How to Find the Most Compelling Copywriters for Your Company

Copywriting / 02 Aug 2022

How to find the most compelling copywriters for your company. How to find a good copywriter. Copywriting services. Beesting Digital

Copywriting is an elusive art, and if words don’t come naturally to you, it can be difficult to master. 

You and your team slave for hours over blogs, web pages, product descriptions, category copy, emails. Hell, even the posts going out across your social media profiles.

You can muster up something halfway decent, but it still feels a little off. And you know full well that it’s the most captivating copy that converts, inspires, educates, and takes your company from strength to strength. 

For that kind of copy, you need an expert. 

But without the wisdom of a natural wordsmith, how do you know what makes a good writer?

Why You Need a Copywriter

How much does it really matter?

If your company has long dominated the world of traditional, offline marketing – with aspects of digital remaining a mystery – this might be the question you’re quietly considering. People are constantly shouting about how important content and SEO are for maximising your digital marketing efforts. But are they just exaggerating? 

Will the copy on your website, on your social media profiles, on your email subject line really make that much of a difference?

Could it really be the key to leaving your competitors in the dust when it comes to digital?

The answer is yes.

The Internet is Competitive

These days, we’re consuming more content than ever before. Globally, the average person spends almost seven hours per day consuming content via some type of screen.

Whether it’s a page on a website or a post on LinkedIn, your company’s content is drowning in a sea of search engine results and social media hashtags. More than ever, you have to fight to cut through the white noise to appear on your target audience’s device.

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Holding Attention Has Never Been Harder

You have another challenge when you finally get there: holding their attention. With all of the world’s content available at the click of a button, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that the collective human attention span is on a decline.

Twenty years of research from the Nielson Norman Group has determined that online, people rarely read and are far more likely to scan. Particularly for longer chunks of copy, like blogs or websites, the copy must be that bit more engaging to hold a reader’s attention, as well as optimised for readability.

Copywriters know how to write for different channels. They know advertisements need a headline that captures attention; they know blogs must be broken into user-friendly segments, and they know social media posts must be short, snappy, and optimised platform by platform. A skilled copywriter alters their style by audience, not just by project, to guarantee the best results.

Good Copy is Essential for SEO

Content marketing and SEO are a match made in heaven, working together in more ways than one. Content marketing gives your SEO a boost; SEO can shape the content you’re creating and gets it seen. 

But how much does the quality of your content affect SEO? The short answer is a lot. Google rewards high quality, high-value content because it values originality, research, insight and readability. 

Copywriters excel in taking all sorts of topics, whether new and complex, or done to death, and transforming them into engaging, insightful pieces that offer value.

Crucial Copywriter Characteristics

Before starting your search, you must know which attributes are most enticing in a quality copywriter.

  • Attention to detail
  • Experience with SEO
  • Excellent spelling and grammar
  • An adaptable, chameleon-like writing style
  • Strong research skills

Keep these characteristics in mind when you’re reaching out to writers, working through portfolios, or reviewing responses to a new job listing.

Where to Find a Fantastic Copywriter

Finding a writer shouldn’t be a struggle – after all, with 949 listed on the ProCopywriters database alone, there’s no shortage of them. But finding a writer who has the relevant experience for your project, gels well with your company values, ticks all the boxes in terms of style, and has capacity to to take on new work can be surprisingly difficult. 

Luckily, if your search so far has proven ineffective, there are plenty of places for you to keep looking.

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Scour the Search Engines

Like, well, pretty much everything else in the world, excellent copywriters can be found with a simple Google search. Beware though, you’re about to be inundated with search results (although it’s a pretty foolproof way to test out a potential writer’s SEO skills.)

Finding copywriters through search engines becomes that little bit easier when you can get specific. To narrow down your search, add additional terms like:

  • Whether they write B2B copy, B2C copy, or both.
  • A specialist subject or niche, e.g. healthcare, finance, legal, etc.
  • What services you’re after, e.g. web copy, blogs, social media.

Bear in mind that those mega-experienced writers – you know, the ones with big brand names in their portfolios and beautiful websites, who rank on the first page of Google – will almost certainly be costly.

Use Social Media

Social media, home to everyone from your grandparents to conspiracy theorists to primary school peers you forgot – and most importantly, an incredible community of freelance copywriters. Tapping into that network is an excellent way to identify the perfect match for your next campaign.

The most helpful channel for finding suitable copywriters is likely to be LinkedIn. Here, you can search and browse copywriters in a breeze. Their profiles will likely display their experience and specialist areas along with easily accessible links to their portfolios or websites; you can even check out their endorsements or testimonials left by other LinkedIn users. 

One free option to get copywriters to come to you directly is to create a job listing using LinkedIn. Here, you can outline everything that you need from a potential copywriter and avoid the back-and-forth of emails or LinkedIn messages.

While LinkedIn is our favourite place to spot copywriting talent, communities of freelancers exist on pretty much all of the major platforms, including Twitter and Reddit. Tons of social media whizzes use Instagram to promote their freelance services; meanwhile, there are Facebook groups out there with the sole purpose of listing and responding to freelance writing jobs.

Work with a Copywriting Agency

As you can see, finding a freelance copywriter yourself – and a good one at that – comes with a fair amount of hassle. There’s the searching, then the reaching out, the back-and-forth messaging, the reviewing of portfolios, the arranging of rates, the setting of deadlines, and so on. 

The first person you message may not be the right fit; the next one’s rates may be way outside your client’s budget; or, more often than not, they simply don’t have time. 

If you’re enquiring with an in-demand copywriter, they’ll likely already have a backlog of work to get through and might not be able to get to your project for a few weeks. 

If the work is time-sensitive, you’ve already lost a good few hours on the search alone – let alone with the delays that come with actually booking the work.

