Attracting clients is just half of the copywriting battle. How do you turn a copywriting enquiry into a copywriting client? In this podcast, Belinda and I talk about different ways of ‘on boarding’ potential clients, how to get them to complete a brief, sign off your proposal and actually start work.

Want to know more?

Tune in to learn:

  • How to deal with client enquries by phone and email
  • When is the best time to send the client brief
  • What you should include in your proposal
  • Deposits, how much to charge and when
  • Which project management and accounting software we use

Listen to the podcast below

Show notes

Accounting packages:

Project management software

 Read the transcript

Kate: Welcome to the Hot Copy Podcast with your hosts Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver. Over the next 20 minutes or so we’ll be sharing the secrets of successful copywriters including copywriting tips, shortcuts, writing resources, interviews and laughs, all focused on helping you to become a better copywriter. Hi, I’m Kate Toon and this is my co-host Belinda Weaver.

Belinda: Hello there.

Kate: Today we’re going to be talking about how to sign up copywriting clients. Attracting clients is just half of the copywriting battle, but how do you turn a copywriting enquiry into a copywriting client? Today Belinda and I will talk about different ways of onboarding potential clients, how to get to them to complete your brief, sign off your proposal and actually start work.

So let’s get started. I’d say that I’m a very process-driven copywriter and I think that comes from my background as a project manager back in the day or producer. In agency life nothing really happens without client sign-off. That’s because generally you’re working with huge budgets and you have lots of resources on any given project, so you don’t want to be doing any work you’re not getting paid for because the hours will soon clock up and somebody will have to be accountable for that.

So as a project manager I was always very anal about getting client sign-off for even the smallest of changes or new briefs, even if it was just one banner ad I’d have to go through the whole brief, proposal process. Now, some copywriters I know worry about scaring clients off with too much documentation, but it’s my belief that if you don’t get sign-off right upfront you’ll get into trouble later down the track.

What do you think Belinda?

Belinda: Yes, I think this is one of the reasons why we get on so well, two very process-driven nuts in a pod. Processes make me feel safe and I think they make customers feel safe too, so I think having a very strong process makes your job easier as a copywriter and it makes the customers feel better about working with you.

Kate: I agree. We’ll talk about this more as we go through, but a lot of people coming to you for copywriting will have never worked with a copywriter before, they may never have worked with any kind of supplier. So the more organised and process-driven you are, the better they’re going to feel about you and the business.

So Belinda, when you were doing copywriting full-time how did you used to handle customer enquiries?

Belinda: I always used to respond – and I guess this is my advice for others, always respond in the way that the enquiry came in. So if I got a phone call I would call them back but if I got an email I would email them back, and I think that’s a pretty good rule of thumb. Most of my enquiries, and I’m really quite grateful about this, came in via email so that’s usually how I would respond.

But it’s important to remember that some people prefer to talk and some people don’t. I don’t particularly like calling people up or receiving phone calls – bit of a phone phobic – but I appreciate some people do prefer to get a phone call. So even if I would email someone I would generally try and nudge myself into following up with a phone call as well, ‘cos that real conversation you have with someone is a really powerful starting point to the relationship, especially in the online world.

Kate: Yes, I agree. I’m going to jump in there and say that on my contact form I actually specifically ask people how they want to be contacted, do they want to get an email back from me or do they want to get a phone call?

Belinda: That’s a great tip.

Kate: Yes and some people will put phone call but I just don’t have time, so I’ll send them an email but I’ll apologise at the start that I’m not calling them like I committed to doing, so at least I’m acknowledging that. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, I’d say that probably 90% of the client enquiries I get that I actually do speak to I’ll convert. Via email it’s anyone’s game really, email isn’t half as powerful as just a 10 minute chat. So if you want to win customers, answer your phone!

Belinda: [laughs] Do you use email templates and stuff? Because I know I used to find myself typing out the same email over and over and over again.

