Disturbing trend in the copywriting world

40 replies
Here's the inside story on what direct mailers think of freelance copywriters
and what they are doing about it...

Best to sit down and read if you are a freelance copywriter.

Best,
Ewen

True Story: We paid copywriters $249,500 in fees to lose $6 million (Or, why clients are so frustrated with copywriters) | John Newtson

Clients are people under my protection
#copywriting #disturbing #trend #world
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Warriors
    I really do like the freelance lifestyle, but I'd be happy to take an in-house copywriter position somewhere if the money was right.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Interesting article from John... thanks for sharing it Ewen.

      Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

      And I agree that the fees some of these top copywriters charge are, uh, a little crazy.
      Sorry I disagree: They wouldn't charge what they charge if their clients didn't feel their time and expertise was worth their quoted fees.

      Back to the article...

      The interesting thing I've heard from talking to some of my direct response contacts is the mourning over the loss of experienced talent in the last 4-5 years.

      Copywriters like Gary Halbert (R.I.P.), John Carlton (reportedly retired), Gary Bencivenga (retired), and Clayton Makepeace (retired) had decades of in-the-trenches experience that is extremely hard to replace. Others like Doberman Dan have opted to build their own direct response business instead of writing for clients.

      Then there's another group of highly skilled copywriters who have chosen to specialize in other niches or media. They have no interest in working with major mailers or direct response companies for a variety of reasons.

      I think there's a good number of copywriters for hire with the potential to become top-gun copywriters... but they're not there yet. It's going to take time and more in-the-trenches experience to get there.

      Anyways, that's my opinion on it so please take it as such.

      Take care,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author chrisnos
        They wouldn't charge what they charge if their clients didn't feel their time and expertise was worth their quoted fees.
        Anyone here who is a marketer knows the real "value" of anything comes down to its PERCEIVED value... no one would pay $2000 for a 33Mhz computer like they would in 1992 because the perceived value by comparison changed.

        The only real "value" of anything is whatever perceived value you can get away with creating for your customers
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        • Profile picture of the author zapseo
          As mentioned previously -- there's a risk vs. reward.
          CLEARLY -- they are getting BIG rewards.
          If they make $1 Million out of 3 promotions and pay out $75,000 in copywriting fees, well ... gosh...

          That would be ... 7.5% of the cost of the promotion ...

          Since he's a copywriter, John clearly knows how to skew the numbers to make the most dramatic case possible.

          But it seems like there are a whole lot of details missing here ...

          Does give me an idea, though ....

          Live JoyFully!

          Judy
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    The article doesn't faze me at all.

    Don't know about anyone else, but if one wanted to write for the bigger direct response companies, I'd be smelling opportunity in the air right now.

    - Rick Duris
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    A copywriter...slagging off other copywriters...who leads with this clumsy sentence with its glaring typo -
    I was talking to a friend and occasional client who runs a direct response company the other day, he’s a legendary copywriter in his own write who wrote one of the most successful financial promotions in the history of direct response financial newsletters.
    All this does is make me wonder "who are these "top copywriters" he's talking about? What were the products? Who were the campaigns pitched at? What was the launch sequence?"

    We don't know any of that so I pay it little credence.

    He's a re-write of that line - "The other day I was talking to a friend and occasional client who runs a direct response company. He’s a legendary copywriter in his own right and wrote one of the most successful financial promotions in the history of direct response financial newsletters."
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    • Profile picture of the author bsbear
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      who leads with this clumsy sentence with its glaring typo -

      "I was talking to a friend and occasional client who runs a direct response company the other day, he’s a legendary copywriter in his own write who wrote one of the most successful financial promotions in the history of direct response financial newsletters."
      I'm fairly sure that was a joke, a bad one maybe, but a joke nonetheless.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bazbo
        It didn't strike me as a joke. And, after seeing this on his Health Copywriting page, I'm pretty sure it's a mistake.

        Not too mention this project landed my a gig with one of the premier Health & Financial copywriters of the last 20 years.

        Originally Posted by bsbear View Post

        I'm fairly sure that was a joke, a bad one maybe, but a joke nonetheless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Here's what I took away from this article...

    "I'm so great. Don't hire any other copywriter, because they'll waste your money. Hire me instead."

