Why You Should Never Tell a Copywriter How Long a Project Will Take

July 13th 2017       Sally Ormond       hiring a copywriter, the cost of copywriting, working with a copywriter

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In my experience, most people think that copywriters base their pricing on how long it takes to create the required content.

In practice, this is rarely the case.

Over the years I’ve had numerous enquiries that ask for a piece of content – for argument’s sake, we’ll say a sales letter – which is immediately followed by:

“It will only take an hour or two. It’s not a big project.”

When I respond with my quote of (plucking a figure out of the air) £800, there’s either radio silence and they’re never heard of again or a reaction of surprise because ‘it’s not a big project’.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

Why are you looking for a copywriter?

First off, it is you who went looking for a professional writer and you usually only do that for one of two reasons:

  1. You don’t fancy doing the job yourself
  2. You tried to write the last sales letter, but it bombed

Either way, you realise you don’t have the right skills to get your message across to your readers in an efficient way.

When you had a stab, it may well have only taken you a couple of hours – but look at the result. That should tell you something.

How long does a project take?

The simple answer to that is as long as it needs.

Any copywriter worth their salt will start off quizzing you about your business and your customers to find out exactly what needs you’re satisfying and the problem you’re eliminating (i.e. the main benefit).

They will then do more research on your company, industry and competitors. After all, you want your sales letter to stand out, so it’s important to know what’s going on in your sphere.

Once they know more about your product or service, they have to isolate the one killer benefit that’s going to get your readers to sit up and take notice – and action.

Then they have to start planning the letter, coming up with a show-stopping headline, irresistible introduction and cast iron reasoning for the reader to buy.

Then comes the writing, paying attention to your brand’s personality and your audience.

The letter is then left to simmer for a while.

Coming back with fresh eyes, the content is reviewed and refined (probably several times) before it’s ready for you to see it for the first time.

There is no way all that can be done in a couple of hours.

Your copywriter is a professional so treat them like one

It may only be writing to you, but the content your copywriter produces is textual gold.

The words will not only determine how your business is viewed, but they will also attract customers and grow your bottom line.

The quote they produce will be an accurate reflection of their experience and expertise. You are not only paying for their writing wizardry and marketing know-how, but you’re also investing in your business’s future.

Sally Ormond is a copywriter who knows her marketing onions, so give her a call to make your marketing a success.

Tags: hiring a copywriter, the cost of copywriting, working with a copywriter
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