Start charging $3,000 per sales letter with no experience

62 replies
I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client. None of this $97, $297, or $997 stuff.

Worked for that marketer, but what do you think?
#charging #experience #letter #sales #start
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Takes a lot of guts but it all depends on YOU and the
    market you are pitching this at. For example, I have
    clients who happily pay me $150 per article but Warriors
    would I think I was out of my mind to ask such a
    fee for "just an article".

    I also know other copywriters who started charging
    $5K out of the gate and got it. But this could backfire
    if you don't know what you are doing. Not only will
    the customer lose confidence in you but you can also
    lose confidence in yourself.

    Takes a lot of practicing in the mirror, but it's not
    unheard of. I prefer to go low and excite the client
    that the other way around.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
      If you've got writing chops... brass balls... and don't care for following the crowd... no reason why not.
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  • Profile picture of the author markbyrne
    In my experience, you charge what the job's worth, no matter what kind of industry you are in. I have a varied background but not once have I charged more than I'm worth You have to remember, today's customer is tomorrows aftersales, so you have to be ready to offer $3000 worth of value - that includes after-the-fact support & maybe even mentoring.

    If you are charging such a sum, people tend to feel you owe them at least some hand-holding. If the marketer is not prepared to commit to that, then hell, he's not worth his money. The guys on here charging $47 for a cracking ebook usually offer unlimited email support - and most of the time it is taken advantage of, and the seller is okay with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oxbloom
    Whether you can get 3k out of the gate or not depends almost entirely on your sales pitch.

    Whether you ever get it again depends on what you deliver, and the results it brings.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Oxbloom View Post

      Whether you can get 3k out of the gate or not depends almost entirely on your sales pitch.

      Whether you ever get it again depends on what you deliver, and the results it brings.

      Your sales copy is your resume... If your sales copy can convince a buyer to pay $3k or $5k per sales letter, then you have what it takes to write someone elses sales copy and be worth your salt...

      Of course, there could always be a difference between capability and performance... Just because you are capable of writing a $3k sales letter, will you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Mlambo
    I think its great. If you know you're providing 3k worth of value then charge 3k for your sales letter.

    I read in a copywriting forum where someone charged 30k right out the gate. It's all about having the confidence and knowing the value in which you're providing.

    - Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client. None of this $97, $297, or $997 stuff.
    If said marketer is selling a copywriting course, then I can see how it would be beneficial for him to give such advice...

    However, I think you'd need to be delusional to believe it.

    The reality is, you get paid what you're worth, and for most first-time copywriters that's significantly less than $3,000 a letter. Who in their right mind is going to blow $3K on a copywriter who's never written a word of copy?

    But let's assume such a fool exists, when their new sales letter bombs (and it most certainly will), they'll not hire that copywriter again, ever.

    Worked for that marketer, but what do you think?
    As far as I'm concerned, I think it's nonsense.

    Sure it may have worked for this "successful marketer," but I doubt it'll work for most folk... I'm assuming we're talking about total copy newbies here?

    Colm
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Just a tad off topic, but I didn't want to start a new thread...

      The current issue of DM News is running an ad (inside back cover) by a copywriter who has been around for years (but is probably unknown to most in here). The ad measures 10.5" x 14" and a small "thumbnail" version of it is below:



      If you'd like the full size readable version (for your files) you can download it here:

      http://www.marketingbrainfarts.com/lynwood-austin.jpg

      The above link will go dead sometime this weekend.

      (NOTE: The background color in the original ad is canary yellow. In order to make the body copy readable I had to adjust the contrast a bit and it changed the background color to an orange. Sorry 'bout that.)
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      • Profile picture of the author Stephen Bray
        Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

        Just a tad off topic, but I didn't want to start a new thread...

        The current issue of DM News is running an ad (inside back cover) by a copywriter who has been around for years (but is probably unknown to most in here). The ad measures 10.5" x 14" and a small "thumbnail" version of it is below:

        If you'd like the full size readable version (for your files) you can download it here:

        http://www.marketingbrainfarts.com/lynwood-austin.jpg

        The above link will go dead sometime this weekend.
        Thanks for the download, one
        for the swipe file, maybe?


        Stephen
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    • Profile picture of the author wizozz
      I think it could work, not for "total newbies with no experience", but, if the copywriter is also a marketer, selling his stuff successfully, whether they are licensed from PLR/MRR products, or created by themselves, or even pre-selling affiliate products, and do not rely on "copywriting for clients to put food on table", it might actually work from the first client and up.

