It pays to know the right questions to ask when hiring a freelance IT copywriter. After all, you’re making an investment on behalf of your company.
The right choice will earn you a bigger ROI while the wrong one could have the opposite effect.
In my last post, I discussed what to look for when hiring an IT copywriter.
Namely, I suggested that you should look for:
- A strong understanding of copywriting
- An ability to understand technology
- The ability to do the job right
Below are a few questions that should help you rate and rank candidates based on these characteristics.
Naturally, you’ll want to add others that are more specific to your project and your business.
1. What’s the purpose of copywriting?
The answer should revolve around sales.
A famous definition of copywriting is that it is “salesmanship in print.” If you hear those words, then the candidate has done their homework.
If the answer involves creativity, “beautiful writing,” or something other than meeting business objectives, then I’d drop this candidate.
2. What results have you achieved in the past?
Since copywriting is about selling, the copywriter should be able to demonstrate that their words get results.
This question also gives them an opportunity to demonstrate that they know the difference between copywriting and other forms of commercial writing.
3. How much do you know about [TYPE OF MARKETING MATERIAL YOU’RE LOOKING FOR]?
Candidates should be able to answer convincingly, with confidence.
If you are looking for a white paper, for instance, the interviewee should be able to tell you what a white paper is, what their writing process is, and other relevant details.
The answers that various candidates give you can be compared and the best answers should stand out.
4. How much do you know about [THE IT FIELD YOU’RE IN]?
It’s possible that the copywriter has no experience in your specific IT field, especially since new technology is always cropping up.
However, they should provide an answer that demonstrates their ability to research, understand, and write about your product and your marketplace.
5. What other IT copywriting projects have you worked on?
This question gives you an opportunity to dig into their work history.
It also gives the copywriter a chance to demonstrate relevant skills and abilities.
6. Why do you like writing about IT?
In copywriting circles, it’s well-known that people write better copy if they enjoy what they’re writing about.
The best IT copywriters are those who are actually interested in or passionate about the field.
7. Can I see samples of your work and a sample contract?
In my previous article – on what to look for when hiring IT copywriters – I said that copywriters should have systematic workflows.
Established commercial writers and copywriters should have contracts (even if it’s just a bid letter), intake forms, fee schedules, information packets, and so on.
Though each copywriter will have a different system, asking for sample paperwork will offer more evidence of the writer’s competence and experience.
There are certainly more questions you can ask when hiring a freelance IT copywriter … these certainly aren’t the only ones.
What You’ll Learn with These Questions
I think these questions will help you get straight to the point and confidently rank various candidates.
You’ll discover some important things about interviewees:
- Whether or not they understand “writing to sell”
- How much they know about IT and technology
- If they are passionate about technology … which will impact the quality of their writing
- How experienced they are and if they know what they’re doing
- If they can do the job right … for the right price
The very last item on this list is really the most important.
The copywriter you choose may not have every quality you’re looking for … chances are they won’t … but the most important thing is whether their copy gets you the right results for your budget.
Every copywriting project is different and has different objectives.
Thought leadership, immediate response, SEO, and engagement are just a few examples.
When interviewing potential copywriters, you’ll certainly hear a wide variety of answers to the above questions. However, with the right priorities, you’ll be able to find the right person who fits your budget, matches your business style, and can get help you accomplish your marketing goals.