This week we’re talking copywriting fees, what to charge, when to charge and how to charge. We’ll explain how we charge our clients, how we put together our estimates, how we use deposits to ensure cash flow and why we’re not big fans of charging by the word.
Tune in to learn:
- How to work out your hourly rate
- Different ways to charge for your copywriting work
- How to use retainer agreements
- Our quoting formula
- Why getting a deposit is so important
- How to chase up later payers
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Great podcast ladies!
Very very timely for me and super helpful. Thanks so much! I’m a big fan of your podcast.
I’m sure you’re not running out of ideas, but I’d be keen to learn how you approach researching the more in-depth copywriting commissions you get. Any particular methods or strategies you employ?
Thanks Anna! We love it when we’re timely 😀
When you say, more in-depth, do you mean more complicated topics (requiring a deeper dive into the topic) or perhaps projects with more parts?
We’d love to answer and help!
Both really, Belinda. I guess they offer different challenges and require different approaches to research and becoming the “expert” you need to become to be able to complete the copy assignment effectively.
I sometimes feel very overwhelmed when I start research for a complex job and it takes me a long time to sift through material and order it. I feel that I’m lacking a bit of a “method” to tackle this, so wondering what yours and Kate’s might be.
Awesome. I’ll raise it with Kate next time we chat (to see if either of us actually has a process!)
Thanks Anna that’s a good idea.
Hi guys, all great advice. I’ve been a business owner for over 30 years, a business coach for 10 years and a copywriter for about 12 months and have learned that all your advice is spot on in the real world. Thanks for a great refresher.
And that’s where it counts, right Pam?
Working it out on paper is great but it’s got to fly with real customers.
Thanks for tuning in.
Hey Pam! Thanks so much for lending us your ears.
Thanks for the mention, guys. This is the all-important discussion, isn’t it? Pricing is still tricky for me, but you’re 100% right about the full pipeline. Makes all the difference.
I still charge more for a home page than for other pages. But it depends how much copy is required, what the subject matter is, what type of home page it is, and whether I’m wireframing it. The reality is, home pages are TOUGH to write. Very time consuming. I allow a min of 5 hours. So my rate starts at $750. I quoted $1,500 for one today, but it was fairly long.
The only advice I have for anyone starting out is estimate how long you think the job will take and multiply that by $100. If you’re earning less than that, you’re gonna cut corners or go broke.
Sound advice Glennster
I’m commenting as I listen… 🙂 For the record, I usually quote fixed prices. For my best clients I charge hourly rates, but for almost all new clients, it’s a fixed price. The exceptions are: 1) if the client can’t nail down the scope; 2) if it’s simply too hard to quote; and 3) if the client wants a number of hours of my time (e.g. yesterday I drove to Sydney to meet with a client to do some collaborative copywriting in a hotel guest lounge. I charged an hourly rate including travel time).
Love the live commentary Glenn!
Your exceptions make sense. You can’t offer a fixed price if the goal posts are going to be moving. And requoting a fixed price mid-project is always a moment of anxiety for you and the client (and so best avoided).
I guess like most things, keeping it real in terms of clients expectations helps to keep things on track.
Thanks for listening!
Love the podcast ladies! I’d love your opinion on what my business offers. We have an ‘online store’ for all of our products. Funnily enough, I just realised we also called it our ‘Copy Shop’. Great minds think alike. Anywho, we have made our copy a tangible product. Something clients can see what is included and what is not and purchase it instantly. We found the the whimsical hourly rate was a turn off for clients and the ‘pre-packaged’ content is easy for the client to digest as it has perimeters and structure. It’s also good because they pay upfront minimising our risk. Love to hear your thoughts?
Thanks for listening Tahlia!
That’s something Kate mentioned too. She has some copywriting packages with a set price and inclusions and she says it can make it a bit easier on clients, especially if it’s their first time working with a copywriter. And as you said, they pay up front so it works for everyone!
Yep I think you can turn some copy jobs into products quite easily especially if you add in some provisos
As long as you’re getting a good rate and you and the client are happy, why the heck not!
Listened to this on my morning walk. All good stuff that makes such great sense. I’m always tweaking my processes and your podcast will definitely help me push them that much more. Thanks for the inspo!
Hi. I’m a new copywriter and I need to know how to find a good and affordable proof reader for my copy, and then I can build that cost into my price. Also, do you proof the first draft and the revisions, or do you proof just the final, or something else. And, how will I know when this is answered? Can you email me or does disqus do that?
Hi Rachel. Thanks for listening. And leaving a question too.
It’s good to build a relationship with proofreader so you can get quotes up front and jump into their work queue as well. I often use a group called Scribendi. They are international, affordable and offer different prices based on how quickly you need the work proofed. You can use their site to get ball park figures for your quotes.
I personally only get the FINAL version proofread, and I think Kate is the same. There is no need to pay for proofing over and over again!
P.S. You should get a notification that I’ve replied 🙂
Thank you Belinda! This is super helpful information. I didn’t even think of looking for an online service. Awesome.
No worries! I will add that there are lots of FAB and affordable proofreaders locally as well 🙂
Sorry I only just saw this post 🙁
No worries Kate. Belinda nailed it, and I’ve contacted Scribendi. I had a little interest from local proof readers, but I wasn’t sure how I could evaluate their skill, since I had both made the mistakes and missed them in my own editing. I feel better about going with a recommendation for now. But if you have advice about how to vet a proofreader, I’m all ears!
I really don’t think there’s any other way than to use them and see what they pick up.
If you’d like me to recommend a few people to I’d be happy to. Shoot me an email via the contact form.
Ladies! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I devoured all your episodes this summer and this is the one I had the most trouble with. Charge a 50% deposit? Before I’ve started the work? Ooooh, they won’t pay. They’re different here in Spain. I did it anyway. And the client only went ahead and paid the entire invoice in full. No deposit, just paid upfront!! ? Just goes to show that by sticking to my guns with confidence (and a lot of panicking internally, lol) it works! My first paying client! (and it’s not even a copywriting gig). Thank you two soooooo much, the business advice you give is relevant to all freelancers, not just copywriters. ?
It’s funny isn’t. We’re fearful about laying down the law, but I actually think our clients love us to do this.
They want us to lead them through the project, explain how it works. Many have not worked with copywriters before so they want us to be the boss! I am so glad you got this sorted. It’s a good feeling knowing you have half the money in the bank. 🙂
Absolutely! The better feeling is that the client paid the entire full amount. So he bypassed the deposit and paid for the whole project before I’d even started! It’s them Terms & Conditions, he probably decided he didn’t want to chance the late fees! 😉
Ah how cool. Although honesty moment, I find getting paid up front really demotivating. I like the carrot and stick feeling – waiting for that last payment.