Kate: Yes, I think that was a big learning for me as well because I did the same and the worry there is that you’re making typos or you’re saying the wrong thing, and you can spend ages writing these emails.

So quite early on I developed a set of template emails to take me through from that initial enquiry all the way through writing the copy, through drafts, through amends, through invoice chasing to final draft and final sign-off. And those have been invaluable for me, so much so that I actually decided to put them into a little package and start selling them over on the Clever Copywriting school site and they’ve been hugely popular. I’ve had hundreds of downloads of those email templates and, of course, people will then go away and make them their own.

But just having them ready, just cutting and pasting and tweaking the top, tweaking the bottom saves me so much time.

Belinda: We’ll include a link to those templates in the show notes as well.

Kate: Yes, great. But I think I’m like you, I don’t like answering my phone, in fact I don’t answer my phone, I switch it off for most of the day and then generally have like a half-hour period where I’ll return calls or make calls.

My belief is that often people who email – I don’t know, it’s a hard one. I was going to say that people who email are sometimes more serious, they’ve taken time to go through your site and fill out your form, and that people who call can often be tyre kickers, but often it can be the other way round.

Belinda: Yes, just as easily the other way round.

Kate: Yes, totally, but I see so many copywriters saying, “Oh, I don’t want to put my phone number on my site because people will call me” and it’s like, “Dude, why are you in business?”

Belinda: [laughs] Yes, such a good point.

Kate: That’s the whole point. I mean, totally if you don’t want to be disturbed you don’t have to answer your phone every hour or every second of the day, but people will want to call you so make it easier for them.

Now, I’m in a unique – well, not unique. Can’t ever use that word, that’s one of my “don’t use” words because no-one is unique [both laugh] but I get an awful lot of enquiries. I probably get upwards of 30 enquiries a week and I can’t possibly do all of those and I’m not really big on subcontracting for various reasons, which we’ll talk about probably in a future podcast. So what I do is I try to make my sign-up process relatively difficult for the client. So I add more fields to my contact form and as soon as they get in touch with me I immediately send back one of those template emails saying, “Great, thanks a lot, here’s my briefing template and here’s roughly what I charge and here’s when I’m available, and if you’re interested fill out the brief and send it back to me”.

So I put the ball immediately back into their court and that, for me, tests whether they’re serious or not and it means that I only ever have to put proposals together or invest time in people who’ve gone to the effort of filling out my brief, and I find that really cuts out a lot of tyre kickers.

Belinda: Because what we’re talking about here is something that you start to think about the busier you get, because I know when I started Copywrite Matters I made myself extremely available and would invest a lot of time in every single enquiry. I did very elaborate proposals, which didn’t actually change, but for the people who aren’t really interested or they’re just comparing prices you just simply cannot spend that much time on every single enquiry.

So I think exactly as you said, the busier you become the more elaborate you make the process of getting that enquiry out because you just cannot spend all your time on people who won’t say yes. You learn to identify the people who will say yes a lot faster.

Kate: That’s exactly right. And one of the things I’ve done to make that process faster is to put my pricing on my site, not for every single thing I do and I make it very clear that the pricing is indicative, so I just have small business website pricing. And it’s not cheap, so what that does is it means that I can refer to that in that first email that I send out and say, “Hey, check my pricing because, dude, there’s no point going further if you’re not happy with that”, you know?

Belinda: Yes.

Kate: And, again, 50% of people just maybe won’t want to pay that, so that gets rid of them straightaway but I haven’t had to go to the trouble of putting together an invoice or a quote. We’re kind of going to the other end, which is like, “When you’re successful you’ve got all these enquiries”.

On the flip side, if you’ve got hardly any enquires make your processes as easy as possible. Don’t have 15 fields on your form; maybe even have a call back so you can call people; have your pricing and everything really down so that you can answer that question really quickly without making the client jump through lots of hoops.

Belinda: Hmmm.

