idea how to write a brief!” I hear you cry.
Not a problem. I don’t expect you to. In fact, I’ll even send you a template.
Still not sure what to do?
No worries. Let’s have a chat and I’ll work alongside you to create a brief together.
I’ll Do the Hard Work
I don’t expect you to know about things like word counts and TOV. That’s my job.
But if you tell me who your target audience are and what action you want them to take (click, buy, share, subscribe etc.), this allows me to refine the copy and tailor it to the people who matter most — your customers.
In other words, give me the measurements for the conservatory you want to build or be prepared to talk it through with me. Then let me worry about everything else, while you get on with focusing on the stuff that really matters.
If you like this blog and think that we’d work well together, feel free to get in touch for an informal chat. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a message via the Contact Page.