5 questions to answer before contracting a copywriter

You’ve already tried writing the website text by yourself. You got tired, frustrated and… out of words before you barely finished two pages.

By now you know you need a professional copywriter to help your business.

But don’t jump directly to finding a creative mind to help you get out of your writing rut. First, consider these five questions and work on their answers. They will help your business in the long run, and you’ll be able to provide your new copywriter with the necessary information before start.

Also, you’ll make sure the work you contract will be a valuable asset and not just a cost, and will help your business directly.

 

1. What are the wishes and problems of your audience?

Your services or products have value only if they respond to your prospects’ problems and frustrations. The same is valid for the website text, blog articles and marketing materials. Find out what your prospects need help with, what’s their biggest pain so your copywriter can understand the needs of your audience and write about them.

For example, if you’re a bike rental business catering to tourists in your city, you need to know what your potential customers need when looking for a bike to rent. Are they concerned about insurance, about what to do if the bike is damaged or stolen? Is payment an issue with a foreign credit card? Is the bike suitable for the activities they may wish to do? Would they prefer you also offer GPS tracking or a map for their visits?

A copywriter needs more than just creative skills to write great pieces of content for you.

They need as much insight as possible into your audience’s preferences and pains, so they can write materials that respond directly to your audience’s questions.

Content-marketing-purchase-funnel
Image via Adido

 

2. Where are your readers in the buying process funnel?

Prospects reach your website while they are at various stages of the buying process. And each of them needs different pieces of information to satisfy their specific question.

For prospects at the beginning of the purchase stage, who are just looking around for potential vendors, you need to capture their attention and provide credibility so they can consider you as one of the few chosen to compare. For prospects who already know what they want and consider a few vendors, you need to provide more specific information about your offering.

A mix of science and the art of persuasion is also needed for those prospects with their hand on the wallet, who want to buy but must still be convinced that you’re actually the right answer for their problem.

If you don’t take the buying stages into consideration and just create content following your creative ideas or your business interests, your content won’t serve much. You won’t have a clear objective for it, and it will probably fail to convince or get engagement.

 

3. Where do you have content gaps to fill?

We’ve established already that you ideally need to plan the website information in such a way to serve the prospects at each stage in their relationship with your business. We all know however that the ideal doesn’t always happen.

What’s more probable is that you have more pieces of content for one stage than for another.

By analyzing the information you already have published, you can identify the gaps. Those topics that need more content, to answer the prospects’ questions. Ideally your copywriter also has digital marketing expertise, so they can do this for you. They can plan content to fill the gaps and serve your prospects at all levels of the purchase journey.

You can also find content gaps by analyzing the types of content you create. Perhaps you have too much inspirational materials published, but not enough practical articles. Not enough about how to use your products correctly, or how to get the most benefits out of your services. Have your copywriter write the materials you need the most.

 

4. What type of content does your audience prefer?

Back to the audience, because all you do must revolve around them. That’s what a user-centric business is.

After analyzing your audience, you should be able to know what type of materials they prefer to consume.

The Red Bull audience evidently prefers videos to long form content like written storytelling. The audience of a travel agent will maybe prefer more inspirational content in the form of pictures with inspiring texts than videos describing a hotel’s features.

Each audience is unique and they prefer to consume the content on the web differently.

Find those unique features of your prospects and develop content that excites them. If you’d rather do videos than blog articles, have a video editor work with your copywriter to develop engaging stories to be made into a video.

 

5. Do you have a style guide defined?

This sounds like corporate talk at first. In a solo-preneur venture or small business, who has the time to sit down and write a style guide?! But that’s an important step before creating content for your website, blog articles and social media messages.

No matter how small your business is, you want to sound unique and genuine, and at the same time to keep consistency throughout your marketing materials. This will make your communication more professional and more persuasive. Your prospects will get the feeling that it all makes sense, that it’s one particular identity. You’ll be remembered easier.

A quick writing style guide, or a tone and voice document should mention the type of language to use and to avoid, the tone of voice, it should describe the customers and how the company communicates to them, and other similar points. Your contracted copywriter will need it, and if you don’t have one, they can even develop one for you.

Typically, as entrepreneur, you’ll write the first drafts of website text or blog posts, just to get your own voice out on the paper and then a copywriter helps you make those texts appropriate for the web, SEO friendly, searchable, and so on.

***

But before sitting down to write and passing your drafts to a copywriter, make sure you have the answers to these 5 questions.

You may be after the creative skills of a copywriter, but you need to pair them with this helpful information about your business.


For more articles like this and other inspirational lessons, sign up to get The Postcard, my biweekly travel & marketing newsletter.

 

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