      "Experience" can also be self-earned experience, like writing copy for opt-in pages, autoresponders etc which might also sell affiliate products.

      Or, the copywriter can gain "expert status" in the client's perception by awriting a copywriting/DRM book, writing articles for business publications, speaking in front of business people, etc. Those things can be done without selling copywriting/DRM consultancy services for others.

      The value the client gets is not in your "experience", it is what he gets from your copywriting service. Even in US, only %40 of all business follow Direct Response Marketing methods. That means %60 of businesses rely on "branding" and "media advertising" for their marketing. If you sell caopywriting to a business who has never used DRM techniques, and copywriting in particular, it does not take a spectacularly good copy to provide much more value (like ten times more, or $30,000+) by writing copy for your client. Think about it: If your client is a company who is making only $1,000,000 in revenue per year without DRM, and you write for them a "special reactivation offer" letter to old, inactive clients, and when they send the letter they make $100,000 in a short time, would'nt they be glad to pay you 3000$, $5000, or even $10,000+? I think in such a case, even an "average" copy might work better than everything else the client has tried up to this stage.

      The value is not in "previous experience" but the results you can deliver for your client. You know, there is lots of info about "offline clients", and depending on client, I think this is possible.

      Some of the top copywriting people like Dan Kennedy is supporting this. He even has a CD I think, about how to have "Brass Balls" to ask for 25,000$+ in copywriting fees, plus royalties etc...

      Also you can use "a proven system". For example, Hidden Marketing Assets system of Micheal Senoff (which sells for $5000), has a system of getting clients without any previous experience. This is a total DRM consulting package, and you get to consult people about USP's, training of sales-marketing people, using their customer database, jv's etc. And you can get your first client to pay you $1,000-$5,000 just for building their USP, using their system. They have a "Marketing Opportunity Analysis" which is a questionaire, which shows them what the consultant can do for them while answering the questionaire.

      I think I seen some other questionaire in WSO's for "offline consulting", for free.

      If you can communicate clearly what value they get from your services, and show them for sure they are getting more than what they are paying you, you should be able to get the sale.

      And if you do a good job, and the customer is satisfied, you have great start, not dealing with "cheap" clients anyway.

      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      If said marketer is selling a copywriting course, then I can see how it would be beneficial for him to give such advice...

      However, I think you'd need to be delusional to believe it.

      The reality is, you get paid what you're worth, and for most first-time copywriters that's significantly less than $3,000 a letter. Who in their right mind is going to blow $3K on a copywriter who's never written a word of copy?

      But let's assume such a fool exists, when their new sales letter bombs (and it most certainly will), they'll not hire that copywriter again, ever.



      As far as I'm concerned, I think it's nonsense.

      Sure it may have worked for this "successful marketer," but I doubt it'll work for most folk... I'm assuming we're talking about total copy newbies here?

      Colm
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Interesting post Mr. Subtle.

    Given the guys track record and experience... Not to mention paying whatever it costs to run that ad on the back page of DM magazine, that seems like a lot of work for not a lot of money.

    I'm going to guess he structures royalties into those deals. If not I wonder how much that ad costs to run.

    A couple of interesting things, and I'm not dogging this guy, I don't know him, just pointing them out...

    1. A lot of big claims with no proof...

    From 49,000 To 300,000 Paying Customers
    No real proof there, he's probably pre-qualifying prospects for the volume they plan on mailing...

    In the "For Example" section he posts quotes from a lot of clients without mentioning their companies or names. Again no proof, but given his other credentials I guess there's no reason to not believe him.

    Stop what you're doing and mail me your marketing materials along with a check for $7,995
    This to me seems like he's basically saying he'll work for anyone who'll pay him... He does a little qualifying in the previous section, but I'm not sure I like that positioning "mail me a check and I'll write anything"...

    Then again I'm not a 25 year industry vet, I have no idea who this guy is but I'd guess he knows what he's doing here.

    I know that wasn't a critique request, just some things I found interesting.

    You mentioned it's off topic, but is there a point here? (That a 25 year vet is only charging $7.5k?)

    Regarding the original post, I'm with Colm. I wouldn't wanted to have taken $3k for my first letter with no experience and the knowledge I had at the time...

    I realize that $3k is chump change for some companies, but you'd think given an experienced $3k writer vs. a guy with zero experience, it'd be a pretty easy choice.

    I wouldn't hire a copywriter for $3k who has no experience. I'm sure there are people out there who may, but unless the guy has some amazing spec work or they're just clueless I'd say it's highly unlikely.

