Getting great copywriting can make a world of difference to your business. But in order for us copywriters to weave our magic, we really need to enjoy working with you. Actually, no. We kind of need to love working with you.
But how do you get us to fall in love with you so we’ll deliver great copy? Read on for my top tips.
Recognise our expertise
Chances are you’re hiring a copywriter to do a job that you can’t do yourself, so please recognise that we’re the experts when it comes to writing content. We may also have specialist skills such as being able to write SEO copy, or specialise in writing for a certain industry. Many copywriters have tertiary degrees, and most of us have years of experience writing copy — either for ourselves or previous employers. A lot of us also have marketing experience, so please understand that we know what we’re doing. Curious about my expertise? You can read about it here.
Read, understand, and sign our Terms and Conditions
Most copywriters I know have a set of Terms and Conditions (Ts&Cs), which they send to clients. I certainly do. These Ts&Cs set out the terms of hiring us for your job. Please make sure you read them, because they contain really important information surrounding things such as what’s expected of both parties, who holds copyright, and payment terms. In many cases, paying a deposit and agreeing to go ahead with the job, constitutes that you have read, understood and accepted our Ts&Cs — whether you have or not.
Don’t question our rates
When you visit the dentist or a surgeon, do you question why they charge what they do? Do you ask ‘where is my money being spent?’ Or ‘what can I get for $50?’ Unfortunately, this is very common for copywriters, and it’s something that bugs us – a lot! While we may be creatives, we still need and deserve to earn a living. Our rates reflect our experience, our education, and our overheads, just to name a few things. And great copywriters may cost a little more than average copywriters. Questioning our rates leaves a bad taste in our mouth, so either accept our rate, or look for another copywriter.
Fill out the brief properly, with lots of detail
My best and happiest clients are those who fill out a detailed copy brief. This document (which I provide you with) asks for lots of information about your business, your project and what you aim to achieve. The more detail we get, the better your copy will be. So please take the time to fill it out properly. If you’re not sure what you want, talk to your copywriter BEFORE going ahead with a job. Clients who don’t have a clear idea on what they want, are usually the ones who aren’t happy with the copy they get.
Understand this is a partnership
Working with a copywriter isn’t like dropping your car off to the mechanic and picking it up when it’s done. If you think you can hire us to do a job without your input, you’re mistaken. In order to produce the best copy, we need to work together. That means we may need to ask you questions about your business, or to clarify what you mean. We’re not being lazy by asking you. We just want to deliver copy you’re going to love.
Working in a partnership means you need to be available to provide feedback, ask questions, or provide direction on the project. So many times, I hear that copywriters can’t get hold of their clients because they are ‘too busy’. Sometimes clients only provide basic feedback. And then when copy is delivered, they’re not happy. If you currently don’t have time to work with a copywriter, then don’t hire one until you do.
Provide constructive and useful feedback
We understand we don’t always get things right the first go. That’s why most copywriters offer a first draft with a couple of rounds of revisions. If the copy isn’t what you were hoping for, please provide us with constructive, useful feedback, or suggestions of what you’d like. Comments such as ‘I don’t like this’, or ‘this isn’t what I had in mind’ or ‘Nope. I don’t like this wording’ isn’t helpful. And don’t be snarky and rude with your feedback, because…that’s just bad manners.
Respectfully beg to differ
From time to time, clients and copywriters won’t see eye-to-eye. There may be something that your copywriter has recommended that you don’t agree with. Instead of disregarding their advice, and becoming defensive, or telling them that you’re the client so they should do what you want, ask them why they’ve made that recommendation. Chances are they’ve made a decision based on their years of experience and expertise. Remember, we talked about expertise earlier?
Don’t complain (unnecessarily)
I once had a client who complained to me in every email she sent (when she had time to send them. Sigh!). She complained she was busy, that she was tired and stressed. She whinged that she had to go and study, and drive the kids around after work, or that she had been working all day and needed to go to bed. Every email was an excuse as to why she hadn’t held up her end of the bargain in reviewing copy. It became very tiresome very quickly, and quite frankly, I didn’t care that she had a house inspection scheduled. All of us are busy. Most of us have families who take up our time, and we all have multiple things we’re juggling. So, stay professional, and keep the whingeing to a minimum. There’s only so much we can take!
Communicate often, communicate well
Of course, life throws us curve balls which mean we can’t always deliver copy or feedback in agreed timelines. If this is the case, all you need to do is communicate with your copywriter. If you’ve agreed to get changes back within two days, let us know if it’s going to be three. Professional writers usually have multiple clients, which means that we schedule our time very carefully. It’s not unusual for me to juggle four or five different projects at a time! So, when I’ve scheduled time to work on a project, and I don’t have the information to do so, it can be frustrating. But a client who communicates often and communicates well will be forgiven every time. (Just as long as you’re not complaining about being busy!)
Pay your invoice
This shouldn’t even need to be said. Just pay your invoice. No haggling, no complaining. Just pay it and pay it on time.
Don’t re-negotiate the rate
There’s nothing more infuriating than a client who wants to re-negotiate the rate when the project has commenced or is completed. If you agreed to a rate, don’t try to haggle it back down. Don’t ask for work that is out of scope and never, ever decide that you’re not going to pay the full amount because you feel the project is worth less than what was quoted. That’s just rude, disrespectful, and a tad deceitful. Besides, word gets around that you’re that client, and you’ll have a hard time getting any writer to work with you.
Give us a testimonial
Most of us receive our business through word-of-mouth referrals or client testimonials. So, if you’re happy with the job we’ve done, please refer us to someone else, and please, please provide us with a testimonial when we ask.
When you find a great copywriter, treat them well. Most I know bend over backwards for their clients. They put in extra hours, often work weekends, and go the extra mile to write the very best copy they can. And if that doesn’t impress you, remember that they’re human beings just like you, so be nice.
If you follow my tips above, your copywriter will fall in love with you — and they’ll do all they can to deliver you great copy. Every time.
PS – If you missed the news about our exciting rebrand, find out here.