Why You Should Outsource Copywriting – And How to Decide Who to Hire.
If you have an in-house creative team, copywriters are probably part of it. Many times, this setup is ideal. After all, they’re immersed in your business all day, every day. They know the terminology. They’re right down the hall to yell at if you don’t like something, or praise if you do.
Having said that, outsourcing your copywriting can be incredibly beneficial – oddly enough, for some of the very same reasons.
Benefits of Outsourcing Copywriting
A Fresh Perspective
The same perk that works for the in-house copywriters can also work against them. They’re immersed in your business – all. the. time. If the message you’re sending needs freshening up, a new angle might be just what the content marketing doctor ordered. It’s hard to get that type of freshness when you’re too close to a project, though, so take a proverbial step back. Someone who can objectively look at your business can also offer a fresh twist on your business’s objective – and help reach new audiences. All, of course, without deviating from your overall brand message.
Let’s pretend for a minute you don’t have a creative team in-house. Let’s also pretend your sales manager is writing your ad headlines. On the surface it might seem like you’re saving money by using the resources you already have. But think about it this way: you’re actually missing business opportunities by not having an expert talk to your audience. Not an expert in your business, per say, but an expert at putting the words in the right order to make your target audience perk up their ears and listen. A professional copywriter is going to make sure all the elements of well-written content is there, including a call to action.
What an outsourced copywriter doesn’t know about your business, they’ll find out. Research is their best friend. They’re not afraid to call you up and ask questions, where as the in-house staff might assume they either already know the answers, or should. The latter can be dangerous, as assumptions usually are…
If you hired a design studio or agency to build your website, they already have a head start on reaching your target audience. They probably have a copywriter who could match the goals of the website in other areas as well. Plus, they technically work for lots of different industries, which gives them that awesome outsider’s perspective, not to mention alternative approaches the in-house staff might not have had visibility to.
When you outsource your copywriting needs, you have the option to match different copywriters with different projects – and budgets. Have a quick turnaround job you need yesterday? An outsourced writer could possibly knock it out overnight while the in-house team is off the clock.
Plus, an in-house team is only one or two people, and probably not fit to write… well, everything. There are exceptions as more and more people figure out how to wear many hats, but you do have the flexibility to hire a specialty copywriter for your specific project. Blogging and social media is different from print and web copy, which is also different from writing support documentation. Check with your design studio; chances are they have resources for most (if not all) of these.
As a design studio, we do copywriting for a lot of our clients. At our hourly rate, most of the time it’s cheaper to use us than it is to pay someone internally. It’s true! But we also think the following is true – you get what you pay for when you outsource. Additionally, when you outsource, you’re only paying for what you need. If you only need a newsletter once every other month, it doesn’t make sense to pay someone for all that time in between. Outsourcing allows you to be flexible and pay on a per-project basis.
Who Should You Hire?
The best part about outsourcing your copywriting is that you have options. There are freelance writers out there, there are studio and agency writers out there (wink, wink!) and there are entire buildings full of people who do nothing but churn out content for 8 hours a day. (That last one should have raised a red flag for you, by the way.)
The trick is finding someone with the perfect combination of these qualities:
- You trust them.
- They’re reliable.
- You’ve seen/read their work.
- Someone can vouch for them.
- They like what they do. It’s a must!
- They’re willing to work through possible revisions. (This one’s a biggie. When you’re searching, ask this question up front so you know what to expect later. Some copywriters submit their work and either expect you to revise as you see fit, or will fight you every step of the way because they think their work is king. You want a happy medium – someone who is open to hearing your thoughts, and making adjustments accordingly.)
To find out the answers to all of these, try out a smaller test project, and work your way up to the big stuff. Keep the lines of communication open. It might take you a while to find the perfect fit, but once you do, you’ll want to keep this valuable resource in your back pocket. So ask around. See a headline you like, or website content that is actually fun to read? Ask them who they used. They’ll probably be more than happy to give you a recommendation.