What's It Like to Work With a Copywriter? A Case Study.
FYI: This post contains an affiliate link. If you decide to purchase through this link, I get a temporary discount on the service and so do you!
Copywriting for your business is tough to do on your own, and there are tons of reasons to bring on a professional, from freeing up your time to upping your professionalism online. I’m Anna Henke, a copywriter and marketing specialist who’s been doing this work for seven years. I work mostly with female entrepreneurs with personal brands, and I love helping other women grow their businesses and pursue their dream of being their own boss.
If you’ve ever wondered about hiring a copywriter or are considering investing in this service, you probably have two questions:
What will it be like to work with a copywriter?
What does the process entail?
I can only speak for my own process, but I’m happy to share it here. Get ready, because I’m revealing all my secrets with this behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work with me one-on-one. I’m about to answer all your burning questions.
Once you find someone you like the look of, make sure to do your research. Check out her website and social media profiles. Take a look at her portfolio, or request a copy if it’s not available on her website. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t have one. For example, mine is only available upon request.
Once you decide on an individual to interview, the first step is initial contact. This typically happens via social media or email. From this point on, we’re going to be talking about my specific process, so my language will reflect that scenario. The interested party, aka you, will send me a direct message or email, and we’ll set up a time to talk about working together.
The second step is the first video chat. This a get to know you call, where we can both determine if we are a good fit for each other. When hiring a copywriter, it’s important that the two of us jive well together as one of my tasks will be taking on your brand voice. A feeling of camaraderie is a good sign that we will work well together. On my first call with a you, I invite you to tell me about yourself and your business. Once I have a sense of what you’re looking for, I share the most relevant service I offer to fit your needs. If we’re a good fit and you’re ready to move forward, we discuss a timeline as well.
The third step is the questionnaire. After you sign a contract to work with me, I begin the onboarding process with an extensive questionnaire, which I created to gather information about each client’s business, brand, offer, and marketing ideas. This is a custom form I created within my AMAZING CRM program Dubsado, which I highly recommend! (My affiliate code=theresidentwriter)
Now it’s time for step four, the in-depth video consultation. On this call, we go over the questionnaire in detail. I also ask follow up questions and give you the opportunity to do the same. We dive deeper into any areas of the form that you had difficulty filling out or that I need further clarity on. Then we discuss the plan for your copy and I take you through the outline I have in mind for your content.
Step six is when I actually write the copy. The time frame varies depending on the amount of work and my current schedule. I spend a lot of time developing the appropriate tone and brand voice so that I can essentially write as you. This is a cornerstone value for me.
Another thing that’s noteworthy about me is that I’m a storytelling copywriter. I believe story sells better than any marketing gimmick or clever slogan, although I enjoy a nice turn of phrase as much as the next person. Whose story am I talking about, you ask? Well, yours for one. Who you are and how you got to where you are is highly relevant to your ideal client. Even more important, however, is your ideal client’s transformation story. Telling their story takes a mediocre sales page to the next level by focusing on the benefits.
Step seven is the delivery of the first proofs. This is the initial draft, which is as polished as a final draft. It’s just delivered with the knowledge that you, the client, have the opportunity to request 3 batch edits. It’s extremely important to me to have a completely satisfied client, which necessitates allowing for multiple edits until things are just right. I have a pretty great success rate with this policy! As a little sidenote: I use Google Drive to deliver all stages of the copy. This way you can comment on your own documents and request edits in the most efficient way possible.
The final step is the delivery of the finished draft. After that, I send a thank you email with a request for a testimonial if you are satisfied with your experience. I’m happy to say that all of my clients are!
Here’s one of my favorite comments from a dream client:
“We truly couldn’t be any happier with the copy! We launched the new brand and website last week! I’m still in awe of our final product! The same week we launched we had two ideal brides contact us! I really can’t say enough! For the first time I have a website full of our work and copy that I’m proud of!”
—Christina Chapman, wedding photography at Christina Chapman Photography
THE CASE STUDY
Now let’s take a look at how it plays out with a real client. Many thanks to One Precious Pearl Floral Design for agreeing to be featured as a case study in this post!
