I’m sitting at my laptop on Saturday morning wondering whether or not I should refuse a potential client.
‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s like this.
Understand your business
A few days ago, this potential client contacted me for help with her new business. When I asked for further information (such as ‘What do you need me to write for you? An A4 2-page flyer? Presentation?’), she was unable to specify exactly what she wanted.
A couple of phone calls later, I got worried. This potential client appears to have little or no knowledge of her market, no real business plan and, even after a 20-minute discussion, was unable to specify what she wants me to do. We’ve gone through the creative brief, and I’ve explained the information I need to estimate the job, but still I’m none the wiser.
‘I can get it cheaper’
Then it came to rates. I quoted my rate – very reasonable considering my experience and knowledge – and a rough estimate of the cost (around $250, based on a guess as to the actual job and how long it’s going to take me) and heard:
‘I didn’t expect it to be so much. I can get it cheaper from overseas.’
The conversation continued something like this:
Me: ‘Yes, you could. If you’re not really sure what you want, then it’s probably a better idea for you to get your work done through one of the freelance sites.’
Client: ‘Yes, but I want my job done professionally. I’m not going to get that from someone in India who charges $1 an hour.’
Me: ‘Yes, but even if you don’t get what you expected, you haven’t committed to too much money.’
A colleague recommended me to this client so I don’t want to lose her. At the end of the call, I went online to check out the work of some freelance copywriters on Elance and guru. It was a gratifying exercise for me: so many typos, grammatical errors and just plain bad layouts.
One of the Australian contingent advertises himself thus: ‘I’m wondering if your able to imagine the difference this will make…’
Another: Let me right your copy. And yet another: Quality Copywriting Services Gauranteed
Use a professional Australian copywriter
A professional copywriter:
- Is on the other end of the phone (or Skype) and easily contactable by email.
- Will have a detailed discussion with you to tease out elements of your business that perhaps you hadn’t considered.
- Has usually worked on your kind of product or service before.
- Can help you with marketing tips, advice on markets to target and SEO.
- Has knowledge of relevant Australian laws; for example: Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Therapeutic Goods Act. (This knowledge could save you thousands in legal fees and fines. I update my knowledge of both Privacy and CCA acts with formal training every two years so I’m aware of current legislation and amendments.)
- Understands the local market and conditions.
Where to from here?
If you want a stay-at-home mum or semi-literate neuro-linguistic-programming ‘expert’ to handle your business, then head for the freelance sites. If you’d prefer that your copy is targeted, is appropriate for the local market, won’t cost you a bomb in legal fees, and uses the tone of voice that you feel suits your business personality, then give me (or another professional copywriter) a call.
Have you used a freelance writer from one of the freelance sites? What was your experience?