Important question, here’s a questionnaire to help you decide:
1. Are you a start-up or are you adding a new product, service or branch to your business? If you are, you will need to create marketing collateral (content and design) to tell the world about your new venture. This can be done through a new web page, website, brochure, blog or with advertising and/or live and online social networking. And the content is critical: if people can’t easily understand and get excited about your new business – your announcement is useless.
2. Does your business need a face lift, a new perspective or a lifeline out of the 80’s? Using a professional writer is a great way to rehab your message and your marketing plan. If you can talk about what’s current, a good copywriter should be able to capture your excitement and expertise, add solid research and pull it together with their new perspective.
3. Are you so busy running your business that you have no time to market your business? A copywriting/marketing professional can handle this for you – and, I encourage you to let him/her. I’m a strong believer that people should do what they know. Why spread yourself thin trying to learn another profession…hire someone else to do that – your industry needs you right where you are.
4. Can you write? For many people, the thought of a blank page is Terrifying (yes, with a capital ‘T’). The stress it causes is bad enough…how about the time wasted while you stare at the computer and/or do everything in the world to avoid this writing task that looms heavily over your shoulder. (Think eating everything in the kitchen, watching 50 youtube videos in a row or playing online solitaire
for five hours until you win.)
5. Do you think you can write? I hate to be harsh here, but…to quote one of my favorite movies, ‘Everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but they couldn’t possibly all.” [First one to guess the movie, gets a prize – one of my favorite writing books of all time!] Same goes for writing – many think they can, and they can’t. Ask someone who will tell you the truth, better yet, ask a few people (not your mother). Get some honest opinions. If you can write, write. If you can’t write, call a professional copywriter.
6. Do you want to blow the competition out of the water? In the world of Web 2.0, content is critical. You may know your industry, but you have to be able to communicate with words to make the social web work for you – or to make any marketing effort work for you. A professional copywriter who understands social bookmarking, social networking and blogging, can take your business somewhere that your competition hasn’t even considered going. And, if they have gone there, well then, you’re still in the game.
7. Do you need a marketing department, but can’t afford to keep one? This is the beauty of freelance. You don’t need to pay the freelance copywriter’s vacation, health insurance and other benefits. This is fee for service, pay for what you get…whenever you need it.