The Copywriting Process

Just so we don’t waste each other’s time, there are a few things that will help us work better together.

I find I am able to achieve the best results working with clients who meet the following criteria, so if you feel these points don’t apply to you, it’s just not going to be a great fit <sad face>. Ideally, you will:

  • Have time available to discuss and develop the project as required. Copywriting is a collaborative and iterative process – not something you can delegate and forget.
  • Be willing to take risks, try new things, test, and experiment. Some of the best ways to market your business might take you out of your comfort zone and cause unease, but you’ll need to overcome these fears to start standing out and connecting with your ideal clients and customers.
  • Not be down to your last dollar – or it will inhibit your willingness to take chances (see above point). There are lots of cheap copywriters around so if you’re a bargain hunter, try a crowdsourcing or outsourcing website.

Your Marketing Goals

When you hire a copywriter you are not just hiring a proof reader to fix a spelling or grammar mistake here and there.

A good copywriter provides feedback on marketing strategy and ways a particular piece of marketing material can be improved.

This can include suggestions on voice, tone, format, and even the medium itself, often resulting in an entire rethink of your approach or a rewriting of something you thought you just wanted proof read.

I’ll provide recommendations at the outset on what I think the best approach is, based on prior experience of seeing what works.

If you have already thought it through and have a good reason for the way you are approaching a piece of writing, then I’m happy to work within your framework in any way I can. But unless advised otherwise, my first step will be looking at what you are trying to achieve and whether what you are asking me to do is the best way to achieve that.

Background Research

To help you communicate effectively with your audience, I need to find out exactly who they are and what makes them tick.

What keeps your clients awake at night? What problem does your product or service solve for them? What kind of language do they use and what are their favourite TV shows and websites?

Depending on the project, I may ask you a lot of questions like these, as well as about your business and your typical customers, and in some cases I may ask to interview one of your customers or clients to hear their point of view, in their words.

At the very least I will try to find out everything I can about your business and your industry, which will often include researching your competitors as well.

This stuff is what takes time and what lays the foundation for compelling copy.

What you want to say isn’t necessarily what your customer wants to hear, so one of my goals will be convincing you that the approach I am taking with a particular piece is important for a reason.

These are the things that take the most time when you hire a copywriter – the writing itself is easy once we figure this stuff out.

The Money Question

Wondering how much all this is going to cost? The thing to remember about copywriting is that it’s an investment in your business. Unlike a lot of other ways you can spend money on marketing, once you have copy, you can use it again and again. It will continue bringing in results over time in a way that something like PPC advertising or social media won’t do.

I charge for projects on a case by case basis. This usually begins with an initial consultation via email or phone where I gather background info from you in order to work out how much work is required.

Then I’ll give you a formal quote in writing and may present you with a terms of service agreement so we both know where we stand.

After this I usually get a booking deposit in order to get started. This will be around 50% for most projects, but could range from 10% (for very large projects) through to 100% (for very small projects).

Once the booking deposit is paid I start work creating you effective content that delivers results.

What I Need to Get Started

Once I’ve accepted your project, I’ll usually need as much of the following information as you can provide:

  • Any raw content you’ve already created – this could be notes, first drafts, or content from other writers.
  • Your existing marketing material – I will be able to research online, but if you have material such as brochures, case studies, or
  • Survey results and customer feedback – These help me use social proof in your copy and to understand how customers talk about your business.

To save time, you might like to send me as much of the above as you can in an initial enquiry. This will allow me to get back to you ASAP with firm pricing and recommendations.

If this all seems a little overwhelming – don’t worry! I’ll walk you through all this when we begin working together, including sending you a copywriting discovery questionnaire that goes into much of the above in more detail.

How Long do Things Take?

Don’t leave your copywriting to the last minute! I often get enquiries like this: “Hi, we are having our website redesigned and have just realised we need to hire a copywriter. Can you complete the content by next Monday at the latest?”

The answer is NO! I need several weeks lead time on most projects due to prior scheduling. If you need something at the last minute then I won’t be able to help.

Want to Work with Me on Your Copywriting Project? Click Here and Let’s Talk.