"10 Lies Freelance Copywriters Like to Tell You"... Apparently I'm a liar, everyone.

12 replies
I saw this blog post getting passed around the interwebs:

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/copywriting-lies/

I regularly tell at least 3 of these "lies."

I guess the post is just the author's way of positioning himself, but it was still a little infuriating to read.
#apparently #liar
  • Meh...

    ... It's a mix of good and bad advice, IMO.

    I agree with her on point 3 (English degrees are irrelevant, that's very true), but I completely disagree on point # 4. Who the **** thinks it doesn't take TIME to write decent copy? Have you ever heard the word "research," James Chartrand?!?!?

    Like you said, it's probably just the author coming up with a list of stuff that "typical" copywriters will say, as a way of positioning themselves.

    The author is DEFINITELY a copywriter, and not a cheap one (their site lists their cheapest services at $1250)...

    ... So most likely it's just them trying to appeal to the "I've been burned and I'm feeling Jaded" segment of the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    The author is DEFINITELY a copywriter, and not a cheap one (their site lists their cheapest services at $1250)...
    ^^ Andy, you think that $1250.00 is not cheap? Man that's DIRT CHEAP UNPROVEN NEWBIE RATES right there my friend.
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    • Originally Posted by Don Grace View Post

      ^^ Andy, you think that $1250.00 is not cheap? Man that's DIRT CHEAP UNPROVEN NEWBIE RATES right there my friend.
      $1250 for an email is not cheap dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Their website is nice and they write well. As for the article, I disagree with a few, but overall solid points and good "good guy" positioning by them.

    --- Ross
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    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Just my opinion...

      1. "Every project is unique and I can't quote you until I know more."

      Disagree. Hell, I won't even agree to entertain a project until I know what I'm getting into...and who with.

      2. "I need to know your budget before I can quote."

      I get this one. Mike Humphreys gave a decent explanation of the other perspective on this thread...

      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...s-product.html

      Personally, I never ask about budget. I charge what I charge and they either pay it or they don't.


      3. "I'm qualified, because I have a degree in English literature."

      Agree 100%

      4. "I had to quote high because of the time I'll need to write this."

      Agree... sort of. Personally, I think its just bad salesmanship to charge for your time. I don't charge for time, nor do I care to pay someone else for their time. I charge for the experience I bring to the table. Of course, some clients don't get this and probably never will..so be it.

      5. "Your email hit my spam folder. This time-stalling trick isn't just used by copywriters - it's the perfect excuse for anyone who wants to avoid dealing with you, for whatever reason."

      Agree, explanation sounded bitter though

      6. "I'm booked, so I can only squeeze you in if you pay a rush fee."

      Maybe some do. I don't know.

      7. "You get what you pay for."

      Sometimes true, sometimes not. I've seen good writers whore themselves out for pennies, I've seen bad writers charge bloated fees.

      8. "All you need to make sales is great copy."

      Agree 100%. Too bad more entrepreneurs don't get this. Poor targeting, poor timing, poor positioning or irrelevant media can create poor results.

      9. "This copy will sell anyone."

      Agree 100%. See The Dog Whistle You Don -- Again, too bad more entrepreneurs don't get this one.

      10. "I know what I'm doing, and if you're smart, you'll trust me."

      Depends on who's saying it and why...
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        2. "I need to know your budget before I can quote."

        I get this one. Mike Humphreys gave a decent explanation of the other perspective on this thread...

        http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...s-product.html

        Personally, I never ask about budget. I charge what I charge and they either pay it or they don't.
        Just wanted to add something to what Seth quoted of mine.

        I had commented on the article back in 2010 and I feel even stronger about #2 today than I did then.

        There is a professional and polite way to ask a prospective client what their budget range might be without sounding like you're trying to suck every penny out of them.

        Like Seth mentioned is his practice, I charge what charge but knowing what their preferred budget might be... well, it can help me identify what service or payment options to suggest to them if they want to work with me. Or if my fee is too high for their budget then I have a better idea of who I could refer them to that writes for their type of product or niche and may be more in line with their financial constraints. In other words, I can better customize the way they can get the help they're looking for.

        Mike

        P.S. For the newer copywriters who might read this, the author of that article, James Chartrand is actually a woman. She adopted that pen name when she broke into copywriting. You can read her story and why she went with a pen name here: Why James Chartrand Wears Women's Underpants
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    I find it rather odd he/she didn't talk about the fibs copywriters tell talking about their results. Conversions. Gravity. Sales.

    That'd be a problem if I was looking for a copywriter.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      I find it rather odd he/she didn't talk about the fibs copywriters tell talking about their results. Conversions. Gravity. Sales.

      That'd be a problem if I was looking for a copywriter.

      - Rick Duris
      menwithpens.ca

      Everything about her site suggests she's a generic copywriter with no background in direct response. It seems she's had some good luck self-promoting through guest blog posts but beyond that I don't think she knows much about copywriting, at least not in the sense that we think of it here on Warrior Forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Oh. One of THOSE copywriters.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    The article/blog is a demonstration of great positioning.

    It's almost irrelevant what they're saying.

    It's all about how they're "blowing the whistle" on freelance copywriters (and putting themselves above the fray.)

    I do agree that a lot of copywriters think their clients are stupid. The "I know what to do - just stay out of my way and do what I say" mentality is pretty damn obvious.

    Not across the board by any means. But definitely there.

    Sometimes clients just need a little nudge in the right direction. However, they're also a wealth of information; stuff you can use in your campaigns for them.

    Like I said in another post...

    On #4...

    Copywriters SHOULD quote high.

    There are almost always adjustments that need to be made during the course of a campaign. Copywriters need to charge for their time AND expertise (and experience.) And yes, time IS an issue. There's only so much time in a day. And if a client from two months ago needs you to make some adjustments to their campaign, because it isn't firing on all cylinders... AND you've got two new gigs on your table...

    ...your time needs to be accounted for financially (no matter how you work that into your contract.)

    If you're TOO available (and you don't charge for your time,) two things will happen:

    1) You won't feel compensated... (making you feel resentful.)

    2) The client won't respect your boundaries. (They'll just assume you want to "make things right.")

    My take.

    Oh... and on #3...

    Nope.

    I have a 4th grade education. I don't even have a high school diploma. Did that stop me from making myself and other people lots of money? Uh, no.

    It's an outdated perspective that's not a part of The New Learning Paradigm (coming soon!)

    Still...

    Great positioning.

    Mark
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    Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

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    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      The article/blog is a demonstration of great positioning.

      It's almost irrelevant what they're saying.

      It's all about how they're "blowing the whistle" on freelance copywriters (and putting themselves above the fray.)
      Maybe it's just me, but it's HOW she's saying it that turns me off.

      There's an undercurrent of negativity which gives the whole piece a bitter, jaded "I haven't done as well as I'd like as a copywriter, so I'm mad at copywriters..." tone.

      Feels like I'm on the streets of Ybor City and some homeless, drunk, angry dude walks up and starts ranting about the government or some other random stuff.

      Again, maybe it's me...but I suspect I'm not the only one who got that vibe.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        Maybe it's just me, but it's HOW she's saying it that turns me off.

        There's an undercurrent of negativity which gives the whole piece a bitter, jaded "I haven't done as well as I'd like as a copywriter, so I'm mad at copywriters..." tone.

        Feels like I'm on the streets of Ybor City and some homeless, drunk, angry dude walks up and starts ranting about the government or some other random stuff.

        Again, maybe it's me...but I suspect I'm not the only one who got that vibe.
        You're definitely not the only one. The piece reeks of everything you just said.

        But for people who don't have your copywriting x-ray vision, it probably comes across as being refreshing. "Wow, someone's finally telling it like it is." Some sort of story along those lines.

        It's definitely something targeted at someone NOT us.

        By the way...

        I didn't read the comments. But I could tell there's a lot going on there. I'll go back to it at some point. Maybe.

        Mark
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