Yep, you were right – there’s a ton to write, and not enough you to write it.
Your website hasn’t been updated since your initial launch. Your blog is nigh on defunct. Your email onboarding campaign is drafted, but something’s holding you back from hitting the Publish button. Your content to-do list has been growing since 2015.
How did I know that? Because, almost every travel brand I work with expresses some version of this story: Whether you’re a solopreneur or a medium-sized hotel, a vacation rental owner or a niche travel agency, there’s a gaping, sucking hole in the bridge that links the content you have and the copy you know you need.
Bottom line: Your team doesn’t have the time or expertise to write all that “stuff.” (And maybe, you’re not even sure about what “stuff” you actually need.)
And that has sent you on the hunt for a great travel copywriter. That said, you’re not quite sure how to go about your search. You’re don’t know what to look for, once you’ve identified a great candidate. And you definitely don’t know how you could save yourself some money along the way.
I do. Here’s how to get from Point A to Point Bookings. (Couldn’t help myself!)
- First: How Can a Travel Copywriter Help?
- Step 1: Get an Idea of What You Need
- Step 2: Determine If You Need a Travel Copywriter
- Step 3: Start Your Search
- Step 4: Work Out a Budget
- Step 5: Interview [Each Other]
- Step 6: Make the Most of Your Consult
- Step 7: Review the Proposal
- Step 8: Make Your Decision
But, First: How Can a Travel Copywriter Help?
My job is to make your work life easier.
You probably didn’t expect that answer, did you?
But, it’s true: As a travel copywriter, yes, I have a certain skillset – I write bookings-driven websites; I craft personable and inspiring email campaigns; I draft, upload and publish blog posts; the list goes on! – but my real job is to take the load off your shoulders and serve as your content partner, melding my travel copywriting expertise with your first-hand knowledge.
This isn’t something “just anyone” can do. Slapping “travel copywriter” onto a website, does not a travel copywriter make. Potent hospitality copywriting marries inspirational travel writing with goal-focused sales copywriting.
A great travel copywriter fills in the blanks: What you don’t know how to do, what you don’t have time to do, what you can’t do – I do.
If that sounds like the kind of freelancer you need in your life, then let’s talk about how to find, hire and then, work with the right travel copywriter for YOU.
Step 1: Get an Idea of What You Need
Before you do anything, write a list of all the copywriting you need – of everything from your About page and abandoned cart emails (almost booked, but didn’t) to your blog posts and booking upgrade invitations.
This step serves to visualize your upcoming and/or ongoing copy project(s), while helping you prioritize: what do you want your travel copywriter to do FIRST?
Step 2: Determine If You Need a Travel Copywriter
Here’s an industry secret for you: You don’t need to hire a travel copywriter for every piece of writing you require.
Sometimes, you or your employees – anyone with decent writing chops – can produce solid content, whether it’s a quick blog post or an email about an upcoming discount. You just have to carve out the time.
Because, here’s the truth of it: I don’t want you to waste your budget on a service you don’t need.
By all means, if you have the budget but not the time – and, if you’ve been sitting on a must-do project for more than a month, you probably don’t have the time – then you should hire a copywriter. If you can do some of it but not all of it, then you should hire a copywriter. If you just don’t want to do it, then you should hire a copywriter.
So, when must you hire a travel copywriter? For all your high-priority, conversion-focused copy. Knowing how to write for conversions – how to write to get people to click on “Book Now” – is worth the investment.
Step 3: Start Your Search
Ask for referrals or start googling. Because, the first step in hiring a specialized industry copywriter is to… well, find us!
Obviously (not obviously?), any good travel copywriter with online presence has a command of SEO, as it relates to content. Bear in mind, though, that outstanding writing is more important than “SEO.” SEO is a natural byproduct of good writing. (More on that, in another post.)
Bottom line, SEO-savvy copywriters appear on the first page of Google for your given search: travel copywriter, hotel copywriter, vacation rental copywriter – you’re looking for Page 1, preferably within the first few results.
But, do be sure to google your specific needs. For your specific niche.
Googling for a massive, catch-all phrase like “copywriter,” is too generic to return targeted results and too competitive to allow anyone to showcase their SEO skills. As a comparison, imagine if someone searched merely for “France,” when what they really wanted was a wine tour through France. Be a little more specific, and you’ll get better results.
Once you’ve found a few copywriter candidates, start perusing their websites. I am of the firm belief that the best copywriter-client relationships begin with personal connection. In other words, you should connect with your future copywriter’s own website writing. A copywriter’s past work should resonate with you. You should really get a feel for who they are.
You should like your travel copywriter. After all, we’re going to be talking a lot!
Step 4: Work Out a Budget
I know – how can you “work out a budget,” when you have no idea of how much travel copywriting costs?
The key is that you do know approximately how much you can afford: How much are you willing and able to invest in your copywriting and marketing? Do you have $1,000? $1,500? $2,000? More than that?
What is your budgetary “happy place”?
