Last year, I got an email that made my heart sing.
It was from a young copywriter I used to coach.
In fact, he was one of my star pupils.
And as a result, I ended up referring him to one of my former clients when I decided to join Strategic Profits at the beginning of the year.
At first, he started writing for them on a project basis.
But because of the awesome work he was doing, they decided to hire him full-time as an in-house copywriter.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic for him.
And I felt the kind of pride that a dad feels when their kid scores the winning touchdown in a peewee football game.
But it also made me reflect on the traits that made him so successful.
You see, I’ve coached and mentored dozens of young copywriters.
And as a result, I’ve realized that there are 3 key indicators that’ll tell you if an inexperienced copywriter has what it takes to become a control-beating superstar.
You just gotta look for…
The first thing I look for is how they handle feedback. They can’t have a big ego or take criticism personally. And they definitely shouldn’t get defensive about their copy or argue with you about the merits of their approach.
But even more important…
Great copywriters are not just able to take feedback, but they can quickly grasp your suggestions and implement them in the next draft.
If you feel like you’re giving the same feedback over and over again, and they’re just not “getting it,” then that’s a big red flag.
Like the great Dan Kennedy says, “money is attracted to speed.”
And that’s why, when hiring a junior copywriter, I want to see how fast they can write the first draft, get my feedback, then make revisions.
On the flip side, beware of perfectionist copywriters.
If they take forever to turn in their work and miss deadlines, even if the quality is high, then they won’t be nearly as productive as those that can bang out copy in a flash and then polish the writing as they go.
Lastly, I want copywriters who’re passionate about their craft.
Many people get into copywriting as a means to an end: they want freedom… or the big checks… or because they view the job as a stepping stone to starting their own business or moving up the corporate ladder.
But frankly, the best copywriters I’ve seen are those who simply LOVE copy. They enjoy writing. They enjoy the research. They’re endlessly fascinated by human psychology. And they’re driven to be the best in their field.
So watch out if you think someone is a copywriter because of the job perks instead of their passion for doing the work.
Now, I do have to add one caveat…
This list is specifically for businesses who already have someone on staff (either the business owner, publisher, or copy chief) who’s got legit copy skills of their own and has enough experience to:
Generate big ideas that they can assign to less experienced copywriters…
Tell if a piece of copy is doggy dookie, and can…
Give detailed feedback on how to improve it.
Don’t have someone like that in your company?
Then you’re probably not ready to hire a junior copywriter in the first place.
Instead, hire a senior copywriter who’s got Copy Chief potential and build out your team from there.
Cause now I gotta go critique copy from a junior.
Your pen pal,