Business owners have very particular ideas about how they want things to sound. As they should. It’s their business, their baby. They want everything about it to be perfect.

But not all of us have a way with words. Few are able to craft just the right formula for verbiage. Even fewer can weave it into good storytelling. That’s where your prospective writer comes in. Writing styles differ just as much as business owners’ grand visions. So there must be someone out there for everyone, right? It would be fantastic if you could find that perfect person who finishes your sentences (and in this case, starts them too).

Below are three tips we’ve pulled together for finding a writer that gets you and can put what’s on your mind into their words.

Ask for writing samples

Well, duh. This is the no-brainer go-to tactic for sifting through potential writers. Read through some of their previous work. If their tone sounds like yours when you talk, you found your writer. The written and spoken words are not the same. Well, they can get pretty close if someone who knows what they’re doing is in the driver’s seat. Make sure their personality is in line with that of your business.

Have a chat

Talk to your potential writer. See if their tone of speaking matches yours. Do they sound like a scripted sales pitch when talking to you? Do they write their emails as if robots were reading them? Finding someone to embody your own words through theirs is like finding a new friend that you’d want to have continuous conversations with. Like any successful relationship, the spark has to be there in order for it to work out.

Do a test run

You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it around the block first, would you?

This is the most important of the three tips. In fact, you can skip the first two altogether. Credentials on a résumé, past writing samples and recommendations mean diddly-squat if a writer can’t perform on command. Anyone can fake a résumé. But they can’t fake writing on the spot.

Give them a quick assignment that would resemble what they’d do for you if you gave them the job. This will show you how well they understand your instructions and how quickly they can perform under pressure. It’s the best way to see whether they can bring your vision to life with their words. And it gives them the opportunity to show you the scope of their writing quality in real time.

If you’re happy with what they produce on their test run, you met your match.