Kate: So for the people who want enquiries make it as easy as possible, and I think some people’s processes are too convoluted. You can get consulted when you’re successful, but when you’re starting out keep it simple I think.

Belinda: Yes. And I think a phone chat early on in the process, especially when you’re trying to get an idea of scope, can really help build a relationship. I never actually had that briefing form for the scope. What I would do is chat to the client and get an idea. I found I could put a proposal together based on it’s a 5/10/20 page website; it’s an email marketing campaign, how long? I would have that conversation with them over the phone because I often found people maybe didn’t exactly know what it is they wanted and that conversation really helped draw that out.

So that’s another good tip is if you don’t have an idea of what they want get on the phone with them. That five or ten minute chat can really help.

Kate: Yes, totally. I have a simple two page brief that I ask my clients to complete, again, available to purchase from the Clever Copywriting School. And, again, for me anyone who refuses to fill that out it’s a bit of a sign to me that they could be a potential PITA – and PITA is one of our favourite acronyms and it stands for “pain in the arse” client and as you progress through your copywriting journey you’ll get better and better at spotting PITA clients. We may even do a podcast about that one day Belinda, what do you reckon?

Belinda: Yes, I think so and it’s just because I think when you start out you don’t think you have the luxury of turning work away, but gradually I think as you get more confident and you get more experience you start to refine who it is that you want to work with and who it is you don’t want to work with.

So part of this whole onboarding process is not just making it an efficient process from a document point of view, but it’s making sure you can identify the people who are going to make your life and your day and your writing a really fun experience.

Kate: Yes, exactly. And, again, that’s another reason why the phone call is key because, at the end of the day, once you’ve written a lot of copy I don’t necessarily get excited about the big brand jobs or any particular kind of job; I get excited when I find a client that I really click with and I enjoy talking to, because it’s quite an intimate relationship. So again, we’ll just say it again, get on the phone, [Belinda laughs] it’s very important.

So you mentioned there that you did most of your brief-taking over the phone. Did you have a copywriting brief at any point? When did you give them a brief to fill in?

Belinda: Yes, so what I did was I would get an idea of the scope and I would give them a proposal and my proposals were actually quite elaborate. Initially it was just a one page document with price and not many people said yes. And then I got this advice from somewhere I can’t remember that talked about your proposal document being the sales person in the room when you’re not there.

So I used to have a cover letter and I used to introduce myself, I used to explain the service in a lot of detail to try and answer as many questions as I thought could be asked, and also by the time they actually got to the price it looked like there was a lot of value being included. And then I also had testimonials and ways to contact me and case studies and all sorts of things.

So I tried to make my proposal as less about the price as possible and then, once they’d approved the proposal and I go the deposit, I did the copywriting brief. I didn’t do anything without money in the bank.

Kate: Yes, it’s interesting. I’ve got a slightly different approach, I too have a proposal, but I guess mine’s less about selling myself because most people have come through my website so I’m kind of like, “If you want to see my testimonials and stuff go there”. Although if it was a big job I probably would do exactly what you did and include some in the proposal, like credentials and things like that. But for, say, a five page website job, someone’s been through my site, they’ve filled out my contact form my proposal is much more about defining the scope.

And, like you, I used to just provide a quote, but I honestly do think that that just looks a little bit amateurish and, as you said, it makes it all about the price. Someone says, “I want a five page website” and you say, “Okay, it’s going to be this much” and you don’t explain your experience and what you’re going to do and how many rounds of amends and all that kind of stuff, it’s like, oh. They don’t know what they’re comparing.

Belinda: Yes, exactly right.

Kate: My proposal is all about scoping and clarity, so what is and isn’t included down to specific pages and word counts. Big difference in writing a 400 word page and a 1,000 word page, so be very clear on that. How many rounds of amends are included? What happens if the client goes over those rounds of amends, because that happens? Whether you’re going to have it proofread, some people don’t include proofreading. I always get my copy proofread by an external proof reader, partially because I can’t spell and also because I know that I’ve got that peace of mind of knowing that the copy I’ve sent out is spot on.