Of course, there is one way to streamline the process. You could partner with an agency and have all the hassle taken out of your hands. That’s where a business like Beesting would come in. We provide white label copywriting services and work in partnership with the marketing departments of national or even global private companies, allocating our most suitable copywriters for the job to guarantee quality results – even with quick turnarounds. 

How to Spot a Brilliant (or Bad) Writer From The Offset

If you manage a marketing department, your hands are packed full with all the different plates you have to spin. Time is always of the essence, and you can’t afford to waste it working with bad writers. The problem is bad writers have a way of slipping through the cracks – they can talk the talk, and their portfolios seem impressive at first glance, but how can you be sure you’re opting for the right candidate? 

  • Read their emails carefully.

An introductory email riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. The same goes for cover letters and CVs – if they can’t be bothered to edit their application, they probably won’t proofread their client work.

  • Assess their attention to detail.

When it comes to finding an excellent copywriter, there are many components beyond just their writing. Attention to detail is critical in transforming briefs into completed projects. You can gauge this in different ways throughout the recruitment process.

For instance, have they followed instructions? If you posted a job ad that specifically asked them to email you, and they applied via LinkedIn anyway, that shows they didn’t properly read your listing. 

There’s nothing more perplexing than when the person applying to work with you gets your name wrong halfway through the email chain. This is another good indicator that they’re not paying full attention. Can you trust them to keep in mind your target audience if that’s the case? Your brand guidelines, tone of voice? What about the keywords that are a crucial component of an ongoing SEO campaign?

  • Grasp their tone.

Okay, work-related emails aren’t exactly the best place to let your personality shine. But copywriting isn’t just about impeccable spelling and grammar or top-notch SEO skills. 

First and foremost, a writer must capture a reader’s attention. They must have the ability to hold it against all of the inevitable distractions that come with daily life. Text notifications, the kettle reaching boiling point, the postman knocking on the door.

You know what’s great for doing the exact opposite of that? Dull, overly formal writing with language blatantly plucked from a thesaurus. A long, droning email, cover letter or CV are clear warning signs of this, but if you find work like this in a writer’s portfolio, that’s even worse.  

How to Identify an Excellent Writing When You Aren’t a Writer

Speaking of portfolios, you’re going to have to get used to reviewing them if you want to find and validate the best copywriters for your company. But if you aren’t a writer yourself, it can be hard to tell which pieces shine. Setting apart the gems gets tricky when you’ve got a stack of lengthy portfolios to work through.

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They write with personality

The best writers are those that write with personality. They can make even the dullest topics vibrant and engaging.

How to spot it:

  • Your eyes aren’t glazing over after three sentences.
  • The headlines capture your attention.
  • You actually read some, if not all, of the body copy.
  • If you read multiple pieces from their portfolio, you can recognise their distinctive style.

They write how they speak

Save for a few formal exceptions, most copywriting these days is conversational – you write how you speak. 

How to spot it:

  • They write in an active voice.
  • They use short, staccato, small attention span-friendly sentences. 
  • They occasionally go against the grammar rule book grain to make their writing read better.
  • It reads like you’re being spoken to, not at.
  • They use contractions, despite the wrath of English teachers everywhere.

They can back up their points with research

It’s easy to lie on the internet, but your company will be painted in a poor light should your blog posts be called out for, at best, a lack of fact checking and at worst, blatant BS. Exceptional copywriters can write convincingly on brand new topics because they’ve taken the time to undertake the research

How to spot it:

  • All facts, stats and assertions are hyperlinked correctly.
  • They use relevant, recent and credible sources.
  • They take the time to fact check.
  • They know the difference between an assertion and an opinion.

Make Sure Their Portfolio Isn’t Plagiarised

It’s an uncomfortable truth and one that we didn’t even really realise until we started recruiting copywriters ourselves. But the fact is, many writers out there have plagiarised portfolios.

So sometimes, rather than relying on your good faith, it’s best to run a writer’s work through duplicate testing software to see where else it’s been cross-posted on the internet (and under whose name.) Quetext is excellent for this and is also free to use.

If you want to be extra sure, you could ask the writer to complete a short, quick test and then run that through the plagiarism checker. Beware though, many freelance copywriters disagree with unpaid tests, which could damage your relationship.

Interview and Intro Chat Questions to Ask

Their portfolio is exceptional and, more importantly, genuine. The correspondence has been quick, clear, and they’re interested in your project with the capacity to take it on – what now?

Whether you intend on a more formal interview or want a quick-fire chat to get to know one another, arranging an introductory call with a writer is crucial for establishing whether they’re the right fit for your company. 

So, what should you actually ask them?

  • How did you get into copywriting?
  • How familiar are you with SEO?
  • What experience do you have?
  • What’s your niche, or do you have any specialist subjects?
  • Do you feel confident in your ability to research new subjects, or styles of copywriting?
  • What’s your lead-in time?
  • What are your rates? 
  • What’s your research process like?
  • What sort of work would you like to do more of?
  • What are your interests?

The conversation you have will vary depending on the communication you’ve already exchanged. For instance, if you know they’re an absolute whiz who’s been writing for digital for twenty years, you won’t have to grill them about their SEO know-how and instead can focus more on making sure your values align. 

If you’re already in each other’s orbit, and you know they perfectly fit the ethos of your company but are earlier on in their copywriting career, make this an opportunity to gauge whether they have the correct experience for the particular campaign you’ve got in mind.

White Label Copywriting

When you’re busy managing a marketing team, finding and maintaining relationships with copywriters can fall low on the list of urgent priorities. If you find yourself frequently smashing those plates, it might be worth outsourcing. Our white label copywriting services lend a helping hand to agencies, pairing our talented copywriters with your campaigns. Click here to find out more.