Hiring a Copywriter in Brisbane

Hiring a copywriter is far more complicated – and irritating – than you’d expect. Putting up an advertisement for “copywriter Brisbane” or “copywriter needed – must have good experience” leads to hundreds of applications, numerous claims of brilliance, time wasted and little else. Freelancing sites such as Upwork and freelancer.com are a great way to identify potential through carefully crafted profiles – then all you need to do is hire every single one of them until eventually you find a small group of copywriters who can manage a sustained workflow. But then the second major problem of hiring a freelancer arises – they, “go dark.”

Everything is going great, and you have the beginnings of an excellent content creation team. You’ve identified market sectors, target personas, viable keyword strategies and are producing a consistent amount of content on a regular basis. But then one copywriter stops replying to your messages, and your requests for work go unheeded. At first you don’t worry – after all, even writers are allowed to get sick or have personal problems arise, but then after a few weeks you realise that you may never hear from them again. If you’ve ever hired a copywriter, you know this is a common occurrence, due to the nature of the industry; copywriters either get hired by an organisation, or simply cannot afford to maintain their lifestyle as a freelance copywriter. The same is true of graphic designers, although as long as your brief is clear, potential graphic designers can be identified based on tools, experience and industry knowledge. Copywriters can claim to have excellent command of English, and to know all the relevant tools from Microsoft Word to Ulysses and advanced publication platforms. Then, after a few articles it becomes very apparent that their experience may have been overstated.

Copywriting is one of the most competitive industries in the creative sector, mainly because everyone thinks they can write. Complicating this further is the fact that many hiring managers don’t understand the intricacies of the job itself – SEO copywriting, content for websites and product copy as three examples are completely separate skill sets – just because your writer is an excellent search engine optimisation blogger, doesn’t mean that will translate to producing awesome social media posts. In fact, it almost definitely won’t, as the two skill sets are decidedly different and require a completely different attitude towards the reader.

So how do you hire a copywriter that can produce good work on a consistent basis, and not let you down unexpectedly? The answer to this is as simple as it is annoying – look for writers that are in demand, and those that don’t charge per word. Find someone who takes the craft of writing seriously, and charges accordingly. These people will not be the cheapest, in fact many of them will appear to be expensive – but when someone has an intimate understanding of their discipline, the payoffs are enormous.

Rhys Knight is a copywriter in Brisbane, Australia and an advocate for the industry.