    -Scott
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    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by Scott Murdaugh View Post

      You mentioned it's off topic, but is there a point here? (That a 25 year vet is only charging $7.5k?)
      The point is someone will (probably) get a deal by hiring the vet and many are going to be screwed by the $3K NOOB "copywriters" with no experience.

      Plus it was cool seeing one of his ads again and thought onliners would like to see something from the offline world. Last year Bob Bly took out a full page ad in the same publication.
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      • Profile picture of the author Collette
        Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

        The point is someone will (probably) get a deal by hiring the vet and many are going to be screwed by the $3K NOOB "copywriters" with no experience.

        Plus it was cool seeing one of his ads again and thought onliners would like to see something from offline world. Last year Bob Bly took out a full page ad in the same publication.
        Linwood's been running quite a few ads in DM. The first one I noticed was a 1" block sellling some kind of "system". Then, a couple of issues later, he changed it to his copywriting services. Since then, the size of his ad has varied from time to time, but he stayed with copywriting services.

        Now he's up to a full page ad, which may be an indication that, whatever one thinks of the individual elements of the copy, something is working for him.
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        • Profile picture of the author Consultant
          Personally I think charging $3k out of the gate is pretty ballsy. But then again if you have the chops why not go for it? That after all si the wondeful thing abiout living in a capitalist society. If the market will bear it...

          Just supply and demand.

          Frankly as a consumer you sould ask pretty hard questions before plunking down this amount (YMMV). As long as there is good social proof, referneces etc. it really boils down to a personal decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Bass
    Was this advice free? I hope it didn't cost $3000.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Nice. I kind of thought that was along the lines of what you were saying but wasn't 100% sure... (I guess you call yourself Mr. Subtle for a reason :p).

    Thanks for posting. I did enjoy checking it out.

    -Scott
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    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

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  • Profile picture of the author Mad Dogg
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author GaryJBloomer
      Dear Scott,

      If you've got: the chops, the nuggets, the ability, the proof of previous results, and the clients all lined up and ready to rock, I say go for it. Why the hell not? I've used this approach and, depending on the client's willingness to risk, suspend fear, and act, it's worked.

      So, go for it. Good luck to you buddy. I wish you every success.

      --Gary B.
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      Top 10 contributor to the Know-How Exchange of MarketingProfs.com (a site with 360,000 registered users), and an award-winning graphic designer and copywriter. Read my modest blog and you'll find I'm a direct response marketing advocate, and all round nice guy. Got a question about marketing or graphic design? Ask and I'll do as much as I can to help you. Follow me on Twitter. Or connect with me on Facebook.

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      • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
        Originally Posted by GaryJBloomer View Post

        If you've got: the chops, the nuggets, the ability, the proof of previous results, ... I say go for it.
        You've missed the point of the thread:

        Start charging $3,000 per sales letter with NO experience

        I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client.

        It's one thing to have "the nuggets" (which is great to have), but you have to have the experience or else:

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        • Profile picture of the author Oxbloom
          Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post



          You've missed the point of the thread:

          Start charging $3,000 per sales letter with NO experience

          I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client.

          It's one thing to have "the nuggets" (which is great to have), but you have to have the experience or else...
          Well, in fairness, that's why Gary added "the chops." Talent can carry you a long way, even in the absence of experience.

          How good do your chops have to be? Well, we know the answer to that question. They have to be exactly good enough to sell yourself as a $3,000 copywriter despite a complete and utter lack of social proof.

          You'd have to be really amazing to do that with ONLY your sales pitch. But it could be done.

          You'd have to be pretty amazing to do it with only your sales pitch AND a made-up sample or two.

          Alternatively, you could probably pull it off with some talent, combined with rock-like patience and an unflagging willingness to knock on doors. Every sale is ultimately a numbers game, after all.
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          • Profile picture of the author 5Tool
            It also depends upon the circumstance. Some clients may have money to burn and not know a thing about looking for a results-oriented copywriter.

            But any smart business owner who has already run a good-sized campaign will ask for examples of the copywriter having beaten a decent control piece.
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  • Profile picture of the author Keegahn
    I could name at least three "big dudes" that flat out say you shouldn't charge less than $2,500 for your first client, or any client... I see nothing wrong with it if you're confident you can deliver $2,500+ worth of value.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Keegahn View Post

      I could name at least three "big dudes" that flat out say you shouldn't charge less than $2,500 for your first client, or any client... I see nothing wrong with it if you're confident you can deliver $2,500+ worth of value.
      Maybe, but can you deliver it consistently? Of course, I know of at least one "big dude" who likes to claim that because it helps sell more of their "become a top gun copywriter" training program that comes with a hefty price tag.

