I’m a Goldilocks shopper. I’m suspicious of the cheapest option and wary of the most expensive. I want everything to be just right and I’m always listening for the ways businesses justify their price tag.
You get what you pay for, right?
On the flip side of the purchasing process, every now and then I send a copywriting proposal through and hear the response, “Jeez, you’re more expensive than many of the other copywriters I’ve seen.”
It’s a fair comment.
The best things in life are free but that doesn’t include exceptional copywriting.
But why are some copywriters so much more expensive than others? The idea of being expensive is totally subjective so first, let’s talk about the value a copywriter offers.
A copywriter asks the hard questions
A good copywriter will ask their client some tough but important questions.
Who exactly are they targeting? What does their audience like/hate/fear/love/worry about at 2 am? How exactly does the business make their products or services relevant and meaningful to customer needs? Why would someone choose their business over competitors?
If these questions aren’t considered quite regularly, they can be doozies to answer.
And they are four questions out of my thirty question brief.
A copywriter offers a fresh perspective on marketing messages
It’s easy for a business to become complacent about their marketing messages and the value they offer customers. After all, that time spent in branding workshops! Ug.
A good copywriter brings a clean slate to a project and helps everyone in a business see the amazing things they do, with fresh eyes.
A copywriter brings the writing skills
A good copywriter is always honing their craft. They understand the words that sell and how to influence behaviour. They can also write it in fewer words than someone who has been “told they can write well by quite a few people”.
A copywriter spends time
Everything that goes into good copywriting takes time.
Considering the target market, getting to know the brand personality, peeking at what competitors are doing and creating original copywriting that speaks to the right people, in the right voice.
So the big question a business is left with is – how much is their time worth?
That’s how much value a good copywriter will add.
As a working copywriter (or even someone breaking into the field) you’ve probably peeked at Upwork and other freelance sites or seen the PPC Google ads… fast turn-around content creation at bargain basement prices. 500-word blogs for less than the price of a coffee.
It’s shocking and degrading. I’ve said it.
Yes, copywriters are just like any other service, or product. You’ll find cheap copywriters and expensive copywriters and a copywriter for every price in between. If a copywriter seems too cheap to be true, they probably are.
Good copywriters will charge more for a few reasons.
They spend time on a detailed copywriting brief
When a copywriter asks a lot of questions, that’s a sign that they are taking a genuine interest in their clients’ – and that’s a good thing. That time is factored into a quote but it’s worth every penny. The willingness to dig deep is what earns the extra $$$.
They have experience to back up their price
The more experience a copywriter has, the more they’ll charge. That’s a fact. Their copywriting experience means they know the questions that reveal the secret sauce of a business. They have a portfolio of projects and testimonials to back them up.
They might actually complete a project faster than a cheaper copywriter and the quality is higher. That’s why you can’t compare copywriters based on their hourly rate.
They usually don’t need lots of revisions
Revision time is factored into every copywriting quote. Revisions are a normal part of the process but a copywriter worth their salt, the copywriter who invests time in the initial briefing, will get it reasonably close to correct on the first version.
And if they don’t, they’ll be more than willing to spend the time to get it right.
They are busy. Really busy.
This might seem counter-intuitive but a crappy copywriter won’t be able to sustain their reputation for long enough to be continually busy. Being busy is a good sign that a copywriter is worth the extra investment.
Of course, there are some really good copywriters charging quite low rates. But how many bargain basement copywriters are clients willing to try before they find you?
My question to you is – how do you judge that someone is worth the price they are asking? If you are a copywriter, how do you price your services?