6 Tips for Hiring a Copywriter for Your Tech Startup
Let’s just call out the elephant in the room. Your 16-year-old niece is not a marketing expert, and those Tik Tok dances are most likely not going to bring in the clients your tech startup is targeting.
Now that you’ve gently let go of little Ashley, it’s time to take your business to the next level by partnering with the right marketing professionals.
If you are a startup, you will want to first hire a copywriter to establish your company’s brand voice and/or brand persona.
What is a brand persona? Think of this as your company’s brand incarnated – how would this physical person dress, talk, eat, or think?
A great example is Apple. Apple’s brand persona might wear all white clothing, only dine at the hippest sushi restaurants in town, speak eloquently, and uplift minimalism, social justice, and architecture.
Once you’ve established your brand’s persona and tone of voice, you can then hire the correct marketing specialists to promote your brand on strategically selected channels.
Now, how do you hire a copywriter? What are some things to consider? Read on as we focus on six tips for selecting the right copywriter for your tech startup.
The Most Essential Copywriting Services for Tech Startups
Freelance vs Copywriting Firm vs In-House Copywriter
Experience vs Research Capabilities
Hourly or Fixed Price Copywriting
Find Copywriters Online
Number One - The Most Essential Copywriting Services for Tech Startups
When you’re founding a tech startup, there are a few things you’ll want to do first. Of course, your marketing strategy will evolve as you grow, but these are the absolutely ESSENTIAL items you need. Let’s break it down, shall we?
SEO Website Copywriting
What is a tech startup without a website? This is the most basic – yes, I know it’s painfully obvious – thing you will need for your tech startup’s launch.
Once you’ve got the website domain purchased, it’s time to start writing. Hiring a professional copywriter is beneficial for tech startup founders for many reasons.
Identify a tech startup’s brand voice (funny, professional, sarcastic, weird), and ensure that the website, software, and social media are consistently using the same tone.
Create SEO copy and content using keywords identified through advanced research.
Write to persuade potential customers and convert words into sales.
Tell stories that resonate with potential customers and establish the startup’s brand.
Identify the specific pages and content needed to reach target audiences and build an online presence.
Copywriters are commonly overlooked because we’re routinely misunderstood. We don’t simply write words, but we create brands and online personas for companies through the use of intentionally selected messages. It’s a lot harder than it looks when you’re creating copy correctly.
UX Copywriting, also known as “In-App Copywriting,” is extremely important for the success of a new software product or platform. If a user does not intuitively understand how to navigate a product, there is very little chance of quick adoption.
Some examples of UX Copy:
Explainer video scripts
And on and on and on…
Depending on the type of software you’re building, the UX copywriting needs are endless and potentially ever-increasing. You’ll want any copy within your product to match the brand voice of your website and all marketing materials. Remember, consistency is king.
For example, the worst thing you can do is establish your brand voice as a sarcastic millennial on your website, then switch to a brand voice similar to the queen of England.
Most copywriters do not understand the art of UX Copywriting, but many are beginning to take notice of this highly desired skill. When interviewing tech startup copywriters, this is definitely a skill they should have in their tool belt.
One of the most important things you need as a new company? I’m glad you asked. You need LEADS!
Leads are those pieces of contact information of interested parties who could potentially purchase your product or service. Best part? You’ve got their information! When you get leads, you get opportunities to put your message in front of potential customers.
One of the most common paths to gathering leads is email marketing.
Here’s how it works:
Build a email subscription opportunity for individuals on your website
Offer a freebie or some benefit that they want in return for their email address
Send them emails with those freebies
Continue sending them emails about your brand and create opportunities for engagement
Use those leads to send them information about future launches or new products
Transition leads to sales
It sounds simple, right? Not exactly.
The art of email copywriting is a skill that takes extreme creativity, practice, and persistence. It’s honed by testing different subject lines, tracking click rates and conversions, and immersing oneself in the data on a daily basis.
If your sales depend on the generation of organic and valuable leads, email marketing is a great investment.
SEO Blog Writing
If you are wanting to rank on search engines, your website copy MIGHT do the job. But, if you want to be found by potential customers by offering quality content, that’s where SEO blogs come into play.
For example, say you have a company selling local honey. You could optimize your copy on your website so that people in your local area can find your honey company when they Google “honey farms near me.”
Or, you can reach potential customers across the world by providing quality blog posts like, “Best Type of Honey for Seasonal Allergies,” or “10 Interesting Ways to Use Honey for At-Home Remedies.”
