Copywriting Team: A Guide to Hiring and Managing Copywriters
For most businesses, the website serves as the main driver for inbound leads. However, converting these leads into customers depends greatly on website content. According to Adobe, 38% of visitors to a website will stop engagement if the content is too long or unattractive. The best way to create content that keeps the interest of site visitors is by hiring the right copywriting team.
Hiring and managing a copywriting team are two different things. For one, in the hiring process, the focus is on acquiring the best talent for your content needs. On the other hand, to manage a team, you need knowledge on how to harness the skill set of the hired talent to achieve your content vision.
Below, we explain our steps on hiring and managing copywriters:
Steps To Follow When Hiring and Managing a Copywriting Team
Hiring and managing a copywriting team is like building a house. There is a flow from drawing the house plan to managing the team responsible for house building. We adopted this same approach to identifying steps to hire and manage a team. They include:
Define Your Content Needs
Defining your content needs requires creating a content strategy. Before you can create a content strategy, you need to know the following:
- Your Brand: what services do you offer and who is your target market?
- What Do You Want From Your Brand: how do you intend to offer solutions to your target market?
Copywriters operate in different niches from eCommerce to Technology. Understanding your brand and the content requirement will make it easier to choose members of your copywriting team.
Establish How to Satisfy Content Need
When you understand your brand, it becomes easier to determine the type of voice you want to be associated with it. It can be playful or authoritative depending on your brand values and persona.
To make it easier for your copywriting team to maintain your brand voice, create a writing style guide. The writing style guide must:
- Include all technical requirements: font style, references, links, etc.
- Have examples: layout, formats, etc.
- Be straight to the point: no fluff, just short and organized.
- Be continuously updated: tested and improved over time.
Process for Creating Content
Before hiring a copywriting team, you need to create a process that covers the writing flow. Creating a process flow ensures there is order in the content creation process. Any process flow created must have the following vital components:
- Point of Contact: Who will the writer liaise with for feedback or information
- Project Owner: Several individuals are involved in the content process, but, who determines the content needs?
- Content Approver: Who reviews the content copy and tracks edits?
Hire Steps for a Copywriting Team
Now, that you have in place a structure to help you manage your team, the next step is to hire the copywriters.
Define the Scope of Your Project
When hiring a copywriter, you want to ensure they can adapt to brand voice and content style, while following the content process. Any job ad you display needs to contain a summarized version of these three things and the perceived qualifications that can fulfill it. This way, the copywriter is aware of what you need right from the start.
Establish Project Cost
The next step is to create a budget for the project. Your project budget should be influenced by the following:
- Duration of project: one-off, 6 months, 1 year, etc.
- Type of employment: freelance, part-time, full-time
- Current market rate: what is the standard cost for the service you need.
Choose The Right Platform
After defining the project scope and cost, the next step is to post the job ad. Your choice of platform should be based on:
- Your business
- Quality of copywriting team needed
- Visibility of job ad
- Project cost
- Type of employment
Platforms like ProBlogger and Blogging Pro are suitable for hiring writers. On the other hand, Delesign and Toptal are the go-to's for hiring Designers. Upwork and Freelancer offer a mix of service offerings at varied prices.
Vet Potential Members of The Team
After posting the job ad, applications are bound to roll in. At this stage, the applications you receive should be matched against the defined project scope as contained in the job ad. Then, you should create a shortlist of potential candidates that fulfill:
- Experience: Has the writer worked in your niche or on a similar project before? Does the writer have the stipulated years of experience?
- Style: Is the writer’s writing style similar to what you require? Does the writer show versatility?
- Quality: Did the writer’s resume, application or portfolio grab your attention?
- Cost: If you requested a quote in the job ad, check if the cost of hiring the copywriter aligns with your budget
Contact The Suitable Copywriters
Regardless of whether you are reaching out to the candidates by phone or email, ensure you:
- Introduce yourself and the company
- State how you got their contact and the reason for reaching out to them
- Shed light on further project details not contained in the ad
- Ask about current availability
Depending on the response you receive, you can either decide to hire the copywriters for a trial task or onboard them for a trial period.
Managing a Copywriting Team
Having hired the right talent, the next thing is to ensure they can perform according to the project demands. This is where people and project management competencies are required. To ensure the project stays on track, you need to:
Agree on Terms and Conditions
Before onboarding the copywriter, you need to ensure both the company and the writer are on the same page. This requires putting pen to paper on the responsibilities of both parties. Such responsibilities can cover:
- Tools/Resources to be provided by the company
- The required output from the writer
- Hours/Days of availability
- Payment amount and frequency
- Ownership of content etc.
Once all the necessary grounds have been covered, both the company and copywriter must sign the agreement. Further interactions with the copywriter should be judged based on the agreement.
Explain The Content Creation Process
During the onboarding process, explain what the content creation process is like within the company. Provide the company’s content style guide and other tools used by the company.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
For new copywriters, the period of adjustment can be as low as one month to six months. You want to ensure they feel comfortable to reach out to you when they have issues. The same applies to copywriters that have been with the team for long.
An open line of communication makes it easy for feedback to be sought and given. It also makes it easier for the company to inform the copywriter of changes or updates.
To hire and manage a copywriting team, it is essential that you get the first step right. The first step requires understanding your brand and the voice you want for your content. Once you do this, the next step of hiring people should be easier.
When hiring, you can make use of the Delesign format of interviewing graphic designers and modify it to suit copywriter hires. With this, you should be able to hire and manage people that are able to deliver on the company’s copywriting needs.