Learn how to hire a writer or copywriter – and do it in a compliant manner with Liquid.
Content is king – but when you’re busy squashing bugs, updating features, and delivering under an ever-encroaching deadline, sometimes content is the last thing you want to work on. Hiring a writer or copywriter can help your marketing team devise and execute a consistent voice, give your business a personality, and catapult your SEO rankings.
We’re excited to help walk you through the process of finding a writer, but keep in mind nothing here should substitute legal counsel (especially when it comes to contracts).
Decide whether you need a freelancer or employee.
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to hire someone as an employee or freelancer, including financial, behavioral, and rational differences. When you hire an employee, you can dictate the exact hours of work an employee should be on schedule and where they need to be located. The more control you need to exercise over someone, the greater the likelihood you’ll need to hire them as an employee.
On the other hand, a freelancer operates with more autonomy and generally produces work according to specific deadlines. What you lose in oversight, you gain in avoiding payroll taxes. Additionally, the liquid nature of freelancers can allow you to easily transition between different writers whose strengths best fulfill your needs. You can also source writers globally to help target other markets you otherwise might not penetrate.
Find a writer or copywriter.
Sure, you could walk to your nearest Starbucks to find a writer, but finding a qualified copywriter (a writer specializing in writing marketing and promotional material ) can take some work. One of the quickest ways to find applicants is to post a listing on your preferred job board. However, suppose there’s someone whose writing you’ve particularly sparked to (for example, a blogger in your industry or someone whose LinkedIn profile shows a history of comparable work). In that case, there’s no harm in reaching out directly to see if they’re available.
Additionally, not all copywriters specialize in the same types of content. Consider the kind of marketing your company needs (for example, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, calls-to-action, blogs, or social media, just to name a few) when selecting your copywriter to make sure to find one that complements your goals.
Secure the rights to creative work with a work-for-hire agreement.
Copyright can be tricky, and whether an employer owns the intellectual property of her employee has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of litigation. The US Copyright Office has guidelines about which works qualify as work-for-hire, which generally fall into two camps: if an employee created work for you as part of their regular employment, you (the employer) own the work. If you’ve hired a freelancer, then you need to have them sign a work-for-hire agreement.
While you can find boilerplate work-for-hire agreements online, it’s always wise to consult an attorney before continuing with any binding agreements.
Agree on a clearly stated scope of work.
Most copywriters will work for either a flat hourly rate or at a specific cost per piece of copy written. However, it’s also essential to clearly state what is expected beyond the first draft. Asking a writer to rewrite or polish a piece of material is par for the course, but asking someone to rewrite an email campaign six different ways might result in frustration for both you and your copywriter – especially if you’re paying a flat rate! You can avoid headaches like this by clearly discussing your expectations upfront and how much work can be requested for each delivered piece of material. Document these details in your scope of work.
Establish performance goals.
The best way to make sure copywriting works is with cold, hard data. Your copy should bring with it more engagement, and it’s up to you to determine the metrics that matter to you, such as viewership, engagement, clickthroughs, or sales.
Start tracking your metric of choice to establish a baseline: how many sales were you making per week before an email marketing campaign? How about after? How do your customers usually find you, and does the data show that your copy is effective in attracting more page visits?
It isn’t easy to overstate how important it is to have content ready because product launches, updates, sales, and everything that needs to be communicated needs…well, someone to communicate it. And if the copy’s not ready, then that means delays. The best way to keep this from happening is to set clear deadlines: for first drafts, rewrites, and for any further tweaks. But this is also a two-way street, and it’s crucial to provide feedback and guidance in a timely manner. You, too, should have deadlines on when your copywriter can expect to hear from you so they can continue with the next phase revisions.
Manage your invoices and payments with Liquid.
If you’ve hired a freelance copywriter, Liquid is the easy way to manage your engagements. Liquid helps you mitigate compliance risk with freelancers and vendors while saving you time and money. Onboarding a new independent contractor or freelance copywriter takes less than a minute and comes complete with standard and customizable Independent Contractor Agreements. Specify tasks and deliverables with the Work Order feature and avoid duplicate billing errors or overbilling with Work Order to Invoice Matching. And with Liquid’s ability to send payments to 175+ countries, you can work with freelance writers and copywriters around the world.