Hiring a freelance IT copywriter is similar to hiring other types of technical copywriters.
IT copywriters will usually be writing to a technically savvy audiences, so they must understand what they’re writing about. They must also be able to speak the audience’s language. And they must be able to persuade with logic, since they will usually be writing for B2B audiences.
Ultimately, I think you should look for at least these three things when hiring any type of copywriter:
- Whether they know what copywriting is
- Whether they can understand and write about your solutions
- Whether they can get the job done for a price that fits your budget
Below, I’ll break down these “big three” into smaller pieces so that they make more sense.
Characteristics to Look for When Hiring a Freelance IT Copywriter
The ability to articulate ideas clearly and concisely should be a given.
However, below are some other important characteristics to look for:
- Tech-savvy. Understanding technology is fundamental. Having a passion for technology and the IT industry would be even better, because the writer will actually care what they’re writing about … and that always has a positive impact on the quality of the writing.
- Digital marketing savvy. The fundamentals of copywriting and direct-response copywriting have stayed the same, but the internet has amplified them in completely unforeseen ways. Today’s copywriters should understand SEO, email marketing, split-testing, audience segmentation, and other modern marketing strategies.
- Ability to persuade logically. Persuasion and influence are the cornerstones of all marketing material. In technical B2B copy, copywriters use more logic than emotion, but the purpose remains the same: influence and persuasion.
- Track record and proof of writing about technical topics. The easiest way to see what someone can do is to see what they’ve done – so it’s only natural to look at their past work and read testimonials. Writing samples and work history should demonstrate that they have already written about IT or that are tech-savvy enough to do it.
This short list is geared towards companies interested in hiring freelance IT copywriters, not in-house copywriters. With in-house copywriters, the balance of priority might tilt in favor of soft skills, depending on your office’s needs.
What to Look for in Any Copywriter
Here are a few other characteristics to look for when hiring any freelance copywriter, whether they specialize in technology or not:
- Professionalism and friendliness. Though everyone desires these characteristics from any business partner, it’s much, much more important when considering in-house staff. After all, you will be working with in-house copywriters very closely for a long time.
- A results-oriented mindset. As mentioned above, copywriters write to sell … they don’t write to tell. When interviewing candidates, distinguish between those that want to help you get results and those that write for other reasons.
- A systematic workflow. Experienced copywriters have checklists, intake forms, contracts, and other documents that they use during each project. These documents are evidence of a systematic workflow, experience, and they also make it easier for you to know what to expect.
- An understanding of different kinds of marketing copy. Many people call themselves writers, but a real copywriter knows the difference between a white paper, a brochure, a landing page, an autoresponder, and a sales letter. They also know the difference between B2B copy and B2C copy.
Using these characteristics as a basis, it should be easy to come up with interview questions to ask your IT copywriter.
The bottom line for any business is results.
While it may be tempting to look at a copywriter’s price tag, you should always focus first on the results they’ll generate.
Poor copy can generate a negative ROI, costing you money instead of making you money.
Good copy, on the other hand, can pull in bigger returns and pay for itself … many times over.