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How to Onboard a New Copywriter

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You scanned applications until your eyes glazed over. You read writing samples, viewed portfolios and completed reference calls. Now, you have the perfect copywriter to add to your agency—and they’ve accepted the position. Congratulations! Now it’s time to dive into onboarding your new copywriter.

“Each new employee brings with them a potential to achieve and succeed. To lose the energy of a new hire through poor onboarding is an opportunity lost.”
– Sarah Wetzel

Just as Sarah said, poor onboarding may cost you the perfect fit for your agency. How can you be sure you’re onboarding the right way? It all starts with a successful first day.

What to Do on Your New Copywriter’s First Day

As your copywriter logs onto your Slack channel or walks into your agency for the first time, the “new” is unsettling. They don’t know anyone yet and have no idea what to do first. As their new boss, it’s up to you to make way for a great first day. After all, it will set the tone for your copywriter’s entire time with your agency.

Give a Nice, Warm Welcome

First things first, welcome your new copywriter to your team! Introduce them to your other employees or contractors, if applicable. Show them around your agency if they work on-site. Give them the opportunity to warm-up to their surroundings before jumping headfirst into work.

Share Necessary Agency Materials

Your copywriter will need some necessary materials to do their job properly. For example, they’ll need:

  • Your brand style guide
  • Your preferred writing and editing guidelines
  • A copy of their responsibilities and expectations
  • Your handbook, if you have one
  • Necessary contact information for you and/or other important parties

If you want boss bonus points, compile all of this into a welcome packet for new hires. This will save you time and effort, plus help your new hires keep track of all materials in one place.

Give Access to Critical Tools & Files

Do you use a project management tool such as Asana for tracking work? Your new copywriter will need access to it. Will your new copywriter have their own email address? They’ll need access to that too. Make sure you grant access to all critical tools and files your copywriter will need to complete their projects. Some other examples include:

Dive Into the First Assignment

During the rest of Day One, allow your copywriter to work on their first assignment. This assignment should help your copywriter get acclimated to your process and how things work. Be available for any questions they have as they move forward.

Discuss the First Day Together

At the end of the first day, it’s important to set aside a few minutes to discuss any further questions or concerns your copywriter has. Pro tip: Don’t stop after Day One. A daily check-in is a great way to underline the importance of open communication and gives your copywriter time to voice how they’re feeling as time moves on.

The One Thing That’ll Make or Break the Process

From Day One to Day 5,490, there’s one thing that can make or break a solid working relationship between you and your copywriter: feedback.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
– Bill Gates

Starting with the first assignment, it’s critical that you give your copywriter ongoing feedback, both positive and constructive. As a leader, giving feedback is one of the best ways to help your copywriter develop their skill. It shows them that you’re invested in their success, building trust and empowering them to be the best they can be—from Day One.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do While Onboarding a New Copywriter

I know you’ve heard the saying, “put your best foot forward.” The same goes for your copywriter’s first day and the ones that follow. A copywriter’s onboarding process is critical to their success with your agency. To ensure success, avoid these five missteps during the process.

  1. Overwhelming them with more than they can handle: Sure, your new copywriter may be quick to do everything asked of them out of excitement. Too much though and they’ll experience burnout (and we know how bad burnout can be). Don’t overwhelm your copywriter with more assignments and duties than they can handle.
  2. Thinking onboarding lasts only one day: Onboarding isn’t orientation. It may take a few weeks to a few months for your copywriter to be completely comfortable with their work.
  3. Forgetting to set goals and define expectations: A new copywriter should have goals and expectations just like the one that’s been with you for years. Achievements will motivate your copywriter to continue moving forward.
  4. Forgetting to ask for feedback: While giving feedback is important, so is receiving feedback. Make sure to ask your copywriter how they feel things are going and if there’s anything you can improve on too. You’re both in this together.
  5. Expecting a short-to-non-existent learning curve. Even if you hire a seasoned copywriter for your team, they’ve never worked with you before. There will be questions and concerns along the way. Remember to be patient.

Ready to Bring in a New Copywriter? Call Us for Some Insights!

Have you just now decided it’s time to bring another copywriter onto your team? Or, are you a business ready to outsource your content creation? We can help you determine whether an in-house copywriter is the right option for you or whether outsourcing to a professional copywriting agency will better fit your needs. Learn more by reaching out to our team today.

Erin Larson