- I’ve got some copy I wrote myself, it just needs a bit of a tidy up.
Most clients say this as a way of keeping their costs down, and they make it sound like all you’ll be doing is sticking in a few commas and maybe fixing some grammatical boo boos. In theory, it sounds like a simple job, all the work’s been done for you. Simple, right? Wrong! Most clients don’t understand that good copy consists of catchy headings, the right balance of features and benefits, the most suitable tone for their audience, the best layout for the medium (i.e. print or digital), and a range of other things that only come with lots of experience. You’re still going to have to do all of the above, and when you do, the existing copy you’ve been given will stick out like Donald Trump at a beauty pageant. The reality is, most rough content will need to be completely re-written. And even then you’ll wish you’d written it from scratch because some of the bad syntax will still seep through. The draft you’ve been given may be able to be used as a ‘guide’ but rarely will it be a straightforward edit. Mostly it’s a horror show in word format.
- I don’t have time to fill out the copywriting brief you sent me, but here are a bunch of attachments that should tell you everything you need to know.
This is every content creator’s worst nightmare! Although your ‘attachments’ may have valuable information in them, the copywriting brief has been specifically designed to (a) facilitate the best results for your copy, and (b) have all the info contained in one master document, so that your content creator isn’t spending hours sifting through docs to find the answers they’re looking for. If you don’t have time to fill out the brief, you simply won’t get the best results. What clients who do this are (effectively) saying is, “my time is more important than yours, now be a dear and work it out.”
- Your quotes are higher than my last copywriter’s.
Content creators aren’t a homogeneous group of people who all charge exactly the same amount. Just as hairdressers, graphic designers, chefs, etc. don’t. Different people will have different fees. Your content creator will probably quote based on some of the following factors: their experience, skill-set, SEO copywriting vs. straight content creation, how many revisions they offer, how in demand they are, just to name a few. At the end of the day we work with highly qualified and creatively astute people. These people are paid first-world wages, so yes, our costs are higher.
- My project shouldn’t take you more than a day or two to do.
Please never tell a content creator how long a project should take. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that on any given day, they’re potentially working on multiple projects. They have to schedule/plan and work hard to get everything back to their clients on the due date, and in top form. The second is that the time a project takes depends on the quality of the information provided (in the copywriting brief ), the amount of research and competitor analysis that’s required, and how much experience the content creator has in your field. Also, if the work is creative in nature, time should be given to get rid of all the bad ideas so they can drill down to the good ones. This can take a day or two alone.
- I need some copy done, but I can’t afford it – so are you interested in exchanging goods/services? Like, I’ll bake you muffins, and you write my About Page?
Unless it’s a product or service that the content creator desperately wants or needs or uses regularly, they’re likely to say “no”. Just like everyone else, content creators need to pay their mortgage, and they can’t go into the bank and pay for it with a tray of muffins. Even chocolate ones! Saying that, if you’re happy with the copy and just feel like dropping said muffins over, well, we won’t stop you.
- I know I asked for “quirky” but this isn’t what I was expecting.
It’s hard when you get pinged for giving someone what they asked for! But this happens. Clients say they want something cool, quirky, edgy, and fun, so we rattle our brain cages until those ideas come out. And then, Uh-oh, in the cold light of day it appears that what they wanted was straight copy just like Nan could write. The copy then goes from brazen to boring in the space of a single rewrite. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something that’s on the beaten’ track – just don’t pretend that you wanted to walk on the wild side.
So it’s simple, for a tizz-free content creator, just don’t do any of the above and we’ll be BFF’s in no time.