Does an experienced freelance copywriter mean an expensive freelance copywriter?

Caroline Gibson

Caroline Gibson

A multi-layered agency carries multi overheads. For clients wanting their budgets to str-e-t-c-h further, a highly elastic option is the freelancer.

But, as with everything, you get what you pay for. (And if your budget is teeny-weeny then, please, stop reading now and head over to People Per hour.)

But what, exactly, are you paying for? The word ‘copywriter’ has taken on many synonyms today (blogger/content writer/digital copywriter/creative copywriter/content creator etc, etc – see six differences between a blogger and a copywriter). Who do you use? How do you choose? Do you decide on cost alone? I certainly hope not.

One thing is for certain: ‘experienced freelance copywriter’ doesn’t have to mean ‘expensive freelance copywriter’.

One of the most frustrating questions when contacted by a potential client is ‘What’s your day rate?’ The reason why is because you simply can’t compare apples to apples – one writer may quote half the day rate of another, but take twice as long …

I charge by the project: the fee includes one or two rounds of revisions plus time in discussion by phone and email so that my client has a final amount for copywriting in their marketing budget and there are no hidden surprises.

The cost reflects my time and effort, my experience and expertise, and the advice I can offer: you’re not paying for the day/week/month it takes me to do a job, but for the 25 years of experience that goes into doing it.

Here’s how an experienced freelance copywriter can help – and add value:

  • They know the right questions to ask you to get the right answers.
  • They’re not afraid to say ‘why’ rather than ‘yes’. They’ll question decisions and strategies which may prompt you to think twice and think through a better solution for the way in which you present your brand/speak to your target audience/set out the FAQs on your website, for example.
  • They know how to write a great website/press ad/ PPC campaign/radio commercial/TV commercial/ sales email/direct mail letter because they’ve seen it, been it, done it a hundred and one times before.
  • They know more than how to write: they know what makes a good brief good, what makes a great idea great, that you shouldn’t have widows on a page, and how many words you can fit into a 30” radio ad.
  • They’re not afraid to push back on a flabby brief because they know the tighter the brief, the better the work.
  • They’ve worked across lots of different sectors so can hit your ground running.
  • There’s no danger of them missing the point or misinterpretation.
  • They know that a client relationship is built on giving not taking. They’ll happily throw in suggestions and ideas above and beyond the brief.
  • They know how long a job will take and what to charge accordingly.
  • They don’t need managing. They know what needs to be done and will get on with the task in hand and deliver on time.
  • They’re grown up.

In short, a very experienced copywriter can be worth their weight in gold.

But then, I’m biased.

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