    Look, there are a lot of shitty copywriters out there. But most aren't charging tens of thousands of dollars in up-front fees, because they don't have the track record to support it.

    -Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Warriors
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      Here's what I took away from this article...

      "I'm so great. Don't hire any other copywriter, because they'll waste your money. Hire me instead."

      Look, there are a lot of shitty copywriters out there. But most aren't charging tens of thousands of dollars in up-front fees, because they don't have the track record to support it.

      -Daniel
      Yeah, it's kind of suspicious that he'd write an article like this when his whole business is based around direct-response copywriting...
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    The guy has written for Makepeace, and his financial stuff looks awesome (from the quick view I read).

    I'm going to devour his site in a few days when I've got more time up my sleeve... and while I can't be sure yet, it looks like he truly is an A-list copywriter.

    BUT... the article did kind of seem transparent to me. Maybe I'm just cynical, but that's my gut reaction to this article.

    -Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author debml
    I agree with Daniel.

    Looks like a sales pitch to me with a "choice of one" theme.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      Here's what I took away from this article...

      "I'm so great. Don't hire any other copywriter, because they'll waste your money. Hire me instead."
      Originally Posted by debml View Post

      I agree with Daniel.
      Looks like a sales pitch to me with a "choice of one" theme.
      If what you two are saying is true, I say, great positioning.

      Setting the buying criteria is a tried and true technique. Who better than a copywriter to use it?!

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        If what you two are saying is true, I say, great positioning.

        Setting the buying criteria is a tried and true technique. Who better than a copywriter to use it?!

        Alex
        You'd be right... IF it wasn't such an obvious "ploy".

        Having said that, maybe it works on his prospects... but my gut tells me anyone shelling out the dough this guy is asking for probably is fairly savvy on the whole BS dance.

        -Daniel
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  • I can definitely see where Daniel is coming from. I get that vibe.


    Still, it has an element of truth to it. The copywriter job market is over-saturated with people who think copywriting is easy, a quick way to riches, (insert copywriting cliche here), etc.

    Now I know he's talking about the top dogs, but all things considered, it's both ends of the spectrum (this is just an assumption, so don't take this as fact): The cheap guys are burning themselves out (or simply aren't very skilled), and the top-end copywriters are languishing; they're getting the money and getting complacent now they've reached 'top dog' status.

    That's just a personal assumption, but I'd bet a shiny penny that it's true.

    Meh, as I've said since the start; people see copywriting as a quick easy way of making money - they see the top guys earning tens of thousands and think "I can write! That's eaaaasy!" and there's no passion there.
    I've said to many a client, if money was no issue, I'd still do this job. I LOVE it. I think that's what's lacking in a lot of people today, and not just in copywriting, but in all jobs - energy, drive and passion!

    Well, that's just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    When I read the piece, I thought it had agenda written all over it.

    Hell...

    I use the same kind of positioning (in a WAY less obvious way.)

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    Well even if that was the case...which is exactly what I first thought...

    He not only has the privilege to act that way but that Clayton Make Peace gig impressed me along with his record.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      When is setting the buying criteria not obvious? Or an apples to oranges comparison? Or any other common persuasion tactic?

      To copywriters, they're always obvious.

      It is of course the market that decides whether a particular tactic we use in any given situation is effective or too obvious.

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    this was an awesome article.

    finally you get to see things from our side (the customer who's shelling out all this money).

    Of course, many copywriters are going to disagree, but the article gives you a REAL life insight into what your potential clients have to deal with.

    think about how much money the clients gotta put up before making a dime.

    these guys spend a small fortune in hiring writers and sadly... most of them suck.

    think about how hard you have to work to make 200k.

    and think about all that money being essentially flushed down the toilet... because the copy sucks and doesn't convert.

    I'd lose my mind. Thats a lot of f**king money!

    they can't produce the goods.

    A sales letter that takes 6 months? thats absurd.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      I read John Newt's website, well part of it through about 3am this morning. Was a little too tired to write my response, what I thought of it on this thread after - sorry. Thanks though for bringing it to our attention Ewen.

      However, for the majority of freelance copywriters his words are hardly I think representative of the industry as a whole. These ramblings after all are just one man's opinion and it was blatantly obvious on reading the linked to page all the way through that his opinion was by no means an impartial neutral statement. It is just one guys experience, which truth be told, I think should be taken with a grain of salt.