Belinda: Yes, me too, absolutely, I can’t proofread my own work for toffee.

Kate: Yes. Of course you can’t, it’s impossible. You read words that aren’t there, you fill in gaps, you add words, it’s just impossible because you know what you wanted to say, so that’s another really important tip. I also include timings, when can I start and how long it’s roughly going to take, and I include costings obviously, telling them whether it’s going to be GST inclusive or not. I’ve got my terms and conditions which are very detailed and details of the deposit.

So I always ask for a 50% deposit and then after they’ve filled out that proposal I ask them to sign it in blood – I’m joking, just in pen – scan it and return it and only then and only when I’ve got my deposit in the bank will I start doing anything.

Belinda: I think the proposal document, like whether you focus on your credentials or the scope or both, I think it should just answer all the questions that could possibly come up because assume that they’re not going to jump on the phone and go, “Oh, I have some follow-up questions”. Assume they’re going to make a decision without talking to you again.

Kate: Yes, that’s a really good way of putting it. Often if it’s a small business maybe the person you’re talking to will check it with their partner or their wife or their husband. If it’s a larger business maybe they’ve got a group of shareholders that need to look at something. So, as you said, I love that line about this being your sales representative in the room when you’re not there. I think that’s great.

Just touching on something, I just wanted to check again, did you ask for a deposit when you were a copywriter?

Belinda: Yes, I asked for 30%, but I think 50% is a much better figure because 30% is a toe in the water, skin in the game, but if the project goes belly up it can not be nearly enough to cover the time that you spent because you can spend 80% of your time on a project handing that first draft over.

Kate: Yes, exactly.

Belinda: And if it doesn’t work out, I think 50% is a much better figure.

Kate: Yes, I agree because I think what you’re doing with a deposit is that you’re saying you’re a professional business and you need your cash flow to flow and you’re sharing the trust, you’re sharing the risk: they’re trusting you with the first 50% that you’re going to do the job and you’re trusting them with the final 50% that they’re going to pay you at the end of the job.

So it’s a 50:50 risk share and the truth is, again, anybody who refuses to pay a deposit might be a bit of a pain in the bottom. If they’re not happy to pay the deposit upfront how are they going to be about paying your final invoice?

Belinda: Yes.

Kate: And it can be so tempting to start the work because you just want to do the job, because you want to get the money in, to start without a deposit, but every time I’ve done that – and believe me, I’ve done it, even in recent years because it’s been a really sexy job that I wanted to do for like a big brand. Every time it’s ended up biting me on the bum in terms of getting the money out of the client.

Belinda: Agreed.

Kate: If they really want you they’ll pay the deposit. If they don’t they won’t and they can go elsewhere.

Belinda: Yes and I think that’s a good point on the general process. Every time I’ve stopped following my process and I’ve broken a rule, for one reason or another, it hasn’t worked out well.

Kate: Yes, totally.

Belinda: And I kick myself. [laughs]

Kate: Yes, I did it about six months ago, I got a recommendation for a client from a friend and so I sort of went, “Oh, they’re their client, they’re probably cool”. So I didn’t do a proposal. I did get a deposit but I didn’t do a proposal and it was for a LinkedIn profile re-write, which I don’t particularly like doing anyway to be honest. And as it transpired the client didn’t really actually know what they wanted to say. It wasn’t really a LinkedIn profile they were after, they wanted a brand positioning statement, they wanted to redefine their business.

Belinda: Right.

Kate: And it was just getting bigger and bigger, but because I didn’t have a proposal I didn’t have how many amends they were going to get, I didn’t have any kind of scope to fall back on and go, “Hey, this is out of scope. You’re pushing me too far”. And so I had to wear it, I had to do it and, yes, it’s a pain. The only instance I think when people refuse to pay deposits often is if you’re working with an agency or a government body.

