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What to pay a professional copywriter

What to pay a professional copywriter

Questions about the cost of copywriting services are among the first to arise when I speak with new clients. By nature, every copywriting assignment is custom work, so giving a detailed quote requires some level of briefing; even a ball-park price range is best delivered after I understand some of the top-level details. However, I’d like to attempt to shed some light on what you can expect to pay when working with a professional copywriter, based on my own work.

Price of copywriting services can range dramatically

If you are in the market for professional freelance copywriting services, the range of fees you encounter might baffle you. As with any specialty, copywriters can range from novice to seasoned pro and their expertise, education, ongoing training and approach to customer service can vary dramatically. Some writers take an occasional project on the side for extra income, some run a full-time consultancy and others fall somewhere in between.

I believe that you benefit most by paying professional fees for professional services. You will hit the ground running and finish with a better result if you choose to work with someone who:

  • Is an experienced and committed professional
  • Works within a specialty (mine is copywriting for nonprofits)
  • Invests in ongoing learning and skills development which can be applied to your projects

Strictly looking for the cheapest writer increases your risk of wasted time and lower quality results.

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Ask for a project fee

There are a number of ways a copywriter might approach quoting on your project. These include hourly, retainer, project or per word fees. With very few exceptions, I quote a project fee for a number of reasons.

Predictability: I build all aspects of the project into one quote. You know your final price and I take care of getting us to that point. Because we talk about it all at the outset, my fee will cover the research, writing, revisions and any coordination.

I’m definitely borrowing this analogy, probably from several people, but it’s a great way to make the case for a project fee. If two neighbourhood kids were offering to cut your lawn, would you rather work with the guy or gal who tells you it will be $10? Or the one who says they’ll have to let you know the price after they’ve completed the work and figured out how long it took?

Paying for a product, not my time: Hourly pricing is funny to me because it’s in the best interest of the writer to take longer to get it right. The more revisions required (which means more of your time reviewing them), the more the writer gets paid!

I pride myself on delivering a close-to-final draft the first time. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend less time working with your writer and finish the project on time or early? True, the more skilled and experienced your writer, the less time it might take them, but that benefits you – which is why you’re willing to pay professional fees!

In my view, thinking about hourly or per word fees (more common with editorial work versus marketing or PR writing) is the wrong way to think about obtaining your final product; great copy.

Professional copywriting fee ranges

As I mentioned, it’s very difficult to quote without project details, but here are a few ranges to give you an idea of what to expect to pay a seasoned copywriting professional.

$500 – $1500

Press releases, media kit elements, brochure copy, flyers, posters, brief remarks, promotional emails, copy for individual web pages, power point presentations, taglines

$1500 – $3500

Executive speeches (15 minutes or longer), annual reports, corporate solicitation kits, direct mail packages, website copy (multiple pages), social media content calendar, print advertisements

$3500+

Brand messaging platform kit (includes multiple elements such as key messages, boilerplate, style guide, etc.)

You can see more examples of my pricing if you have a look at my suite of featured consulting packages.

What to consider when researching copywriting cost

What goes into determining some of the fee ranges I’ve outlined above? A number of factors play into the cost of copywriting services.

  • Type of project, scope and complexity: This can be tricky – a 30-minute speech obviously costs more than a 15-minute speech. However, given the discovery and creative concept development involved, tagline writing will cost more than a simple press release.
  • Research involved: Some projects involve minimal research, whereas others require extensive research, consultation and interviews to gather necessary background information.
  • Number of revisions required: I generally include two free rounds of revisions, but you might require more to address your internal approval process.
  • Creative concept development: Does the writing flow from an established creative direction, or will you be asking the copywriter to develop the creative approach as part of the assignment?
  • Timing: If a project timeline is extremely tight, rush fees will apply.
  • Single project or ongoing: I offer discounts for large volume/ongoing work.

I hope this helps you to understand what to pay for professional copywriting services. And I particularly hope that a low price is not your only consideration; it’s truly in your best interest to pay professional fees for professional service.

Do you have more questions about the price of copywriting services? Contact me or ask them by commenting below!

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Posted June 10, 2013 / Filed under Uncategorized / 2 Comments