You know you need a copywriter but you’re not sure whether you should grow a team of in-house copywriters or contract a freelancer. Working out what your business needs can be challenging and finding the right person to deliver the copy you need can also be taxing. The time to scan through copywriting agencies, chat to other business owners or research online is a resource you just don’t have the time for… 

We get it. When running a business, you’re juggling a lot at once. Finding ways to bring new in-house copywriters on board, that can write killer copy, is not where your priorities lie. However we also understand that running digital campaigns can be crucial for growth and development and having the right team that can do that is absolutely essential. 

Freelance copywriters can help you achieve that success. However, having a  dedicated in-house team can ensure that you have someone on board at all times to help execute great copy and achieve your content needs. You’ve got a decision to make… What should you do? Hire in-house copywriters or consider contracting freelancers?

In this blog, we have put together some advantages and disadvantages of choosing between a freelancer and an in-house copywriter, helping you to make an informed decision when making choices for your business.

in-house copywriters
In-house copywriters: An employee working on a computer. (Image Credit: Glenn Carstens)

Harnessing the Power of Freelance Copywriting: Optimizing Your Content Efforts

What are the major benefits of outsourcing your copy to a freelancer?

  • They have flexibility: Freelance copywriters offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and availability, allowing businesses to adjust their workforce based on project needs and budget constraints.
  • You have flexibility: Once you have finished a project, you might not have a direct need for a copywriter for a while. You can pay your freelance and contact them again when appropriate. You are not bound to them in any way and, once you have paid them, don’t have that same expense. 
  • Cost: One obvious benefit is cost. Once a freelancer has completed work for you, you don’t have to continue paying them juxtaposed with in-house copywriters. As they are not an employee, you don’t have to worry about paying tax or insurance with them, nor holiday pay or sick pay, you pay for them either hourly or with their day rate. This makes things much easier and can save you money in the long run.  
  • Scalability: Freelancing provides businesses with the ability to scale their copywriting efforts up or down seamlessly, depending on the current workload and marketing objectives.
  • Access to a wider talent pool: Your business is not limited to local talent when hiring freelance copywriters, opening doors to a diverse range of skills, expertise, and perspectives. An outsourced copywriter can be based anywhere in the world, providing their content remotely.
  • Freelancers are typically vastly experienced in certain fields. You can choose a freelancer that compliments your business as a whole and provides value to the content that you want to write. This ensures that specific projects are catered for and that your content is unique and valuable. With in-house copyriters you need to be willing to invest in training.
 in-house copywriters
In-house copywriters: Picture of a desk with all the materials used for copywriting, including book, pictures, computer.

Effective Freelance Copywriter Management: Strategies for Seamless Collaboration

  • Effective communication: Establish clear communication channels and maintain regular contact with freelance copywriters. This ensures alignment on project expectations, timelines, and feedback mechanisms and is a way to keep content creation fluid and on track.  
  • Project management: Utilize project management tools or methodologies to organize tasks, track progress, and maintain visibility into the workflow.
  • Quality control: Implement a quality control process to ensure that freelance-produced content meets the brand’s standards and style guidelines. This may involve peer reviews, editorial checks, and adherence to brand style guides.