      I tend to be more of a realist when I advise other copywriters. There is no magic bullet. IF there was, I would have bought it years ago and saved myself a ton of hard work, sweat, and learning. And if I had the only magic bullet, then I'd rent it out at $10K per month minimum.

      Back on topic.

      Sure you might get $3000... $5000... even $20,000 one time... but can you demonstrate your value to multiple prospective clients that you're worth far more than your asking price? Can you do it everytime?

      As someone who started charging nominal amounts and gradually worked my fee up, I will say that the more you charge, the more pressure and expectation there is to deliver profitable marketing.

      The more you charge, the more marketing savvy the clients are... and chances are, you won't be the first copywriter they've ever hired. They'll know what type of copy they should be getting for $3K... $5K... $20K and if you don't deliver it or something better, then you've lost them forever as a client.

      I know of plenty of copywriters who started charging low fees... honed their chops and get some real-life "in the trenches" marketing experience as they hiked their fees. I know of a few copywriters who started out charging $5-6K... got it once... wrote something that bombed for their clients and within a year were ready to leave the field because the word spread not to hire them.

      Unless you're working with a copywriter mentor/coach who can teach/beat/mold/flog you into a strong copywriter, then plan on taking the time to hone your chops. You'll significantly improve your chances of long-term success IMHO.

      My 3 cents,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author cyberchick
        No matter how you look at this, one fact still remains: unless you can back up big-mouthed, alpha male type of claims with RESULTS for the client there will never be a second opportunity to charge another customer $3,000 with no copywriting experience - unless of course you market to the dumb.

        If someone is willing to spend $3,000+ for a copywriter they are well advised to ask for some validation about the cost. Not doing so is downright stupid unless you've got money to burn.

        Charging people exorbitant figures as an untrained professional is like trying to pose as a pilot because you love flying. Never mind you lack the essential skills needed to safely land the plane on the tarmac after having taken off with ease.

        Taking off is easy, landing is where all the skills of a pilot come into play. The same goes for experienced copywriters. These guys have honed their technique, they also have an innate understanding of the psychological buying triggers, and they know how to PRINT money on demand with the power of their words.

        You can't tell me that a newcomer can do all this right off the bat!!!

        Monika
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  • It seems to me that this is just a simple "direct response" exercise right?

    I mean, can I get my client's attention? Can I show him how he would benefit from my consulting? Can I deliver proof that every dollar spent with me is converted into $3? have I structured my offer correctly so it's easy to understand?

    Aside from this, you've gotta have what my coach calls "swagger".

    $3,000 doesn't seem outlandish but I don't see how you can pull it off without experience.

    Stan
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
    As someone who's charged $500, $600, $770, $975 and now $1500, the thought of unzipping my pants and declaring "$3000" without any experience is somewhat... horrific.

    At least for the client.


    On the other hand, let's consider something...

    Proper sales copy takes around a month to complete, including research, communicating with the client, all that fun stuff. Some gigs can take a lot longer.

    My own average is around 3 weeks and I'll only take on additional work towards the end of a current gig.

    $3k over a month is $750 a week, or around $19 an hour, if you were working full time (or about 11.70 if you're from the UK). Yeah it's creative and not full-time but it takes that time.

    That's plenty acceptable but hardly major money or "wealth' if you're living in a big city with expenses.

    So as a fee it's fair, as a fee for a noob it's a rip-off.



    AC
    (Bigsofty)
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  • Profile picture of the author k0zm0zs0ul
    I agree with most on here... if you feel you can provide $3000 in value and results to your client, then by all means charge what you feel you're worth.

    But it's pretty much a put up or shut up situation. Bomb it and waste your clients cash and you've just put a healthy dent in your reputation.

    Just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author DayDreamBeliever
    If you know how to leverage the value of a situation to produce 10x to 100x more income just with some copy then more power to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
    If you are a good enough copywriter to convince someone that you are worth $3,000, then go for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Burns
    I agree with those above who talk about results. The more they pay the more they expect (and rightfully so). Not to say that cheaper copywriters always produce cheaper results, but these days you get what you pay for.

    I think 3000$ is something to work towards rather than to start off with. That price tag sets the interest level higher than normal, in my opinion, and like others have said, you've got to be able to prove you can live up to the 'alpha male' hype.