      It's patently obvious from reading this through it's just a positioning exercise. 'Don't hire anyone else. Don't trust anyone else. Exclusively trust me instead. I'm the only one who can deliver the results you need'. He mentions all of these other copywriters but nobody has any way of knowing who these other copywriters are. It's just story weaving.

      Having said that, I did read through entirely his health promo sales letter last night which had me chuckling away. The guy certainly knows how to write. His use of written psychology worked on a very basic primal instinct - the flight or fight complex whilst excluding nobody at all from the promotion in question. Basic elementary stuff but very well put together. Plenty of statistical facts to back up the supplements credibility.

      Will read the rest of his website through a little later this afternoon.

      Finally, it's good to see a few copywriters coming out of the woodwork on this thread. Alex Cohen long time no see, how the hec are you? What have you been up to lately? And Daniel Scott, Mike Humphreys, good to see the pair of you again too.

      Dare I say it Mal as well. You wasn't the only one to pick up on that typo, although I suspect it was intentional since it was the only one on the whole page. His spelling overall is absolutely spot on. Trust you of all people to pick up on it lol.

      Warmest regards,


      Mark Andrews
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    • Originally Posted by davemiz View Post

      and think about all that money being essentially flushed down the toilet... because the copy sucks and doesn't convert.
      Dave, do you get the same numbers as John quoted in his post where he says:

      "I mentioned that I had spent the last couple of years hiring top copywriters and found we could count on about one winner out of three promotions from the best of them."

      He goes on to say a couple other business owners found the same ratio so I wondered if that number is accurate for your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        "I mentioned that I had spent the last couple of years hiring top copywriters and found we could count on about one winner out of three promotions from the best of them."
        Dan Kennedy offers much the same ratio for his own internally generated promotions. (The record for infomercials is much, much lower, no matter how much experience the copywriters and producers have.) I've never heard of anyone having a better record than this. It seems to be part of the very structure of the business. In baseball, this is a good batting average, is it not? And in direct response, it seems to be realistic as well.

        Marcia Yudkin
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        • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
          Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

          Dan Kennedy offers much the same ratio for his own internally generated promotions. (The record for infomercials is much, much lower, no matter how much experience the copywriters and producers have.) I've never heard of anyone having a better record than this. It seems to be part of the very structure of the business. In baseball, this is a good batting average, is it not? And in direct response, it seems to be realistic as well.

          Marcia Yudkin
          Marcia,

          If your statement is true (and I think it is), then it reveals an important truth:

          Diversify Risk By Running Multiple
          Campaigns, Simultaneously

          In other words, as a business person, you have to play the odds to get an acceptable rate of return.

          For example, just the other day a managing partner of a billion dollar VC firm came to my office to get my thoughts on a couple of things.

          As we were wrapping up, I asked if the general rule of "10% winners" was true for him.

          He said yes.

          What does this mean for you, as a copywriter?

          What does this mean for you, the business person?
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          • I remember reading about 19 years ago - Kennedy saying to Halbert (it may have been vice versa) that 1 in 3 promo's bomb.

            Knowing this I always offer 3 rewrites it puts the odds back in my favour.


            Copywriters (as they should) always tell the client they absolutely must offer a non conditional guarantee to their customers - if for any reason they want their money back - cough it up immediately.

            Shame that many writers run like hell if their copy goes down the tubes.

            I bet most clients never hear a writer say "You know what? my copy just wasn't good enough"

            Instead they'll get every imaginable excuse under the sun why the promo sucked.

            When it all goes wrong - (and let's assume the client did everything we asked, great product, wonderful service, brilliant offer, strong guarantee, masses of targeted traffic and all the rest of it) - then... all you can do is...

            Start re-typing.


            Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author aroth
    I think this article has some good info(depsite the obvious agenda behind it). But, so what? Every copywriter bombs, it's a matter of ratios. If your copywriter hits more homruns than strike-outs then go with them. freelance copywritering isn't going anywhere, and if the market quality is falling then it leaves more opportunity for the skilled.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    @ Joe Ditzel - i JUST hired some writers... waiting for them to finish the copy....so not sure...

    did work with one writer in the past who killed it for me, but i think my copy was SO bad back then, anything would have helped. LOL

    I think at the end of the day, no one knows your business, your product and customer like you do... (assuming you take the time to learn it).

    and no one cares about that stuff as much as you do. (huge)

    however you also have to be capable of writing good copy... or know how to sell... many don't. I'm FAAAAr from being a good copywriter, but i know how to sell very well.... so that probably helps compensate.

    still working on learning how to write better copy....

    writers SHOULD offer edits and rewrites on the copy till it DOES convert. If you're not doing this with your clients you are SCR*WING them out of their money.

