Selecting the Right Freelance Copywriter
Before I start giving advice about selecting and using professional freelance direct response copywriters, it might be helpful for you to know that I haven't always been a freelancer (a.k.a. free agent, outside resource, independent contractor, etc.).
I started as an in-house catalog writer (who freelanced and hired freelancers), moved on to being a direct response ad agency copywriter (who freelanced), and now, finally, I am a full-time freelancer. Here's what I've learned in the process that can help you get the most from using freelance professionals.
When and why should you use a freelancer?
The reasons for using an outside writer vary. You may not have a direct response copywriter on staff. Or it could be that your in-house creative staff is overbooked. Companies with staff writers often use freelancers to provide a fresh approach to test against existing controls or in-house work. Use a freelancer whenever you believe that the individual you select has the potential to write copy that can dramatically increase your sales.
How do you select a freelance direct response copywriter?
• Ask for referrals from business associates, clients and other people whose opinion you trust. You can also run ads or consult directories, but it may take you longer to find the right person.
• Hire a direct response professional, not just someone who says he or she can write direct copy. A professional is an individual who is experienced at writing direct response copy full time, not between annual reports and image ads.
• Ask to see a writer's sample portfolio. Look for experience in your field (insurance, gourmet food, publishing, etc.) and in your type of writing (solo mailings, e-mail, direct response ads, etc.). In most cases, experience in the type of writing may be more important than experience in the field.