12 May 2020

How to Interview a Copywriter for Your B2B SaaS (So You Don’t End Up With Crap Content)

How do you know if a B2B SaaS writer is any good? Do you look at a few of their samples and then take a leap of faith? We’ve interviewed over 50 writers and reviewed samples from hundreds, and we can tell you, with certainty, that this simply doesn’t work. In this video,  we’ll cover how to interview a copywriter effectively in 4 steps.

How to Interview a Copywriter for Your B2B SaaS (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

In the past couple of years, we’ve interviewed over 50 writers and reviewed writing samples from hundreds. There are two key things we’ve learned.

  1. Excellent writers are hard to find. Plenty of good writers mean well and put effort into their work, but good writing simply isn’t enough when you need to drive leads and sales for a high-growth SaaS company.
  2. A few writing samples just won’t cut it. You need to see more than a couple of writing samples to determine whether a writer has the chops to create high performing content.

Learn how to interview a copywriter effectively

Here’s a breakdown of the interview process we’ve developed to help ensure we get the best possible writers on our team:

1. Application stage 

The writer completes a simple application (using Google Forms) with questions about their process for researching, writing and editing. We also ask them to provide links to 5 writing samples that demonstrate their ability with specific topics, styles and content types. We ask that at least 1 of the 5 samples be an unedited version so we can see their work before someone else gets their hands on it. If we like what we see, we move forward.

2. Zoom call 

When thinking about how to interview a copywriter, we always recommend video calls rather than phone calls because they’re so much more personal. During these calls, we try to get to know the writer better. We ask about the samples they sent and we dig into their process. We always like to ask how they handle feedback, as their answers tend to be quite insightful. If they seem like someone we could work with, we’re on to step 3.

3. Writing exercise

At Uplift, we create a lot of SaaS case studies, ebooks and white papers, so we designed an exercise to test the writer’s ability to create a powerful case study. For the exercise, we wrote the entire case study but removed the challenge section for the writer to complete (using an interview transcript that we provide).

This exercise shows us whether a writer has the skills we require, including writing style, attention to deadlines and more.

4. References (don’t skip this step!) 

For our last step on how to interview a copywriter, we call 2 references for a short conversation. This provides a useful perspective on what it’s really like to work with the writer. If the writer has moved through each phase of the interview process with flying colors, we’re ready to welcome the writer to the team.

Start off on the right foot

Working with a new writer is always going to be a bit of a leap of faith, but by learning how to interview a copywriter effectively, you give yourself the best possible chance to find your next hero.

To set up your new B2B SaaS writer for success, you need to give them all the information they need to hit the ground running. Download our customizable onboarding tool to get started.

Next step?

Now that you know how to interview a copywriter, it’s time to learn how to onboard your new writer quickly and painlessly so they can deliver results quickly.

This is the fifth post in a 10-part series on how to find your next B2B SaaS writer and work with them successfully.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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