How do you know if someone is qualified to do a job?
I thought about this recently while perusing my LinkedIn feed.
Because I'm an animal health copywriter, many of my connections are veterinarians. The letters DVM in their titles confirm they've completed specific training and are qualified and educated in animal health care.
But what happens when you, someone in the animal health world, are looking for a copywriter? How do you determine a possible candidate's skill level?
Copywriters come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak, and won't necessarily have credentials after their names. And if they do, you may not know what they represent.
Since that puts you at a disadvantage, here are some pointers for vetting a copywriter.
These tips will help the cream rise to the top.
Why should I be interested in a copywriter's skills?
A copywriter's skill will reflect the quality of the content or copy he creates for you. And quality content or copy will garner the intended response you're looking for from your audience or clients.
And that is the purpose of marketing; to reach the people who want your products or services.
A skilled copywriter understands the difference between copywriting and content writing and the importance of search engine optimization (SEO.)
A copywriter experienced with sales copy knows how to write with persuasion and tailor it to the targeted audience.
A knowledgeable content writer knows content's purpose is to educate the reader by answering her questions. Clear, easy-to-read, and detailed writing is the preferred tool for this writer who aims to engage readers and build lasting relationships.
How do I recognize these skills?
Visit the writer's website, online portfolio, or LinkedIn profile to review work samples and client testimonials. Pay attention to the following details.
Check credentials or pursuit of continuing education
Many companies hiring copywriters seek people with marketing, communications, or journalism degrees. Others prefer writers to have degrees in areas specific to their industry, such as animal health or financial services.
Just so you know, a degree in marketing, communications, or journalism is what some companies prefer. However, many excellent copywriters are without these degrees, so don't limit yourself unless you feel strongly that such a degree is necessary.
In addition, multiple "copywriting academies" are available for writers to learn the trade or enhance their skills. Examples are American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI), Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Copyblogger's Academy, and SEO Content Institute.
Finally, speak with the copywriter. Find out how she approaches a project. Look for someone with a defined process articulating what she needs from a client to give the best service.
Why does vetting a copywriter's skills matter?
Does the marketing success of your veterinary practice, practice management software solution, or cutting-edge pharmaceutical matter to you? Vetting a potential writer's skills should also matter.
A lousy copywriter can cost you money and fail at producing results.
In the long run, taking these steps to vet a copywriting candidate is worth your time and effort.
I'm a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets.
Do you need help with content or copy? Email or call me at 508-277-4929!
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Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter