This is something copywriters see all too frequently…

You, Mr. Client, want a quote:  Ms. Copywriter sends you one of her standard quote sheet/questionnaires to fill out about your project, to see if she can fit it in her schedule, plus determine what she will need to charge.

It comes back to her with several sections ignored, and the answers you do provide looking rather like this:

Who is your ideal paying customer?  – “Man”

Please provide project specs and details “Ebook on PPC Marketing”

What you are looking at here is the perfect way to either get your project turned down on the spot – or pay more than you need to. “Man” is not an Ideal Paying Customer – it is a highly generic demographic.  “Ebook on PPC Marketing” does not constitute project specifications and details: It’s a Vague Suggestion.

Yes, of course most copywriters can whip you up an eBook out of thin air – but you have to at least say: “Whip me up an ebook on PPC marketing – you have free rein and I’ll be happy with whatever angle you come up with.”

Mind, you’ll pay top dollar, and the quote will be higher than it might otherwise be: Your copywriter knows already she is going to be doing twice the work (and a lot of hand-holding and “tweaking”).

You’re Going  to Have To Rewrite the Whole Thing”

Besides, the moment a copywriter sees “man” instead of “30-something stay-at-home-dad with no skills, desperate for some paying work, who knows thoroughly how to navigate the internet because he spends most of the day gaming online”, the copywriter knows she is going to encounter the following scenario:

Oops, Ms. Copywriter, you’re going to have to rewrite this whole thing! When I said “PPC”, I really meant just Google AdWords. Besides, you’ve geared this towards professional internet marketers, and I really wanted it to teach unemployed stay-at-home dads with no skills other than being able to game on the net and hang out on Facebook how to make some money.”

This sort of client inevitably follows this with about 2 pages of solid detail as to what they did – and didn’t – want in the ebook.  You end up with the equivalent of a complete new project to write… and they want it for free, since it’s a “tweak”.

(Ms. Copywriter howls in frustration: “WHY couldn’t he tell me all this in his INITIAL QUOTE?”)

Don’t get me wrong: Like I said, many copywriters haven’t the slightest problem with creating an eBook out of thin air, based on a subject title alone… but the less specific communication you provide, the higher your initial quote will be.

And you won’t get free rewrites.

If you do have a vision in mind, but can’t be bothered to write more than “man” and “PPC ebook”, don’t expect your copywriter to happily rewrite the entire project – especially as a “tweak”.

Copywriters are not mind readers. Neither are clients. Let’s get better communication happening all round. Clients, what do you wish your copywriter knew? Copywriters, what’s your pet client-related frustration?

(Thanks for the gypsy graphic.)
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Filed under: Sales Copywriting