    I will not work with a writer unless this is part of the arrangement... because i know 99.999% of the time you're going to be testing and trying to bump conversions... and some stuff just bombs right off the bat.
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  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    I know the financial markets are very competitive so 1 in 3 doesn't surprise me. But 6 months for a single letter, someone's not working (or in the wrong niche).

    I believe people today are trying to get something for nothing - as a copywriter (or any profession) you need to study your craft and strive for constant improvement. When does someone whos work is subjective finally arrive? When they hit consistent winners? What is consistent 1 in 3? 50 percent winners? What's a winner - breakeven?

    I guess the market will decide when they buy the product...
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    • Profile picture of the author Doceye
      Wow. What a piece of fiction.

      You may indeed lose money on early attempts to nail a promotion. It's called: the price of doing business.

      And the idea you learned nothing in those earlier attempts is on you. If you can't see at least some of what's gone wrong, then you're a big part of the problem. And shame on you if you then move on to another writer and expect them to somehow spare you the cost of further testing and refining of your advertising and marketing materials.

      What? We're supposed to absorb the cost of you doing business?

      You're riding the horse the wrong way, Lone Ranger.

      Because you have zero patience to nurture talent, it's the writer's fault you go all ADHD bouncing around trying to find some rarer-than-a-unicorn home-run hitter?

      I don't think so, Kemo Sabe.

      Use whatever analogy you want: sports, interpersonal relationships, politics ... whatever. You're doing very well indeed to hit .333 ... in any endeavor.

      What you are paying for with retainers is asking a writer to set aside the time and effort to do their level best to take your business to the promised land.

      And royalties? They're a non-factor unless a writer hits the thing out of the park.

      You're looking for a guarantee? A hearty guffaw to you. It simply doesn't work that way. But best effort attempt? Reasonable rewrites? Running splits (and more) to find the sweet spot? Yes, yes, and yes.

      But the idea ANY writer, on any given project, can simply sit down and write "the control," is utter horsepucky.

      And so the implication becomes one of writers somehow holding back, or not focusing hard enough, or are misrepresenting how "good" they are?

      Not hardly, Tonto.

      What do you think we writers are doing? Sandbagging? Being purposely lazy? Just so you have to pay three times to get the return YOU think you should get from a single promo?

      Talk about delusional selfishness. Are we really supposed to work for nothing while you get free testing and myriad ideas out of the deal?

      What this Newtson chap's clearly attempting is "I'm different" positioning. Other writers are shysters and somehow he's got the "right" way figured out. All the while knowing full well he'll rarely (if ever) beat the same 1 out of 3 numbers any other dedicated, experienced, and engaged copywriter would achieve.

      We all must position our efforts for maximum return. But to impugn your fellow writers in this purposely negative and convoluted manner is despicable.
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      • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
        Originally Posted by Doceye View Post


        We all must position our efforts for maximum return. But to impugn your fellow writers in this purposely negative and convoluted manner is despicable.
        "You can be right or get what you want. Choose one."

        That's what my Dad says about a lot of things. Business. Relationships. Whatever.

        And this applies here, as well.

        Take the current election between Mitt and Obama. The Super-Duper Win take all of marketing today.

        It's all about "Mitt Sucks" vs "Obama Sucks".

        And it works.

        Mitt beat Rick because he had more money to go negative.

        At the highest levels of marketings, aka Presidential Elections, it comes down to positioning.

        To thing copywriting is immune from human nature is plain stupid.

        You can be right or get what you want.

        Choose one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    There isn't a single copywriter (dead or alive) who could guarantee results.

    If copy doesn't hit the mark...

    ...there are any numbers of elements to take into consideration.

    The copy itself.

    The traffic.

    The presentation.

    BLAH BLAH BLAH!

    But it goes deeper than that...

    Another component to creating successful, converting copy is the collaboration process between copywriter and business owner.

