Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Re: Copywriting: How does freelancer really get the understanding needed to write on *this* topic we

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 27

This sounds like a lot of extra work to do (perhaps enough to defeat the purpose in hiring an outside writer) versus just hiring a writer with industry experience. Unless you're in such a tiny niche that virtually no one else does what you do, there are writers out there with a foundational understanding of your industry that you can easily build on with specifics.

 

The issue you're describing is common in my industry, and I am very often hired to rewrite content that was created by someone without that knowledge--usually because the client tried to save money on the first round and found out that you can't sound like an expert by having a non-expert create your content.

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
12 of 27

Tiffany S wrote:

This sounds like a lot of extra work to do (perhaps enough to defeat the purpose in hiring an outside writer) versus just hiring a writer with industry experience. Unless you're in such a tiny niche that virtually no one else does what you do, there are writers out there with a foundational understanding of your industry that you can easily build on with specifics.

 

The issue you're describing is common in my industry, and I am very often hired to rewrite content that was created by someone without that knowledge--usually because the client tried to save money on the first round and found out that you can't sound like an expert by having a non-expert create your content.


While you may have skills from both ends (i.e. writing and industry experience {all lawyers must write lots as part of their career, mustn't they}) a lot of hiring managers in a variety of niches have had to grapple with the fact that often, the ones with industry experience don't have writing skills, or are just not interested in writing, and the ones who know how to write may not know the industry as much as the ones in the industry. 

Whatever the case, I think the OP needs to try harder. His writer is out there. Whether his niche be neurosurgery or rocket science.

He should just make sure he doesn't hire a writter (one who doesn't know how to spell his job title), but rather, a writer.

Active Member
j p Member Since: Jun 21, 2019
13 of 27

I really appreciate your suggestion, so I went to go check, and so searched to find a freelancer.  I put in a key term in our industry and "copywriter".  Suprise, 6 freelancers showed up.  The problem is none of their writing is really engaging.

 

So I think it is as last noted: Some people might be familiar with the industry but don't write well -- the copy they write I don't think would engage and create conversions.

 

So now back to my original question: If a copywriter wants the job, can I expect that part of the job I would expect them to do is to ask the me questions and do the research to get themselves up to speed to be able to write really well?

Active Member
j p Member Since: Jun 21, 2019
18 of 27

Yes, you are right that at some point one has to "take the plunge" and enter a contract.  And sorry I was not clear -- I am coming here after I did that and things did not go as I think they should have.  The reason I came here is to find out what are proper expectations, and what is right. 

 

After I give the freelancer all the information I can think of (which might be incomplete for their needs), what should I expect?  Should I expect that a professional copywriter will be able to ask me questions (that I am able to answer) to get all the information they need to really get a result of:
Copy that will engage the viewer, sound like we know what we are talking about (build trust), have empathy with the viewer; and if our product is a good fit, that the percentage of viewer conversions into a sales inquiry should be high?  (nothing is perfect, just looking to get things to the next level).

 

As to the statement that one will know if one has a professional freelancer by the price they charge per hour, my experience is that is half true and half not.  It is true that a professional values their time, it is also sadly true that some people charge a lot of money but don't get results.   And some people are professional, but just not the right fit for the kind of work we need (there are lots of different area of writing out there -- a writer that is good at writing enticing copy for people to go on a certain vacation might not write well for people that want to buy a car).

 

And my comments about hours I realize might have upset some people.  If so, sorry.  In fact I am willing to pay someone far more than $100/hr because I do not care if they get the high quality result in only 30 minutes of time.  Get the high quality result in 33 minutes and I will pay you $300/hr as far as I am concerned.  Or someone else can get the job done in 1 hour and I pay them $100/hr, or someone else takes 5 hours and that is worth 1/5th, just an example.

 

The $$ amount I offered got several professional's official proposals, so that seems to indicate I was in the right range.  (I think if the job was too little $$, professsionals would not give me a proposal -- or they would reply with a higher number that works for them).

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
18 of 27

j p wrote:

 

After I give the freelancer all the information I can think of (which might be incomplete for their needs), what should I expect?  Should I expect that a professional copywriter will be able to ask me questions (that I am able to answer) to get all the information they need.


Yes. I believe that any truly professional freelancer would not even think of accepting a project without getting a clear brief from the client first; otherwise how would they know if they're the right person for the job? It's always great if a client provides a detailed brief and full instructions without being prompted, but if they don't, then it's the freelancer's responsibility to ask the right questions and obtain clarifications. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
18 of 27

Christine A wrote:

j p wrote:

 

After I give the freelancer all the information I can think of (which might be incomplete for their needs), what should I expect?  Should I expect that a professional copywriter will be able to ask me questions (that I am able to answer) to get all the information they need.


Yes. I believe that any truly professional freelancer would not even think of accepting a project without getting a clear brief from the client first; otherwise how would they know if they're the right person for the job? It's always great if a client provides a detailed brief and full instructions without being prompted, but if they don't, then it's the freelancer's responsibility to ask the right questions and obtain clarifications. 


I'm not sure whether to be insulted or just point out that every writer is different, but I'm happily and successfully 30 years in and I can count on my fingers the number of "briefs" I've gotten in advance of projects. In fact, a great many of my clients hire me precisely because I know what's needed and they don't have to make the investment in figuring it out.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
18 of 27

After I give the freelancer all the information I can think of (which might be incomplete for their needs), what should I expect?  Should I expect that a professional copywriter will be able to ask me questions (that I am able to answer) to get all the information they need to really get a result of

 

The short answer is yes. Do you clearly know/understand the target reader? Some clients do not (or think they do, but they actually don't) which requires me to do a deeper needs assessment dive. 

Highlighted
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
18 of 27

And then the next step is how to constructively respond when they submit a first-draft and it understandably is far from the mark in my estimation

 

We can't see what you're communicating with your freelancer, but IME some clients just give a topic and let you run with it and whatever way you go they are happy with. Others have very specific requirements and want you to cover them. I can go either way, but if a client wants something specific they need to communicate with me.

 

There is the chance you're not hiring someone with industry specific experience, and in that case it will always be lame. You need someone with experience to speak authoritatively or you'll just get some generalist garbage rewritten from Wikipedia.

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
19 of 27

JP, as Kat mentioned, knowing your target audience is possibly more important than anything.  Unles subject matter and intended audience are highly technical, medical, scientific, or legal, most websites speak to (sell to) users less well versed in the end product than the company selling it.

 

Examples:

1. what excites a chef about an extraordinary piece of fish is not what excites the person paying for and eating the same piece of fish.

2. a widget that the developer, R&D dept., owner, and producer think is brilliant only sells to the buying public if it solves their problems.  In simple, direct, non-salesy, and non-flowery language.

 

Community Guru
Ruth B Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
20 of 27

JP, 

I the advice given here is all great stuff. Yes, a professional should be able to "know what they don't know" and then ask you about it. It may work out better if you look for people who have the potential to create the sort of copy you need. 

 

For example, if you specialized in blockchain, you might look for a broader tech writer. Their samples should indicate that they have the capacity to understand blockchain well, when compared to someone without any tech industry/writing experience. 

 

If you feel like you really have something specialized, then an interview once the research is done is what I normally request as a writer. Especially in fields where different processes and perspectives are differentiating factors among competitors. 

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS