I know you're here somewhere.

45 replies
I've lurked around this part of the forum for a few hours now. My grand plan of the day was to source a few good copywriters and article writers (yes, i know the difference!) for a long-term project.

And i have to say, i'm a little discouraged that i might find the right people here. The worst - the amount of basic spelling and grammar mistakes is astounding. And before you find any in my own text here, I'm a business owner, not a writer.

Copywriting isn't cheap, neither are good articles. I need a lot of them. I do want the best. And i have the budget to pay.

When i need to choose someone to work with, I write down a few words that are important to me, and 'price' or 'curriculum' are not on this list. The words are :

- attitude
- belief
- trust
- long-term

Then I shop around. I read what you write to others here and i begin to jot down some names next to each of the above words. But I thought I'd have so many more by now. All i have is 3 names in the "who not to hire" list. And all are on this list for a single reason - attitude.

This judgement is all based on what I read on this forum, mind you. I have not had direct contact with a single one of you and I have not worked with any of you either. But some of the attitude here...gosh!

I was rather disgusted with one copywriter here who just couldn't believe how "business owners" could be so picky about pricing. But like I told him, copywriters are not Gucci bags I can feel, smell or touch before choosing to pull out the credit card. I might be attracted to the Gucci shop because of its reputation, but I wouldn't purchase a Gucci based on reputation alone.

The fact this same copywriter used quotes to write "business owners" as if we're sad, brainless jellybeans was rather degrading too. I forgot to remind this biscuit that there's plenty of "business owners" like me lurking around this forum.

The recurring attitude i sense on this forum is "these business owners would be so lucky if I accepted to take on their money". But what some fail to understand is that most business owners don't care how good you've been for other clients. I certainly care only about how good you'll be for MY business.

I often read writers telling fellow writers to "bang your fist on the table and demand your price" to the client. Well, you don't go to the negotiation table to "demand" anything. If you're a true professional, you go to the negotiation table with a new client and show an interest in the client's business. You can then make a realistic assessment on whether this is a client who could give you business long-term. And THAT'S when you decide what to charge! If you walk in with a set tariff, 9 out of 10 will not hire you. And you'll be loosing big clients and small ones too, because you showed your tariff sheet is what matters, not the client.

Plus, you might win one big goose and loose 9 small potatoes who will one day be bigger geese! But by then, you'll be in their "do not hire" list.

Everybody starts somewhere and if you're not savvy enough to give some time in understanding a new client, somebody else will be. So what if someone can only offer you a few hundred if you've charged 1000's before? Do you know why this attitude ticks me off? Because I was a start-up once with little money.

And this leads me to another thing that left me with a sour taste in my mouth - I didn't 'feel' many copywriters/writers on this forum cared much for 'long-term' relationships with clients. I for one expect you to follow up your work with me, not run off after you've done your writing (by this i mean, "let's sit down together and analyse how well this fared for your business and where this could have gone better" type of attitude).

I know the right writer is here somewhere. If you are a good copywriter and/or article writer (yes, i know the difference), then contact me. I have a lot of work for you. So much work, infact, that I will probably have to hire more than 2 right now.

I won't hire you because you've worked for x,y or z before. I won't hire you because you charge the highest prices. I won't hire you because you have the lowest prices. I want long-term relationships. I want timelines to be kept. I do pay a just price.
#copywriters #writers
  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    wow, this seems like a dream client to work for... i bet people are rushing to send you bids!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718035].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tlrix
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

      wow, this seems like a dream client to work for... i bet people are rushing to send you bids!
      Yes, must be ... But serious?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718164].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
        Crissie,
        Sorry about your experience here. I'm not new here but I haven't posted in a long time nor very often. I know a lot of copywriters and most of them have huge ego's. Don't let that discourage you. Through your process of elimination you'll find a copywriter who you can work with.

        I'd love to talk with you about your project.

        Thanks...ml
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718770].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author videolover7
        The recurring attitude i sense on this forum is "these business owners would be so lucky if I accepted to take on their money". But what some fail to understand is that most business owners don't care how good you've been for other clients. I certainly care only about how good you'll be for MY business.
        That's obviously your MO.

        But it's not true for most business owners. Past results are the name of the game for them. The "Can you write for my business" question and answer is usually two or three sentences at most.

        Take notes: People are the same across the board. When writing for different niches, it's simply a matter of finding the correct buying emotions and writing with the right words and tone.

        So what if someone can only offer you a few hundred if you've charged 1000's before? Do you know why this attitude ticks me off? Because I was a start-up once with little money.
        The promise of future business in return for low payment on the first job is a bright, flashing sign that says to experienced copywriters, "STAY AWAY FROM THIS GUY OR GAL... TROUBLE AHEAD!"

        You talk about attitude. Glad your post doesn't have any attitude.

        VL
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719133].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

      wow, this seems like a dream client to work for... i bet people are rushing to send you bids!
      I can't tell whether or not you're being sarcastic here.

      However, the truth is - if I wasn't so busy with a new school - she'd be the ideal client for me.

      I actually agree with most of what she said.

      Except, I don't agree with her that...
      business owners don't care how good you've been for other clients. I certainly care only about how good you'll be for MY business
      I wrote on my site that... "I could show you testimonials, but the truth is the only one that matters to you is yours."

      But, in my experience, the majority want to see examples of previous work.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719076].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Beautifully said! Very important for newbies and vets alike to read this. I've been surprised at how some copywriters refer to clients as well, and you know, I include myself in that mix (thankfully I tend to rant to myself in private). Every now and then it can be easy to slip and forget that you're working with a person, not simply your next source of income. As glamorized ~solo professionals~ sometimes you can get an inflated ego.

