You’ve been thinking about working with a copywriter for a while now, so you did a bit of research and found your way to me.
Maybe you know me through LinkedIn, or my blog, or maybe someone you trust recommended me.
Now you’re asking: “What happens next?”
I’ve created this handy little blog post to guide you through the process of working with me.
Bear in mind, every copywriter has a different process, so someone else’s might be a little different.
But if you want to work with me, this is what happens now:
1. Get in touch
I want to hear from you!
You’ve probably got lots of questions, especially if you’ve never worked with a copywriter before.
The best way for me to answer them is for us to have a quick, informal chat over the phone.
You can let me know what your project involves, and we’ll see whether I’m a good fit.
If I’m not, I’ll tell you – because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which means I only work on projects that I’ll do well and that I’ll enjoy. And if I can’t help, I’ll try to refer you to a fellow copywriter who can.
It’s important to know that the wait time to work with me is anything between 3 to 4 weeks (sometimes a bit more during busy periods), so it’s a good idea to get in touch before you need me.
That means even when we get round to booking your project into my calendar, it could be a few weeks before I start working on it. Bear that in mind if you’ve got tight deadlines you need to stick to.
Ready to take the next step?
2. Proposal & Quote
Let’s pretend we’ve had our first call or email exchange, and you say you’d like me to write your 6-page website.
You’ve told me a little bit about the project, and I’ve got a good idea of the deliverables you’ll need.
I’ll prepare a tailored proposal and quote for you. In it, I’ll confirm the deliverables, timeline, my 14-day guarantee, my terms of service and the cost.
If the project is complicated, I might need more information before I can give you a quote.
In cases like this, I’ll ask you to skip to step 4 and complete a copywriting brief, so I know exactly what (and what not) to include in the cost.
I’ll wait for you to confirm that you’re happy with the proposal. Once you’ve approved it, I’ll send you the invoice.
3. Full Payment or Deposit
If you want to get your project onto my calendar (whether I’m starting it tomorrow, in two weeks or in five weeks), you’ll need to pay the full amount in advance if the cost is below £400.
If it’s over £400, you’ll need to pay a 50% deposit.
The final invoice will be issued either once you’ve signed off on the project or 7 days after you’ve received the first draft (whichever comes first).
For more information on this, read my terms of service.
Once I’ve received payment, I’ll put your project into my calendar and confirm your delivery date.
At this point, you’ve locked your project into my schedule, which means for the length of our project, I’m all yours.
This is when we do a happy dance and get excited about your upcoming project!
Here are some other things you need to know about my pricing:
- We don’t start a project until you’ve approved the cost. And once you’ve approved that cost, it won’t change unless you increase the scope of the project or request additional services. (This is great for you because it means you won’t get any invoice-related surprises at the end of a project.)
- I don’t charge by the hour or per word. I offer a tailored quote for each project. Here’s why.
- Are my services cheap? No. But that’s a good thing. It means I’m in demand, I’m good at what I do and I’m accountable for the work that I produce. If you think you want a cheap copywriter, you might want to read this before you hire them.
- Are my services expensive? No. My rates are in line with the UK’s standard copywriting rates.
4. The Copywriting Brief
Even though it’ll be a few weeks before I start your project, there are some things you can do to prepare.
The first thing to do is complete the copywriting brief.
A copywriting brief is a word document that asks detailed questions about your project to help me understand what I’m writing, why I’m writing it and who I’m writing it for.
It also allows me to learn more about your organisation, it’s history, where it’s been and where it’s going.
This is by far the most important part of our project. If we get this part right, everything else will be smooth sailing.
If we get it wrong, we’re in for a looong and crazy ride.
Here are some of the questions you can expect to see on the brief:
What are we working on? E.g. a website, brochure, blog post.
What are the deliverables? E.g. 5-pages of web copy/6-paged brochure/500 word blog post.
Tell me about your company.
What are your objectives?
Who is your target audience?
What do you want the audience to do or feel after reading your copy?
Have you done any SEO keyword research? If so, what are your keywords?
Give me an example of copy that you love, and copy that you hate. (My favourite question!)
And on it goes until I have an in-depth understanding of your organisation, your audience, the project and the project aims.
There are two ways to do this:
- I send you the brief, then you fill it in and send it back to me in your own time.
- We get on the phone, I ask you the questions from the brief, you give me your answers verbally and I write them down. (This is usually a good option for people who don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves on paper).
It’s your choice.
But you’ll have a good few weeks to get that done. And when it’s time for me to start your project, this copywriting brief is the first thing I’ll refer to.
5. The Writing Begins
I’ll get down to business. I’ll start the project, and I won’t stop until I’m finished.
This is where you kick back, relax and let me do all the hard work.
6. First Draft
I’ll send you the first draft. You’ll review it and then tell me if you need me to make any tweaks or amendments.
I’ll go away and make the changes we’ve discussed.
If you don’t need any amendments, you get to skip the queue and head straight to step 10.
Note: you get two free rounds of revision, so we can ensure you walk away with copy you love.
If you haven’t already signed off on the copy, I’ll send you an invoice for the outstanding bill 7 days after I’ve sent the first draft.
Of course, if you’ve already paid in full you get to skip this step too.
8. Second Draft
I’ll present my second draft. You’ll review it again.
If you’re happy with the copy as it is, you can go straight to step 10.
But if you see something else you’d like me to amend, I’ll go back and make the necessary changes.
9. Third Draft
I’ll present the third draft to you. By this point, we’ve usually hit the nail on the head and you’ll be completely in love with your copy.
You’ve paid for three drafts, so this is your final one.
But if, for some reason, you end up needing more than three revisions, I can make more changes for you – but it’s important to note that there will be an additional charge.
10. Sign off & Testimonial
I’ll send you a brief form to complete, so you can confirm that you’re happy with the project.
And if you’re feeling really generous, this is when you’ll fill in a feedback form and write me a short testimonial.
Your feedback is crucial to helping people (just like you) who need a copywriter but don’t know where to go or who to trust.
11. Get Your Copy
While you’re completing the sign off and testimonial forms, I’ll have your copy professionally proofread then send you the error-free and word-perfect final version.
12. Show Your Copy to the World
Andddd…that’s a wrap!
It’s time to reveal your sparkly, shiny copy to the world so it can work it’s magic.
Ready to get in touch with me?
Other resources and blog posts you might find useful:
- Blog: 11 (Interesting) Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me
- My Testimonials
- My Portfolio
- Blog: How Much Does a Copywriter Charge?
- Blog: The Real Cost of Hiring a Cheap Copywriter
- Blog: Why I’ve Stopped Charging by the Hour and How That’s Better for You
Sign up to my mailing list and get my ebook for free
Eman Ismail is a UK-based copywriter and the founder of InkHouse. She works with businesses and non-profits across the world, writing marketing materials and content that increases their exposure and attracts their ideal audience.
When she’s not writing or delivering copywriting workshops, you’ll find her glued to a podcast in the corner of a cosy cafe.