Starting a copywriting team isn’t easy. You need to find the right person for each role. Here are several points to consider when making these important decisions. If you think of anything else, jot it down on this article printout. You could even use this article when interviewing possible team members.
KEY MEMBER ONE: Project Manager
The team leader. I’d suggest someone in a supervisory role, someone who’s already in charge. Then they have the level of respect necessary to push a project ahead. Project managers must be well-organised and stick to their guns. When the team is slacking, a good project manager will tell them. No one respects a tyrant, but no one respects a pushover either. A good project manager will balance between the two.
KEY MEMBER TWO: Marketer
The marketer will research what copy the business needs. They’ll consider your budget and time constraints. They’ll also look at the competition, so you’re not just following in someone else’s footsteps. A good marketer will also tie all your copy together, for example, time a press release with your new website’s grand opening. Your marketer should learn basic marketing terms like USP (Unique Selling Point) and Call to Action, and understand how these terms come together.
KEY MEMBER THREE: Writer
Without the writer, there is no copy. With the marketer’s help, the writer will write effective copy that draws in readers and converts them into buyers. The right tone, grammar, length, and much more are factors the copywriter must consider. The writer must also carry out basic research through interviews, read business materials, and use their expertise. A good writer will spend quality time perfecting the copy, but quality time must be quick. Squeezing in copywriting in their spare time isn’t good enough. The writer must take writing seriously: set aside time daily, redraft, and self-edit.
KEY MEMBER FOUR: Editor
Writers try to cut what isn’t necessary, but being attached to the copy makes things difficult. This is why having a separate editor is a good idea. They spot mistakes writers miss, see parts that are unclear, and provide guidance on the rules of writing. Editors should NOT write. They must only EDIT. Everyone must stick to their role or the project might fall apart. The editor should also identify the ‘voice’ your brand has and maintain its consistency in all copy.
KEY MEMBER FIVE: Proofreader
The proofreader uses intense focus while reading. They must spot those silly mistakes the writer and editor missed. They should clearly mark errors so they can be fixed quickly. If the proofreader keeps finding many mistakes, the project manager should have a word with the writer and editor, particularly the editor. Give the proofreader the time they need to do a good job. Ideally, let them have their own work area where they can proofread in peace. Disruptions mean mistakes could slip through.
KEY MEMBER SIX: Graphic Designer
Copy and pictures are nice, but an original, consistent presentation will take your brand to another level. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a technology industry, finding someone with graphics skills should be easy. If you’re working in other industries, choose someone who’s willing to put in the time and effort to learn. There are free/cheap graphics programs out there, so all the designer needs are good tutorials (I recommend Youtube). Make sure the designs don’t distract attention from the words. This is copywriting, not graphics portfolio building.
KEY MEMBER SEVEN: Unbiased Person
This is the tough one…Have you got anyone on your team who’s always brutally honest? This role might a supervisor, CEO, Director, etc who isn’t afraid to tell the truth. Or you could ask a relative or friend who’s always honest. For wider feedback, go online to your favourite website. Stress that you’re NOT advertising. You just need honest feedback. The best way to get this from strangers is through surveys. This is a great way for responders to hide so they’re not afraid to be honest.
What happens if you don’t have 7 people? No problem. People will have to do more than one job. As long as you share the duties and workload fairly, this won’t be a problem. Make sure no one has consecutive jobs to complete, for example, don’t let your writer be your editor. You could pass this article around your team and see who volunteers for each role. Don’t just accept anybody! If you doubt they’ve got the right skills, be honest. Better to hurt their feelings than risk poor copywriting.