    Yes, you have far more say in how contracts are written out, what you think is and is not fair pay and when you want to work... but the client/copywriter relationship should be one of equality. I've had clients drive me up the walls trying to tweak my copy at times, but at the end of the day, we're helping each other. I have no right to "dismiss" them just because I have a different viewpoint - it's their bloody business!

    Just yesterday one of the graphic designers at my agency had to deal with a client that thought it would be a good idea to show LOTS OF GERMS on a self-cleaning keyboard he was selling... to prove how much it could eliminate. Unfortunately, it made the image look like it did nothing to prevent this, and that the customer's keyboard would be forever grimy and disgusting.

    The designer raged about it in her office... then calmly and politely explained her position to the client on the phone, at which point they reached a satisfactory concensus. We're only human, things will frustrate us! But the client is paying you to get a job done, not treat them like a misguided child.

    It comes down to the fact that both parties shouldn't let themselves be taken advantage of. We need each other to be successful, period. The business owner almost always knows more about their business than you, and regardless of how much dough you've brought in, you still need to respect what they bring to the table - often the information they give you can be converted into some pretty killer copy.

    That said, I'd love to hear what you're after, Crissie. It's always a relief to have steady clients looking for more than once-off projects. I can't contact you due to my low post count right now, but please feel free to write me at
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718131].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Well said Chrissie but I think maybe you are being a little too general in your comments. I know copywriters and writers who fall into a range of categories.
    I am a writer with a little copywriting experience but I don't classify myself as a copywriter.
    IF you would like to discuss any writing needs, please feel free to pm me at your leisure.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718351].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
    With all due respect to everyone in this section...

    We really appreciate your contributions but...

    The OP has made some valid points. In fact she's one of the few that has the guts to tackle this issue that has previously sparked off several heated threads.

    As I've been quite an active observer for some time now, I'm going to make some points from the position of an "independent observer". And none of this is personal or aimed at anyone in particular. (Disclaimer: This means I am not an affiliate for anyone)

    What I've noticed is that if someone posts a message in this section of the forum looking for a copywriter some people immediately assume they're looking for a $5000 copywriter which is not always the case.

    Yes I'll admit that some clients are looking for that kind of a copywriter but others don't have such big budgets to play with especially if they're just starting out.

    Some copywriters with families and expenses necessitate them to charge at mid-level budgets and that's understandable. You're entitled to charge whatever you want.

    However other copywriters might have less commitments and are able to take on a job offering less.

    It would help everyone if clients were clearer with their budgets, niches and requirements upfront so that they can appeal to right copywriter and the so that the right copywriter can decide if they're willing to work with them.

    This way it cuts right through all the mis-understandings, assumptive closes, trial closes and un-necessary verbal judo. Kapeesh?

    Now I understand that some might say,"Yeah dude, but at that price you're just going to get sub-standard copy". That might be so but if the client has stated their budget, then we should respect that. I'm sure they understand that, "You get what you pay for."

    Saying that, I've read some feedback from a no. of clients of other marketers who've said that the quality of copy they received from some lower end copywriters was better than some $5000 copy they paid for. So there are exceptions.

    Who knows, the client might just be starting out, like some of us once did not too long ago. Remember?

    Now if you really feel that the client needs a higher end quality copy then put your case forward in the court of the War Iorfor Um.

    Sell them on why they should hire you at that price.

    Give them some good reasons why they need you.

    You might win them over.

    That's my 2 cents!

    Now, before replying to this post please read what I've said carefully.

    Let these words simmer for while and then feel free to reply.

    Just don't turn this into one of those $200 threads that we saw not too long ago. Aiight!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6718731].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Originally Posted by crissie View Post

    But what some fail to understand is that most business owners don't care how good you've been for other clients. I certainly care only about how good you'll be for MY business.
    First, I'm not looking for work right now. And if I do take any on, I have to admit it will not be cheap.

    Why?

    Because I'm not really looking for work.

    However, I agree with most of what you said... except the above.

    If you read my quick as a jiffy sales pitch here: SEO Article Writing Services | Direct And Digital Marketing you'll see that's what I say...

    "I could show you testimonials, but the truth is the only one that matters to you is yours."

    Why do I disagree?

    Simple: While most people say they don't care, the first thing they ask for is examples of previous work.

    Maybe you're the exception. But I guarantee you ever business owner I've come across wants to see examples of my work.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719033].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author underworld90
    Crissie, without knowing what posts from which copywriters you read, it's hard to know what gave you the impression that the writers on here are full of attitude.

    Speaking as a copywriter myself, and having experience working solo and as part of an entire marketing team, a good copywriter does need at least some sense of attitude, as well as a healthy level of ego.

    You know why? Because if your work is challenged (which mine has been), I better have the confidence to back my words up. People are paying me to represent their livelihoods. Sometimes I'm responsible for coming up with the entire creative direction for a company, and I know that if I make a key mistake I could cost people their jobs, or even bankrupt the company.

    You damn well better believe that I have to have some attitude. You get attitude from confidence. People that have confidence can rise above their station, but if you expect to keep rising and get to the top you also need talent, intelligence, adaptability and a healthy dose of common sense.

    I understand that you're a business owner, and if you're a good one that's survived a couple of years, then you know that your most valuable asset isn't money. It's time. And yeah, I agree with you 100%, if you can't trust who you've contracted to do the job, it's a dangerous place to be, because it will wind up costing you in time.

    You can always make more money. You can't make more time.

    One other thing: I've courted employers before who have turned out to be, more often that not, only focused on price. From my experience most of these business owners are relatively new to the game. They have a misjudged sense of what's important, and the way that they should act in the client-employer relationship. I've showed my experience, examples of my copywriting, referrals, examples of the ROI that's come from my marketing savvy and copy, and then when the subject of price comes up their eyes go saucer wide. And I know for a fact that my prices are reasonable and not high end.

