Updated: Apr 19
When you decide to work with a copywriter for the first time, you’ll both have a lot of questions. You’re two different people, with two different views, and you (most likely) have never worked together before. Along with worrying about whether a copywriter is a good fit for you, maybe you’re concerned about being the right fit for the copywriter.
(PS: read this article to know how to hire a copywriter)
If you want to know how to become THE BEST client ever, this article is for you!
So, without further adieu...
Let’s do this!
Number 1: Be Prepared
The most valuable thing you can do for your freelancer is to be prepared. You don’t have to have EVERYTHING in order, but give your freelancer some guidance on the direction you want to go. Providing a detailed creative brief is a great way to do this (click here to learn how to write a good creative brief.) If you don't have a creative brief template, start by including information about:
Similar projects you’ve done before
What you want to achieve with this project (KPIs, milestones, deadlines)
Who your audience is (provide as much detail as you can about them)
Insight into who you are as a brand
Words, visuals, and brands you don't like
Number 2: Give Actionable Feedback To Your Copywriter
Feedback is part of the process. It’s perfectly okay if you notice things in their copy that don’t click with you. Don’t be afraid to say it, but be clear on what you don’t like and why.
If you notice something in the copy that doesn’t work for you, let your copywriter know ASAP so they can either walk you through why they made that decision, or know exactly how to make revisions. Don’t worry,
I know giving feedback can be really awkward, but I’ll give you some tips to make it easier.
How To Give Specific & Actionable Feedback To A Freelancer
Make your feedback as actionable as possible. Your input and expertise are vital, and no one knows your brand like you do. However, you have to be clear and specific not just about what you don't like, but why you don't like.
Saying things like:
“Um, I don’t really like this”
“Can this be changed?”
—will cause problems because it doesn't tell your copywriter what is actually wrong. Being vague can lead to lots of stress for you and your freelancer as they try to McGuiver solutions with a blindfold.
(Maybe McGuiver is good at doing things blindfolded, but most copywriters aren't.)
Be very specific regarding WHY you don’t like what you don’t like.
Instead of saying:
“Can we rework this?”
“This doesn’t quite sound like me, it’s a bit too [insert tone/wordage issue], can we make it sound more like [insert your tone/wordage]”
Or whatever relevant variation of that feedback is applicable.
Your copywriter needs to know what and why something doesn’t click with you. If they don’t know what you don’t like about it, it’s like throwing jello at the wall until something sticks.
It also gives your copywriter the opportunity to explain why they made the decisions they did, which may change your perspective on the matter entirely!
Feedback is communication, and communication is most effective when it's clear and honest.
A professional copywriter won’t be offended by feedback or change requests. It’s part of the process. Creative projects are a collaboration between you and your freelancer. We may be an expert at copywriting, but you are the expert on your brand.
Number 3: Treat Them As Fellow Business Owners
This encompasses pretty much everything we’ve just discussed, but it bears repeating. Your copywriter is a living, breathing human who is running a business just like you are.
They're not employees.
Respect their services by:
Completing a timely and detailed creative brief
Providing timely feedback
Understanding and respecting their hours of operation
Respect their humanity by:
Providing clear and actionable feedback
Remembering they’re humans with lives beyond their job
Keeping criticism constructive and respectful
Number 4: Be Open To Your Copywriter's Feedback
This kinda comes back to the control thing. Remember that your copywriter is (should be) an expert in what they do. Every word they write has a purpose. If you’re brainstorming, and they offer some feedback that might be opposed to your initial concept, be open and hear them out. We're here to help, and everything we do is aimed at supporting you in reaching your goals.
Final decisions are always up to you, just know your copywriter always has your best interests at heart—and wants you to succeed.
Number 5: Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Whether it be sending resources needed for the project, feedback, or even deciding if you want to work together in the first place… respect your copywriter’s time and try to get back to them in a reasonable timeframe.
Even if you can’t give detailed feedback right away, don’t just ghost them for weeks at a time. It’s very frustrating and greatly inhibits progress.
Number 6: Pay Your Copywriter With Social Proof
Aside from paying their invoices on time (which isn’t included in this list because that should be obvious), one of the best things you can give your copywriter is a testimonial.
Social proof is valuable for ANY business, but for creative freelancers it’s indispensable. If you’re happy with your copywriter (and REALLY wanna put a smile on their face) send them a nice testimonial before they ask (sometimes we're shy about it lol.) I PROMISE it will make their day.
What makes a good testimonial?
It’s actually really easy. Just write about WHY you liked working with your copywriter—and specify one or more specific aspects of their service or skill that stood out to you. Those details are powerful.
It Goes Back To The Age Old Saying...
Treat those how you want to be treated. If you want people to respect your business, boundaries, and expertise, respect theirs. Your copywriter thrives on doing their best work. They have skills and insight that will benefit your business… and they rely on your expertise, as much as you rely on theirs.
As you can see, it isn’t that hard to be a dream client, and all of these tips can be applied to any creative professional you work with.
Similarly, treat yourself with the same respect. Honor your voice, your boundaries, and your expertise. No one has the right to make you feel ignored or devalued, either.
You got this!
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