Belinda: Yes.

Kate: So agencies often have 30 day payment terms and governments sometimes even have 60 day payment terms. So think about that, think about whether you can survive the job. If it’s a giant job and you’re not going to get paid for 60 days until you finish then that could screw you, especially with some of these bigger jobs, they have to go through a lot of approvals. So your timeline for completing the job could be two or three months, that’s a long time to go without money and while you’re doing that job you’ve missed out on lots of other jobs potentially that you could have got paid for straightaway.

Belinda: Hmmm. Now I want to just link back to something you said, it was about getting things signed and approved and we talked about getting things in writing – always get it in writing, always. But you mentioned you get people to sign your proposal. Do you use any e-sign packages or is it you physically sign it and scan it and email it back?

Kate: Yes, I just do the physically sign it and scan it, partially because I just can’t bear to sign up for yet another subscription to some other software, you know what I mean?

Belinda: That’s so true.

Kate: I do use Xero, which I think we’re going to talk about in a little bit, but good old fashioned sign it, even if you just get people to take a photograph of it in on their iPhone and send it through. It’s not the getting it back that matters, it’s not really because, at the end of the day, if it really came to it and you had to prove something in court or take them to court, you’d have to really weigh up how much the money was worth to you.

Belinda: Hmmm.

Kate: For me it’s the discipline of having signed on the dotted line. So whether they do that by hand, whether they scan it and send it in, whether they post it to me, I don’t really mind.

Belinda: Yes.

Kate: There’s something about writing your name on something which I think is more effective than doing it electronically. If you physically sign with your hand I think you really are committing to it.

Belinda: That’s a really interesting point of view.

Kate: That’s just my old school attitude. I’m very digital, but not when it comes to signatures. I don’t know, it’s just…

Belinda: I think that’s a really wonderful point about signing your name, that is incredibly powerful.

Kate: Okay, so far on our onboarding client chat we’ve talked about how to deal with that first customer enquiry, whether you’re going to email them, call them, use a template and all that kind of thing. We’ve talked about proposals and how you’re going to use those either to display your credentials and your testimonials or to scope out the job or both, I think they can do both. And we’ve talked about deposits, how it’s important to get a deposit, 50% ideally, and how to be wary of people who are funny about paying a deposit because they may end up being tricky later down the track.

Now obviously if you’re going to ask for a deposit you’re going to need to send an invoice and Belinda I’m always interested to know how you did things. When you were a copywriter, did you used to put together your own little Word document invoices or did you use some accountancy software?

Belinda: When I first started out and I looked at the subscription prices for accounting packages with a little bit of horror, I used to do it just in Word and I tracked the invoices in an Excel spreadsheet and that was fine. It was a time overhead when it came to taxes so I really had to stay on top of my record keeping. But as soon as I could afford it, as soon as I had enough cash flow I signed up to Xero because I think it’s more professional and it’s just a lot easier to manage all your bookkeeping at tax time.

Kate: Yes, I’m the same. So I did exactly the same, Word, Excel and the horrible sheets of receipts and oh, it was a nightmare. I was always worried I’d missed something and so I’ve moved to Xero. And I’ve got two accounts because of my husband’s business as well, I think I pay about $70 a month, which to me is just nothing compared to the horror of filling out that blooming spreadsheet every day. [laughs]

Belinda: Well just one account was, I think it’s $49.

Kate: Yes, and, as you said, you can keep check of all your receipts and you can do little cash flow reports. It takes a while to get used to, but obviously also you can email out invoices directly from the system and it will keep track of who’s paid, who hasn’t paid, and you can just send the email out again. And it’s great for the end of your tax and bookkeeping, so once you’re on quarterly BAS and you’re paying GST and all that kind of stuff, you will thank your lucky stars that you’re on Xero.

Belinda: Hmmm.

Kate: Obviously not worth it if you’re only sending a couple of invoices a month, but as soon as you get above five or maybe ten I think it’s definitely worth the investment.