    Like I said, I don't know what you read that gave you the opinion that there is a lot of bitter, angry and ego-centric copywriters on here. Maybe there is a few, and then maybe there are more who have the scars and old war wounds to show that there's a method to their madness. But realize too that there are a helluva lot of employers who are astoundingly cheap, and who want top notch work done fast for pennies.

    The sword swings both ways.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719113].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Crissie,

      I'm not looking for clients at this time but after reading this thread, I felt like I should offer some advice and insight to help.

      Originally Posted by underworld90 View Post

      Speaking as a copywriter myself, and having experience working solo and as part of an entire marketing team, a good copywriter does need at least some sense of attitude, as well as a healthy level of ego.

      You know why? Because if your work is challenged (which mine has been), I better have the confidence to back my words up. People are paying me to represent their livelihoods. Sometimes I'm responsible for coming up with the entire creative direction for a company, and I know that if I make a key mistake I could cost people their jobs, or even bankrupt the company.

      You damn well better believe that I have to have some attitude. You get attitude from confidence. People that have confidence can rise above their station, but if you expect to keep rising and get to the top you also need talent, intelligence, adaptability and a healthy dose of common sense.
      Underworld gave you some awesome insights here.

      It's one thing if you are a copywriter who does a client project for $200 that does not convert well. Not wish anyone bad luck but a failed $200 marketing piece probably won't ruin someone's business or put them in bankruptcy. It's another thing entirely when you're charging 4-5 figures (like I do) for your expertise. The stakes are A LOT higher.

      When your copy converts, your client wants to celebrate with you like you are a hero. When your copy bombs (and every copywriter writes a bomb sooner or later) then your client may want to hang you at high noon the next day.

      That's if you're unlucky. If you're lucky, you have a client who wants to know what the heck happened and how quickly can you deliver the right conversion-boosting answer.

      But here's the thing about copywriting: You can't think about failing. You can't be thinking "what if this bombs" when you're writing copy. Because if you do, then you *will* fail your client like some cursed self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Or just as bad, you'll find yourself brain-locked and unable to write a word.

      Instead you have to stay positive. You have to stay motivated and upbeat.

      You have to do everything you can do to write a piece positioned correctly and give your client the best chances of success. You owe it to your client and to yourself to do whatever you have to do to ensure you can write your best quality sales copy.

      The other side of copywriter's ego is... clients encourage it.

      Clients don't want to hire a copywriter who says that "maybe, just maybe... if they try... if their creative juices start flowing they might be able to write marketing that makes the client some money."

      No way.

      Clients want to a copywriter to look them in the eye and say "If you hire me then I will deliver for you."

      And once the client hires a copywriter, it's best to step back and let them do what they need to do. As a former business owner who had 9 additional people working for him, I'll admit that statement is contrary to what you normally have to do in business.

      In normal business situations, if the employees aren't managed closely then they're far less productive.

      But an established or veteran copywriter is used to working uninterrupted and by themself. Some of them spend dozens of hours on a project before it's ready to be delivered. I happen to be one of them who works this way.

      Established or veteran copywriters are used to meeting promised deadlines because blowing a deadline can be bad... really bad. Like derailing a product launch... missing an advertisement's deadline... even causing the copywriter themselves to be overbooked with client projects.

      As for developing a long-term relationship with a copywriter... that takes time. Just like a real-life romantic relationship.

      My advice is to start with one project and see how well you work with your future copywriter. If it's working for both of you, then keep working together. If not, then part friendly.

      Best of luck,

      Mike
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719551].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Crissie,

        When your copy converts, your client wants to celebrate with you like you are a hero. When your copy bombs (and every copywriter writes a bomb sooner or later) then your client may want to hang you at high noon the next day.

        That's if you're unlucky. If you're lucky, you have a client who wants to know what the heck happened and how quickly can you deliver the right conversion-boosting answer.

        But here's the thing about copywriting: You can't think about failing. You can't be thinking "what if this bombs" when you're writing copy. Because if you do, then you *will* fail your client like some cursed self-fulfilling prophecy.

        Or just as bad, you'll find yourself brain-locked and unable to write a word.

        The other side of copywriter's ego is... clients encourage it.

        Clients don't want to hire a copywriter who says that "maybe, just maybe... if they try... if their creative juices start flowing they might be able to write marketing that makes the client some money."

        No way.

        Clients want to a copywriter to look them in the eye and say "If you hire me then I will deliver for you."

        Mike
        Thanks for your views on this. You've made a lot of valid points but would you please explain how it's possible for a copywriter to have the confidence to look a client in the eye and say, "If you hire me then I will deliver for you" but at the same time admit that some promotions can bomb.

        I do understand what you mean but I'd just like your explanation of this.

        Thanks
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6722467].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
          Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

          Thanks for your views on this. You've made a lot of valid points but would you please explain how it's possible for a copywriter to have the confidence to look a client in the eye and say, "If you hire me then I will deliver for you" but at the same time admit that some promotions can bomb.

          I do understand what you mean but I'd just like your explanation of this.

          Thanks
          Good question.

          Here's how I'd explain "If you hire me then I will deliver for you."

          As much as we love to talk about copywriting in this forum... Sales copy is only the 3rd most important factor in effective marketing.

          Targeting the right prospects (aka "the hungry crowd")and making a compelling offer to correctly targeted prospects are more important.

          When my clients hire me, I don't just write them a salesletter. I look at their entire marketing funnel. I look at how they're going to target the right prospects... the offer... even the name of the product. In short, I try to ethically shift as many things that could damage conversion rates as I can in the favor of my client.

