This is an updated version of an article originally written on Oct. 6, 2014.
Effective copywriting is an essential component of content marketing. Great copy has the power to communicate key messages, captivate an audience, and persuade them to take desirable actions. Are you currently sending out boring, bland, or templated marketing emails that only generate a few conversions? Wouldn’t you rather blast out an engaging campaign that is memorable, differentiated, and convincing and drives results for your business?
All copywriters should be grammar and AP-style guide experts and have stellar proofreading skills. But, if you’re looking to hire an exceptional copywriter, you should seek out a candidate that possesses the five characteristics outlined below.
Key Characteristics of Effective Copywriters
Is your copywriting candidate skilled at finding creative ways to spin topics as necessary to achieve campaign goals? Copywriters should be able to take your campaign objectives and develop compelling copy to lure in and compel readers while driving key messages. Hiring a copywriter with a creative mind will help generate unique ideas that keep your brand interesting and exciting.
In the “Car” campaign, the National Agency for the Fight Against Illiteracy effectively uses copy and clever design to raise awareness of illiteracy rates in France. What appears to be a standard car advertisement, is actually an alarming notice that more than 3 million people cannot read the ad to know it’s not actually for a new car.
2. Sales training
While sales experience might not be an obvious qualification for top-tier copywriting candidates, those who have previously held sales and marketing jobs could be more qualified than others. Subtle sales pitches are at the base of all copywriting, whether it’s meant for print advertisements, blog posts, or commercials. As a result, it’s almost a no brainer that a former sales professional would be the best candidate for the position – provided that he or she has other qualities crucial to the role.
All professionals must have a certain level of wits regardless of their role. However, it’s especially important for a copywriter to have this quality, as he or she is constantly tasked with understanding and translating difficult concepts to your prospect or end-user. To get a feel for a candidate’s ability to break down complex ideas, try asking about his or her most difficult writing assignment, and ask what kind of research went into it. Pay attention to the sources used and ask follow-up questions about how long it took to write and research and how the post or advertisement performed. Within their explanation, did they provide adequate detail on their approach to understanding the product or service? Don’t feel the need to deflect high-quality candidates just because they may not have the exact industry experience you are looking for. An exceptional copywriter can adapt their copywriting skills across various products and services by getting into the mindset of their audience and tapping into their relatability skills.
Since even the shortest advertisements can go through extensive rounds of edits, it’s essential to have a copywriter who is flexible and able to accept feedback. A writer should leave his or her ego at the door when creating copy for a client. Because it’s a creative job and the product is subjective, it’s easy to have conflicting views of what makes for an acceptable piece in the client’s eyes. A writer needs to adapt, take criticism in stride, and produce a new version that shows he or she is receptive to both good and not-so-desirable comments.
5. Regard for deadlines
It can be difficult to turn around a piece on time – especially for those who are new to a role that requires creativity on demand. However, copy that isn’t on deadline is useless. Similarly, if blog posts are on a schedule to be published each day, the quality is irrelevant if a day is missed and site traffic suffers as a result.
If you’re looking for an exceptional copywriter, being a good writer isn’t the only skill to look for. At Profiles, we are experts at finding high-caliber copywriting talent to support your business needs. Contact us with details on your hiring needs, and we’ll help you secure top-notch permanent or contract talent fast.
If you’re a copywriter that possesses these 5 characteristics, we want to help you find your next opportunity. You can find an up-to-date contract and direct-hire job openings listed on our website.