Many people, ask:  why do I need a copywriter?

If you have a small business or business idea, you may need some writing help. In some cases, clients have existing material such as a website, a brochure or a biography. These materials are somewhat accurate but out of date because some aspect of the business changed (products, services, employees, partners, change of address, etc.). Or, the existing material was written but never properly proofread and may contain some errors. A copywriter’s job is to take what is already there, update it and proofread it so that the copy or writing is smooth. Often, the most difficult part is capturing the right voice that suits the tone of the client’s business.

In other cases, the client has no pre-existing material. It could be that the business is new or there is some new aspect to the products, services, or staff. The role of the copywriter is to assess what is needed, the tone that suits the clients brand and generate new writing specific to the client’s needs (website, press release, brochure, etc.).

How to get started

Every business is different and every copywriter has a different method of engaging with clients. Here is a basic outline of how we handle new clients at LookOut Communications:

1.        Email / phone contact:  Usually a client contacts our business looking for help with a specific project. A short back-and-forth exchange usually determines that they do indeed need a copywriter and we set up time to have an initial consultation.

2.       Initial consultation:  This meeting is usually about an hour long and is free. The idea is to exchange some ideas, get a good sense of what the project entails and make sure that the client is comfortable with the potential cost and process. 

3.       Email confirmation / commitment:  After the consultation, it is important to summarize the work to be done, the rate and the deadline before proceeding with the project. In some cases, a more formal contract may be called for.

4.       First draft:  Once ready to begin, the copywriter either accumulates existing materials and begins to edit them or compiles notes and ideas on new materials. A first draft is created within the agreed timeframe and sent to the client, usually via email. 

5.       Feedback and editing:   The client usually has changes to make to the first draft, either major or minor. Those changes can be expressed in an email, via telephone or in hard copy. Once the copywriter understands the nature of the changes, another draft can be created. The feedback stage is critical for the client to get a real understanding of the direction the writing is taking and for the writer to understand if the direction is what the client truly had in mind. Communication at this stage is critical.

6.       Deliver final product:  The comments and edits from the feedback stage are incorporated and a final product is delivered to the client. Some minor changes may still be made but overall, these changes are minimal.

7.       Invoice / payment:  Once the project is completed, the copywriter generates an invoice and presents this to the client. The client pays in whatever form is agreed upon initially.

The end result is a happy client with great marketing material and a happy copywriter who got paid for being creative.