Working with a Copywriter: What You Need to Know

I was at lunch the other day with a friend, talking about our businesses, drinking sangria at 3pm - as you do on a "break day." And she asked me how work with clients as a copywriter on website copy and blog posts.

I'm lucky that I know the people I write for pretty well so I can nail their tone rather easily. But for someone who isn't as familiar, the process changes a little bit. I thought I'd give you a peek into my process when working with a copywriting client and a few tips to make working with any copywriter a little smoother for both of you.

Working with a copywriter is easy when the expectations are all laid out from the beginning. Learn how to work with a copywriter successfully in 3 steps!

Talk It Out

It's important to see how you already talk about yourself in person or online, so I do a little web research. Exploring your website and social media to see what language you're already using when you're talking about yourself and your products or services.

Then, we talk. After all, the most natural writing sounds like how someone speaks. It's so helpful to get the verbal language, too, in case your writing and your speaking are different. I want to nail certain words you always use so your customers feel like it's naturally coming from you.

Identify Your Goals and Assess the Situation

Obviously, why is a big part of the equation. Why are you in business? first of all. And also, Why are you writing a blog or updating your website copy? Of course, it's to drive traffic to your website. But why else? Are you hoping to inform, inspire, entertain, gossip? Your goals help to identify the tone and content.

We'll also talk about what do and don't you like about your current copy. If there's something really great there that you love, let me know so I can replicate it!

Do the Work

All that's left is to do the work. I'll generate a list of blog post topics or a content outline for you to sign off on. Then I write and deliver. Pretty easy.

Some tips:

  • It's a big help to spend time talking and learning. I may ask the same question a few ways to see the language you use about yourself. I want your copy to sound like you, not like me!
  • Provide honest feedback to your copywriter. Speak up if you don't like something. How else will I (or whomever you work with) know and pivot our writing? Be transparent, open, and honest. I promise, it won't hurt our feelings, it will make the writing stronger and more authentic to your business.
  • Send expectations and specs first. It's easier to do it right the first time than try to "edit" a draft and essentially start all over. All you're doing in that instance is blowing an editing round from your copywriter and you don't want to leave that on the table. Use your edit period to make the content better, not have your copywriter entirely redo their work. Let us know what quotes (or anything) you definitely want included or excluded.
  • Make sure you have a contract - it helps with those expectations for what's delivered and by when. Open, transparent communication is the name of the game.

How do you keep communication open on your team?