    If you want to do it, by all means. However, this business is about relationships... and if your tarnish your very first one that could change the future of your entire copywriting career.

    Just my two cents!

    Best,
    -Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Who said it and where did you listen to it?

    Johnny


    Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client. None of this $97, $297, or $997 stuff.

    Worked for that marketer, but what do you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author mktgpro21202
    Conversion depends so much on where your traffic comes from and what happens to them before they actually see your sales letter that 'copy' is almost irrelevant.

    Personally I think that 'expert' copy is getting a little old. I think people are starting to get a little smart on the whole 50 mile long sales letter with the claim of making millions without even turning the computer on.

    I think being a little more humble and taking the 'it is what it is' approach is a bit more profitable.

    I also think that the product creator, regardless of experience, is the best person for the job when it comes to copywriting. If you hire a writer, no matter how long that writer studies the product he will never know it as well as the creator.

    As far as charging goes, I think it depends on your goals. If your goal is to make money NOW, charge more money. The more you charge, the less clients you need to reach your goal. If your goal is building a client base, a following, testimonials, a list, etc. then charge less.
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  • Profile picture of the author rajput441
    I personally think 3k is a lot of a newbie who doesn't have any experience. But if your clients are willing to pay you such sum then why not? Just make sure you really write a good sales letter so you can get them to work again with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author deannatroupe
    Okay so if $3000 is too much for someone brand new to copywriting to charge, what IS a reasonable amount to charge?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
      Originally Posted by deannatroupe View Post

      Okay so if $3000 is too much for someone brand new to copywriting to charge, what IS a reasonable amount to charge?
      Alex Cohen put it this way..

      It's the value you bring on the table for your client that decides the price for the sales letter.
      $1000 is the normal minimum price, I believe.

      Price varies for each assignment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    I've been busting my ass to get a reputation. I seriously doubt most newbies would have the skills to pull 3k for letter.

    If they were smart enough, they would probably get a copywriter to write copy for their copy offer.

    Besides, I do get a lot of clients by word of mouth. I don't advocate charging $3000 out of the gate AT ALL though. You're not going to have repeat customers, and if you mess it up you can kiss your reputation goodbye.

    I would use the "reputation building" price to get samples, further improve your skills, learn to deal with customers professionally, and build relationships with marketers.

    It's also a great chance to network with those who may be able to help you with your own projects with promotion, tips, and personal help for now and the future.

    - Dean
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    • Profile picture of the author arfasaira
      I'd have to say, as a newbie myself, I find the issue of price rather perplexing. I am being coached by a proper copywriter and we will be covering price later on, but it has had me thinking about my own personal situation.

      I started freelance writing in March this year. Now, I have always been good with the written word - my literature teachers just LOVED me. But, when I started freelancing, I was making around $10 an hour.(pants, I know!) My last job for which I got paid for this week, paid me $750 for 6 hours work. That's $125 an hour.

      I even shocked myself. And my client? Ecstatic and now hiring me long term. And guess what? I have already told them I am hiking my prices up come the new year. Has it put them off? No. They are even more determined to hang on to me for dear life because as my client told me: 'Good writers are like a needle in a haystack'

      Bottom line from my own experience: start small, prove your worth and then crank your prices up without fear. I did, and it worked.

      When doing my sample letter, I spent 4 hours creating my prep file and a good few hours just digesting the information from the ebook (which btw, I had written myself) before I even got onto it.

      So far, I think I have spent around 20 hours on my sales letter, and I am still no where near done. Compared to some people, thats probably a drop in the ocean of the amount of time they spend on researching a product (remember this is my own product), so if they are asking $3000 and the time investment warrants it and they can deliver the goods, then power to them!

      I am thinking of pricing my first sales letter at $1000 and my coach seems to think that I can easily ask this. Considering how much work goes into it, I think its a fair ask as well. It's all about establishing your worth and believing you have the ability to deliver the goods.

      If you put the effort in, you will be rewarded, no matter how long it takes.
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      • Profile picture of the author statelizard
        Of course you can and it has nothing to do with having big balls. It depends on the market, your client, and what industry they're in.

        Can you do it without some kind of portfolio? Maybe, but you'll end up spending more time looking for that job than it's worth. And your portfolio doesn't have to have real work in it. Quality mocks will do just fine.