    The ideas that come from a powerful dialoguing experience can derive way more ideas for positioning, hooks, branding and creating value than a million hours of researching ever could.

    And in terms of copywriter/client hierarchy...

    Sometimes the copywriter is the expert and should call the ball.

    And sometimes the business owner needs to be heeded at all times to hit the mark.

    Of course...

    Sometimes it's an even collaboration.

    My point is...

    If you're going to drop $25,000 for copy, the business owner is just as responsible for bringing their a-game to the table...

    ...if not more than the freelancer.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author schttrj
      Sure, it was as long as a "sales letter". Whew!

      Well, when you read the About page, you can say that the guy does have some credibility.

      But he has got ONE big flaw that almost four out of five copywriters have (on an average, for the average ones) - EXAGGERATION! No comments on whether it worked or not.

      For instance, does he really pay $25000 to every copywriter for each world stirring copy he writes? Then, maybe PayScale - Salary Comparison, Salary Survey, Search Wages is a big fat liar. And remember, the average annual income of an American is around $30,000.

      Moreover, you will bomb at times. It's the return on investment (ROI) that matters. And it applies to copywriters as well. We are not Gods, are we?

      And regarding the whole Agora approach, I want to say something.

      Recently, I was hired by this financial company, Equitymaster - Get Unbiased Equity Research and Analysis on Indian Stocks and Share Market Updates For Investing in India.. And as you already guessed, the CEO preferred the Agora approach to the copywriting pursuits. He was building an in-house team, of which I was one.

      Yes, yes, there was a copy chief too (he was crap!).

      I can tell you something for sure, this Agora approach never works. I felt stifled and sort of started to lose my creativity, just for the fact that my copy was not to be approved not only by my client (one person), but rather by five or six persons (including the other members of the team, who probably didn't know what they were doing).

      I left the company last month. Well, I am free and looking for work now, anyway.

      But the thing is, I can tell you that a freelance copywriter works much more efficiently than an in-house staff. Period.

      Am I speaking too much?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Promotion failed = Blame it on the copywriter....

    He picks many numbers from his backsider. How deos he know it was a failed $6Million?

    Hmmm..just a marketing ploy with no real evidence at all. I like facts over fiction!
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    crumbs if he does everyone cold call him tomorrow. Get hold of John .... what his name script and phone spam the hell out of him for a $250k job LOL

    For instance, does he really pay $25000 to every copywriter for each world stirring copy he writes?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    It doesn't really matter what anyone else says or thinks. The only thing that matters is whether or not your work gets results.

    That's what the client will look at. Or should.

    And nowadays I will only do a job if I have control of the marketing process. Or at least full access to it.

    That way I know whether or not they're doing their part. Instead of dossing around and blaming it on me when it doesn't work.

    If they don't like that... bye, bye.

    Incidentally, I've found lately that a lot of people who want work done are not willing to provide the necessary information.

    Some seem to be just lazy.

    Others cite stupid things like confidentiality.

    How on earth are we supposed to do the best job possible if they don't trust us enough to give us the information needed to do it?
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Hey Ewen, thanks for the article link, I found it a bit riveting. I am always interested in what others are ranting about these days. I would like to see that list of top copy writers that they hired and paid a bundle too.

    I couldn't believe that several top ranking copy writers couldn't finish the project on time. I mean really, if you pimp yourself out to a company aren't you going to be devoted to the project until it was finished. That means putting your stuff on hold for a few weeks or a month or so, in order to get the job finished, even if it is a first draft.

    If I was that company, I wouldn't hire those copy writers back either. I wouldn't stop hiring freelancer either. I also have to ask, are they so big, that they need in house writers at all. If John Newton, can get the job done start to finish in three weeks, and make 2.2 million, heck lets just say a million even, and he has a partner that could do the same... well there you go, they should just do the work themselves and hire some one to manage the company.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by wrcato2 View Post

      I couldn't believe that several top ranking copy writers couldn't finish the project on time. I mean really, if you pimp yourself out to a company aren't you going to be devoted to the project until it was finished. That means putting your stuff on hold for a few weeks or a month or so, in order to get the job finished, even if it is a first draft.
      Yes, it's the right professional conduct to meet your promised deadlines.

      But it's not always that simple.

