Hiring a B2B Copywriter? Here's What to Look For.
Hiring a B2B copywriter can be nerve-wracking. You’re putting your trust into someone to understand your product or service, and create copy that compels your audience to act.
No matter how good their samples look, you won’t know what their work is really like until you have a draft in hand. So what should you look for when you’re ready to hire someone?
Common traits like empathy and accuracy are critical. This blog from Radix Communications really nails it. But I’d like to add a few more characteristics you should look for too.
A sense of responsibility
No ad, blog, direct mail piece, etc. can go live without copy. The copy is what makes the viewer click that link, open that letter, or complete that form. It’s a great power, and therefore, a great responsibility.
The audience has choices, and the right copy weighs heavily on whether that decision is in your favor. A good B2B copywriter will take this responsibility seriously. They’ll write each headline, paragraph, and call-to-action with the goal in mind and use tried-and-true techniques to make it achievable.
Writers love to absorb information. In fact, we should absorb much more than we produce. This is especially important for B2B copywriters, who can’t always imagine themselves as the buyer, as B2C writers may be able to.
Good writers like to listen to customers, product owners, sales, account management, and anyone who can enlighten them on the subject they’re writing about. That’s what kicks our empathy into high gear.
Look for a writer who also hears what’s under the surface. We listen for the words or phrases you repeat. We ask where unique phrases come from. We want to know why. Basically, we have the curiosity level of three-year-olds. (But we won’t get peanut butter on your purse. Promise!)
Writers are particular people. We’re sticklers for good grammar and proper word usage, but we also know when to break the rules.
Punchy headlines and memorable phrases come from a willingness to go rogue – at least a little. Rebelliousness doesn’t have to equal recklessness. Purposely coloring outside the lines adds the personal touch that can often be lost in B2B communication.
Writers who aren’t afraid to end sentences with prepositions and come up with clever puns will help your content stand out.
Finding a solid writer
Here’s the thing about copywriting. It has a low barrier to entry. Some people get into it because it seems like an easy “work from home” job. Others are passionate about poetry and novel-writing, and only get into copywriting to pay the bills. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they truly respect the art and science of writing effective copy.