Belinda: And there are a few others, there’s QuickBooks and MYOB and stuff like that, and we’ll include links to all of these in the show notes, so it’s worth looking around but I know I find Xero incredibly easy to use. I’m not one for reading lots of help files and stuff, so I just started flicking around and I found it really easy.

Kate: Yes, I agree. I agree, totally. Talking of software, I was just saying how I don’t like paying for software subscriptions because I have so many. In fact, I just went on a giant cull and got rid of quite a few. But one that I love, and this is still part of the onboarding thing so I thought I would mention it, is Basecamp.

Again, we’ll probably do a podcast on project management at some point, so there are a lot of other project management task-based softwares that we could mention but we won’t do that now. I’m just going to about Basecamp because in my process of onboarding, as soon as I’ve got that signed proposal and that paid invoice I put the client straight into Basecamp and in Basecamp I have all my timings, I have a copy of the invoice that they’ve just paid, a copy of the proposal that they’ve signed, their brief, all the assets in one place.

Basecamp can take a little bit of getting your head around but, again, I think it really impressed the clients. It’s what Belinda talked about in the beginning of this podcast, the client just feels like they’re in safe hands. Look, she’s got software, look how organised she is, it’s all together, wow!

Belinda: Hmmm.

Kate: And it takes minutes to have it all set up because you just have templated projects and stuff, but it really leaves a good impression with the client.

Belinda: Yes, I didn’t use Basecamp as a project management tool, but I still use Capsule CRM, so a customer relationship manager. And it’s just about recording the details of your clients, their contact details, because if projects go south you need to be able to get in contact with them. It’s about recording when you last talked to them, what you talked about, because there’s nothing worse than about to contact a client and going, “Oh, what did we decide? Was that – where’s that thing?”

So you need to think about having a place where you can record all the relevant and pertinent information about a project for a client. Whether you use something like Basecamp or whether you use Capsule CRM, recording all the details of a project is really important. It will take a lot of weight off your poor memory.

Kate: I love that. I’ve never heard of Capsule and I’ve been looking for a CRM thing.

Belinda: Oh, it’s brilliant.

Kate: I’ve had so many clients and some of them have got very similar names and some of the projects have and I had a horrible experience the other day where a client called back up and she’s all chatty and I completely thought she was a completely different client. I’d just forgotten the name and what about – and also, this sounds really horrid but it’s really important and it’s a sales tool. Remembering a few little things about your client and having somewhere to record them, so if they mention on the phone that they love cats or that they’ve got a child that’s five or whatever.

Belinda: Yes.

Kate: It’s nice to be able to – it’s not insincere because I wish I could remember all of that stuff, I just don’t have that kind of brain.

Belinda: Yes, I mean, the great thing about Capsule I find is that it integrates with your email, it integrates with MailChimp and other tools like that.

Kate: Ooh.

Belinda: It integrates with Xero, so when an invoice is paid…

Kate: Oh my goodness!

Belinda: Yes, it’s super so let’s talk about this after the podcast.

Kate: Yes.

Belinda: But it’s amazing the tools that are out there that can make your job so much easier.

Kate: Totally, it’s just about finding them isn’t it? So I’ve just found a new one. So next we’re going to talk about, well, what’s next, the job begins I guess?

Belinda: Yes, I think this is once they’ve paid the deposit and you’ve recorded their details, then it starts, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty, and this is when I would do my proper copywriting brief and it was extremely detailed. And what I used to do was – and I’d be interested to hear your process around this – I used to send the form to clients and ask them to fill it out, but my expectations of what they would send back were never very high.

We’re asking big questions as copywriters: what’s your brand personality; how are you unique; how do you solve your customers’ problems in a meaningful way? They’re big questions and so I always used to talk it through with them on the phone because I always find that when you get people talking about themselves and their business really good stuff comes out, but if you ask them, I mean, the reason they’re hiring a copywriter is because they find it difficult to write stuff down in a way.

