4 ways to get the best from your copywriter 25 August 2017

Image for copywriting blog by Camilla Zajac

Trust is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? There’s nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from handing over a piece of work and knowing it will done on time and on budget. That warm glow should also apply to working with a copywriter. But what’s the best way to make sure your copywriting project comes out at its best, with both you and your copywriter happy with the end result? Here are four tips to keep in mind for ensuring that your copy is started – and completed – with trust on both sides.

Tip 1. Give your copywriter the full picture

Your copywriter should be keen to get to know you and what you’re about. Think of it as a special mission you’re working on together. OK, there are no top-secret assignations, but there are some important conversations. And there are (usually) no special dossiers, but there is the all-important overview of what you want. This is your time to fully brief your copywriter, about the part they have to play in your communications. The information you give them will form the basis of your copy. So, come as prepared as you can!

Your copywriter should ask you plenty of questions about your aims for your copy. Are you looking to promote a particular message, wanting to create a new tone of voice for your business or hoping to reach out to more distant potential clients? Let your copywriter know exactly what you’re after. Bring along examples, ideas and random thoughts, even if they’re scribbled on the back of an envelope (I always tell my clients that too much information is better than too little). A clear brief is great. But the best bit is getting the copywriting project in context.

Tip 2. Check your copywriter is on the same page as you

Singing from the same hymn sheet, talking the same language – however you say it, it boils down to the same thing. Does your copywriter get it? Are they clear about what you want your copy to achieve? Do they have a full overview of your aims and ambitions for your content? This is all part of the crucial first stage. Are you hearing the kinds of questions you would expect to hear? Is your copywriter mirroring your thoughts back to you, but also asking revealing little questions that get you thinking about your copy in a new way? This is all good. You need to feel like you and your copywriter are on the same side.

Tip 3. Keep the boundaries clear with your copywriter

According to the experts, a healthy relationship needs clear boundaries. Your interaction with your copywriter is no different! This could be the basis of a great future of working together. Right from the start, you and your copywriter should establish clear boundaries around expectations for the project. This is vital for issues such as timescales and costs. Check that your copywriter has given you a clear schedule for the arrival of your copy. Get this conversation going as early as possible to keep your project on track. However, this is the real world and priorities don’t always stay the same. If there are any sudden changes to what you want from your copy – or when you need it – let your copywriter know as soon as possible.

Tip 4. Keep communicating with your copywriter

So you now have a satisfactory, well rounded relationship with your copywriter! Great! But don’t lose out on all that useful knowledge once the project is over. Your copywriter has spent time really getting to know you and your business. They’ve developed a keen sense of your priorities for your communications. Make the most of them! Keep in touch with your copywriter. After all, they have both an inside and an outside perspective on what makes you and your business tick.

The four questions to keep in mind

For more joy with every copywriting project, just ask yourself these questions:

• Does your copywriter have the full picture of you and your aims?
• Is your copywriter really speaking the same language as you?
• Are the boundaries clear between you and your copywriter?
• Are you making the most of your copywriter’s insight into your business?

Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, August 2017

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