6 Factors Determine Prices for My Copy-writing Services
When a new client calls me, one of the first questions asked is almost always, “How much do you charge?” Whether the project is a press release, a brochure, a sales letter or a website landing page, customers want to know that the prices aren’t outrageous before they consider my copywriting services. That’s fine; I can understand that thinking. I like to know prices up front myself.
The problem is that the pricing question isn’t an easy one to answer. Because every job I do is custom, (such is the nature of copywriting), I first need to know what the project is all about.
Some copywriters charge by the hour. Not me. An hourly rate is only half the equation in trying to budget for a job. I prefer to quote a project price because that's what clients really want to know – the bottom line.
To determine that project price, I consider six factors by asking the following questions:
How much copy is required?
Quantity matters. Writing a 4-page brochure is of course less time consuming than writing a 20-page website.
How complex is the work?
Some projects involve a lot of upfront research while others can be tackled head-on. It’s a lot more difficult to write copy about a specialized technical product, for example, than a consumer product that I’ve personally used.
How much creativity is required?
It’s hard to be clever. Often writing a small ad with just a headline and a couple short paragraphs of copy presents a more difficult challenge than writing a full-length data sheet because every word in the ad must be carefully considered.
What's the going market rate?
As a professional with more than 20 years in my field, I have no desire to be the lowest priced copywriter in the market, however, I recognize that my prices need to be competitive. Experience counts but affordability will always be critical.
How sophisticated are the client's other marketing materials?
If the client has already done the hard work to evaluate the competition, position the company and build his brand, then that will make my job easier. I’ll make sure my materials complement his existing marketing strategy.
However, if the client is in the product launch phase or is a start-up company, I have to assume I’ll be doing more than just copywriting; I’ll likely be providing guidance on marketing, which takes time. Also, I recognize that the content I produce will probably be repurposed for other marketing materials down the road, so the costs can be spread among multiple projects.
How fast does the client need the work?
Like most copywriters, I charge more for fast turnarounds because they usually involve giving up my evenings or weekends to squeeze in the new project.
Once I have the answers to these questions, I’m able to provide a project quotation. However, I hope the client won’t use price as the deciding factor in whether to hire me or another copywriter.
It’s important to consider the value an experienced copywriter brings to the table. Sure you can find beginning copywriters and foreign copywriters who are willing to work at bargain rates, but if the copy they produce isn’t effective, then was it really worth the savings? The true bottom line is, a good copywriter won’t cost you money; she’ll make you money by delivering results.