Be the Driver Not the Car: Advice on Hiring Copywriters

Be the Driver Not the Car: Advice on Hiring Copywriters

saturated writingWe recently had a perspective client ask us, “Why should I hire a copywriter? I can do that part myself. I really don’t want to spend the cash on that.” As a Communications Director, I’ve been in that position. I’ve had budgets that needed to be met and projects that needed completing. I’ve also had wonderful results with copywriters that made the project, and me, look good to my previous bosses.

Hiring copywriters, like the team at BC/DC Ideas, allows you to be the driver rather than the car. It lets you guide the copy on the project rather than be under the hood making sure the darn thing works. When one person  has to do it all – think about strategy, do the research, write the copy and then edit – the project is often not as powerful or objective.

Adding a freelance copywriter to your next nonprofit project lets you:

  1. Save Time – Sure you still have to review the copy and give the writer direction, but you don’t have to do all the research and writing. We all know what it takes to write well – it takes blocks of dedicated “think time” absorbed in the project. That is often difficult to do with competing deadlines and other job functions.
  2. Get it Done Faster – Hiring a new freelance member to your team allows you to meet seemingly “impossible” deadlines. Since freelancers are often have flexible schedules they can work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They are also not distracted by the day to day of office life so they can crank out quality copy in a shorter time frame.
  3. Gain Perspective – Often organizations are just too close to the content to write objectively about a subject. It often takes that strong third voice to point out any jargon or “company speak” that doesn’t make sense to a wider audience.
  4. Tap into Knowledge – We can’t know everything, as much as we wish we did. Hiring a copywriter in a specific skill area such as writing for the web or a specific knowledge base can make the difference by bringing a depth of experience that team members might lack. There is a science and art to writing styles, outsourcing these projects allow you to tap into that specialty for a short time.
  5. Prioritize Deadlines – Hiring copywriters allows you to have more control over the schedule. You know the copywriter has to deliver on time or their reputation, and possibly project fees, are on the line.
  6. Find a New Voice – After a while every organization sounds the same. It’s the same phrasing and the same resources. Hiring a copywriter can add that shot of spontaneity to a project that makes the copy sing.

The last consideration is of course cost. Paying the freelancer for work you know you can do yourself is difficult. Don’t look at the hourly cost of hiring a writer, look at all the things your organization will achieve by not pouring hours into writing that website and editing it to make sure it’s perfect. Think about all the other things that will get done while someone else works on this project for you.

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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.