Are you looking to update the content on your Web site, create a new slogan or a brochure, or generate free publicity by sending out a news release? Or perhaps you want to create a simple, yet effective marketing letter to open doors.


You may have tried writing promotional material about yourself in the past and realized how long it takes – after all, it's not as important as managing employees and looking after your customers, right? It seems that when you have to write about yourself or your business, it always takes a back burner to other pressing issues, but don't let that happen. Your business is at stake!


Hiring a professional copywriter (that's someone who writes marketing content) makes the job painless. In fact, a copywriter brings a different perspective to your business – and can communicate your message in a compelling manner that attracts attention, engages your prospects, and entices them to take action. But before rushing into hiring the "friend of a friend" your pal recommended, there are five things you need to know before making your decision on whom to work with.


#1 Know what you want to accomplish. Be clear about your target market (that is, who is your ideal client), what is unique about your business, and what are the key points you want to present. The more background information you can give your copywriter, the more on target your message will be – and that means the better the results you'll get. Plus, it will help you decide on whom to hire (read #2).


#2 Ensure the writer has written for the "medium" you are using. A freelance writer who only writes articles for magazine publication may not understand the intricacies of writing for the Web or writing to get you free publicity. Proficiency with the medium is more important than experience writing for your industry.


#3 Ask for references and contact them. Reviewing samples may not be enough. Talk to clients to ensure their deadlines and communication needs were met.


#4 Set a realistic schedule. Rush jobs can be expensive – and may not portray the professionalism you're looking for. Allow time for revisions. Work with your copywriter to create a schedule that works for both of you, that means, responding to outlines and/or drafts on time.


#5 Get it in writing! A simple written agreement ensures both parties understand what is required and the associated fees. This does not have to be a long multi-page proposal. It can be a simple email communication that details the deadlines (for each party) and the date to expect the final product. There will also be deposit and final payment details. Be sure to ask if revisions are included in the fee and who owns the copyright for the content.

You may not know exactly what it is you're looking for – an updated Web site, a postcard or a brochure, or a myriad of other ways to market your business. Talk to your copywriter. He or she should give you direction on the best way to proceed. If he/she doesn't know, it's time to talk to someone else.


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Referred to as a "Magnetic Marketing & Mindset Master," Susan Regier, owner of Vantage One Writing, is an in-demand marketing content writer, speaker, and "tell-it-like-it-is" coach/mentor to serious entrepreneurs who want to up-level their businesses. Claim your free guide: 15 Tips to Increase Your Influence, Attract More Clients & Make More Money at SusanRegier.com.