What’s the difference between writing and copywriting, anyway?
Great question! Glad you asked. Here’s the thing: you can be a stellar writer but not have a clue about copywriting. The goal of copywriting is to persuade or sell. It goes hand-in-hand with marketing. Good copywriters use storytelling techniques to craft killer calls-to-action. They use words sparingly and strategically, and have a thorough understanding of digital marketing practices. They may be good at writing, but more importantly, they are great at playing their part in a carefully crafted buyer’s journey.
What do copywriters actually do?
You probably already know that a copywriter… well… writes. But that’s only a small part of the copywriting puzzle. Copywriters help clients come up with the best way to say something without waffling or sounding disingenuous. They streamline and strategise your messaging. They draft and craft bespoke words. Good copy is powerful. It’s what makes people remember and relate to your brand.
Is my project too big or too small?
No. It’s unlikely to be too weird, either. I work on projects of all shapes and sizes, so get in touch and we can have a chat. If you just need someone to step in and rework someone else’s copy, or spend a few days working in-house on an urgent project or client pitch, you can hire me to do that.
Do you charge a flat rate, a daily rate or an hourly rate?
It depends on the project. Generally, I charge a flat rate for larger projects such as website copywriting and marketing campaigns. I base this rate on an estimate of how many hours it will take me to research, write, edit and do project admin. I always include two rounds of revisions, including talking through client feedback and proofreading. I’m pretty accurate at estimating how long a project will take me and find that this approach offers everyone involved a lot more certainty (it also ensures there are no nasty surprises at invoicing time).
If there’s a bit of extra work to be done on a project that falls outside of the quoted scope, such as tweaks to a word count or an extra web page, I charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates can also be the right choice for smaller projects or editorial tasks.
I offer a full or half-day rate to clients who ask me to work in-house or on ad-hoc tasks, and am always happy to negotiate retainer agreements. I very rarely charge per word, and to be honest, I think reducing someone’s creative value to a matter of cents means you run the risk of ending up with copy that contains a lot of superfluous words like taradiddle, cattywampus and bumfuzzle.
Okay, but how much does it cost?
I can’t give you a standard price because I don’t offer a standard menu or service. My work is always priced per project. I’m always happy to talk about how I arrived at the price I quoted you.
Do you take a deposit?
Yep. To me, your 50% deposit says, “I’m dead-set serious about working together, Hilary.” It means I can confidently schedule in the time to write the copy that will make your brand, product or service stand out. Think of it as a holding fee – as soon as your deposit is paid, I can start the writing process.
I have a limited budget. Will you write for free?
No. Please don’t make things awkward by asking me.
After you gave me a quote, I shopped around and found someone who will do the work cheaper than you – will you lower your rates or price-match?
Sorry, no. The internet may have made it possible to find a meme for any occasion and a freelancer who will write for basically nothing, but hiring someone because they’re cheap is not the best way to get a great outcome. Consider quality, consider ethics, and if you’re still unconvinced, consider experience. Copywriting isn’t just churning out words, it’s using them strategically to accurately and effectively control how people respond to information. If you want top-notch copy, hire someone who has a great portfolio and a heap of glowing testimonials. It’ll not only save you time in the long run, it’ll help you avoid the uncomfortable realisation that the person you hired was cheap because they’re crap.
How do I know you’re not crap?
Do you write SEO copy?
Yes. Good SEO can help you rank higher in search engines, while ensuring your content is relevant and highly responsive to the words and phrases your target audience uses to search online. Provided you can provide me with your SEO keywords, I can use them to maximum effect.
Do you offer other creative services?
I mostly write copy, however, I did work in the editorial industry for a couple of years, so if you need someone to check, correct and edit your work, I can help. I’m also a seasoned journalist who has written for print and digital mastheads including BuzzFeed, Forbes, Urban List, Broadsheet, Crikey, Time Out, Women’s Health, Concrete Playground and Books+Publishing.
As an interviewer and public speaker, I have hosted and emceed over 100 book launches and conversation panels for Readings. I love talking all things books and writing, and am available for speaking engagements.
I belong to a wonderful network of freelance creative professionals and will happily make introductions to photographers, designers, web developers, illustrators and other wordsmiths when I can.
I have a super tight deadline. How quickly can you turn my project around?
How long is a piece of string? The answer is, it all depends on the amount and type of work in scope, and how much groundwork has already been done. My work calendar gets booked in advance so it also depends what other projects I’ve committed to. Get in touch, and I’ll provide you with a clear and definitive timeframe for completion after we’ve discussed what you need (and when you need it). If it’s a crazy-urgent-hey-I-needed-it-yesterday situation, I can potentially help out by working outside of office hours, but it will attract a 25% rush fee. In other words, if I calculate the project price at $1,000 for a ‘normal’ timeframe, I’ll charge $1,250 in the scenario that you are reaching out to me on a Friday and needing copy by Monday.
Do you have any knowledge of my sector or industry?
At the risk of sounding arrogant, probably! I’ve written copy for brands and businesses across a broad range of sectors including property, architecture, mental wellbeing, higher education, tourism, retail and the performing arts. I’m quick at wrapping my head around a new subject area and apprehending the needs of a specific audience. It comes with my job to move in and out of industries all the time, and I genuinely get a kick out of exploring and absorbing new information.
How would you describe your writing style?
Clients describe my writing style as conversational and direct. The thing is, it’s not really my job to have a style. It’s my job to adopt the style and tone that best suits the project of my client. I pride myself on my versatility. If you want me to write in an incredibly descriptive and evocative way, I can do that. If you want me to be tongue-in-cheek and use a lot of wordplay, I can do that too.
What happens after I send you an email using this fancy contact form?
I’ll get back to you, usually within 24 hours, and respond to your query. If you haven’t provided much information, I’ll ask you some questions. I’ll also let you know about my current availability and request anything else I might need from you to put together a quote. From there, we can get into the nitty-gritty of your project, and either meet for a coffee or jump on a video call.