Though not directly related to your offerings, it brings in potential customers through engaging and interesting content. They read your content, like what they see, and follow your call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the blog post, eventually buying your honey.
Once you’ve made a sale, continue to engage with them through email marketing to create a lifetime customer who loves your brand!
Number Two - Freelance vs Copywriting Firm vs In-House Copywriter
When you’re looking for some help with a copywriting project, you may wonder if you should bring on a freelancer (or contractor), hire a large firm to assist, or hire a copywriter to work for your business exclusively.
So, what should you do? It depends.
Freelance Writers and Small Agencies:
Pro: They are great with short or long projects.
Pro: They can complete recurring work on a monthly basis with defined scope.
Pro: You can select the copywriter based on experience and passion.
Pro: You don’t need to commit to freelancers long term, but on an as needed basis.
Con: You might have a hard time finding the right copywriter for your brand.
Large Copywriting Firms:
Pro: They are great for larger projects that require multiple copywriters and/or additional services.
Pro: They have structured processes (most of the time).
Con: You won’t get to pick the copywriter you work with (usually).
Con: You’ll have to sign a contract for a specific amount of work.
Pro: They are great if you need 40+ hours of copywriting work per week.
Con: You’ll need to pay benefits and all costs that come with a full time worker.
Con: You’ll have a single perspective for all of your copywriting needs.
These are not hard and fast rules, of course. But some employment scenarios will be better suited for your needs than others. Understanding the various ways to find writing assistance is critical when hiring a copywriter.
Number Three - Experience vs Research Capabilities
When selecting a copywriter, you’ll want to determine if experience is absolutely necessary, or if the topic is something that can be researched.
For example, if you’re looking for blog content for your company serving professionals in the restaurant industry, you’ll want someone who has had experience working in the restaurant industry to create relatable content.
On the other hand, if you want someone to write about the pharmaceutical industry or real estate, these are industries that are well established online and can be researched.
If you’re in a very niche topic or something brand new, you may want to focus on gauging a potential copywriter’s ability to research and ask the right questions.
Number Four - Hourly or Fixed Price Copywriting
When working with copywriters, the hours required to complete a task may differ wildly depending on their experience. Thus, the type of pricing structure you select will depend on the copywriter and nature of the project.
First off, be clear about your budget range, the hours you believe it should take per week, and the scope of the work. This will allow the copywriter to create a valuable proposal.
Fixed rate contracts are usually more common with copywriters, as they factor in the amount of time the copywriter believes it will take him or her to complete the work.
Hourly contracts are good when the scope of the work is fluid and ever-changing from week to week. Ensure that you’ve stipulated a written agreement to hours before they’re worked and billed by the contractor.
Number Five - Writing Style
Depending on the type of tech startup you’re running, the writing style can either be conversational, professional, or academic. Knowing the writing style of your tech startup’s brand persona is necessary when selecting a copywriter.
Conversational is the tone I’m using for this blog post you’re currently reading. It’s great for making complex topics simple and engaging with folks that have short attention spans – also known as millennials and gen-z customers.
Professional is how I’d write a technical user manual for a complex software product. Use this style when writing for other businesses who have a professional writing style as well, or for high-end customers that prefer quality over connection.
Academic is a style you might use to write a research paper or an article using different sources with differing opinions on a single subject. Write in academic style only if you’re also writing for other academics – this is really popular in the health and wellness niche, doctors, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Number Six: Find Copywriters Online
There are many other considerations you may have for your specific tech startup, but we hope this initial list gives you a bit more confidence as you begin your copywriter search.
Want some good news? Most copywriters are looking for you already! Copywriters are most often connecting with business owners through:
Searching on LinkedIn job boards for “Temporary” or “Contract” work.
Searching on UpWork for “Copywriting,” “UX Copywriting,” or “Blog Writing” jobs.
Posting content on their Linkedin accounts and using hashtags to target tech startups.
Posting content on Instagram and using hashtags to target potential customers.
Direct messaging and emailing potential customers.
Focusing on SEO for their own websites, so they can be found on Google search results for “tech startup copywriter,” “tech copywriter,” or “UX copywriter.”
Now that you’re prepared with a better understanding of your tech startup’s copywriting needs, it’s time to begin your copywriter search.
Here at the Sierra Agency, we provide copywriting services for tech startups in the USA. Want to work with us? Contact us today!