Article

Simone Castello
Simone Castello 3 November 2014
Categories Search Marketing

Shoot 'Em Up Copywriting - Don't Hire A Cowboy

Did I say going rate? Because it hasn't been going anywhere in the past ten years and most copywriters had to reduce their rates - this is not the Eighties and champagne doesn't flow any more, you are lucky to get Prosecco.

So you need some copy for your website, brochure, blog... You might ask a colleague, consider your connections on LinkedIn or head to peanuts-per-hour to get value for money.

The copywriter is a cheap date

I am all for value for money but let’s separate the concept of value from money. I have worked for big brands and SMEs through advertising agencies and small businesses directly and they all have one thing in common – no matter how big the budget is, the copywriter is considered like a cheap date. Money is lavished on designers, mostly because the company feels they possess arcane skills that cannot be replicated, but the copywriter? Hey anybody can string a sentence together, what is so special about them?

What cheap copy can do for your business [spoiler alert: nothing!]

So you got a great deal by hiring a cheap copywriter or preying on somebody’s vanity (a big brand will look good on your portfolio), goodwill (I promise we will pay you more on the next project) or desperation (we all have to pay the rent and sometimes you have to swallow a pay cut). If you got a professional at bottom price, you are all right, but how do you feel about it? Perhaps you are hard-nosed: feelings have no place in the business world, you got a great deal and a pat on your head from your boss, who cares? Now let’s look at the peanuts-perh-hour scenario. You got cheap copy, you will fix it a bit and hey presto, everybody is a winner. Sorry to burst your shiny, translucent bubble but cheap copy:

  • Is not unique nor bespoke to your business or campaign
  • Doesn’t have the power to engage
  • Doesn’t sell
  • Is frankly a waste of money/budget.
  • Why you should hire a professional and pay the going rate


Did I say going rate? Because it hasn’t been going anywhere in the past ten years and most copywriters had to reduce their rates – this is not the Eighties and champagne doesn’t flow any more, you are lucky to get Prosecco.

Here’s the silver lining: you are getting a pro cheaper than you think. Just ask, many copywriters have a cheaper rate for bulk work, say 20,000-60,000 words. Yes, websites are getting bigger and bigger and working on such a campaign is like writing a book! So aside getting a good deal for bulk work, where is your value for money? 

 

An expert copywriter will:

  • Know current SEO rules, not last year’s
  • Inject quality that engages
  • Know how to trump your competitors
  • Advise you on how to maximise your investment – duplication is not welcomed by Google but there are ways to make the most out of your copy
  • Have honed their skills for years and will make it look easy
  • Not let you down and deliver on time


Salvage copy your client/MD doesn’t like. Believe me, a copywriter can be the Shakespeare of marketing and still encounter difficult people who want to alter perfect copy by adding their own words out of a misplaced narcissistic impulse - aka if you hire a dog, why do you want to do the barking?

Bored, just needing a good laugh?

Still unconvinced? Poised to hit peanuts-per-hour as soon as my back is turned? I will leave you with a fun video to watch, Harlan Ellison is ranting away about  pro ranting about payment in a very entertaining way, you won’t be able to resist this kind of dry, sarcastic humour and tears will be running down your cheeks.Watch it here

 

IMAGE CREDIT: New York Zoological Society - Wikimedia Commons

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