Best practices for hiring a copywriter for your small business

Written by Meghan Downs

Have you been thinking about hiring a copywriter for your business? Maybe you need to articulate what you do better, or you’re running out of time and your marketing is suffering for it. 

If you feel unsure how to start this process, here are some top tips and best practices for hiring a copywriter to get the results you desire.

Best practices for hiring a copywriter for your small business

What do you need for a successful copywriting project?

Before you work with a copywriter, you should be able to – 

1️⃣  Know what you are trying to achieve

2️⃣  Tell me as much detail as possible about your audience, product, and current marketing

3️⃣  Be prepared to answer lots of questions about your business in a strategy call

4️⃣  Be available during the writing process for any extra questions 

5️⃣  Review & pay on time

6️⃣  Test and assess results – have they helped you achieve your goal?

7️⃣  Repeat – copywriting should be fluid and reviewed regularly


More details on these steps are outlined below. 

Looking for inspiration to write better copy?

Download the FREE guide here – 5 easy ways to add personality to your website.

Know what you are trying to achieve with your copy  

Is it more sales of a specific online course? Is it to grow your email list? Having a clear goal defined will make sure the copy is targeted and your results will be better. Try to not have too many goals at once and focus on the MOST important thing first.

For website copy projects, you should have an overarching goal and also individual goals for each page. 

Be prepared to answer lots of questions in a discovery call

Tell me as much detail as possible about your audience, product, and current marketing strategy.

And I mean lots of detail. Sharing stories about how customers come to you, what they needed help with, and how that resulted will give me more context. 

I’ll ask about your current marketing strategy to see how hiring a copywriter can be beneficial to you and your goals. I have a full list of new client copywriting questions that I’ll ask you in my strategy meetings – where we get down to the nitty-gritty. Some questions may seem trivial, but often the simplest questions are the ones that we can overlook in our own business. I’ll book this in to gather as much as I can from your answers before I do my supporting research.

There’s no such thing as sharing too much about your business with me! I can choose what to include and make sure anything I do is in line with your current business model.

Be available during the copywriting process 

Whether that is for a quick phone call or an email to confirm a detail, it is great when I can get quick responses during the writing process to keep things to the deadline.

Review & pay on time

The first draft will be sent within the agreed timescale, and if you can reply to that as soon as you receive it then any amendments can be done on time.

Freelancers always appreciate quick work reviews and payments. I bet you can’t find anyone happy to get an invoice paid late… Please remember we freelancers are small businesses, too!

Test and assess results – have they helped you achieve your goal?

Sometimes this is where people fall down. If you don’t test results, how do you know if it’s worked? Having a measurable way to track results and make small changes will help you optimise the process to reach your goals.

If you aim to get more website leads, have you got a system to track this?

When working with new websites and emails, there are often ways to A/B test two versions at once to make this process faster. 

Repeat – copywriting should be reviewed regularly

Remember that your copy should be reviewed. Messages that were once relevant to your audience may no longer be – when was the last time you updated your website (honestly)? 

How often it should be reviewed will depend on your industry and clients. In any business, it’s good practice to review your copy regularly and make sure you keep your tone of voice and messaging consistent.

It’s common for companies to change their services and adapt over time (take COVID-19 as a perfect example of businesses having to pivot), but they fail to update their core messaging and it can throw customers off.

Are you ready to hire a copywriter?

You have to work with the copywriter for good results to happen – it’s not a one-way street! Although freelance copywriters (like me) are great, we can’t wave a magic wand. 

Working with a copywriter is an excellent way to help grow your small business. Without good direction, goals, and objectives though, it’s incredibly hard to write persuasive copy.

You know the phrase “You can’t polish a turd?”… well, it’s true. Great copy will fall down if the product/service is not good or the customers you target are not right. Copy is only one aspect of your marketing model. Make sure your core values and goals are set before you speak to a copywriter. If this isn’t the case, it may be worth talking to a marketing strategist first. I know a great one, so get in touch if you think you’re after a recommendation.

Picking the right copywriter for your small business 

Different copywriters offer different skill sets and service packages. Depending on which area of copy and content you need support in will depend on which copywriter is best for your business. Some copywriters offer conversion copywriting, which is highly sales-focused.

Others offer brand story copywriting. Some work in specific sectors, like Saas (service as a subscription), finance, tech, recruitment, etc. Other copywriters are more generalists who write for any clients in any industry. Generally, specialists are very good in their area but may not offer a full copy service if you need additional supporting content, for example. In short, all copywriters are different and the best way to find out is to start a conversation. 

Personally, I offer a mix of persuasive copy and content that puts the customer at the forefront but is not the ‘hard sell’ type copy that conversion copywriters focus on. The industries I work in tend to vary but often have a creative, design, or well-being service focus. When I work with my clients, I make sure our values and objectives align. Personality matches are important to me, so I prioritise this over everything else. If I can be invested in helping their business to grow and I like them as a client, that’s my idea of perfection.

If you have read this guide for hiring a copywriter and feel prepared, get in touch for a free discovery call to see how I can help to reach your goals. 

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