If you’ve never used a copywriter before you could be excused for assuming we do something in the legal field. Or that perhaps we’re involved with trademarks in some way. But copywriters are none of those things. We’re professional writers responsible for writing the persuasive text – or copy – that’s used in marketing and promotional materials.
These marketing materials can take the form of online communications – websites, landing pages, promotional emails and e-newsletters, for example. Or they can be traditional printed communications such as a direct mail letter, company brochure or feature article.
Copywriters are skilled at writing copy that motivates people to act, whether that’s to make a purchase, click on a link, make a charity donation or book a meeting.
Why should your business hire a copywriter?
Businesses use copywriters like me for many reasons:
1. Lack of resources – Your in-house team may not have the skills, or time, to write good copy themselves.
2. Better results – An experienced writer will produce more effective copy than an untrained employee.
3. Speed – While employees will typically have other responsibilities and priorities, an external copywriter can simply focus on writing excellent copy, day in and day out. There are no endless departmental meetings to swallow time and no egos to consider. They can just single-mindedly focus on writing persuasive copy that gets your messages across by the deadline you’ve given them.
4. Objectivity – When you’re very close to the subject you’re talking about it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. This means it’s hard to filter out all the detail and home in on the important points you need to get across. You quite literally know too much. An external copywriter, coming to the topic with fresh eyes, is skilled at identifying your key messages and expressing them in a way that resonates with people.
5. The opportunity cost – It’s easy to see why delegating a piece of writing to an employee is so tempting. You may initially think it’s a low-cost option. But the hours that person spends staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to strike or struggling with repeated rewrites is time they could be spending more profitably doing the job you actually hired them to do.
6. Peace of mind – When you use a professional writer you have the reassurance that
their they’re there will be no embarrassing spelling or grammatical mistakes.
How much does a copywriter cost?
There are no standard industry rates for copywriters. Each individual typically sets their own fees. Rates will range from around £200 per day for an inexperienced copywriter just starting out to £600 (or more) a day for an experienced technical writer. According to the ProCopywriters Survey 2020, the average daily rate for a copywriter in the London area was £446.
Generally, the more experienced and accomplished the copywriter, the more you should expect to pay. As an example, I have almost 30 years’ writing experience, have won several industry awards and currently charge £450 per day or £60 per hour.
For jobs expected to take less than a full day, or more than one full day, the daily rate can be translated to an hourly rate by dividing the rate by the number of hours in a typical working day (if such a thing exists).
Many copywriters are happy to quote a fixed price for the job if you don’t want the worry of an open-ended bill. Most will base the cost on how long they anticipate spending on the project so be prepared to provide enough details about what the job involves to make that calculation.
How to get a good result
The single most important thing you as a client can do to get the results you want from your copywriter is to give them a good brief. This is such a vital topic it deserves a separate blog post of its own. As a minimum, your brief should include the following details:
- What you need (for example, website copy, case study, direct mail letter, article, press release)
- When you need it by
- The target audience
- Their level of understanding of the service/product you offer
- Their priorities
- The tone of voice you’d like to represent your company
- Your objective(s)
- The key message you want to get across
- Details of the product or service
- What sets it apart from competitor products or services (its unique selling points, or USPs)
- What action you want readers to take
Quite simply, the better the brief you’re able to give, the better the finished copy.
Copywriters can work with you on one-off projects or on an ongoing basis. Personally, this is what I find most rewarding. I tend to work for my clients for years – in some cases, decades – which allows me to build up a deep understanding of their business, the industry and the issues they face so I can write more nuanced, precisely-targeted copy. Several of my clients use me as an extension of their in-house marketing department.
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If you’d like to discuss your next project, please get in touch to chat about it.