Jonathan Wilcock – freelance copywriting services

Why would anyone in their right mind pay for freelance copywriting services?

Last year I tried to fix a broken lock.

Someone (name withheld) managed to get a key wedged into the lock of our basement door. Then someone (name also withheld) managed to snap said key in half, leaving the business end jammed in the key hole.

How difficult can it possibly be to get half a key out of a lock?

Hammer. Screwdriver. Pliers. Powerdrill. Swearing. 2 hours. Oh, we had fun.

Then someone said, “Google it”.

Ah yes, YouTube, they always have the answers to life’s little DIY challenges.

Another hour later, instead of a door that wouldn’t open, we had a door that wouldn’t lock.

I removed the handles so at least no one could break in easily, then called a locksmith.

He showed up next day and it took him 20 minutes to fix. The right tools and expert knowledge are a deadly combination.

Unfortunately, the damage I’d done with my botched attempt meant the job cost more than it should have, but lesson learned.

You can see where I’m going with this can’t you.

If you know how to write, do you still need to buy in freelance copywriting services?

Most of the stuff you read online is probably not written by a copywriter. Most of the stuff you read, remember and react to is.

Non-professional writing fills gaps. Professional copywriting gets results.

The majority of my clients are educated, bright individuals who can write well. Spelling and grammar really aren’t an issue to them. When it comes to writing business plans, strategy documents, client emails and internal memos, no one’s better qualified for the job.

Copywriting and writing however, are quite different animals.

Thankfully, most of my clients understand this. Some, like me as an amateur locksmith, had to learn the hard way.

What will freelance copywriting services do for you and your business?

1) Give a new perspective
A copywriter can see things that you can’t. When you live and breathe your job day in, day out, it can be difficult to see the obvious. A decent copywriter will hack through the undergrowth of brand confusion and get to the sun-dappled clearing of what makes you special.

2) Challenge your thinking
Most clients know what they want. A large percentage of them aren’t so sure what they need. Your copywriter will ask probing, sometimes difficult or awkward questions. It’s not that they are difficult or awkward themselves, it’s just that they need to get to the heart of what ought to be communicated.

3) Find a new angle
Your copywriter won’t be bogged down with pre-conceptions or stale thinking about your brand. Put it this way, just because you’ve always done something a particular way, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. Your copywriter will analyse what you already have, then work out how to improve on it and approach things from a completely new angle if necessary.

4) Get to the point
Good copywriters can say more in 50 words than English scholars can in 50,000. Writing headlines and straplines, and conjuring up brand names is an art. Short and snappy is easily mistaken for easy and peasy. If you’ve been pushing words around for days, stop. Hand it over to an expert.

5) Deliver new ideas
I’ve banged on about this before and I’m not stopping anytime soon. People, quite logically, assume that copywriters write words. True, but before words hit the page or the screen, the best copywriters start with ideas. Ideas are what makes your copy stand head and shoulders above the rest.

6) Give you visibility
The tangible result of original creative ideas is visibility. If your communications don’t get noticed, they don’t get read and if they don’t get read you’re not even in the game. A copywriter will help you get your audience’s attention and then keep them engaged.

7) Set you free
While I was attempting to fix that lock, I could have been sipping cocktails in the garden, learning to tap dance or earning a crust doing client work. Calling an expert in frees you up to do the other stuff. You know, the sort of stuff you’re brilliant at.

How much should you pay for freelance copywriting services?

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. For a junior Copywriter, you should expect to pay in the region of £150-200 for a day’s work. For a senior Copywriter, you can pay anything between £350 and £2,000 a day.

Cheap doesn’t necessarily equal great value and expensive doesn’t always deliver brilliant results.

There are people charging £100 a day who will leave you exasperated and in all honesty, you’d be just as well carrying on writing everything yourself.

Equally, there are Copywriters out there with the front to charge double what they’re worth.

Understandably, it can be confusing for clients. So where do you go? Who do you trust?

If I were mercenary I’d say choose me, but I’m an honest and caring kind of fellow, so have a trawl of the 700+ copywriters on ProCopywriters.

Choose two or three that look like a good fit, then visit their websites and go through their online portfolios. Don’t try to find someone who’s already done exactly what you’re looking for (they don’t exist), but look for consistent quality.

And going back to my experience with the basement door lock, don’t cut corners, it’ll only end up costing you more in the long run.

Find out more about Choosing a freelance Copywriter here.

Jonathan Wilcock (that’s me) is a freelance Copywriter, Art Director and Creative Director.
You can drop me line here, or email jonathan@sowhatif.co.uk