As a pet business owner, you’ve probably thought long and hard about whether to hire a pet copywriter. There’s no doubt that a good pet writer can help you to create great copy and content for your business, and most people find that the benefits of hiring a pet writer far outweigh the monetary costs.
But in order to maximise the benefits to your business, you not only need to find the right pet copywriter, but you also need to work with them effectively. There will be frustration all around if what they produce doesn’t match your expectations. So let’s take a look at some of our tried-and-tested tips for working with a pet copywriter so you can get the maximum benefit with as little frustration as possible.
1. Describe and explain your business
One of the first things to do is to define your goals and objectives for your business. Who are you selling to, and how are you doing it? This might not seem important, but it can slightly change the language needed – like saying “visit your vet” when the client is a mobile veterinarian who makes house calls. Describing your ‘ideal client’ and your brand voice is also helpful. A discovery call works well for this, but we also capture this information in our client briefing form. You can also provide links to standout content that you’ve already produced, so writers can see how your brand voice looks in real life.
2. Define the goals and objectives for the content
If your content is designed to make a sale, tell your pet copywriter this. If you instead what to inform people about a new protocol, make sure you communicate that. Whether your goal is PR, information exchange, content marketing, or a true sales page, it’s important to communicate the goals of the piece so your pet writer can get the right tone and focus in their work.
This is often best described in a ‘brief’ that sets out the specification for each piece of writing. Here, you can specify any particular calls to action you want including, as well as any branding requirements specific to the piece. (Remember, overarching brand voice and goals should come in the above step – while there’s nothing wrong with them being on the same document, if you’re ordering a lot of content then it can be time-consuming to repeat the brand information every time!)
3. Provide detailed information and insights
If you have access to market research, industry research, or industry-specific knowledge, don’t forget to pass this on to your writers. Not only will this give them a greater insight into your products and services, but it can also allow them to share information in the content to increase its value to the reader. Again, the brief is the best place for much of this, but if you’ll be ordering lots of content from the same pet copywriter, including the more generic information in an early-stage briefing form or similar would be easier!
4. Establish open and frequent communication
Making yourself available to answer any queries that your writer sends over will make the whole process smoother. It also helps to ensure that the finished content is closer to what you were wanting. In fact, this is so important that it’s something we have in our standard terms and conditions – it’s stressful and frustrating for our vet writers when they’re having to work around a hole in the brief because the client isn’t responding to requests for clarification or further information.
Of course, open and frequent communication goes both ways, and at The Veterinary Content Company we love hearing from our clients throughout the project. However, there’s a big difference between open communication and check-ins that feel like harassment. Don’t email your pet writer asking how things are going every week, or a month before the deadline – if you’ve agreed a deadline, you should trust your writer to stick to it or communicate with you if that isn’t possible.
5. Trust the pet copywriter’s expertise
Whether you’re hiring one of our veterinary writers or someone else, you’ve hopefully chosen a writer with expertise. That might be pet industry knowledge, as is the case with our team, or it could be expertise in the writing/copywriting arena. Either way, it’s important to trust your writer to do a good job, and listen to their recommendations. That doesn’t mean that feedback isn’t welcome – it is! But it’s important to remember that – if you’ve chosen well – your pet writer has knowledge that you don’t! Try to give your writer a bit of freedom to craft great pet content rather than dictating every word. If your brief gets too controlling, you might as well write the article yourself.
6. Consider whether subject matter experts are needed
Most pet copywriters will benefit from access to subject matter experts within your business. That means that your dog bed designer or nutrition team need to be on hand to help your writer. They may even need access to vets, especially if there will be pet health information in your finished content. While our brilliant vet writers don’t need any additional pet health expertise, they may benefit from being able to talk to your product design team or your in-house nutritionist for queries. And if you have decided not to hire one of our team, you’re welcome to use our team to provide short quotes for your pet writer to insert into their piece.
7. Be open to revisions and iterations
The copywriting process may involve revisions and iterations. As the client, we want you to be happy with your finished content, and sometimes that means adjusting things a little to get the feel right – it’s totally normal for this to be the case. Try to provide detailed and specific feedback if you aren’t happy. And don’t forget to include revision time in your personal content timeline – the initial deadline you set with your pet copywriter will be for the first draft, so it’s best not to want to push out the completed piece the following day!
8. Communicate deadlines and budgets
When communicating about each project, discuss your budget at an early opportunity. There’s usually ways of changing the writing to meet a smaller budget, so it’s best to explain budgetary constraints with your writer at the outset so they can work with you. Make sure you’re clear about your deadlines and timeline too – while many writers have a standard, this could be longer in busier times, so you shouldn’t assume that you’ll get the same turnaround with every project. And don’t forget, most pet writers are freelancers, which means they depend on prompt payment. Please don’t let their invoices languish in your inbox!
9. Provide feedback and testimonials
If you want to make your pet copywriter truly happy, provide feedback and offer testimonials or recommendations. These things are great for freelancers and can really help them progress. If you’ve had a bad experience, or a project hasn’t gone to plan, consider a ‘debrief’. While this can feel embarrassing and confrontational, it’s a great way to make sure that future work – with this writer or others – doesn’t fall into the same traps.
Working with a skilled pet copywriter can improve the quality and effectiveness of your pet business’s content. By following our insider tips for effective collaboration, you can have a great relationship with your writer that produces great copy and content. Remember, clear communication, trust in the copywriter’s expertise, and a collaborative approach are the key ingredients for a successful relationship with a pet copywriter.