So you’ve decided you need a copywriter. Good move. I like you.
Naturally, you turn to one of the many Facebook groups you’ve joined and posted a callout.
Looking for a copywriter on Facebook is a great way to find good candidates.
It may look something like this:
It’s an easy and speedy way to find copywriters this way. Write a quick post and sift through the replies to find who you like. Winning.
But it comes with a few risks. So please be aware of these before you proceed.
Risk #1: race to the bottom
There are plenty of copywriters out there. So to get your listing, they may compete on price. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a blog when you can pay $50? Or $20? Of course, it’s great to get a bargain. But will a cheap price deliver the quality you need? If the price is cheap, the writer will rush through the job. So you might get errors. They won’t take the time to understand your brand and its audience. So the cheapest is not always the best.
Risk #2: overwhelming amount of responses
You are likely to get inundated with replies. You’ll get PMs flooding your inbox. You’ll get people stalking your facebook page and messaging you. The eager beavers will even call you and flood your inbox with cheery messages. Enthusiasm to work with you is always good. But it could be a little desperate? Plus, this huge volume of responses leads to problem number three.
Risk #3: sifting through the replies to find the gooduns
The more replies you get, the more work you need to do. You need to filter through the volume of replies to find the one that suits you best. This can be very time consuming. So, it’s a good idea to think about how you will filter these replies in the most time efficient way (more on that below).
Risk #4: the good copywriters are booked
The ones who are replying to your post are available now. But the in-demand copywriters who have plenty of experience? They don’t reply. Because they are booked out. (I’m typically booked for four-six weeks. I have other copywriter friends booked for four-six months.) If you want someone really great, they won’t be replying to your callout. If you are prepared to find them another way, and prepared to wait, you may get a better fit for your project.
Risk #5: false referrals
What often happens is that Janet the copywriter replies to your post with a nice pitch. She sounds good. Then, you get comments from others:
- ‘Janet is the best’
- ‘I second the vote for Janet’
- ‘She’s amazing’
Wow, it seems Janet is a frontrunner. But who are these people raving about Janet? Are they genuine clients of hers? Or are they her friends? There are little pods of friends who post these third party referrals to support each other getting jobs. Say Janet the copywriter and Denise the designer and Sally the social media manager all agree to shout out each other on posts like this. So, between them they all get great endorsements and increase their chances of winning jobs. OMG, sneaky.
Looking for a copywriter on Facebook? How to find a tip-top candidate
Have a specific brief
This will filter out time-wasters. Specify your time frame, budget, experience, tone and other expectations for the project. Go into as much detail as you can when you are looking for a copywriter on Facebook.
Set a fair budget
Don’t pay someone a pittance. Copywriters have spent years honing their skills and deserve to be paid fairly. Some of the fees charged are below minimum wage for the time it takes in research, production and revisions.
Find out what’s included and excluded
Copywriters quote differently. So, consider these elements:
- research, including keyword research?
- revisions – second and third round of changes (some offer unlimited changes)
- a briefing – do you have a phone call or do they make you fill out an annoying form before you even get a quote?
- ability to chat and ask questions – will they be available to answer your calls/emails?
Be willing to start in a few weeks, rather than immediately. This will attract the better copywriters who are booked in the short term but may be able to schedule you in later.
Have a system or selection criteria for how you are going to evaluate people. This could include:
- checking out their Google/Facebook reviews, website, socials and portfolio
- choosing a shortlist of about five
- having a quick 10 minute phone chat with each
- requesting an email follow up with more details on how they work
- choosing your final happy candidate (yay)
Investigate those supportive comments to find out if they are genuine. Ways to do this:
- ask them in a comment: ‘great! What kind of work did Janet do for you?’
- see if they’ve posted a review on Google or Facebook
- check they appear on the client list or portfolio
Do they walk their talk? If they write social media posts, check out their social game. If they are a LinkedIn post writer, do they have good referrals on their page? Does the blog writer have plenty of good blogs on their own website?
Don’t feel obliged to reply to every submission (it takes forever)
Turn off posts when you’ve had enough. Cut and paste this comment:
“Wow, I’m amazed by all these impressive submissions. I have plenty of candidates to sift through now, so I am turning off comments. With so many responses, I’m not in a position to reply to each and every submission. So I’ll be in contact with only those I want to shortlist. Thanks again everyone!”
For those you shortlisted, do give valuable feedback
It’s sad when I have a great chat with a potential client, and get excited about the opportunity. Then, I submit a proposal and hear absolutely nothing. So please, for those you’ve shortlisted, take the time to let them know you’ve chosen someone else. I know you feel bad so you put it off. But it’s the right thing to do.
Some copywriters may be disappointed to miss out and ask for feedback. If you can, explain why you chose someone else. Don’t worry about offending. I always find this helpful and am deeply grateful to those who take the time to give me a thoughtful response.
This approach works for other creatives
This advice isn’t exclusive to copywriters. If you’re looking for a logo, graphic designer, social media person, website designer, ads specialist or any other creative on Facebook, the same rules apply.
Wishing you all the best when you are looking for a copywriter on Facebook!