Offering free copywriting critiques a good idea?

10 replies
Hey all!

Getting to the point, I read somewhere that a way to get copywriting clients is by offering a free critique to anyone who asks. Oddly enough, the guy who wrote it happened to offer that service on this forum of all places. Then he would offer to write copy at a discounted price.

Should I go forward and offer a free copywriting critique on here or is this a bad idea since a lot of us on here provide free critiques on here when they ask?

For what it's worth, here's the blog post that I read that lead to this post:

How To Become A Copywriter (with No Experience) :: Kopywriting Kourse
#copywriting #critiques #free #good #idea #offering
  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by ATCopywriting View Post

    Hey all!

    Getting to the point, I read somewhere that a way to get copywriting clients is by offering a free critique to anyone who asks. Oddly enough, the guy who wrote it happened to offer that service on this forum of all places. Then he would offer to write copy at a discounted price.

    Should I go forward and offer a free copywriting critique on here or is this a bad idea since a lot of us on here provide free critiques on here when they ask?

    For what it's worth, here's the blog post that I read that lead to this post:

    How To Become A Copywriter (with No Experience) :: Kopywriting Kourse
    It's a good technique for getting clients if you're new. I'd recommend picking up Rick D's report on the subject here: Special Report Reveals: How to Get Copywriting Dream Clients | CopyRanger.com

    Good luck.
    -Cam
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    I would advocate prospecting/pitching over free critiques. Much more bang for your buck.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by ATCopywriting View Post

    Hey all!

    Getting to the point, I read somewhere that a way to get copywriting clients is by offering a free critique to anyone who asks. Oddly enough, the guy who wrote it happened to offer that service on this forum of all places. Then he would offer to write copy at a discounted price.

    Should I go forward and offer a free copywriting critique on here or is this a bad idea since a lot of us on here provide free critiques on here when they ask?

    For what it's worth, here's the blog post that I read that lead to this post:

    How To Become A Copywriter (with No Experience) :: Kopywriting Kourse
    I'd advise you to ignore anyone who assumes you can do this with no expertise. If they think that's possible, they probably don't have enough experience themselves to know any better.

    Originally Posted by Jennifer Hutson View Post

    I would advocate prospecting/pitching over free critiques. Much more bang for your buck.
    Agreed. People looking for free critiques are usually doing so because they either don't have any money or don't want to invest it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    This is closely tied to the question of whether to write on spec or not.
    And copywriters are divided on this issue. Many say, "No", and others
    claim that they picked up great clients by first writing on spec. I guess
    to each his own.

    But from my experience, you are more likely to get clients by offering
    critiques as a lower end service and those clients asking for your
    writing services than starting at the free line. The downside of offering
    free services is that you are investing your time and talent but the
    prospect has no investment and so don't even have to follow
    your advice because they got it for free. And if they do pay for
    your services they compare this to what they got for free and
    evaluate in their mind if what they paid for is worth the additional
    services you provided.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author ATCopywriting
    You're all absolutely right. It seems like the prospecting/pitching Jennifer mentioned would be a lot better. Thanks, everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    I'm torn on the subject... because offering free critiques over the last 14 years has put a ton of money in my pockets.

    but, you gotta set it up so that once you offer the critique, you're also the solution to the problem you've pointed out.

    For most sales letters I critique, I can usually find a huge problem in the headline or lead... so I'll make that the basis of the critique.

    I don't educate the client on why a great headline is needed... if you have to educate a client on stuff like that... they're probably not a good client.

    But, you can use critiques as a way to get paid clients rather easily, while also offering them value.

    So, you mention how their headline, subhead, lead, etc.... is not good, or whatever part of their letter needs work.

    Stick with ONE thing in the crit... hammer home one big problem they need to fix.

    Why do more during a free critique... you can show them how that one thing is preventing them from increasing sales.

    And explain HOW it's hurting their sales... show proof or case studies.

    Then, you can offer your copywriting as their solution they need to fix that problem. Again, offer proof that you can help them, and show them the proof of how you've helped similar clients.

    But if done right, free critiques that take you all of 5 minutes can lead to thousands in business. Out of the 100 or so crits I've done over the years, more than 3/4 turned to paying work.

    But only after I offered value, showed them their one big problem, showed why I could help and was their best solution, proved it, and then closed and asked for a sale.

    So, I'm always torn between doing ANYTHING for free... but for me, a 5 minute crit has turned into thousands of copy work, over and over.

    The big problem most copywriters do, they spill all their candy in the lobby and give away WAY too much on a free crit. If it's paid, that's one thing... but if it's free... offer just ONE problem they need to address, and then position yourself as the one who can fix it.

    So, if done right... it's free, but can lead to a lot of business.

    I kind of see it like all the product launches that offer up some free content at first, to prove you know your shit and can help them get what they want. A free crit could be the same thing as that first piece of free content in a product launch... but you MUST have a system for converting the free crit into a paid piece.

    I've had a few VERY well known copywriters do free critiques for me, when I first started in business in 2001. And these copywriters are doing very well now.

    so, a free crit in which you spill your guts... not worth it. And a free crit in which you don't try and close for a sale, if you can help them... again, not worth it.

    but, if you can genuinely help them, and see glaring problems you know you can fix... then a free crit can easily be turned into a paid piece very quickly... so that it's win-win.
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    • Profile picture of the author GlenH
      Shawn,

      Maybe you missed it, I don't know, but on your copywriting thread:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ust-500-a.html , you have a couple of customers not too happy about things.

      I just noted them while trolling through that forum, and I thought you might want to know.
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      • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
        Originally Posted by GlenH View Post

        Shawn,

        Maybe you missed it, I don't know, but on your copywriting thread:
        http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ust-500-a.html , you have a couple of customers not too happy about things.

        I just noted them while trolling through that forum, and I thought you might want to know.
        Hey Glen,

        thanks for letting me know... yeah, I'm in the process of resolving those issues. I was out of work and off the forum for a few weeks, for the 3rd skin cancer surgery in as many months, and it seems my agency office manager didn't get to the online stuff I asked him to send as fast as the offline clients he helped.

        But all the copy was sent, I'll post proof in the thread, working on it now... thanks for the heads up though.

        Shawn
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

      I'm torn on the subject... because offering free critiques over the last 14 years has put a ton of money in my pockets.

      but, you gotta set it up so that once you offer the critique, you're also the solution to the problem you've pointed out.
      Where you offer these critiques also matters. I don't know if you are referring to
      offering critiques in a public forum or privately. When done publicly you are
      really showing off your skills. Privately is more risky as far as ROI is concerned.
      But some copywriters can make a success of that strategy.

      -Ray Edwards
      Signature
      The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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