          Then I get into the research, target market, and competitor analysis. Then it's onto the whole "writing the salesletter" process. I do as many rounds of edits as I need to until I feel that I couldn't write the salesletter any better than what I'm delivering to the client. A typical client project for me is 40 hours... for major mailers, it's been 2-3 months on average because of going through their legal department process for compliance.

          In short, I do as much ethical deck stacking as I may be able to do for my client. I've been writing offline and online marketing since 1993 and produced millions of dollars in new sales for my copywriting clients and my own businesses. So at the risk of sounding like I'm bragging, I have a pretty strong knowledge base to draw from on what to do to give my clients the best chance of success possible.

          Even so, I still don't produce a hit everytime. No copywriter, alive or dead, has ever had a 100% success rate. If they did, then they'd probably charge at least a million dollars up front plus royalties for their help.

          There's incorrect traffic targeting by the client or their affiliates.

          The client might decide to quadruple the price because a friend told them they should.

          A client or their webmaster might upload the salesletter incorrectly and center the entire page, even the opening saluation.

          The marketplace might have a dramatic shock -- like the financial and investments niches did on September 11, 2001 -- that completely flatlines everyone's marketing.

          Those are 4 of the countless conversion killers I've seen first-hand that had zero to do with the sales copy.

          Hope that helps,

          Mike
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6724513].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
            Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

            Good question.

            Here's how I'd explain "If you hire me then I will deliver for you."

            Mike
            Ok thanks. I think you've put forward a compelling case and I can see you understand the importance of aligning all aspects of the marketing process together.

            And that quite often the non copy aspects of the funnel can be responsible for killing the conversions.

            However...

            (You don't have to answer this if you don't want. I'll understand)

            Let's hypothetically say that a copywriter says to a client,"If you hire me then I will deliver for you" and then they hire them and the promo bombs due to the copy and not because of other factors, how would they justify saying,"I will deliver for you" in the first place and what would they do to make amends?
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6724764].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
              Originally Posted by The Marketeer View Post

              Let's hypothetically say that a copywriter says to a client,"If you hire me then I will deliver for you" and then they hire them and the promo bombs due to the copy and not because of other factors, how would they justify saying,"I will deliver for you" in the first place and what would they do to make amends?
              First, it's not a line that a copywriter memorizes standing in front of the mirror and repeating like an affirmation each day. They have to believe it 110% in their heart and be able to prove that statement to anyone they would say it to with portfolio samples, testimonials, talking with the client, and so on. They also have to believe they have what it takes to make that specific client's project a success.

              Because if you say it to B.S. a potential client, then you will lose the potential client everytime. Sure there might be a few poor clients that you'd fool initially... but after you completely let them down, then you can bet they will tell as many people as they can how you mistreated them. Get too many people talking badly about you and you can pretty much kiss your copywriting career goodbye.

              As for making amends... the short answer is it depends.

              Every copywriter is different on what their rewrite policy might be. Every copywriter may be different in how they handle this type of situation... if you like, you can start a separate thread and see what some of the members have to say about their methods of handing a "copy bomb".

              In terms of what I'd do... I write both offline and online marketing so there's a separate laundry list of what could wrong for every type of product, promotion, or media.

              For those reasons, it's completely different on every project on what I'm able or not able to do to quickly improve conversion rates. Since every project I do is fee plus royalties, I have a vested interest in seeing my clients' marketing convert well because my clients and I make more money then.

              The key for any client-friendly copywriter is to quickly figure out WHY it's bombing and come up with some options on fixing it... if it's something that can be fixed. (Example: A badly-written or badly-executed direct mail campaign can't be "un-sent" after it's hit the post office.)

              It's not ignoring your client's emails or phone calls. It's not throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I don't know, I give up."

              Coming up with answers quickly is part of delivering for your client.

              Hope that helps,

              Mike
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6725653].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
                Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post


                For those reasons, it's completely different on every project on what I'm able or not able to do to quickly improve conversion rates. Since every project I do is fee plus royalties, I have a vested interest in seeing my clients' marketing convert well because my clients and I make more money then.

                The key for any client-friendly copywriter is to quickly figure out WHY it's bombing and come up with some options on fixing it... if it's something that can be fixed. (Example: A badly-written or badly-executed direct mail campaign can't be "un-sent" after it's hit the post office.)

                It's not ignoring your client's emails or phone calls. It's not throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I don't know, I give up."

                Coming up with answers quickly is part of delivering for your client.

                Hope that helps,

                Mike
                Thanks for taking the time to answer. That's a great answer and a very realistic one.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6726818].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
                  Well expressed feelings and opinions!

                  What counts most in what we do in life is selfless consideration when dealing with others. Truth told, it is how we relate ourselves to business associates that matters most.Those who sell more first cultivate a warm helpful relationship with prospects.

                  This is what we do when we sell. We should pre-sell first by being nice and helpful to our prospects.We do not focus on money issues. We, instead, concentrate on over delivery of useful information --- including FREE literature.

                  Unfortunately, many portray bad attitude. They fail to build that TRUST supposed to foster a healthy long lasting relationship

                  It is expensive to keep on looking for a ocpywriter or article writer every time you have a project. The time spent could have enabled one to make more money. If you have one trusted effective copywriter or article writer, your business will run smoothly.
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6727288].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author crissie
      Firstly, I have to say how impressed I am this morning with all the feedback.
      Most impressive bit? 2 of the people in the "do not hire" list posted here...

      I want to to find time to really read through all the comments and all the private messages I received overnight.

      A few good quotes :

      Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

      Every now and then it can be easy to slip and forget that you're working with a person, not simply your next source of income.

      the client/copywriter relationship should be one of equality. I've had clients drive me up the walls trying to tweak my copy at times, but at the end of the day, we're helping each other.
      Dead right, Laura. Thanks.