        My very first gig wasn't a sales letter, it was a 1 page brochure for Abbott Labs. I guessed it was going to take me around 30 hours to complete after meeting with their marketing directors/executives. At the time I said I'm charging $150 an hour, that means $4500 bones. They wanted to know if I could handle the formatting and graphic elements of the brochure. I don't do layout and graphics that's a job for a graphic designer. I knew this would be something they may ask when I went in. I used a GD who was just starting out for the layout of my mocks. We had discussed working together on projects one of us landed if the situation called for it. I knew what it would cost for him to work with me on this. When it was all said and done I walked out of the meeting with a deal in place for the complete brochure for $6K. I ended up taking 4 and the GD 2.

        Now why was I able to do that? A couple of reasons. First and foremost, because I took the time to set myself up as a professional. I didn't try to pull the wool over any eyes. I was upfront about my experience, I said here's a few samples that are specific to your industry. This was the original, this is how I would have done it. They liked my take on it.

        Second, I had worked in the research industry for the 3 years prior to changing careers and doing something I enjoy and love. I had the experience necessary to know what would help their product sell to other businesses. I knew the downfalls of other products in that market and how Abbott's product overcame those.

        Third, I had a formal education on my side. I had a psych and English degree in my back pocket. As much as people try and tell you it doesn't help, it does. Especially when you're working with a company full of people with degrees.

        Getting high paying jobs right off the bat is about knowing your market, having a background in that market, and pitching your services to the right market. Should you say hey I've never done this before but it's going to cost 3 grand for me to write your letter to the guy selling a $37 eBook, probably not. B2B pays better than an eBook vendor and it's easier to break into. Take a look at the "copywriters" on the internet, how many of them do you think actually go out and network with companies that exist in the real world. The answer is a very small percentage. Most "copywriters" think that splashing some red, blue, or green colored font on a web page that has some testimonials and screams at readers in all caps is what the job entails. That isn't my competition and it shouldn't be yours either. Do I write copy for the web, I sure do. Do I write it like that, depends on the client. At the end of the day they have final say. I once had a client who completely ripped my copy apart and said I want it done this way instead. Fine by me. We put it up on his page and it completely bombed. I said hey, so this isn't working, why don't we go ahead and try the one I gave you to start with. Guess what? It performed and I haven't had that client question me on any other pieces since.

        So yes it is possible. It depends on your market, your background, the value you place on yourself, and how well you can sell yourself. And if you can't sell yourself, you probably aren't cut out to be charging 3K for a sales letter anyway.

        That being said, it's always a good idea to diversify your business. Do I always charge $100+ an hour for work, nope and there's a reason for that. Making connections and networking is far more important than saying well I'll only work with people paying X amount. If you have the time, consider smaller and slightly lower paying jobs that interest you. You never know when the copy you write is going to take a product from a dud to a stud and give you a clip that everyone knows. And that means you can charge whatever the hell you want and people will eat it up like candy.
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  • Profile picture of the author natorob
    I'd think the proof would be in the pudding.

    If the guy wants to charge $3K for his first copywriting job, how is he going to get that first job?

    Maybe his first copywriting job would be to design his own $3K salesletter; and if he did pick up a client, then maybe he should charge $3K for it...

    However, I don't see that happening. Writing copy is a skill; and per a previous post, if he does get a client and his copy doesn't covnert, he won't have that client vey long...
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    The very first writing I ever sold garnered me $2500. That was in 1996.
    I see nothing impossible about $3000 out of the gate. Small price to pay for effectiveness.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Go for it dude. Why only 3? Why not 5?

    Just OMO (one moe opinion)...

    Don't use your real name first time out. Clayton Makewar??? John Carltenen???

    Go the "Mark Twain" route, keep Sam Clemens safe for now, OK?

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author wenzel777
      You can charge as much $ as you want for any service, but you better make sure that you have the skills to back it up. I've paid for quality, but not without proof. If you don't have proof, a big pricetag won't turn me into a consumer. If you take pride in your work, and you feel it's worth $3,000, then go for it. As you refine your craft, you'll naturally discover what you're worth..and you can THEN put a pricetag on it. An honest price. There's a lot more to this game than $. If you don't love what you do, and you don't give people a good product, then you're wasting your time.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommcsherry
    A lot of people have mentioned that it takes balls to charge $3k out the gate. But it takes more than just balls - it takes clients who can afford it. It depends a lot on where you're finding your clients and their experience with Internet marketing (which will determine their thoughts on the value of sales copy). It also has a lot to do with the product and how much it can potentially generate in profit. People who think they're going to make a million dollars a year from that sales page will be happy to pay thousands for it. Someone who only expects to make maybe 10k a year from that particular product might think twice. Still, I find it pretty hard to believe anyone is getting $3k off the bat without a single example of work, but stranger things have happened. I assume you would at least have to mock up some sample letters and have a pretty tight pitch to make it work.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdilAmarsi
    I did that actually, left room to bargain,

