“So… how much does copywriting cost?”
Well… I quote a lot of jobs. Maybe three of four a day. And I’ve been quoting three or four jobs a day for years. So I’m fairly good at it.
I take time and care to analyse each project requirement, quantifying the time I’ll need to do every aspect of the job, start to finish, including supporting all revisions through to sign off.
And I have a formula that I then apply to take account of what kind of work the task involves, how rare the skills it requires are, who the client is and what use the work is going to be put to in their business.
I then set out all of this information clearly, showing how I’ve used the set of variables to calculate the amount per day at which I’m offering to rate the time I’ve assessed.
And I send that to the prospective client.
How much does copywriting cost?
Now many times, the quote will work absolutely fine for the client. Maybe 75% of the time.
And sometimes it will not quite work, but they’ll be professional enough to mail or call and negotiate me down a little. I have no problem with that. So long as they have a sensible budget, I’m happy to try to meet them on this.
There are occasions, too, on which my quote will just be too high, and the client will tell me so, and I won’t get the project.
All of the above are fine. Everyone endures all of the above as a normal part of quoting.
But there’s another kind of response, too.
Sometimes I’ll quote, pitching a fair price for doing a good job.
Then I’ll get a sort of triumphal reply that says, “I’ve had several quotes that are all much lower than yours, and won’t be taking this any further.”
Presumably, this is meant to stun me. To make me regret my dreadful greed, which has justly cost me the opportunity to work on the project in question.
To advise me that others are offering to do what I have proposed a professional consulting level fee for, for far less, and that I should thus be aware that I have been rumbled.
The only thing is, this kind of email doesn’t make me think any of these things.
Finding a lower quote isn’t hard. And usually isn’t smart.
What it actually makes me think is:
“It’s a shame that you are someone who is about to entrust the marketing of your business to a person who does not understand the work that is actually entailed in your task.”
Or, “Oh. What a pity that it hasn’t occurred to you that the reason the person to whom you are about to entrust your marketing works so cheaply is because they don’t have the skills to be able to charge a proper rate for their work.”
Or, “It’s so regrettable that you are going to entrust your marketing to someone who charges at a rate indicative of their inexperience, which will mean lack of business knowledge, lack of commercial understanding and the need for you to waste your time on teaching them the basics of your business and, quite possibly, business in general.”
Sometimes it makes me think, “It’s just unfortunate that you have no clue what you’re doing, and no experience in buying what you’re buying, and so just when you’d benefit from professionalism and experience you’re inclining towards false-economy and risk.”
On occasion, it even makes me think, “Oh, no! You are someone who can’t work out that the person who has quoted you three days of fee for a task that involves writing, say, fifty pages of a website, cannot conceivably be a person who knows how to do that job properly, or who is planning to do it with care and craft.”
Copywriting isn’t a commodity. Not all writers have equal value.
You see where I’m coming from?
The person who tries to tell me they won’t be requiring my help and wants me to see how much better they’ve done for themself by finding a quote much lower than mine, actually demonstrates nothing of the kind.
Instead, they tell me only that investing less, rather than making more, was as far as their vision would allow them to see.
And they send me away genuinely saddened by their lack of foresight; and by the commercial opportunities they will miss.