      Originally Posted by stemdrea View Post

      Crissie,
      I know a lot of copywriters and most of them have huge ego's. Don't let that discourage you. Through your process of elimination you'll find a copywriter who you can work with.
      Thanks. And it doesn't discourage. It's actually a time-saver. They help ME eliminate them...

      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      While most people say they don't care, the first thing they ask for is examples of previous work.

      Maybe you're the exception. But I guarantee you ever business owner I've come across wants to see examples of my work.
      Of course. And I'd want to as well. But that will probably happen before we actually start talking about the project.

      Originally Posted by underworld90 View Post

      if your work is challenged (which mine has been), I better have the confidence to back my words up. People are paying me to represent their livelihoods. Sometimes I'm responsible for coming up with the entire creative direction for a company, and I know that if I make a key mistake I could cost people their jobs, or even bankrupt the company.

      You damn well better believe that I have to have some attitude. You get attitude from confidence.

      The sword swings both ways.
      Oh my God. Yes! You have got it.
      I have no issues with ego, and the right attitude is what everyone is looking for. But then there's that other big word - respect!!!

      PS - It seems I can't PM as I have yet to reach 50 posts. Since i can't just make stuff up to get there, could you please include your email in your PM's? Thank you.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6721038].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Just want to post here about having a positive P.M. chat with Crissie.

        Very interesting thing she has got going,
        and where the funding is coming from.

        I make no hesitation in recommending her.

        Best,
        Ewen
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6721609].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author underworld90
        Originally Posted by crissie View Post


        Oh my God. Yes! You have got it.
        I have no issues with ego, and the right attitude is what everyone is looking for. But then there's that other big word - respect!!!

        PS - It seems I can't PM as I have yet to reach 50 posts. Since i can't just make stuff up to get there, could you please include your email in your PM's? Thank you.
        Thanks for the feedback. Maybe you and I aren't so different in thinking after all. I would PM you but I don't have enough posts yet. If you want to reach out via email, PM me with a way to contact you.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6725409].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    You can have her as a client...I'll pass. I actually agree with Mark Andrews...probably a first!!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719151].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I personally love long tern clients.

    The collaboration process is delicious.

    The initial writing experience can feel so incredibly inspiring - as the vision comes to life.

    Going to market with a laser-precision brand message is powerful.

    Then observing the interaction between your copy and the audience you're trying to help is always fascinating.

    Once you hone in upon what works, what doesn't... and how you want the writer/entrepreneur relationship to progress...

    ...you can keep revealing new ways to help people, become the authority in your market and increase profits from a myriad of approaches.

    Those are the deeply fulfilling working relationships.

    As far as money is concerned...

    For every client and every budget, there is someone who is ready and willing to help reach their market.

    Everyone has different relationships with money...

    ...and beliefs about what is too much or too little.

    I always respect when people come to me expressing what they want and the kind of hopeful results they expect.

    Clear, blunt communication is essential to co-create a successful collaboration - as well as manifesting consistent financial results.

    As far as the prevelent mentality on this sub-forum...

    I've met some awesome people who find me here (clients, friends and fellow copywriters.)

    And while there will inevitably be a lot of butting heads (which always happen when people have strong opinions...)

    ...there will also be plenty of heart felt, extremely valuable contributions to the copywriting/marketing community by EVERYONE who feels attracted to post here and share their insights.

    Mark Pescetti

    P.S. Two hours isn't enough time to really get a real sense of the people who post here. It took me a year before i starting posting. And while my post count isn't as high as some of the authorities who post here, I definitely appreciate the overall intention of the CW Forum.

    P.P.S. When you DO invest in your vision... Seize the excitement. Making that initial investment in your vision should FEEL incredibly exciting. And if it doesn't, something is wrong.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6719612].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I don't think many of the people on this forum calling themselves copywriters are representative of the actual profession. A few, yes. But certainly not the majority. More often than not this is a venue where people pound their chests and argue points that tend to be insignificant details of marketing and writing. This board is about 75% weird entertainment with a little bit of the craft sprinkled in for spice. So it goes...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6722197].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rjweaver10
    I think the problem with a lot of "writers" or copywriters are looking for a quick buck. I believe in building relationships and establishing a partnership. I am a copywriter/writer and I look for opportunities in that field.

    One thing I cannot stand on this forum are the broken records that are constantly writing the same message saying they are available. It drives me bonkers. Also, if you own a content company you do not need to post things like "I have three writers available all the time and they will write for dirt cheap."

    No forum is perfect, but geesh.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6723145].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Here's the thing:

    This whole thread is a demonstration of what the OP likes AND dislikes about the forum.

    Did she need to post here (in this manner or approach) to find the right copywriter to create a long term relationship with and proceed forward with her vision?

    No.

    Likewise...

    Emailing or PMing isn't the way to go either.

    Starting off on the right foot is about focusing on the professionals you feel drawn to work with, spending time on their websites, calling them, connecting with them, interviewing them...

    ...seeing if you have a personal resonance with them.

    ...being transparent with YOUR budget and expectations.

    ...coming to an agreement you can BOTH feel good about.

    ...and moving forward with clear parameters and boundaries.

    ...or moving onto the next copywriter who might be The One.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if I (or any copywriter) has produced for other people.

    I know that ideal rubs people the wrong way, but every relationship (working, intimate or friendship) is totally unique.

    And it's all about personal connection and resonance.

    This thread is arbitrary in terms of serving any other purpose than to share one's own personal experience when trying to find a copywriter.

    That being said...

    There's a certain degree of assumption happening here (which is why I'm adding this 2nd, more grounded post)

    ...because the prevailing message here makes me a bit uncomfortable... and even saddened.

    What I mean is...

    Of course it's awesome to manifest long term working relationships.

    I can personally say that 75% of my business are from people I've been working with for 2 - 3 years.

