Thoughts From The Cloud: 7 Ways to Get More Out of Your Copywriting Relationship
Here In The Cloud, we work with a lot of different clients who each have very different needs. One small business might want to look over the first few blogs, but have us basically run the show so they can get on with whatever it is they do. Another is very concerned about quality and precise wording, so they review everything before it goes up on their site or social account. Everybody’s different in the level of care they require, this is my point.
What isn’t different, though, is the urge to get the most you can out of your relationship with your copywriters. I came up with a list to help you do just that!
1. Understand What a Copywriter Does
Although this might seem like a given, there are a lot of people who don’t really understand what a copywriter does. We don’t do your web design. We aren’t necessarily all that great at SEO-related stuff (though In The Cloud has an SEO expert on hand).
What we do is write your words. So, for example, let’s say you’re redoing your website from top to bottom. You would want a web designer to do the design (or find a cool template and DIY it!) and a copywriter to create the perfect content to get your message across.
Your copywriter will ask you lots of questions about how you want the content to come across to your audience, as well as who that audience is. Then they’ll go back to their cave and bang out the words.
2. Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Changes
When a copywriter delivers your content, that’s not the end of things. It seems that a lot of people are afraid to point to things in the copy that they’re just not super happy about and instead either try to do their own editing (which can lead to bigger problems, really) or wander off and try a different copywriter.
Save your money, save your sanity, ask your copywriter for changes.
Maybe you’re not in love with a particular phrase (“one stop shop” is one that a client of ours hates with a burning passion) or you feel like something is getting lost in translation. Bring these things up. Most copywriters build a number of editorial rounds into their price. At In The Cloud, we’ll give you up to three rounds so we’re sure you’re thrilled with everything we create.
3. Don’t Nitpick Because You Think You Have To
Asking for changes that you feel need to be made is one thing, looking for anything to change is another. Some clients go into editorial rounds assuming that they MUST ask for changes to their copy. This is not the case, ever. We try to thoroughly profile your company and assess your needs so you don’t have to do a lot of editing. We want you to be happy from the start, not bogged down because you feel like you have to find something wrong or else you’re failing.
In short, definitely point out things you want changed. But don’t hurt yourself looking for missing commas or other fine details that won’t affect your intent or tone.
4. Provide Examples for Content Creation
It’s a really common thing for clients to come to us asking for content that looks like another site. That’s fine and dandy, we can totally do it, but we’ll need some examples to start with. Show us pieces you love, as well as those that you hate. Both are really helpful for gauging just how to approach your website, blog or other writing project.
5. Have Realistic Expectations
Using any sort of content as a marketing tool is a slow game. It can take anywhere from six months to a year for a blog to really start gaining traffic organically, which means you’re going to be paying a copywriter for a year before you see significant results. This is not their fault. It’s just that the Internet is pretty big and you need to establish yourself before Google will pay you a visit.
Trust me, they’re doing everything they can. It just takes time.
Realistic expectations also extend to working timelines and pay requirements. If you want something done tomorrow, you will pay a lot extra because someone has to move everything out of the way to figure your ask out. Really, you should give your writers at least two weeks (more is better) to fit new work into their schedules.
6. Pay the Writer
You will absolutely pay more for an American writer than you would for one from Bangalore, but — and this is about managing expectations again — you’re going to find that the American writer engages site visitors more readily because they metaphorically speak the same language. International English is a thing, it’s readily understood between English-speaking populations, but it can never have that magnetic quality and ease that a native American English writer generates.
It’s those little things, like idioms, pop culture references, contractions and common uses of words that aren’t actually by the book, that give your site life and dimension. When someone living in a different country and enveloped in a different culture tries to connect to an audience in the same way, it is incredibly transparent and can even go so far as to feel disingenuous (which is a major turn-off for site visitors).
7. Remember That Copy is an Ongoing Team Effort
You’ve got your copywriting dream team and you’re starting to see your Google ranking move up, LinkedIn is sending you lots of site visitors and things are going well. Don’t drop the ball now! Your writers will still look to you for guidance to maintain your vision, they’ll need you to approve topics and possibly even complete content review so that they know they’re on the right page.
Copywriting is a team sport, back and forths help build stronger material in the long run. GO TEAM!
A Good Copywriting Relationship is Everything
There’s no single company that can thrive without a copywriter of some variety. In-house, freelance, boutique firm (like us!) — it’s all about puting the right words in the right place at the right time. Pro writers have spent decades studying the craft and can create the language for anything you might need, from memos to product descriptions, press releases and websites.
Get started today with the best copywriting experience of your life by implementing these simple tips. As a copywriter myself, I can assure you that yours wants these things as much as we do at In The Cloud.