This might sound odd considering Harrisonamy provides copywriting services for businesses… but paying for professional copywriting isn’t the best use of money for every business. In fact…
Most small businesses are better starting out writing their own copy.
Not just because it helps you practice a skill that you can use to attract clients through many aspects of your business, but because in the early days you may still be experimenting with your voice and your messaging.
If you are in the real early stages of figuring out who you want to attract and what you want to do for them, I wouldn’t recommend hiring a copywriter to write for you.
If you don’t know what your goals are and who you’re trying to reach you’re going to waste a lot of money paying a copywriter to help you figure it out, rather than spending time writing a clear compelling sales message.
So, how do you know if you should be hitting the typewriter yourself or hiring a copywriter?
I put together these questions to help…
Do You Have More Time than Money?
This is usually a simple question to answer.
Some businesses take comfort in hiring professional services straight out the gate even if they have no work coming in, because it feels like they’re taking a positive step.
At times, it’s worth investing in services this way, however, if you’re already watching your budget and you have a few hours a week to spare, it’s better you flex your own copywriting muscle.
At the very least it will get you used to copywriting terms, and what to look for so that when you do hire a copywriter, you can make a more informed decisions about what a copywriter can do for your business.
Quick Maths Quiz: What is Your Time Worth Per Hour?
This is a variation on the previous question because it might be that you could find the time to learn and practice copywriting, but your time is worth more to you and your business if it’s spent elsewhere.
Let’s say you’re hourly rate in your business works out to around $250 an hour (and you’ve got clients wanting to hire you).
You want to write a short email marketing campaign to your newsletter list to generate leads for clients who pay the above rate.
Copywriting isn’t your specialty (nor something you would do for fun) so it takes 3 hours a day during your working week, and 4-5 hours on Sunday to put together 5 short emails, a long copy sales page and an information pack for prospective clients.
That’s a minimum of 20 hours (probably with a healthy does of procrastination because you’d rather be doing anything other than writing copy).
20 hours @$250 an hour = $5,000 you could have made elsewhere in the business
Now let’s say that you find a copywriter who specialises in your industry and in email marketing campaigns who can take on the project and turn it around in a week for $2,500.
You can spend more time on the strategy and fulfillment of clients and client follow up, have a finished product sooner and still be saving money.
And if you wanted to feel even better about the investment, let’s say your average client spend is $500. You need just 5 prospects converted to clients for the job to have given you a return.
Will You Profit From Hiring a Copywriter?
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding copywriting and copywriters is the fees charged. Boy do they vary wildly!
You can be paying $5 for 500 words on a freelance for hire website, or you can be paying $100,000 for one direct mail package.
So how do you know whether the copywriter you hire is offering you value?
A lot depends on what stage you are in your business. Some people think paying alot of money for a copywriter, automatically make millions in sales. That isn’t the case. Dan Kennedy routinely charges upwards of six figures to write a sales page, however if you’re selling a $5 eBook, hiring Dan Kennedy doesn’t mean you’ll make millions by him writing that page alone. (See the next section for more info on that)
So how do you know if you’re likely to profit?
Well, let’s say you’re in the early stages of your business and you’re doing your first ever product launch. It’s for a small product priced at $27.
You have a list of 500 people and get 50 visitors a day to your blog. You’re hoping to sell about 30 units in the first week, and then 2-3 units a week after that.
You know a well written sales page is worth having to increase the number of sales and you’re not confident about writing copy so should you hire a professional to write it?
In this case, it’s probably worth buying a book on writing copy and having a go yourself.
Your initial sales are expected to be $810, with around $54-$81 being generated each week thereafter. With good copywriters charging hundreds or thousands for sales pages, your money would be better spent on an affordable course and writing the copy yourself.
However don’t rule out the possibility of finding a keen copywriter just starting out who would do this for a lower amount, or in return for a testimonial. That could be another way to go.
On the other hand, let’s say:
- Yyou have an audience of 20,000
- You attract 2,000 visitors a day
- This is your 3rd launch of product
- Pprice point is $495.
- Copywriting isn’t a strong skill set and you also want to add some content marketing elements into the mix to improve conversions.
In this situation where your marketing has the platform to generate $1000s in product sales, spending money on a copywriter to help you strategise your content and write the copy to appeal to your audience is going to be a wise investment.
Is Hiring a Copywriter Your Entire Marketing Strategy?
Good copywriting is a critical asset to your marketing, however, to get the best out of a copywriter, you need an idea about what marketing you will be doing to drive traffic to the pieces you want them to write.
A sales page on its own is not enough to make money in your business. A good copywriter will want to know how you plan to attract traffic, or if you need help generating traffic, and where traffic is coming from so that any new marketing materials will be consistent with the message you’re already sending to prospective clients.
If you’re hiring a copywriter purely to write one piece rather than advise and help on a content marketing strategy, you need to have an idea of how to generate leads and prospects to the piece of copy so the writing can be tailored to optimise conversions.
Do You Know Who You Want to Reach and Where to Find them?
Do you remember the first rule of copywriting (and it’s not that you don’t talk about copywriting)?
It’s that the focus is all on the reader.
If you’re not exactly sure who it is you want to reach and where you can find them, it’s going to be difficult for a copywriter to write a message that attracts your ideal client.
It’s like trying to hit the bullseye with a blindfold on.
If you have had a number of clients in the past and you know that you want more like them, but aren’t sure exactly how to categorise their common traits, a good copywriter can help you pin this down by analysing your current customer base.
If you don’t have current customers and you’re not exactly sure who you want to appeal to, spend more time researching your target market before you hire a copywriter.
Do You Have a Clear Idea of Your Product or Service?
Again, if you’re very early on in your business, you may still be toying with ideas about how your business model will work and if you’ll be selling a product, or offering coaching, and if you’re offering coaching are you doing it 1:1, or in a group, over a day or running workshops.
Your copywriter needs to understand in detail what it is that you offer.
The only way to dig out rich benefits is to get under the hood and find out every little detail about the product.
If you’re not sure what you want to offer, spend more time testing out offers on your audience before hiring a copywriter to make your marketing gleam.
If, after answering those questions you decide you’re not quite ready to hire a copywriter, but you still don’t fancy hitting the books for months and doing some serious study don’t worry.
Have a look through the rest of this Fast Track Guide to Copywriting or sign up below for more copywriting tips.