    Just this year alone, most of my projects have been from the same 3 people.

    But those relationships build organically.

    As does the friendships and mutual respect that comes along with them.

    I guess my point of this second post is trying to understand exactly how you (Crissie) came to the conclusions that you did - by observing and interacting in just a microcosm of what goes on here.

    I did see you post in Shawn Lebrun's thread...

    ...and I do understand where you're coming from.

    But prior to publishing this thread, why didn't you directly contact a few copywriters and just see what kind of interactions that developed?

    I'm sincerely curious.

    Mark Pescetti

    P.S. I function from the perspective that is doesn't matter what anyone else experiences. Meaning, if another copywriter charges $200 and gets tons of toxic interactions, that's his or her creation. Not mine. Likewise, The number I charge for each and every project I take on is the exchange of energy I need to FEEL appreciated. Because if I take on a project, for whatever reason, and don't receive the level of energy (in terms of money) I need to DEVOTE my time, energy and thinking-space to... I'll experience resentment. And long term relationships don't grow from that shakey foundation.

    However...

    When people come to me and communicate their wants, need, hopes, budget and expectations, I have the opportunity of expressing how I see myself in the model they present... if at all. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But the conversation has to take place BEFORE they (or I) can know for sure if we are an amazing match... or not.

    My take.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6723442].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author crissie
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post


      I guess my point of this second post is trying to understand exactly how you (Crissie) came to the conclusions that you did - by observing and interacting in just a microcosm of what goes on here.

      I did see you post in Shawn Lebrun's thread...

      ...and I do understand where you're coming from.

      But prior to publishing this thread, why didn't you directly contact a few copywriters and just see what kind of interactions that developed?

      I'm sincerely curious.
      Because you don't know who you're paying anymore, do you? And I do get so much feedback just by reading.

      I've struggled in the past to get my business going. I've had very little money to eat and I've had my power cut off. I struggled all by myself but I kept going because I believed in myself. So today, some people WILL think I'm a client from hell because I WILL guard my money. I will indeed take my time to make sure I am not throwing my money away. And so if you think that makes someone like me a client from hell...

      As it turns out, the project I'm working on has me in charge of sourcing top writers and copywriters for a whole community of webmasters in all niches who are backed up by investors to get them THE BEST professionals for their websites to make money.

      I WILL negotiate for the best price. I WILL expect timelines are kept. I WILL expect follow ups. Because there ARE, like someone above said very well, a lot of livelihoods at stake.

      My initial post was never about the prices you charge as writers. It was about attitude and respect. Because if that's what both parties bring to the table, they WILL find common ground to work together long-term.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6723529].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author videolover7
        I WILL negotiate for the best price.
        And you WILL find that talented, in-demand copywriters do not negotiate.

        VL
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6723979].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
          Banned
          Originally Posted by videolover7 View Post

          And you WILL find that talented, in-demand copywriters do not negotiate.

          VL
          Really? I don't find that. In business EVERYTHING is negotiable. And no - I'm not hurting for (high-paying) gigs either.

          I'm tempted to do this girl's work pro-bono. I like her style. (O.P. - contact me)

          Some of you guys are an absolute joke (not directed at you VL). While you're slagging off the people looking for writers - for whatever reason - I'm taking their work on and cleaning up.

          Know that Aussie who said he only wanted to pay $2k a letter? Yeah - I did that one. We've just brained it in a competition. Brained it. He looks like he's going to win a $100k car from it (we'll know today or Monday) - and there's a big "drink" in it for me too ;-)

          Yeah - attitude readjustment needed. You need to stop yapping and listen...be prepared to negotiate...and be prepared to help these clients supply a decent brief.

          Do a good job and your business will grow along with the clients.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6728201].message }}
          • Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post


            Know that Aussie who said he only wanted to pay $2k a letter? Yeah - I did that one. We've just brained it in a competition. Brained it. He looks like he's going to win a $100k car from it (we'll know today or Monday) - and there's a big "drink" in it for me too ;-)
            Nice job. And I remember in that thread he said he was looking for someone to write for him ongoing. Well played.
            Signature
            Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
            - Jack Trout
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6728518].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author crissie
            Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

            I'm tempted to do this girl's work pro-bono. I like her style. (O.P. - contact me)
            You're too kind. But the project is huge and accepting your offer would be abusive. I perfectly accept there's a price for everything and I'm more than willing to pay for it. I will definitely contact you though. Give me until this weekend to get through a load and we'll chat about the project.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6729380].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by crissie View Post

        Because you don't know who you're paying anymore, do you? And I do get so much feedback just by reading.

        I've struggled in the past to get my business going. I've had very little money to eat and I've had my power cut off. I struggled all by myself but I kept going because I believed in myself. So today, some people WILL think I'm a client from hell because I WILL guard my money. I will indeed take my time to make sure I am not throwing my money away. And so if you think that makes someone like me a client from hell...

        As it turns out, the project I'm working on has me in charge of sourcing top writers and copywriters for a whole community of webmasters in all niches who are backed up by investors to get them THE BEST professionals for their websites to make money.

        I WILL negotiate for the best price. I WILL expect timelines are kept. I WILL expect follow ups. Because there ARE, like someone above said very well, a lot of livelihoods at stake.

        My initial post was never about the prices you charge as writers. It was about attitude and respect. Because if that's what both parties bring to the table, they WILL find common ground to work together long-term.
        You know, it's interesting.

        I'm down in San Franciso right now.

        I came down here (from 5 hours north) to help two different clients.

        One of them is spending $5000 to have a video professionally produced (green screen and all) and wanted me there to work out any bugs in the script or add on to it during the shoot.

        The other company needed here to hire the various aspects of their marketing, including an Adwords specialist, web designer, graphic designer, photographer and offline marketer.