Considering The Negatives of Hiring a Freelancer Copywriter

  • Reliability: How do you know that the work will get done? Concerns around reliability of service are valid. We suggest conducting thorough vetting processes by reviewing portfolios, requesting references, and conducting test projects to ensure the freelancer you are hiring provides a reliable service. 
  • Consistency: How can I be sure they will adhere to my brands tone of voice? Provide clear brand guidelines, style guides, and reference materials to ensure consistent messaging and tone of voice across all freelance-produced content.
  • Expertise and cost: The major issue with hiring freelancers can be how expensive they are in comparison to an in-house copywriters. Freelancers work, usually, more much higher rates by the hour than you would pay an in-house copywriter. The more senior a copywriter is, the more expensive they are for your business. If you decide to hire a freelance copywriter, ensure you assess your business needs before making the decision on the experience level. Perhaps you might consider hiring junior copywriters, seeking more experience? Be mindful that your expectations should be somewhat lower if making this choice. 
  • Cultural differences: Be mindful of potential cultural differences when communicating with freelance copywriters from diverse backgrounds. We really recommend fostering open and respectful communication to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Managing your expectations: Remember, they are not your employees! Freelancers will only work on what you have hired them to do. This means that you can’t use them for other work that crops up that may need to be attended to. Their scope of work will prevent them from working outside of those confines. If you have multiple projects cropping up, ensure you have hired your copywriter to cover it all.  
  • Availability: As independent contractors, they may not always be available to answer questions or concerns about content. This means that you might be waiting on edits or changes to be done for a while, causing project delays. You can’t control their schedule, so this is something that you have to be very open about with them. 
  • Trust: If your freelancer is working remotely and you’re charging a daily rate, you have to trust that they are using that time to work on the content that you have hired them for. Otherwise, they could be doing other projects on your dime. Freelancers can work remotely which means that you won’t always be able to monitor their progress 
 in-house copywriters
In-house copywriters: A picture of a woman writing in a notebook. (Image Credit: Hannah Olinger)

Grow Your Team: Considerations When Hiring In-House Copywriters

The Power of In-House Copywriters: Cultivating Content Excellence

  • Relevancy: Hiring in-house copywriters means that your content is always going to be highly relevant to your business. If you have employed someone fulltime to write about your brand and embody the tone and style you want to deliver to your audience. This means that you will have an expert on your products or services who can deliver the style and format you want.  
  • Relationship building: When you hire in-house, you are able to support and nurture their progress and productivity. It is easy to check in to ensure that they are on top of their work and going in the direction that aligns with the business goals. This means that you are able to guide them if you need something different from your content or the vision changes.
  • Consistency: Having an in-house writers means that you have a consistent output of content. You can schedule publishing times for them and they can meet deadlines to ensure that you have a stream of content reaching your audience, pulling in leads, tracking conversions, and making sales.  
  • Reliability: In-house copywriters offer reliability in areas that freelancers simply can’t. You have hired a copywriter to work to your schedule for when suits you. This means that you have more control over deadlines and when content needs to be delivered. 
 in-house copywriters
In-house copywriters: A picture of an employee working on some copywriting. 

Assessing the Drawbacks of In-House Copywriters: A Balanced Perspective

  • Cost: If you decide to hire in-house copywriters, remember the cost that this entails. Whether you require their services or not, if you hire them, you are obligated to pay them. This means that you will have to have a budget their for long-term work. What’s more, you will also have to pay holiday pay, sick pay, insurance, and tax for employees.  
  • Hiring process: The hiring process of finding a copywriter that fits with your business can take time and money. This can potentially eat into your budget as well as you search for someone who best reflects your brand and values.  
  • Scalability: You might hire someone with particular expertise but if you have a business that is growing and moving in different directions, they might not be able to write content in the field that you need them to. 

Unveiling the Mystery: Considering Frequently Asked Questions About Freelance Vs In-House Copywriters

Let’s address some common questions readers may have about freelance copywriting, such as:

      1. How to select the right freelance copywriter for your business?

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to selecting the right freelance copywriter for your business:

        • Define your needs and expectations: Clearly outline your project requirements, target audience, brand voice, and desired tone of voice. This will help you identify potential candidates with the skills and experience to match your project needs.
        • Shortlist potential candidates: Narrow down your options to a few top contenders based on your initial assessment. Reach out to them directly to schedule brief introductory calls or interviews.
        • Evaluate their communication and professionalism: During your interactions, evaluate their communication skills, responsiveness, and professionalism. Assess their ability to understand your project requirements and propose effective solutions.
        • Request samples or test projects: Ask your shortlisted candidates to provide writing samples or complete test projects that align with your project’s style and tone. This will give you a better sense of their writing abilities and suitability for your needs.
        • Discuss rates and terms: Clearly discuss their rates, payment terms, and any additional costs associated with their services. Ensure you understand their availability and timeline expectations before moving forward.
        • Establish clear expectations and guidelines: Once you select the right freelance copywriter, establish clear expectations regarding deadlines, communication frequency, feedback mechanisms, and brand guidelines.

