Copywriting for clients: remember your writer’s agreement

by Angela on October 11, 2007

I teach copywriters, so I receive many messages from new copywriters each week asking for advice.

Unfortunately, since I have my own copywriting practice, and need to look after my students too, I don’t have the time to respond to every message I receive. I send them all to a “follow up later” folder in Gmail, where they tend to stay.

One message however intrigued me so much I had to follow up with the copywriter immediately.

The gist of her message was that she wrote a couple of Web sales pages for a company which was doing split testing.

Fair enough… but it turns out that she’s been working on these two landing pages for three months. She estimated that rather than two landing pages, she’d written something like six complete versions of each page, making 12 pages in all.

My eyes fairly bulged out of my head. Months?! 12 pages?!

I wrote back immediately – “what does your agreement say”?

She sent me a copy of the agreement, which merely stated that she would do revisions. She’d agreed to the split testing via email.

So why am I sharing this copywriter’s tale of woe with you? Simply because this story reveals the importance of your writer’s agreement, and the importance of your confidence.

Your copywriter’s agreement – itemize everything you agree to write

Your copywriter’s agreement has two parts: your quote, and your agreement.

The quote should be as comprehensive as you can make it. Get enough information from the client so that you can itemize EVERYTHING you will write on the quote. You’re basing your fee on the quote, not on anything else.

Once the client accepts the quote, send the client an agreement, and add the information on the quote to the agreement. Also add these words: “Your quoted fee covers only the items quoted; any additional items added to the project are charged at current rates” (link to your rate sheet.)

The writer above should have amended her agreement as soon as she agreed to the split testing, with the amount of split testing she was willing to do clearly stated.

She didn’t amend it, and from what I know of writers, she didn’t do it because she lacked the confidence.

Confidence comes with experience. It’s sad that this writer had to learn from her own experience, however she won’t make the same mistake again – she’ll itemize everything she’s agreed to write on her agreement, and she’ll amend the agreement as needed.

I hope you do the same. :-)

Copywriting is lucrative, when you know how – get all the copywriting help and coaching you need.

[tags]copywriter, copywriting, services agreement, free, revisions[/tags]

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