We are looking for a great copywriter who can understand our product, our selling proposition, and our customers, and can run with it and produce web site and brochure copy. We have a budget of a few thousand dollars, depending upon what the person brings to the table.
We need "less" than what an advertising agency provides but a lot more than what we can find with our office assistants and interns, or our founders.
We really don't want to deal with crowd-sourcing sites or bidding sites (Elance, etc). We believe that you get what you pay for, and we want to deal with a professional who doesn't have to use bidding sites.
And we want someone who understands the technology and business environment and can write about both. The style is very important. We have a major B2B component to our business. A lot of copywriters seem to only deal with direct response stuff (make money fast, diet supplements, etc) We need a writer for materials that a CTO, CIO, business manager, or software engineer would find professionally reasonable.
What's left? Google?
Four options come to my mind:
1) Use a job board where you can sift through resumes
2) Use a job board and post a job and look at the respondents
3) Use a headhunter (always a good idea if you care about quality)
4) Make contact with writers you like (e.g., read CIO magazine and see who the authors are, then contact them)
I'd recommend option 3 or 4 if you don't want to go through the trial and error approach finding the right writer for you.
You might have some luck over at Joel's BoS forum where there are some copywriters who hang out.
I'm a professional copywriter specializing in white papers, case studies, website copy, and press releases. (I don't do the "direct response" work at all.) Google may not help, but LinkedIn is full of great copywriters that can write excellent technology and business copy geared toward a B2B audience.
As an aside, I happen to be one of those writers. If you're interested, visit my website at www.christineparizo.com for more information. I'm a former technology journalist and have an excellent understanding of business requirements. I've written website copy for software developers, global contingency staffing companies, and more, and my current white paper project is on Carrier Ethernet Business Services (techie, I know).
When we looked for a copywriter, we looked for someone who understood selling software in a complex B2B sales situation. We found one. Not only did she sell software, she has also worked as consultant in one of the large consulting firms.
We were impress on how fast she understood our technology solutions. She understood how our marketing needed to appeal to a CIO, CFO, Technical Buyer, and Business Manager Buyer. You can find our more about her at www.B2BCopywritingQueen.com. She is first class.
Check out Kelly Parkinson at Copylicious. I haven't had the chance to work with her yet, but her site is fantastic and I have made great use of some of the articles when writing my own copy.