How to hire a copywriter
1. Email or phone to check availability. Give a brief job description, size/s, number of pages, amount of copy etc. Your writer will then be able to get back to you with outline costs and timing, subject to a full brief.
2. Prepare a good brief. The more you put in writing the better. After the job number and detailed job description (eg. press ad, brochure, mailshot etc, along with sizes, pages and number of elements) cover these 11 points:
- The objective of the promotion (is it to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce?)
- The product benefits. What makes it special from a user's point of view? Has it a unique selling point?
- Its key features. How it matches and how it beats the competition. Be specific.
- Is there an incentive or special offer? Say for buying early, for buying two, or for buying again? For a prompt reply, or for introducing a friend?
- The call to action (phone this number/visit this site/send this coupon by... etc.)
- The target audience (demographics, lifestyle, attitudes etc.)
- Brand issues. Corporate identity rules, use of logos, house type/style/colours etc.
- Positioning. How this element stands in relation others. Is there contingent imagery, photography, copy or layout style?
- Who your competitors are, and about the sector (from trade journals or competitor literature).
- How responses will be handled. Important for the wording of coupons etc.
- What must be in (legals, terms and conditions) and what must be avoided.
Julia Deakin is a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.