Photo courtesy of taxcredits.net

Budgets are tight, so any conversation about copywriting will eventually turn to the subject of cost.

Potential clients often ask for our day rate, perhaps because it seems like an easy, objective way of comparing copywriters. Unfortunately, that’s only half the equation. After all:

cost = day rate x time

As the client, you have a major influence on the second part of that equation and hence the copywriting cost.

So what determines the time a job takes?

Clarity

The clearer you are about what you want, the more efficient (and cheaper) the copywriting process will be. If you can scope out your project, write a brief, get any buy-in you need from senior management and generally avoid surprises, you’ll save yourself a bundle.

If you don’t know exactly what you want, that’s okay too. We’ll help you to work out your messages or whatever else is concerning you. It’s likely we’ve done similar work for other clients, so you’ll get the benefit of their experience. But that extra work will add to the cost.

Length

It’s obvious that the longer your document or the bigger your website, the more time it will to take to write. But brevity takes time too. That 200-word piece you’re after might take twice as long as 500 words, because compressing material without losing the meaning is tough. That’s why we don’t price by the word or by the page.

Information gathering

Interviews are a great way of gathering information and phone calls are the quickest and cheapest way of doing them. Face-to-face meetings involve travelling time, so try not to spread them out over several days. Every journey you save is a chunk off your bill.

Most jobs also involve background reading. Keep the information you send to us as relevant and concise as possible. That 50-page PDF might contain ‘one or two useful nuggets’ but it’s better – and cheaper – if you tell us where they are.

You can still send us everything you’ve got if that’s best for you, but it does affect the fee.

Existing material

If we can reuse bits of your web copy, annual report, corporate brochure or whatever else, that’s great. Recycling material – even if it needs editing – is almost always quicker than writing from scratch.

You can also kick start the process by writing an outline, bullet points or even the first draft. That can work well if your budget is really tight and you can produce something usable.

Revisions

Some clients like to email their comments. Some like a phone call. Some like to get everyone round a table. Some gather every reviewer’s comments and mark up one document. Some send every reviewer’s comments separately.

All these approaches can work. But the simpler and quicker you make it, the less it will cost.

The clarity of purpose mentioned earlier also has a big influence here. The price we quote covers three drafts. If you’ve agreed your aims and messages up front, there’s much less chance of extra costly revisions.

Experience

It helps if you have a few projects under your belt but it helps even more if your copywriter has. Use someone who’s done it before and knows what you’re trying to achieve. Even if their day rate’s a bit higher, it will probably save you money overall. And you’ll get a better result and an easier, less stressful process.

Find out more

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your copywriting project. Or read more posts on using a copywriter:

 

Photograph courtesy of taxcredits.net