When hiring a ghostwriter or copywriter for your brand, what’s the #1 thing you look for?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
When someone writes for your brand, he or she must be able to not only imitate your style but also be able to identify the deeper philosophy of your business. This is what Simon Sinek calls your “why.” Without an understanding of the deeper underlying messages you want to communicate, the writing won’t truly represent your brand.
Copywriters or ghostwriters will typically have to work with the owner, editors, marketing personnel and more. If they can’t get along well with others, there’s a good chance they just won’t work out.
When I recently hired a ghostwriter, I found one who asked great questions, was a good listener and was curious. The writer wanted to dive in and learn more. She was also willing to make edits and updates until she got it just right. These traits demonstrated to me that she’d be great.
Too often, copywriting focuses on what the brand wants to say (features, offers, marketing speak), rather than what prompts the audience to respond. Entertaining writing that catches the eye is half the battle in winning hearts and minds.
We always look for someone who can capture the stories around our business — the successes of our customers, the passions of our staff and the origin stories around our philosophies. That requires someone who sees the beauty in what we do and how we matter. That talent can then translate those into memorable, connectable and sharable moments.
It’s crucial to have an emotional connection to a topic when you’re writing great copy. When you bring in a ghostwriter or copywriter, do the legwork to find someone who actually cares about your subject or brand. That persistence will pay off with copy that has depth and meaning, instead of stale facts and bland statements related to your field or audience.
Versatility outweighs anything else because it allows you to fill a bunch of roles with a single new employee, rather than hiring ten specialists. Someone who can only write great press releases, for example, isn’t as valuable as someone who can write solid press releases, ad copy, articles, blog posts and interviews.
No ghostwriter will ever be able to perfectly imitate your style. If she can make sure you bring in plenty of new business off her work, then it doesn’t particularly matter. I look for writing that has done exactly that. It has to be persuasive. The writer also should have a proven track record for me to take her on as an employee.
When hiring a ghostwriter or copywriter, the writing ability and style of the person is important. It is also critical to vet his or her industry expertise. Someone could be a great writer, but if he or she doesn’t understand your industry, the content will be inauthentic. Industry knowledge and fluency should be the first qualities you screen for when seeking an ideal content creator.
copywriter is only as good as the results he can obtain for his clients. If the writer wrote copy for lead generation or sales, how well did it work? If he is writing content for engagement purposes, how did readers respond? Ask for testimonials or statistics verifying that the writer’s copy actually produced substantial positive results for clients.
First, I read a lot of his work to see if I like his style. I see where he’s posted before; these relationships can have great value moving forward. I do test projects with him, starting small and moving to bigger projects. I typically pay a bit more than he’s used to so I’m his top priority. Building a relationship with someone is a lot of work. Paying more so you’re the top priority is not.