        I had to sift through literally hundreds of submissions from people who responded to our ads to create short lists to bring in people for interviews.

        More on this in a second...

        Now, some of you know that I delve into the mindset part of marketing. It's my KNOWING that the beliefs and judgments of people affect the outcome.

        A lot of people disagree. And that's fine. You're wrong. Bygones.

        And while I don't want to get too deep here, I will say that our beliefs about money play a big role in our collaborations together.

        For instance...

        I believe making lots of money is easy.

        And I'm proven correct all the time.

        Likewise...

        You (i.e. anyone reading this, not the OP specifically) might believe making a consistent $10,000 a month is difficult.

        So when someone who has struggled financially comes to me, I don't just determine the thirst of their audience, size up the right positioning and write copy that resonates with the end buyer...

        ...hell no!

        I also (sometimes cleverly) have to help reveal WHY past attempts at producing massive profits failed.

        And I look at the person BEFORE I analyze the copy and marketing.

        My point is (and this is directed to Crissie...)

        Even though your initial post may not have been about copywriting rates, your relationship with money does enter the conversation and have a profound affect on who AND how you connect with the various copywriters here.

        That is true for everyone though. I'm not singling you out.

        But we can NEVER separate our beliefs about money from the results we achieve.

        And if someone... anyone is "wired" to be poor or financially struggle, not many copywriters will be able to overcome your self-imposed limitations.

        Getting back to whether or not you know what your getting when you pay someone...

        ...you do.

        Powerful collaborating partnerships are easy to sense straight away.

        I've never had someone who was drawn to work specifically with me question hiring me once we connected.

        But that is just me.

        And after spending HOURS interviewing people today, my client hired some amazing, talented people...

        ...professionals who WILL help make all of us (involved) lots of money.

        Because when you KNOW making money is inevitable, there is NO question - when you're aligned with the most harmonious team.

        Lastly...

        I've mentioned here before that I work for a well known billionaire.

        He found me on frickin Craigslist, got on my website, liked what he read, interviewed me and we've been working together for a long time now...

        ...making lots of money.

        My point?

        When you know who YOU want to collaborate with (short or long term,) you just know.

        Y'all can take this off the wall perspective for whatever it's worth, to you.

        Mark Pescetti

        P.S. Thanks to Jason and a few others who pointed out some spelling mistakes. I'm leaving them. I write fast on my iPad and sometimes it screws up. That's fine. Take my contributions for what they are.

        P.P.S. I'm sitting in my car about to go into a restaurant as I type this. So sorry if there are more misspellings than usual.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6725700].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
          Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post


          Getting back to whether or not you know what your getting when you pay someone...

          ...you do.

          Powerful collaborating partnerships are easy to sense straight away.
          Mark,

          I really like you and dig your vibe.

          But on this one, I disagree.

          I think what the OP is communicating is that she will make a decision based on many factors. Think about them. Analyze them. Left brain stuff.

          Your approach is much more right brain. Which, for the right person, is right.

          However, I don't think your approach is a one size fits all model.

          Also, and I laughed at this, I completly disagree when you say "Powerful collaborating partnerships are easy to sense straight away."

          Now, I buy that for YOU this is true. However, for the vast majority of people, like 95%, this is false.

          I see so many business partnerships fail on a daily basis. And they really thought it would going to be awesome when they first started.

          As for the OP starting "I will guard my money", there is definitly an emotional feeling of being abused in the past. Or taken advantage of.

          I call this an "entrepreneurial rite of passage". Like a Bar Mitzvah for entrepreneurs.

          In other words, it happens to all of us, once, at some point.

          In other words, I get the vibe, "I'm been around the block. I know the slick dudes out there selling fake watches, and I ain't buying one of them. And see that thug over there, he's gonna rob the next prey that comes his way. I'm not going over there. And if I did, I've got a teaser in my pocket, and I know how to use it. Nobody is gonna screw me over."

          This isn't a "money issue". This is an awareness that other people, in some cases, place their self interest above another. And are willing to hurt another people for personal gain.

          Adam
          Signature

          The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6726104].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
            Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

            Also, and I laughed at this, I completly disagree when you say "Powerful collaborating partnerships are easy to sense straight away."

            Now, I buy that for YOU this is true. However, for the vast majority of people, like 95%, this is false.

            I see so many business partnerships fail on a daily basis. And they really thought it would going to be awesome when they first started.
            I absolutely agree.

            Not for the reason you might think though.

            Yes, for 95% of hopeful entrepreneurs, choosing the right people to collaborate with is NOT easy.

            And yes, it IS because of money.

            The simple truth is...

            You can't focus on the unsuccessful stories about your past...

            ...and make a financial killing.

            They are two different people, thinking two different things, taking two completely different action steps.

            People who consistently succeed in the financial world - in big ways - take swift, massive action.

            Yes, they apply their knowledge to put themselves in front of a handful of candidates who can help them.

            But ultimately, they know when they're on the right track and proceed as if success was just an afterthought.

            That being said...

            I wholeheartedly understand that when you have limited funds and need to FEEL like you've REALLY found someone who will treat your project with the utmost seriousness and sincerity, it can get a bit confusing.

            "Do I go with her, that dude I spoke to yesterday or this new guy I'm looking at right now?"

            This can be an intimidating process, especially if you've got old stories (or thought noise) about "how everyone is just out for themselves" streaming through your head.

            But make no mistake about it...

            This isn't about right brain/left brain.

            This is purely emotional.

            And emotion isn't rational when your beliefs about money are being challenged.

            After all...

            You can't hang onto those nagging stories about "not making it" and see the profit-filled light at the end of the tunnel.

            The bottom line is...

            You can intellectualize business all you want.

            But it's an emotional journey.

            And if you're focusing on "hustlers," you're essential creating an irrational, intuition-blocking mess inside of yourself.

