Looking to hire a copywriter for your website or landing page? Here’s a cautionary tale of why it pays to invest. And a shameless plus. Apologies in advance.
You can have the greatest product in the world. And top-shelf customer service. Or even offer same-day delivery. But if you can’t write a good ad to get the word out, your biz is headed straight to the dustbin, buddy. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
This is why copywriters, myself included, charge fat fees and, in some cases, demand royalties on each sale. It’s not because we copywriters are a bunch of greedy so-and-sos trying to rip you off. But it’s the price you invest to get some of the most in-demand, sales-generating ad work done.
Make no mistake about it, writing copy for web, print and email is serious business. Copywriters hold the key to crafting this winning ad copy. Not the CEO. Not the designers. And most certainly not the bean counters.
For instance, at the beginning of the year, a biz owner in South Melbourne contacted Mylk Copy. We exchanged pleasantries, hemmed and hawed, then got down to brass tacks.
(I’ve redacted some of the information below for privacy.)
Hiring a copywriter is about ideas as much as it is about words.
At the start of the year, a biz owner in South Melbourne contacted Mylk Copy. We exchanged pleasantries, hemmed and hawed, then got down to brass tacks. (I’ve redacted some of the information below for privacy.)
Anthony: “So, [name withheld], tell me … what type of copy work are you after?”
Client: “Look, I need a landing page with an email funnel to follow it up. We’re relaunching our service ‘cos what we have now simply doesn’t work.”
Anthony: “Landing page, no issue at all. And the follow-up email sequence is fine. Off the top of my head, a three-part sequence will be good to test here.”
Client: “Ok, that sounds good!”
Anthony: “To ensure I get the messaging just right, I’ll need you to fill out a one-page copy brief — takes about 45 minutes to an hour.”
Client: “Uhhh, a brief? … Can’t you just reference what I’ve got on the site already?”
Anthony: “I can. But that could mean you end up with a similar result. It’s best we go back to square one, find a new angle, seeing as the old one isn’t putting runs on the board.”
I bring up his current landing page.
Anthony: “Looking at this now, I can spot where the issues are. The ad copy is another me-too of all the other mortgage brokers out there. So to get the landing page to really sing … I’ll have to get creative and develop something cutting-edge here.”
Client: “OK, how much will that cost?”
Anthony: “A ballpark figure is [amount withheld] and a three-part email funnel will be [amount withheld], or [amount withheld] per email.”
Client: “Hmmm, look Anthony … we’ve already spent a fortune on the logo and designing the site and paying for SEO. So I’ve only got a tiny bit of budget left for a copywriter … around [amount withheld].”
Anthony: “I understand. But I can’t make it work with that budget. And what I can work into that budget will result in a rushed job. And in my experience, rushed jobs usually fall flat on their face. ”
Client: “No problem, I thought it was worth a try. I’ll contact you in a couple of days time and we can see where things are at then.”
That was four weeks ago, I haven’t heard back since, and I won’t hear back.
What you don’t put in, you don’t get out.
The top-notch biz owners I’ve worked with have one thing in common: they like … scratch that … they love to make sales. It’s in their blood. They understand those breakthrough ideas translate into direct response copy which pads the bottom line. However, the prospect above wasn’t willing to invest. Too bad, his loss.
You think I’m kidding? I’m not.
One thing I noticed first starting down the freelancing path is biz owners who get caught up in things like fonts, SEO and making the logo stick out like a mustard stain on a white shirt endure long bouts of flat sales. Why? Because the web copy was written off with a cold brush of the hand. A mere afterthought.
Now, contrast this to the clients who put in the time and let me dig deep — they get the best ideas. And the best ideas, most often than not, lead to breakthrough copy. So if you’re looking to get your next writing job done right, hire a copywriter. It’s an investment that pays for itself.