Top 10 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The biggest challenge a copywriter faces… assuring future clients they can put their complete confidence in my ability to create winning packages.

In my own experience as a freelancer, I’ve noticed the most hesitant, potential clients often ask the same 10 questions.

After you look at my Top 10 FAQs below, check out my SAQs (Should Ask Questions) page. These questions rarely get asked and you deserve the answers.

1. Why hire a copywriter when I can just do this myself?

Let’s put it this way: You COULD build a house by yourself. But, it would take a long time… would involve a high learning curve… and would probably result in serious adjustments along the way as well as tons of unwanted repairs down the road. If you hired a professional contractor, the job’s done right the first time, no worries.

Still not convinced?

Then here’s the skills I suggest you add to your repertoire…

  • Theories about successful direct marketing
  • Write hundreds of pieces to improve your writing skills
  • Know the most common mistakes people make when they’re writing copy
  • Learn… understand… and follow the golden rules for powerful copywriting
  • Understand the many nuances of marketing in writing

… and these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing successful copy

As your copywriter I quickly create polished, professional documents, giving you time to focus on more important tasks. Obviously you’re very good at what you do. But writing results-orientated copy may not be one of those things.

Better copy means better sales.

For a modest investment your copy can grab your potential customers attention leading them to read your copy in those all-important first few seconds. It can bring your letter to the top of the pile… make your brand memorable (for the right reasons)… guide potential customers to take the action you want them to take.

Experience counts for a lot. I’m a pleasure to work with (check my testimonials). But mostly, I’m passionate about results.

I write with my mind 100% on your project. I use my experience, training and passion to help you make back every penny – and more – you spend on copy.

3. What’s your background?

Studied Marketing at the Universities of Chicago and Maryland… started writing copy, part-time, 15 years ago… full time 11 years ago.

With an extensive background in marketing, sales, online/offline retail, catalog, insurance, self help, social media, trading, government, small business, corporate, business to business, advertising agencies, design and more means there’s a good chance I already have experience in your field.

4. What can you write about?

Given time for enough research I can write about anything.

There are certain areas of which I have a degree of pre-existing knowledge from personal interest or previous jobs. Take a quick look at  What Can I Write About.

5. What companies have you written for?

I write for businesses of every size, from ‘one man bands’ to multinationals. Wherever you find yourself, I’d enjoy talking to you about your project.

I’ve been fortunate to write for some great companies over the years.  This list gives an idea of the sectors and brands I have experience in.

6. My industry isn’t represented in your portfolio. Can you really write copy that sells MY product?

My portfolio represents a tiny sampling of my work. I’ve written copy in most media—and for industries ranging from allergies (for a self help product) to zebras (yes zebras, for a small town zoo).

I’m an expert in careful research, in-depth interviewing, listening closely to clients, and accurately expressing their ideas in writing. You could say I become a “temporary expert” on each topic I write about.

The crucial thing I want to know is… WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

The technical side of your business, whatever it is, pales in comparison to my understanding what makes your customers tick. I write to engage their needs and desires, and to get them to contact you or buy from you.

Copywriting is about presenting the important information in a way that persuades people to take action. And I know how to do that. Research is an integral part of the process. Prior to writing one word of copy I will spend time getting up to speed on your industry, products and target market.

You may sell the most feature-rich widget in the world, but if what’s most important to your customers is just-in-time delivery, that’s the benefit I’m going to feature on your Web site or in marketing materials.

Part of the value you get with an experienced, professional copywriter is the ability to distill all kinds of topics I knew little about before a client asked me to write about them. Nearly 11 years of writing copy has made me an expert at understanding and distilling complicated concepts.

7. Your copy-writing fees?

  • Not as much as you could lose by having badly-written copy.
  • Not as much as you could spend in salaries, trying to do it in-house.
  • Not as much as the ‘opportunity cost/lost’ of the DIY approach – what else could or should you be doing with the time?

But:

  • Enough to reassure you it’s a professional job.
  • Enough to allow me to understand your business properly, so I get the message spot on.
  • Enough to give me the time it honestly takes to do a great piece of work.

I charge by the project. Fees vary by project type, size and turnaround time.  There are no hidden extras.

I don’t charge by the hour. I charge by the project. I believe my clients hire me for experience, insights, ideas, creativity, commitment to their goals, and the quality of my copywriting.

My fees are right where they need to be – higher than inexperienced copywriters or off-shore sources. Consider my added-value—I strategize, brand, manage projects independently, and produce great copy—my rates are a bargain.

If you need fill-in-the-blank filler copy, I’m not your gal. I craft targeted, action-driving copy politely telling your potential customers what you want them to do – sign up, buy, read, etc. I cost more than cookie-cutter, outsourced copy—but my copy returns far more on your marketing investment.

Here are some factors influencing my pricing:

Your homework:

  • Can you provide existing collateral? A lot? Some?
  • Will you supply all the research and background materials I need—for your product, service, customers, competitors? Or—be truthful—will I need to gather this information myself and interview your people?
  • Is your project part of a larger marketing/communications strategy?
  • Can you tell me where it fits into your sales cycle or business plan?
  • Do you have customer/consumer research, demographic information, focus group data?

To get an idea of the information I need to start your project, see my Creative Brief.

My time:

  • Will I draft your project from scratch—takes more time—or edit and restructure existing material—less time?
  • Do you need copy from me—or do you also need marketing strategy, branding and project management as well?
  • Can we handle communications by phone and email—or do we need to schedule SKYPE meetings and creative briefings?
  • How many corporate cooks stir your pot—do you okay copy, or will it need approval from multiple departments and legal?
  • Do you need immediate turnaround or do you have flexibility?

8. Do you ask for a deposit?

Yes, I ask for a 50% deposit before any writing begins.

9. What’s included/not included?

My copywriting fees cover all the tasks necessary to write your copy, including research, meetings, coordinating via phone and email, copywriting, revisions and incidental expenses. There are no hidden extras.

I offer very reasonable rates and great value for the results I produce. I’ll certainly cost you far less than an agency.

Not included:

Graphic layout, printing, HTML writing: Estimated costs are for copy only. At your request, however, I’ll provide quotes from design and tech partners for your “one-stop shopping” convenience.

Directional change rewrites, those differing from the Creative Brief/Agreement, or revisions returned more than two weeks past deadline are not included in the quote. I’ll send a new quote for these.

10. How do I get a quote for my copy-writing project?

I require a written Creative Brief from you before starting the project.  I’ll send you my own briefing questionnaire.

Based on my review of this brief I’ll give you a final quote and completion date.

Depending on the type and complexity of the project I may also need to organize a SKYPE meeting and some additional consultations over the phone. For smaller, less complex projects we can easily complete all the briefing and planning using email and the telephone.

You will also need to let me know if your business has any branding and/or style guide that I need to stick to.

If you’ve never used a copywriter before, then the process might seem daunting and confusing. It’s not!

It’s actually enjoyable and easy. Every copywriter has a different process, but here’s my Writing Project Process.

 

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