Sharing your budget with your copywriter doesn’t mean you’ll spend your entire budget. What it means is that your copywriter can shape your project to suit your budget, if there are financial constraints or considerations.
In other words, hashing out a budget in advance prevents a lot of back-and-forth and cuts a quicker path from project ideation to project completion. It streamlines the process of hiring a travel copywriter. Because, bottom line – I will do everything I can to fit our project to your budget.
(Still wondering what copywriting costs? It’s all over the map. I can tell you that quality copywriting doesn’t cost $5 or even $100, no matter what sites like Elance and Upwork seem to suggest. I can also assure you that you can hire a great travel copywriter for less than $500-$1,000/day or the $10,000+ per site the big guys charge. Think of me as the happy medium.)
Step 5: Interview [Each Other]
Personally, I love this step of the process: The initial consult should FUN.
I really enjoy getting to know you. I love discussing your goals and wish-lists, priorities and must-haves. This is the chance for us to get to know each other.
Because, you should feel comfortable with me. You’re putting important copywriting into my hands; you should feel confident in that choice. You should also feel confident that I’m excited for your project. You’re not just another client; you’re my next client and I can’t wait to work on your project!
Likewise, I should feel comfortable with you. I need to hear your speaking voice, because it’ll come back in my writing voice. I want to know you and also, I want to be sure we’re a good fit.
So, choose a travel copywriter who offers a free and comprehensive consult. No strings. No pressure. Consider it a sign of good faith: A free copywriting consult lets you test the waters and see if you’re a good fit.
Bottom line: Copywriting is a relationship. Sometimes, it’s a long-term relationship. We need to trust each other!
Ready to jump-start our relationship?
Step 6: Make the Most of Your Consult
Be prepared. That’s my advice.
Before your consult, review the list you compiled in Step 1. Prioritize. Because, your consult is the time to share those priorities. To discuss what’s advisable. To determine how much as possible. It’s also the time to share your budget, so your copywriter can build your project around your budget.
Likewise, a good copywriter will also prepare for your consult. For example, before a consult, I’ll ask you a bit about what you have in mind, what you don’t like about your current copy/content, and for any relevant links. I’ll dig into your website and any other resources you’ve given me. I won’t come in cold.
And, throughout our consult, let’s get to know each other a bit. We should get along. You should feel comfortable with me. (And I, with you.) Because again, a personal relationship is the cornerstone of a solid copywriting relationship.
Bottom line: The best thing you can do during a consult is share your Step 1 (what do you need?) and Step 4 (what’s a comfortable budget?). The best thing I can do during a consult is explain how I can help, and determine whether I can fulfill your Step 1 with the budget from Step 4. Then, we’ll get to know each other. And from there, we’ll know if we’re a good fit.
Step 7: Review the Proposal
By now, you’ve spoken with a few copywriters. You’ve verified their expertise in your niche. You’ve perused their samples and past work. (If necessary, you’ve asked for more.)
You’ve talked. And, you feel comfortable.
You’re almost ready to hire a travel copywriter. But first, the official proposal. A professional travel copywriter will always provide you with a comprehensive project proposal. Here’s what to look for:
- Project Specifics: Your project proposal should be broken down into individual and specific copy deliverables. Each item should be detailed clearly.
- Project Price(s): Next to each copy deliverable or packaged deliverable, the cost should be clearly specified. Some copywriters charge per hour – typically, $50 is the minimum for novice copywriters, while experienced copywriters charge $100-$250+ per hour – although I prefer to work by the project, as that gives you a bottom-line price. There are no unexpected or unbudgeted expenses, when you hire by the project.
- Project Terms: Pay close attention to the project terms, including payment terms and edits: Does your copywriter include only one round of edits? How much do they require to start your project? Personally, I require 50% to start and project and every project includes all required edits: we’re not finished until you’re satisfied.
Notably, if funds are tight, a reasonable proposal may not squeeze every wish-list item into your given budget. Your project cost should match your copywriter’s experience level. A project cost that far exceeds your stated budget (provided you stated one) is as much a warning sign as a too-good-to-be-true project cost. Sometimes, inexpensive is just cheap.
If you have any additional questions for a copywriting candidate, send an email. A good copywriter will be happy to answer your follow-up questions!
Step 8: Make Your Decision
The big moment has finally arrived: It’s time to hire a travel copywriter.
Really, the decision comes down to you: Who do you feel is the best fit for you and your business? Weigh considerations like availability and cost, and take into account how comfortable you feel with each copywriter.
Your choice resides in that happy middle-ground – with the copywriter who “gets” you, who has expertise in the copy you need, and who can make your budget work (or, who can work your budget).
Now, it’s time to make some copywriting magic.
Book a Free Consult
Want to see if we’re a good fit? Then, let’s set up a free, 30-minute consultation. We’ll talk about what you want to talk about: your website, your blog, your email marketing… And then, we’ll talk about how to create killer copy and increase bookings.
Your consultation is completely free. I won’t pressure you to book my services. Let’s just talk and see if we’d be a good fit. Let’s get comfortable with each other.
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