Innovative Business Writing
Tips for Finding a Freelance Copywriter
Consider Using the Services of a Freelance Copywriter to
Enhance Your Business Communications
Freelance copywriters hire out their writing expertise to numerous clients, rather than
working for a single company or organization. Small and medium-sized companies and
non-profit organizations, who do not have in-house communications or marketing staff,
can often benefit from using a freelance copywriter. He or she can develop sales and
marketing materials—sales letters, brochures, newsletters, and web-based content - as
well as, reports, handbooks, policy manuals, or other written communications.
If you have staff with expertise in marketing and communications, using a freelance
copywriter can still save you a lot of time and frustration. A freelance copywriter can
ease the pressure when your staff is overloaded and facing a deadline. A copywriter can
provide the temporary assistance needed to assure all your business communications
are well written and completed on time.
Unless you have considerable background in business communications or writing and
marketing, it's risky to undertake developing your own sales or marketing materials. A
freelance copywriter can develop cost-effective materials on a project by project basis.
You benefit from the writing expertise of a person knowledgeable in direct mail, web
site, and other marketing approaches, without the expense of adding staff or risk of
trying to do it yourself.
Tips for Finding a Good Writer
No matter the size of a business or its purpose, a professional freelance writer is
the obvious answer to a writing project dilemma. But for many, the process of
finding and hiring a freelancer is something new and even a bit unnerving. If you
find yourself in this position, there are a few things you can do to "get smart"
about freelancing and ensure whomever you hire has a clear picture of your
company, its mission and the goals of your writing project.
Communication is Key
Don't begin your search for a freelance writer without spending the
time to think their project through first. Have a well-defined
outline of your objectives along with a prepared list of questions to
"interview" the writer. This little bit of forethought will make your
job and theirs much easier.
Key Questions for You
1. What is the main purpose of this project (i.e. this brochure,
website, flyer, postcard etc.)?
2. Who is the audience for this piece (i.e. customers, clients,
3. How much time can I allow for completion of this project?
4. What is the budget for this project?
Any freelance writer you hire should have the skills to write engaging
copy that can sell your project, resonate with the right audiences and
present a professional appealing image of your organization. But no writer
will be able to do this unless you can effectively communicate who you
To help the freelancer you hire "get to know you" compile some key
information they can use in getting a feel for your company and the sort
of image you want to project. Be sure to include:
1. Background information about your company (i.e. brochures, web address,
2. Previously written materials on the topic of your project
3. Any testimonials
4. Pricing list for your product or services
5. Contact information
Key Questions for a Writer
Once you have your project goals clearly defined and all related information for the project compiled,
jot down a few pertinent questions to ask the freelance writers you contact.
Be sure the questions you ask are open-ended to allow a writer the chance to explain his or her
thoughts and not just respond yes or no. Ask about things that are of most importance to you like
experience, fees, and scheduling. Don't hesitate to request some samples of their previous writing
projects or how to contact their previous clients for a referral. Find out exactly who will be doing the
writing for your project and always ask for their contact information to follow-up later.
Finding a Copywriter
Post an ad on Craigslist, check local Yellow Pages listings, or surf the web for
"copywriters". Narrow down your options through your interviews and then make
Fees for freelance writing services vary a great deal and for good reason. Experience, difficulty of a job,
size of a project, along with many other factors, all play a part in determining how much a writer will
The important thing to remember is that cheaper isn't always better, its just cheaper. Any written copy
you produce, whether it's in print or online, becomes the face of your company. It may be the only thing
a customer ever sees about you and its quality will affect their impression of you for a long, long time.
If you only need customers to find your phone number or the date of your latest sale the less expensive
option may do the trick. But if you want your website, brochure, or letter to do more, use the freelance
writer with the talent to deliver more and don't feel bad if you have to pay a little extra to get it. That fee
is an investment, not just a cost.
Does the writer have the experience Im want to get the job done?
Has he or she written on a topic similar to mine?
Do his or her writing samples impress me? Are they written in a style and
tone consistent with language and image of my company?