            So my question would be:

            How is finding someone that you trust will do everything in their power to help reveal the financial success you want...

            ...when you've got an emotional hurricane whirling up inside of you, blocking your intuition and clouding your intellectual judgment?

            Mark

            P.S. None of this is directed at Crissie. It's just some of the deeper stuff that comes up IF you're willing to look at why you take certain actions or feel a particular way about people's attitude. And Adam, this is barely the tip of the iceberg in terms how past money experiences affect ones ability to make profit producing decisions.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6726378].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        Originally Posted by crissie View Post

        As it turns out, the project I'm working on has me in charge of sourcing top writers and copywriters for a whole community of webmasters in all niches who are backed up by investors to get them THE BEST professionals for their websites to make money.
        Would this be for the website in your signature? Only I just checked it out thoroughly and the site looks as dead as a doornail.


        Mark Andrews
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7170914].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    All very interesting...and the price issue is up to you as the copywriter.

    My price is my price--or we start cutting features.

    Just wanted to point out that I believe the OP's topic is an amazingly effective headline. I'm going to use it myself later and see how it converts...thanks!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6724019].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Every person in business has to determine the type of person they want to work with.

    The key is to focus on the type of client you want and put together a marketing and sales system to attract that type of client.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6724042].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SeanMurphy91
    I would love to work for someone like you. Send me an email at shanemcnamara1991(@)gmail.com and we can talk.
    Signature
    Need unique, high-quality content for your blog or website? https://www.fiverr.com/s2/e197d0c46b
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6724155].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
    amen sister!

    this is an inspired post.

    I think ALL copywriters should take note of her objections (because they are VALID) and incorporate copy that overcomes them.

    well done.
    Signature

    The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6725027].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author crissie
    Wow. I hit a nerve. But that's great. Here's a whole bunch of people debating a number of interesting and pertinent points and I am very grateful with all the info i'm getting back.

    Of course, there's still the slicks who HAVE to come in for a dig, like the "Awfullest buncha crap" one, who have basically nothing to add to the conversation. Funnily enough, they tend to be the ones with the higher post-counts...and the worst spelling.

    I've had tons of people contacting me via PM (I'm trying ever so hard to get back to you all asap I promise.) and a lot of newbies here (like me) who approach me somewhat shyly, as if a low post-count is a handicap here. IT'S NOT.

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6727884].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    I prefer long term relationships, because doing a bunch of freelance gigs for a ton of different people is a pain in the ass IMHO.

    Also, I'd rather make a percentage or have an equity stake than a flat fee any day of the week for two reasons...

    One, it's shows a potential client that I care about the results and will be there for the long haul because I have a vested interest.

    Two, I've made far more money from royalties than quit hit jobs, and built great relationships because of it.

    What I tell clients about up front fees is that they are in lieu of future royalties. I call it my insurance policy to be sure they hold up their end of the bargain and drive traffic to the offer. (I've seen too many times people fail to pull the trigger when it comes launch time)

    On the other hand I'll put up or shut up for the right people and waive upfront fees... IF I know they are reputable and have a track record of following through.

    Every case is different and everything is negotiable. I just prefer negotiating once and mutually profiting for a long time than "nickel and diming" with potential "one hit wonders" every week

    Best of luck Crissy,
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6738670].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joshster
    Whoa this is an amazing thread!
    I've learned more about copywriting than John Caples could have taught me!
    Signature
    Looking to form an LLC or C/S Corporation?
    See my review of online co's here http://ji1.org/LLCs
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7169055].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MLMBrander
    my opinion is:
    Regardless whether this thread is a pro-bono, a scheme whatever you might call it or an honest one, WF is a place where you get in touch with REAL people. If you are looking for quality writers I can refer you to some 3 or 4 people I have previously worked with. They are good.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7169083].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by crissie View Post

    When i need to choose someone to work with, I write down a few words that are important to me, and 'price' or 'curriculum' are not on this list. The words are :

    - attitude
    - belief
    - trust
    - long-term

    This judgement is all based on what I read on this forum, mind you. I have not had direct contact with a single one of you and I have not worked with any of you either. But some of the attitude here...gosh!

    I won't hire you because you've worked for x,y or z before. I won't hire you because you charge the highest prices. I won't hire you because you have the lowest prices. I want long-term relationships. I want timelines to be kept. I do pay a just price.
    Hi Crissie,

    I believe I understand where you're coming from on these points, especially the comments about who a person has written from in the past. I've had the same frustrations working with programmers who want to show me what they've done in the past. I've found that the best thing is to just work with someone on a small project.

    Even people who put their best foot forward to land a gig don't always have the right attitude long term. It becomes about getting done with the work and collecting a steady payment rather than about building a relationship. I've had programmers and designers commit to deadlines just to get a job, only to ask for an extension a few days later.

    As for the attitude, copywriters love to brawl, even with one another, and make sarcastic remarks on forums like this. I used to be one of those guys so I know what this is like. Even the comments on this thread demonstrate that copywriters have a tendency towards being abrasive.

    If you're still searching for a writer, we should talk. I only work in a few niches (link in my sig has more information) and I'm not available to take on new clients for about another 10 days at this time, but it'd be good to hear from you if you're still searching.

    -Best, of luck

    Seth
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7170790].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    From what I can tell, some of the best copywriters were notorious jerks, Gary Halbert and Bill Jayme immediately come to mind...

    Yet they had clients up the wazoo! Why?

    Because the #1 reason to hire a copywriter should be based on their ROI potential.

    If you bring me a coffee every morning, but your copy doesn't make money, then you get fired.

    If you spit in my coffee every morning, but your copy makes money, then you get hired... I also get to kick your ass, though.

    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7171297].message }}

Trending Topics