          1. What are typical freelance copywriting rates?

        Freelance copywriting rates vary hugely depending on the copywriter’s experience, expertise, industry specialisation, and project complexity. However, as a general guideline, freelance copywriters typically charge between £25 and £150 per hour. More experienced and specialised copywriters may command higher rates, while newer or less experienced copywriters may charge lower rates.

            1. How to effectively collaborate with freelance copywriters compared with in-house copywriters that are an established part of your team?

          Effective collaboration with freelance copywriters is essential for achieving successful project outcomes. Here are some tips for effective collaboration:

              • Establish clear communication channels: Set up clear communication channels, such as email, phone, or project management tools, to ensure regular and timely communication throughout the project.
              • Provide clear project requirements and feedback: Clearly communicate your project requirements, expectations, and target audience at the outset. Provide timely and constructive feedback to ensure the copy aligns with your vision and brand guidelines.
              • Establish deadlines and milestones: Set clear deadlines for each stage of the project and agree on milestones to track progress and ensure timely completion.
              • Respect their expertise: Trust their expertise and allow them to bring their creative insights to the project. However, maintain open communication and provide feedback where necessary to ensure the copy aligns with your brand and objectives.
              • Address concerns promptly: If any concerns or issues arise, address them promptly and professionally. Open communication and a collaborative approach can help resolve issues quickly and maintain a positive working relationship.

                1. What are the key considerations for managing freelance copywriters?

              Managing freelance copywriters requires a balance of clear expectations, effective communication, and respect for their expertise. Here are some key considerations for managing freelance copywriters:

                  • Establish clear project expectations and guidelines: Provide clear upfront communication regarding project requirements, deadlines, brand guidelines, and desired tone of voice. This will help set expectations and ensure the copy aligns with your vision.
                  • Assign projects effectively: Match projects to the copywriter’s skills, experience, and expertise. This will increase the likelihood of successful outcomes and maximise the value of their contributions.
                  • Provide regular feedback and guidance: Offer timely and constructive feedback throughout the project. Provide clear instructions, reference materials, and brand guidelines to ensure the copy aligns with your expectations.
                  • Respect their deadlines and workload: Respect their agreed-upon deadlines and avoid overloading them with work. Maintain open communication about their availability and schedule to avoid potential conflicts.
                  • Maintain open communication: Foster open and transparent communication throughout the project. Address concerns promptly and professionally to maintain a positive working relationship.

                Freelance Vs In-House Copywriters: What Is Best For Your Business?

                There are many factors to consider when hiring a copywriter and it can become confusing working out exactly what your business needs. 

                We believe the most important factor to consider is what works best for you and your business. 

                When making this choice, the key takeaways to consider are:

                    • Cost – Can you afford freelance rates or do you want to invest in an in-house copywriter for long term content?
                    • Availability – Do you need someone who is always available for your projects on your schedule? If so, hire in-house, not freelance
                    • Scope of work – Do you need someone to help out with different projects other than the one they are working on? Freelancers are only contracted to do the work you’ve hired to do. Keep in mind that when hiring for a copywriter. 
                    • Reliability – In-house copywriters provide you with a constant flow of content and work to your schedule. 

                  Should you need further tips, advice or support, ProfileTree has a host of expert copywriters willing to consult you on your best step. Get in touch with us today.  

                   in-house copywriters
                  In-house copywriters: A picture of a freelance copywriter working at a desk at home. 
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