Early in my copywriting career, I wrote for big-name people who were better copywriters than me.
I had been writing copy for a year and hadn’t even written a sales funnel yet.
My boss already had been writing for 10 years and wrote dozens of winning funnels.
In the first few months, almost everything I handed in got rewritten.
Whenever that happened, I blamed myself. I thought I wasn’t good enough and would work hard to see how I could do better next time.
Now it’s five years later and the roles are reversed. I find myself rewriting copy for people who write under me.
But I realized that if the copy isn’t up to par when it hits my desk, it’s not the writer’s fault. It’s mine.
Because I didn’t give them a system to ensure their copy was great.
Imagine you just got hired as a chef. You walk into the kitchen and there’s nothing there. You’ve got to go get all the groceries and figure out the menu and making everything yourself. That’s the situation many newly hired copywriters find themselves in.
Unless their great, it will be a struggle for them and you. And if they are great it may only be a matter of time until they get a bigger check somewhere else and you’re back to square one.
Compare that to a kitchen where you walk in and all the ingredients you need are already portioned out for you. There are recipes for how to make everything so that the quality is consistent no matter who is in the kitchen.
Lately I’ve been helping clients create a system so they look more like that second restaurant. I help them get all the pieces in places so they can hire a writer and that person can crank out amazing copy consistently… and do it for a fraction of what some A-lister would charge.
My client and I used my system for this to get the same quality work from a $30/hour writer as they did from a $150/hour writer.
Here’s a checklist for what you need in place to ensure any copywriter you hire is successful. (Unless they’re lazy or don’t care — there’s no helping those people.)
10 Point Checklist To Hire A Copywriter
- Positioning statement — Think of this as a ~20 second “elevator pitch” that explains what you do and what makes you different. Your ideal customer should hear this and go “huh, sounds interesting, I’d like to know more about that…”These are deceptively tricky to figure out. But when you nail it, it makes everything much easier. It’s the backbone for every single piece of copy.
I know one copywriter who charges $6,000 to consult with clients on their positioning. And it’s worth it.
- Customer avatar — I’m not just talking about “we sell to 50-year-old women who want to lose weight.” You’ve got to go deep into what their day is like, their thoughts, things they’ve tried, beliefs around your product, their objections, fears, desires, etc.With this, your writer will know exactly who they are writing to. If they don’t know that, their copy will never work.
- Core problem — I know, your product solves a bunch of problems. But what is the #1 problem that brings the most people to you? What is the main problem you are most uniquely qualified to help? Name that so you’re writer knows what to focus on. Also, list out the other problems you solve so you can hit different angles to attract different people.
- What made past customers decide to buy from you — What are the parts of your messaging that already hit home? This will help you know what to double down on. No need to reinvent the wheel.
- What makes your product better than the others — List this out in detail and rank them in terms of importance to the prospect so you know what to focus on
- Big promise + other benefits — What is the once, big, core promise of your product? And what are additional benefits they get from it?
- Story bank — Stories of you and your customers that show “turning point moments.” Show how the things inside your course/product changed your life and the life of your customers. Share stories of low point moments where you and your customers realized you desperately needed help and nothing else worked. Organize all these and you can quickly create amazing sales funnels, sales pages, webinars and more.
- Everything above but in your customer’s language. When talking about things like your customer’s problem, promise, etc. be sure to use the actual language your customer uses.There’s a big difference between generic copy like “Are you unfulfilled at your job?” versus more direct language like, “Dan was sitting at his desk at work looking at the pile of reports he had to do and thought, “Is this is? Is this what my life has become? There’s got to be more to this…”
Concepts like “fulfilled at work” may not resonate because it’s not the exact language going on in their head. But that internal dialogue of “Is this it?” mirrors the experience many people have so it connects much more strongly.
- A voice guide — A guide with common phrases you use, words you don’t use, and how you like to talk. With this, any writer can come in and nail your voice.
- Templates — Proven templates and examples for EVERYTHING — FB ads, sales emails, engagement emails.
If you want a system that does all that, check out my Buyer Multiplier system.
I’ve been building this quietly for a few clients. It covers everything mentioned above (except the voice guide) and organizes all the quotes and stories so its easy for anyone to come in and write great copy for you. You can learn more about that system here.