It has come to my attention that I throw the term copywriter around pretty frequently. However, a lot of people don't even seem to understand what a copywriter does. Obviously that's a problem. To my surprise, many confused the term "copywriter" with "copyright" despite the context clues. 

Simply put, a copywriter writes copy. Depending on the writer, the type of copy they write might vary as some have specialities and others don't. Copy refers to the content or words used for your marketing material. Copywriters are responsible for writing the copy on business websites, flyers, slogans, newsletters, brochures, direct mail paraphernalia, advertisements, sales letters, product descriptions and more. However, what makes a professional copywriter different from the high school kid down the street, is the ability to make that copy sound as professional and concise as possible while sticking to the personality of the business. 

Most importantly a good copywriter knows how to translate your copy into to more views or prospects, which of course leads to more sales. Copywriters do this by highlighting the traits that make you stand out from your competitors. They also address the wants and needs of your target audience. Lastly they analyze, core business values and insure they translate into copy that shows the company in the best light which yield desired results. In other words, they make you sound pretty damn good! 
I've said it time and time again. When the writing project comes the questions will follow. And it's not because us writers don't know what we're doing. It's because we want to understand you. Most importantly, we want to be able to take YOUR message and make it sound more polished and relatable. But in order to for us to do that, you need to play a fun game of 20 Questions! Luckily, you'll get to know the questions in advance. So pay attention and answer wisely! Ready, set, go!

1. What is your budget? Although freelancers generally have a going rate for some things, they still like to keep budgets in mind. Try to have an idea of your budget so we can work around it when creating a quote.

2. What is the desired word count (i.e. length)? You may be tempted to say one or two pages of content. However, the amount of pages doesn't say much because font, spacing, etc. can easily change the amount of content that fits on a page. Having a word count range is much more accurate.

3. Can you please define your project scope? This question is probably the most telling of them all. It allows writers to see what exactly your expectations are and what you're hoping this project will do for you.

4. Who is your target audience? Your target audience directly relates to how the content is written. If your target audience is a group of middle class college students, it will be written completely different than if it were for a group of middle aged businessmen. Know who your target audience is and tell the writer everything you know about that particular audience. 

5. How will the content be distributed or published? Depending on the chosen method of distribution or publication there may be certain formats or guidelines the writer will need to adhere to. 

6. Who are your biggest competitors? Writers like to know who exactly they are trying to get ahead of and adjust the game plan as necessary. 

7. What separates you from your competitors? These are things that make you unique and should be highlighted if possible in the text. 

8. What don't you like about your current marketing material? This allows the writer to identify the problem early on and devise a plan that will directly solve it. 

9. What are you hoping to accomplish? Without a goal, you won't know where you're going. Establish this as soon as possible so writers can take your writing project in the right direction. 

10. Can you show me examples of other things written about you? It's easy to know what you like and what others are saying about you when writers see examples. 

11. Can you provide a brief outline of your project? One topic can go in many different directions. Providing a brief outline or bullets of things that should be included helps writers stay on track. 

12. How much involvement do you anticipate? Are you the type that likes to be hands-on with every aspect of the project? Or do you prefer, to hire people and allow them to run with it? Let writers know so they can adequately adjust the working style to your comfort. 

13. What is your desired tone? Are you trying to appear very friendly and approachable or elite and superior to others? This will determine how content is written. 

14. How do you plan to market the material? You can have the best written content in the history of the world, but that doesn't mean people will read it. They need to know your content exists. Let your writer know what your plans are for marketing so it can be written accordingly.

15. What is your timeframe for completion? If there is a date set for publication ahead of time, make writers aware. Together you can draft a schedule when all drafts and edits will be completed. 

16. Will illustration be part of the final presentation? Of course, photos can enhance the content. However, you need to let writers know so they can work with that in mind. 

17. What company traits would you like me to convey in content? This allows writer to truly understand what values and traits are important to you and easily communicate that message. 

18. Will I need to interview anybody outside the company to complete the project? Depending on how in depth the project is, there may be need to interview outside sources. It might enhance the the quality of the content. 

19. What is your preferred method of communication? Some people prefer email and phone calls, while others prefer fax and snail mail. Let writers know so you they accommodate your needs. 

20. What other projects do you anticipate for the future? Whether or not you plan to work with the same person again, writers like to consider what your future plans are so they can position you accordingly for a smooth transition.