    I originally only wanted $1,500.
    So I asked for $3,000 and got $2300 plus all the dude's courses.
    So go for it, see what sticks and works, but make sure you can back up your price tag
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  • Profile picture of the author jaspast666
    that might be a good idea because you certainly will have a lower conversion rate but obviously you dont need as many sales. just make sure that it is a quality job and dont just halfass it. also that might be good to charge that much because then you know that your clients are big boys and know what they are doing
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  • Profile picture of the author Topgunb
    The bottom line is can you get the job done?

    Will it convert?

    Only the sales realized will determine if your price was right.

    You could charge 10 to 15k but if you can't write to convert you should stay away from it.

    I have had clients pay me 10k plus 10% of sales for 12 months.

    When it worked, I was the man.
    But when it bombed, and it did sometimes, I was the ..... who let it happen.

    Best is to commit to making it work, no matter what it takes.

    Target audiences have different hot spots and if you are not addressing those you will have 0 sales.

    My advice to you is, charge what you feel you are worth for the quality of work you currently deliver. Else find someone who charges a high price and ask them what is in it for you if you land the deal?

    Have a super day.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author ruscontent
    First impression - that's all. If it is good, then you can charge $3k, $4k,$5k... depends on client level
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    • Profile picture of the author Biz Guru
      Lots of good answers in here and some poor ones too.

      MAYBE 1 in 10 new writers is worth $3000.
      The other 9 would be STEALING from the hiring party.

      If think your stuff is that good ask for $1000 and a conversion bonus. (Heck might even be an extra $2-5k or a % of sales)

      This is the problem with the world these days everyone is chasing the $$$ and Value is an unknown word to most marketers. And then we wonder why the top marketing word in our profession is SCAM.

      Everyone wants to be an INSTANT superstar and INSTANT Millionaire. It is getting ridiculous. The clients can't tell the difference between chumps and the champs.

      Do 3 jobs for $1000 (which is still a nice pay day by the way) and then use those 3 kickass testimonials to get your new higher fee.

      Oh ya that is considering you get the the Great Testimonials.

      Oh ya and YES a bit of the onus is on the client to ask for references first I guess. You know why they HAVE to ask? Because losers out there are charging BIG $$$ who don't know what they are doing. LOL

      Last but not least to the people saying if think you are worth $3000 then you are ... Try watching the auditions of people on American Idol who are STUNNED to find out they won't be making millions from their horrible voices. Anybody want to sign 1 of these morons to a $Million recording contract .... cuz they SAID they are worth it???

      SHOW SOME VALUE!!!!

      Cheers,

      Kevin
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      Cheers To Your Success,
      Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Nice job, you just stumbled across the biggest secret of earning big money as a copywriter. Of course, you have to be good too, but I've earned over 6 figures in 2010 and I credit 90% of my success to having brass balls negotiation skills and high standards.
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  • Profile picture of the author redcell1
    As a client here is what I have to say :

    1.) what are your previous samples ? (are they 3k material or just mock ups?)
    2.) References - Can I talk to you previous clients privately and have them give glowing reviews about you ?
    3.) Testomonials - what do previous clients have to say about you?
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    Just here to see the shenanigans.

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    • Profile picture of the author docsulo
      "Start charging $3,000 per sales letter with no experience"

      The only way this would be even remotely legitimate and not a criminal fraud would be if the person with "NO EXPERIENCE" was working under a seasoned copywriter with a stellar track record who put their name and reputation on the line to guarantee the quality of the newbie's work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Oxbloom
        Originally Posted by docsulo View Post

        "Start charging $3,000 per sales letter with no experience"

        The only way this would be even remotely legitimate and not a criminal fraud would be if the person with "NO EXPERIENCE" was working under a seasoned copywriter with a stellar track record who put their name and reputation on the line to guarantee the quality of the newbie's work.
        Criminal fraud?

        If you're charging $3000 out of the gate because you're telling prospective clients that you've got lots of successful clients who you don't actually have, THEN you've got fraud.

        If you're charging it based on moxy, confidence, the power to convince, and what you perceive as adequate copywriting ability, then you have as much right to charge 3k for your time as anybody else has to charge what they want for theirs.