First things first, this is a very special client to me. Catherine Benner and Leah Jarona, the mother-daughter team behind One Precious Pearl, are actually my aunt and cousin. People say don’t mix family and business. In this case, it was a pleasure to do so.
One Precious Pearl opted into my Start Your Next Chapter: A Copywriting Bundle for Female Entrepreneurs package. This includes four parts: an about me page, a sales page, a lead magnet (also known as a freebie offer), and a sales funnel email sequence.
Catherine and Leah completed (most of) the questionnaire before I met with them in person for our consultation. When I arrived, they had a lot of questions.
Leah Jarona, partner at One Precious Pearl, said: “Initially, I didn’t know what it would look like, and, so, it was, for me, a little overwhelming. But, as we worked through it, you were able to dissect it down, and it went from being a lot of content to a very smooth transition.”
As she mentioned, it seemed like a lot of new information to them at first. But, as you’ll see, it led to new discoveries about their own business. The questionnaire I sent really got them thinking about their branding in a new way.
The two questions that were hardest for them to answer were:
What five words describe your brand?
What makes your business unique?
These two seem to be the toughest for everyone! Before talking about anything else, I insisted we dive deeper into those questions as a group and find the answers.
Using leading questions, I helped Catherine and Leah to think of adjectives that described their brand. I encouraged them to think about how they wanted clients to feel when they encountered the One Precious Pearl Floral Design brand, not just visually but emotionally. This is key. You may have noticed that we’re not talking about copywriting exactly right now. This is true and yet it isn’t. I teach identity branding to every client. I don’t do anything with logos or visual branding, but my sweet spot is helping you discover who you are as a brand. Branding has a big influence on the tone and voice of the copy I create, which is why I place such a high value on exploring it.
This leads me to the second question: What makes your business unique? Until you can answer this question, you’re going to have trouble selling. Products and services are very similar. You are what’s different. As a floral design business that works mostly in the wedding industry, the fact that One Precious Pearl is a mother-daughter team is a huge asset. Many (if not most) brides bring their mothers along to consultations or ask their mother for advice on wedding decisions. Catherine and Leah have the benefit of being a recent mother-of-the-bride and bride going for them, and we decided to highlight that on their website. It’s working very well for them!
They had other questions beyond those that the questionnaire posed, and we addressed those in the consultation as well. As a local business, they weren’t sure if a lead magnet (or freebie download) with an email funnel would be of value to them. I assured them that it absolutely would! We ended up putting together a beautiful PDF entitled 2019 Wedding Color Trends, with an email sequence on the back that provides value, introduces them as partners, and pitches their services.
Here’s how I explained the benefit to Catherine and Leah: The purpose of a freebie or lead magnet is to get email subscribers to build an email list and to increase your influence online. It’s a great idea to make a Pin for your lead magnet and put it on Pinterest! Will you get some people subscribing who are not local to you? Of course! But those people know people. Eventually, word of mouth will spread and your social media accounts will grow as well—not to mention the traffic that pin will bring to your website. The higher your traffic, the more Google is your friend—and we ALL want to be Google’s friend. With more traffic, you will appear higher in searches and be recommended more often. Do you see how this works?
With all their questions answered, we agreed to an outline for the about me page, sales page, and email sequence as well as a topic for the lead magnet.
Then I did the work! I spent my time adapting my tone to their brand voice, created the content, and delivered the first draft. They were mostly happy with the copy and asked for just a few edits, which I happily made for a truly fabulous finished product.
Check out the results at onepreciouspearl.com!
For every piece of website content that I create, I take extra care to optimize for search engine traffic, and Catherine and Leah have certainly seen the results of that. With the SEO on the website and the social media coaching they’ve embarked on with me over the last two months, their website traffic has tripled! Now THAT’s what I like to see!
Just one last thing before I sign off: Hiring an experienced copywriter like myself to help clarify your message and create a high-converting website is one of the smartest investments you can make in your business. Never forget that your website sells for you. Most people will glance at a website and never get in touch with you again if it doesn’t speak to them. Don’t let that money slip through your fingers! Invest in your business and your future by hiring an expert.
If you’re interested in discussing working with me, get in touch by sending me an email at email@example.com.