How to test a copywriter

How to test a copywriter.

There are two areas that are really difficult when I think about building an online business from scratch or creating a website.

Deciding on a good logo and finding a good copywriter.

What is a copywriter?

Well when you get technical, a copywriter is a professional specializing in creating a compelling description of the value of your product or service in order to drive a lead or customer conversion.

Basically someone you hire to make your skills or product POP with words.

In module 6 of the Online Business Roadmap course, I describe in detail all the benefits of a good copywriter and how to safely and responsibly hire one.

I will tell you though, while a good copywriter is worth their weight in GOLD plutonium, it’s not easy to find one.

This is primarily because all a mediocre or amateur writer needs to do in order to pretend they have some skills is send you someone else’s copy or content.

It’s hard to know whether the person presenting a sample to actually wrote it.

Here are my suggestions for testing any copywriter you want to hire.

Obviously ask for a sample

Not rocket science – get them to send you something they have written.

Ask for references

Ask for people they have worked for before and CALL them. Most customers never make the follow up call. Make sure you do.

Next, ask for a custom sample

Give them less than 24 hours to write something YOU ask for (pay a small fee if you have to – less than $100). This doesn’t have to be a full article – maybe even a few paragraphs – just so you can get a feel for the writing style.

Finally, give them the edit test

This one is simple – ask a copywriter or someone you respect to find an article that is badly written. Take (internal) notes about all the reasons why it is badly  written. Once you have that, send the article (without the notes obviously) to the new copywriter.

Ask them to tell them what is wrong with the article in less than one hour (be willing to pay a small fee for this too).

If they come back with good edits and suggestions and everything else works out – you have a good faith confirmation to go on. If they start to give you excuses and are not willing to be tested, tell them to go jump in a lake.

Over the past 15 years, I have tested over 100 copywriters this way and less than 10 have passed. All of the candidates who passed did great work for me so I’m pretty sure this process works.

What do you think? What has been your experience with hiring copywriters?

Use the comments below and let me know.

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  • Great article – I actually just used this test for one of the copywriters my company was looking at. They choked on the edit test and gave us nonsensical answers!

    Thanks for saving us from a dud!

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