What’s this? A copywriter suggesting you might not want to hire a copywriter? Am I mad? Too busy to take on any work? Not actually a copywriter at all? Well, no, on all fronts. It’s just that sometimes it’s probably best all round if you don’t try to hire a copywriter.

You don’t know what you want

To do the best job we can copywriters need a brief so we know exactly what’s wanted from the get-go. Still figuring out what you’re going to include in your online course? Er, that’s going to make writing a sales landing page a little tricky. Not sure what you want on your website yet or how many pages you need? Um…

Without knowing the scale and scope of the work I’m afraid we’re buggered. We can’t give more than a ballpark quote for starters. Or an idea how long the project will take. And we definitely can’t magic up blow-your-socks off content. On the few occasions I’ve gone blindly ahead (never again!) work stops and starts and takes one step forward and two steps back as me and the client struggle to – quite literally – get on the same page. It’s never ended well.

Here’s an idea…

Get clear on what you want before chatting to a copywriter. That way you’ll get an accurate quote and a good indication of when the work will be finished. And it means the project is more likely to run smoothly, with no tears or tantrums on either side.

You don’t know what a copywriter does

Hello. My mate says I need a copywriter. I don’t know what one of those does – but I found you online. Can you help me?’

Chances are if you don’t know what a copywriter does you’ll fall off your chair when you hear what they charge.

‘Seriously? But it’s only words. Forget it then – I’ll get my 10-year-old nephew to do it. Or his gerbil.’

Here’s an idea…

Why not clue yourself up on copywriters before you call. While I’ll always explain how I work and what I can bring to a project, it’s handy if you know a little bit about copywriting first. It will help you decide if hiring a copywriter is right for your business – or you’d be better off with that gerbil.

You’re not ready

You’re thinking of working with a copywriter but you don’t have all your ducks in a row yet. Maybe you’re in the middle of a rebrand or need time to sort out the budget. So you decide to sound out a copywriter or two, get a feel for how they work, what they charge and when they’re available so you’ll have all the information you need when you’re ready to hire one.

That all sounds great – except that if you’re still figuring out the job spec it’s impossible for a copywriter to give you a proper quote (see You Don’t Know What You Want). Also – there’s a timing issue. You might not be in a position to work with a copywriter right now but there’s no guarantee they’ll be available when you’re ready to roll.

Here’s an idea…

If you find a copywriter you love keep in touch to let them know how things are going and check on their availability. If they’ve been snapped up by someone else it gives you time to find another copywriter – or reschedule your project.

You don’t have the budget

You’d love to use a copywriter but you just don’t have the moolah. I get it, I do. But I still need to run a profitable business and keep myself in chocolate biscuits. I’m happy to negotiate on large projects but don’t tell me you’ve got limited funds because your house is being renovated/you’re going on a round-the-world cruise/the vet’s bill was extortionate. And please don’t try that ‘If you give me a big discount now I’ll have lots of lucrative work to send your way in future’. You won’t!

Here’s an idea…

Start small. If you don’t have the budget for new web content how about I sort out your About page at least? Or write one blog a month instead of two? Or do one press release? It will give you chance to see what my words can do for your business – and how much value I can bring.

* Go on – convince me you’re ready to hire me.

PHOTO: Pixabay