        People are allowed by law to price their time as they see fit, and let the market decide whether it will bear the cost.
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        • Profile picture of the author docsulo
          Originally Posted by Oxbloom View Post

          Criminal fraud?

          If you're charging $3000 out of the gate because you're telling prospective clients that you've got lots of successful clients who you don't actually have, THEN you've got fraud.

          If you're charging it based on moxy, confidence, the power to convince, and what you perceive as adequate copywriting ability, then you have as much right to charge 3k for your time as anybody else has to charge what they want for theirs.

          People are allowed by law to price their time as they see fit, and let the market decide whether it will bear the cost.
          Well it certainly depends on what you say. But if in your confident, moxified power pitch you DON'T SAY - "I have no experience" - then I'd say it's fraud.
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          • Profile picture of the author Oxbloom
            Originally Posted by docsulo View Post

            Well it certainly depends on what you say. But if in your confident, moxified power pitch you DON'T SAY - "I have no experience" - then I'd say it's fraud.
            And you'd be wrong.

            It may well be *unethical*. I don't happen to think so, but people are free to determine their own ethics.

            But fraud is something specific, and legally actionable. And that ain't it.

            Failure to disclose experience carries legal baggage when it puts public or personal safety at risk, or when it violates licensing statutes.

            But in the case of an unlicensed service sector? Falls squarely under that whole "caveat emptor" thing. It's upon the buyer to vet the service provider as he sees fit. Just as the provider has the right to appear confident and price his wares as he wishes, the buyer has the right to inquire about experience.

            If you lie to him? Then maybe you've got fraud.

            Till then? You've got marketing.
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            • Profile picture of the author docsulo
              Originally Posted by Oxbloom View Post

              And you'd be wrong.

              It may well be *unethical*. I don't happen to think so, but people are free to determine their own ethics.

              But fraud is something specific, and legally actionable. And that ain't it.

              Failure to disclose experience carries legal baggage when it puts public or personal safety at risk, or when it violates licensing statutes.

              But in the case of an unlicensed service sector? Falls squarely under that whole "caveat emptor" thing. It's upon the buyer to vet the service provider as he sees fit. Just as the provider has the right to appear confident and price his wares as he wishes, the buyer has the right to inquire about experience.

              If you lie to him? Then maybe you've got fraud.

              Till then? You've got marketing.
              Hmmmm...

              I'll say this...

              I've been through two lawsuits with the FTC for a grand total of over $15 Million. I've also been sued under the RICO act for about $30 million and successfully defended myself in that case.

              Now I'm no lawyer so don't get me wrong - but I think I might understand how the government defines fraud.

              If what you leave out of your pitch is MATERIAL to the sale - you have issues. NOT telling someone that you have no experience IS MATERIAL.

              Anyway... of course if you successfully "wing it" and get results you'll be fine. If you don't you can run into a lot of trouble.

              But live in your own version of reality if you'd like. No skin off my nose.
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  • Profile picture of the author liquidice04
    Do it, The fact that you are taking allot of money will force you to give your best and you will create a HUGE positive reference point.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
      I would give the same advice. For the simple reason that it will drive you to seek out the type of client that is willing and able to pay a bigger check.

      I find they are often easier to work with and focus on effect/results rather than form/technique. Small budgets, small heads. Your mileage may vary.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rex.T
    Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    I just listened to a very successful marketer that advocated charging at least $3,000 a sales letter right out of the gate on your first client. None of this $97, $297, or $997 stuff.

    Worked for that marketer, but what do you think?
    It's possible. Just think of all the 'overpaying' for products and services. Just think of all the conmen and conwomen out there who makes a living doing it.

    As long as the person is slick enough to sell the services, yes it's possible for him/her to get clients to part those money. (not everyone thinks rationally)

    The question is, should he or shouldn't he. That cuts on the moral boundaries of what you're worth. Someone might think that they are worth that amount, but when the client doesn't receive the promised results, then it's bad.

    Personally, I feel that instead of thinking how much to charge, one should think, how much value can I deliver. If you're confident of delivering $10k in value, why settle for even $3k??

    Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daryl Lim
    I never did copywriting for anybody else except for myself, but I think I'm rather good at it (in fact I like it). Who wants to pay me $3000 to write yours!
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    • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
      Originally Posted by sarahberra View Post

      Wow $$3,000! I thought $500 was a great rate!
      $3,000 is quite good. No shame in getting $500 when you're new, though.

      My mentor was charging about $20k before he left freelancing.

      That's a nice goal.

      Best,

      Angel
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam98
    Thanx for post here..
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