Kate: Yes.

Belinda: So expecting them to do a really awesome written brief is a bit counterproductive.

Kate: Yes, totally. If you’ve ever actually tried to fill in your own brief about your own business, which I tried to do once and I couldn’t answer some of my own questions. [Belinda laughs] So I totally get that. Yes, so what I’ll do is, as I said, my brief comes earlier in the process, so I get them to fill in this, it’s quite a short and sweet. Once they’ve signed on the dotted line I’ll schedule an hour long chat where I’ll have read through their brief.

For me a great starting point is competitors because I think that really shows a measure of where they want to be, who they are, who they like. So I’ll spend a lot of time looking at their competitors’ websites so that I’m prepped for the call and then when I get on the call I can say things like, “You said that your target audience was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but why have you got this on your home page because that’s got nothing to do?” and they’ll be like, “Oh yeah, oooh, well maybe they are my target audience”.

And that chat is super-valuable because, as you said, if they knew the answers to all those questions they’d be writing the copy themselves.

Belinda: Yes, that’s exactly right.

Kate: So I think we’re there, I think we’ve onboarded our clients. So to sum up the process that Belinda and I both go through, slightly different ways but essentially the same: we take the enquiry and we respond to them in kind, so email for email, phone for phone; we use templates to reply to those clients if we can, but obviously making them nice and tailored; we get the client brief of some description, whether that’s over the phone or on paper; we create a proposal as detailed as we need it to be, but we don’t just send a straightforward invoice or price; we secure a deposit and we make sure that’s in the bank before we start the project; and then, after that.

Belinda: That’s a whole different podcast.

Kate: So look, here are our five top tips for signing up clients easily and efficiently every time. I’m going to go first and I’m going to say that it’s very important to have a clearly defined onboarding process with emails to match and documentation to match. And it’s important to take time out, maybe after this podcast, to write down what your onboarding process is and if there are any gaps that you can find.

Belinda: Hmmm. My tip would be to make sure you explain the process that you’ve just defined to potential clients so they can see the structure ahead of them. Having some certainty around the process will help you convert more clients, but you also have to make sure that this process you’re developing will help you weed out customers that you want to work with and that you don’t want to work with. You want to spend as little time as possible with clients that you don’t want to work with.

Kate: Yes, perfect. The process isn’t just about making the customer feel safe; it’s about making you feel safe.

Belinda: Hmmm.

Kate: So tip number three, if you’re a newbie copywriter and you need enquiries answer your phone. You may not be the best person on the phone. I’m sorry, there’s just no two ways about it, you have to pick up the phone, you have to talk to people, because I know that lots of people will call me and, because I’m very busy and because I don’t necessarily need the work today, they won’t get through to me and then they’ll call somebody else.

So you could be getting people who’ve tried Belinda and I and all the big guys and now they’re getting really fed up that no-one’s answering their phone, and that could be your point of difference. So answer your phone. [laughs] I can’t say that enough, I’m going to put that on a T-shirt and wear it around town. [both laugh]

Belinda: Okay, so my last tip, which is tip number four, is to make sure you make time to answer your clients’ questions because, as we mentioned earlier in the podcast, they may never have worked with a copywriter before. It may be all very new to them, it’s not new to you but never assume that people know what happens next or how it all works.

Kate: Great and our final tip which we’ve said many times but let’s just say it one more time, always, always, always get a deposit.

Belinda: Always.

Kate: Always get a deposit. [Belinda laughs] So there you go, that’s a brief overview of how to sign up clients easily and efficiently. What did you think? You’ll find links to all the assets mentioned today along with the full transcript on our website, Thanks for listening. If you like the show, don’t forget to leave us a rating and review on iTunes and Stitcher – your review will help other copywriters find us. You can also head to and leave your comments on the blog post for this episode. Until next time, happy writing.


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