Welcome to the fold - Be copy-savvy.
Posted: 18th Feb 2014
'I've never worked with a copywriter...'
This sentence is no stranger to my inbox. This isn't a post about copywriting taking the world by storm, it's about effectively managing the reservations and preconceptions many have about working with a copywriter.
What do you need from me?
I get asked this a lot. Many potential clients aren't sure how this copy fandango works or what level of knowledge they need to possess.
A full brief is a rare thing these days, even the most experienced agencies or clients struggle to produce a proper brief. If a client is new to the copywriter thing, they should be encouraged to learn the importance of a full brief. I often work alongside clients in producing this. Through a series of brand, tone and company history questions we get to the heart of the project together. This aligns our aims and builds some trust.
Keep things simple as this point, ask them about the nature of the project, proposed timelines, a little about their content history and then, if it floats your boat, arrange a more detailed chat. Be sure to not overwhelm and try to keep them in-tune with the true goal of their project.
Are you the right copywriter for me?
If a new client is unsure of the copy process there is a good chance that they don't know their copywriter options. Yep, there's more than one type. The worst thing you can do is take on a job that doesn't fit your skill set, you waste everyone's time. If their only aim is to pop up on the first page of Google, I'd be inclined to send them elsewhere, not before imparting some valuable advice. It's a case of speciality and personality. For instance, I work with a lot of start-ups as I love the high levels of collaboration but this isn't for everyone.
How much will it cost me?
It's a meaty subject and not one I want to go into a heap of detail about. Your rates are your rates so charge as you please but with copywriter first timers, I find it beneficial and educational to break down my process and give my quote some context. If it's too much for them, that's ok but at least they now know a little more about the intricate process of creating copy. Offering a simple quote is not only bad practice, as far as I'm concerned, but it also leaves you open to a host of questions later on down the line. Get this clear from the off, for yourself as much as for the client.