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Should You Keep Copywriting in House or Outsourced? Here’s a Guide on How to Make the Right Decision for Your Business.
Many of the most successful businesses today know that the best leaders are often the ones that are best at delegation. One area in which delegation may be necessary is the highly skilled art of copywriting. Copywriting is a task that can either be handled in house or outsourced, the question becomes which is right for your company?
To best answer that question, an organization should do an internal review to determine its needs and the best way to handle them. To help you with this, we’ve come up with a handy guide on how to make the right decision for your business when it comes to copywriting.
Table of Contents
What Does a Copywriter Do?
Before we can talk about who to turn to for your copywriting, we should first make sure we’re on the same page about what copywriting is and what a good copywriter can do for your business.
“Copywriting” is any writing that is created with the purpose of grabbing the reader’s attention and leading them to take action. This writing is usually found in ads, landing pages, email funnels, product descriptions, and so on.
A “copywriter” is the person responsible for writing this copy and they alone can increase your revenue by massive leaps and bounds. They typically have extensive experience in marketing research and understand how to speak to the reader in the most effective way possible.
Copywriters come with highly sought after skills such as:
- Clear, readable, and compelling writing style
- The ability to speak in a brand’s voice
- The understanding of a target audience and how to market to one
- SEO expertise and the ability to increase your Google ranking
Beyond their skills, a copywriter should also bring certain tools to the table with them, such as:
- Analytical Tools and metrics (Google, CRM Software)
- Access to an image database (Canva, Shutterstock)
- Proofreading and editing software (Microsoft Word, Google Docs)
- Collaboration systems for client work (Monday, Asana, OneNote)
Now that you have a better understanding of what a copywriter does and how much they can bring to your company, it’s easy to understand why it’s important to invest in the best copywriter that your company can afford.
Now, should this person be in-house or outsourced? There’s really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it typically boils down to a company’s size and long-term goals. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at the advantages of both options.
Why You May Want an In-House Copywriter
One of the biggest and most obvious advantages to having an in-house copywriter is that you’re guaranteed their time and focus. You’re their employer, so you’re their main priority and you can also expect them to fully understand your brand voice and use it consistently. Here are the top benefits of using an in-house copywriter.
Better Bang for Your Buck
If you can afford to staff an in-house copywriter, you’ll end up saving money in the long run as you’ll avoid paying what is typically a high project or hourly rate. An in-house copywriter agrees to a fixed pay rate and you can expect their attention for a set number of hours per week. While you’ll incur the typical costs of an employee such as sick time, payroll taxes, and such, you’ll get a better return for your money if you have several projects that will need fresh copywriting over the course of the year.
A Full Understanding of Your Brand
When a copywriter works in-house for a company, they’re expected to be experts for the company’s brand voice and image. Part of their job may even be to clearly define this for the company. When working with a freelance copywriter, you’re able to send them a summary of your brand, but you can’t expect the kind of knowledge that you’d get with someone working for you directly.
Why is this important? All of the copy that your company puts out should be done in a consistent manner in order for the public to build trust in you and to set expectations for what your company stands for. When you have an in-house copywriter, you can rest assured that your copy will always be true to your tone and consistent.
Ability to Train to Company’s Specific Needs
Having a copywriter on your staff also means that you can give them ongoing training and development relevant to your company and industry. This training could include research specific to your market or SEO training to improve their capabilities and your Google ranking. You even have the ability to send them to copywriting workshops to hone their skills and show that you value them enough to invest in their career.
Any training that you can offer your copywriter will be to your advantage in the long run as they learn new and improved strategies for reaching customers. Writing effective copy is a skill that should be sharpened as often as possible. By offering this to your in-house copywriter, you’re investing in your copywriting business.
Why You May Want to Outsource Your Copywriting
While there are plenty of benefits to having a copywriter on your staff, it may not always be a possibility or even the best possibility. If you don’t have a large need for copy or if your company is small, you may benefit from the use of a copywriting service or freelancer. Let’s look at why this is sometimes the best option for your company.
You Get Commitment-Free Copywriting
If you’re not sure about the amount of copywriting that you’ll actually need in the future, or if you aren’t comfortable taking on another employee, outsourcing your copy is a commitment-free way to get the job done. If you aren’t thrilled with the work of a particular copywriter, you can be asked to be reassigned if you’re working with an agency or you can look for a new freelancer.
What should never be done is handing the task off to someone that has no experience with this kind of writing. Instead of attempting this highly skilled craft on your own, get the same conversion-focused writing from a freelancer or copywriting agency and hire by the job. You’ll save time and they’ll make you money.
Incredibly Gifted Writers at Your Fingertips
When you become a client of a copywriting agency, you can guarantee that you’re getting the cream of the crop when it comes to talented copywriters. Agencies are picky about who they put on their team and you benefit from this prestige when you hire them. If you work with an individual freelancer instead of an agency, you have the ability to view their work beforehand and can expect quality, since they’re making a living on their own in copywriting.
Cost-Efficient for Small Companies
While hiring an in-house copywriter saves you money in the long run, that’s not entirely true if you only need a few pieces over the course of a month or year. Sure, freelance copywriters can charge a hefty hourly or project price, but it may still be the cost-effective way to go. If you have a small company and don’t require a ton of work, you’ll avoid paying the extra costs associated with taking on another employee.
Fresh Perspective and Energy Every Time
In-house copywriters are experts on your company’s brand and this certainly brings a consistency that’s beneficial to a company. However, using a freelancer means you’ll get a fresh perspective that can bring new energy to your copy when it’s become a little tired and stale. They’re more apt to see your company, product, and services the way that a prospective customer would, rather than someone that’s been on the inside for years.
One Size Does NOT Fit All
As we said before, when it comes to deciding if your company should keep copywriting in-house or outsource it, there is no easy answer. Determining your company’s need for copywriting over the next year is one easy place to start when trying to make this decision.
Are you a large company wanting to rebrand your image or launch a new product? An in-house copywriter may be exactly what you need, since you’re able to monopolize their time and fine-tune your pieces to your liking.
Or, are you a smaller company that wants to create a few landing pages and could possibly need some product descriptions written for you throughout the year? Well, you may be better served with a freelancer or copywriting agency.
There is no one-size-fits-all in this equation. Furthermore, what’s right for you this year may not be what’s right for you next year. Be ready to examine these questions and benefits on an annual basis to see if your needs have changed and then make the required adjustments. No matter what, skilled copywriting is something that is always worth the investment of both your time and money. You’ll agree when you see your revenue start to climb.
About the Author: Liz Slyman. Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.