I’m a copywriter, content writer and corporate storyteller. As such, it’s my job to understand my clients’ business, their products, their target audience and their values.
Every so often, I get asked by a potential client for a test sample; their concern being, that I will not be able to apply my writing skills to their industry, or that the ‘voice’ of my writing will not capture what they’re looking to represent.
This request usually comes either after a client has had a bad experience with a previous writer or because they’ve never worked with a copywriter and they want to prevent a bad experience.
And while I fully understand these concerns, you should never ask a copywriter to write a test sample. Here’s why.
Every project any copywriter starts, should begin with research. The copywriter needs to understand the company, what drives it, what its goals are, the products, the target audience – you get the message.
In other words, producing great writing does not happen by chance; it happens because a copywriter dives deep into understanding and uncovering the most important elements that speak to your target audience.
The time and effort that it takes to do this is not something any copywriter worth their salt will undertake. Said another way, the only type of copywriter who would be willing to take this type of job, in the hope that you’ll give them business, is the type of copywriter not worth hiring. The reason: that type of copywriter either doesn’t understand the process or is too insecure about their ability to apply the principles they know to be true.
So now you get why you should never ask a copywriter to write a test sample. But you still have a problem.
How can you be sure that you’re hiring a first class writer for your project?
Here are some ideas:
Either check the copywriter’s website for companies they’ve worked with and for testimonials, or check their LinkedIn page – their testimonials might be hanging out there.
Be sure to keep an eye out for valuable information – not just about the copywriter’s ability, but also things like – how other’s enjoyed working with that copywriter, and the copywriter’s ability to meet deadlines.
And if you’re still having trouble finding a copywriter?
Find someone you already know
- Go in to your Facebook groups for professionals and just ask. You’ll most likely get some valuable recommendations for great writer.
- Check LinkedIn. Chances are, you’re already connected to a great copywriter. And even if you’re not, just post the question to your connections. They’ll be happy and quick to recommend someone.