      You may book it so it's the only thing on your schedule in a given month... but guess what happens if one client takes weeks to get back to you on any copy changes they want on what you wrote? It overlaps on your already booked project with another client.

      One major mailer I wrote for, the person reviewing my copy took 3 weeks to get back to me. That was after I followed up nicely by both phone and email more than once.

      Because they took 3 weeks to get back to me, the original time line was completely thrown off. In all fairness, I could not blow another promised client deadline because of their slow turnaround. So I had to work them back into my schedule, working on their requested changes as I was able.

      One thing that companies sometimes overlook IMHO...

      An employee collects a flat yearly salary. Pretty much the same thing for an in-house copywriter, regardless of how many pieces of copy they write in a given year. The exception for in-house copywriters is if the company they work for pays royalties... then they have the potential to make more than a flat salary.

      Not counting royalties, a freelance copywriter only gets paid for the time they've booked with projects... any gaps in their schedule means they're not making money during those days/weeks/months.

      Savvy full-time freelance copywriters try to book their schedules in advance so there are no gaps in the schedule... it maximizes their potential yearly income.

      Unfortunately, when a project runs over schedule -- and its not always because the copywriter can't budget their time correctly -- then it causes delays. And the least disruptive way to handle it is to minimize the delay to just that project and not other clients too.

      My 3 cents,

      Mike

      P.S. A number of years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing A-List copywriter Doug D'Anna for my Market Your Copy website. As part of the hour pitch-free interview, Doug mentions missed deadlines.

      His advice was if an A-Lister blows a deadline then the client is best served to wait on the copy.

      Reason being that the vast majority of the time the copywriter is either doing more research or continuing to refine it so that it meets their high standards before they're willing to send it to their client.

      You can listen to my interview of Doug online here for fr*ee:

      http://www.marketyourcopy.com/doug/index.html
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    I met John in Florida last year. From what I remember, he co-owns a fast growing financial publisher and doubt he's hurting for money... so it wouldn't make sense that this article is a sales piece for his copywriting services.

    It could be, but why take on clients for $25,000 a pop when writing for his own company is probably worth a few hundred grand to him?

    In any case, what he says is pretty accurate... I've worked at Agora for more than 3 years and freelancers have a hard-time beating experienced in-house writers.

    Colm
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    • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      I met John in Florida last year. From what I remember, he co-owns a fast growing financial publisher and doubt he's hurting for money... so it wouldn't make sense that this article is a sales piece for his copywriting services.

      It could be, but why take on clients for $25,000 a pop when writing for his own company is probably worth a few hundred grand to him?

      In any case, what he says is pretty accurate... I've worked at Agora for more than 3 years and freelancers have a hard-time beating experienced in-house writers.

      Colm
      Everything Colm said is 100% accurate.

      Furthermore, John is a friend of mine. And a buddy of mine has worked with John - I can vouch he pays very, very well.

      Exclusivity with clients or being in-house is kind of the way to go.

      Angel
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    • Profile picture of the author zapseo
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      I met John in Florida last year. From what I remember, he co-owns a fast growing financial publisher and doubt he's hurting for money... so it wouldn't make sense that this article is a sales piece for his copywriting services.

      It could be, but why take on clients for $25,000 a pop when writing for his own company is probably worth a few hundred grand to him?

      In any case, what he says is pretty accurate... I've worked at Agora for more than 3 years and freelancers have a hard-time beating experienced in-house writers.

      Colm
      Colm,

      I would suggest that there is a distinct possibility that the in-house writers do better because they've already incorporated -- at the level of unconsciousness -- "how Agora promotions are written."

      IOW, the time-tested honored pieces that Agora has tested that work with HOW THEY SELL.

      Because, let's face it -- there are a number of factors that enter in here: from the font of the type, to what is on the outside envelope, to the size of the font ... ALL play a role.

      HOW they play that role will be known almost on an innate basis by the experienced in-house copywriters because they've been exposed to Agora winners and Agora losers -- time after time after time.

      A winning promotion consists of many moving pieces, of which the copy is just one piece. A freelancer will have a handicap against experienced in-house writers for some of the same reasons that experienced in-house writers will do better than the newer writers. And that's primarily because they will have a greater understanding of those other parts, how they work, how they fit together.

      Live JoyFully!

      Judy
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