How Well Do You Communicate with Your Copywriter?

by Melody Brooks on September 22, 2010

Guest Post by Melody Brooks

In addition to trust, the most critical factor in creating a successful client / copywriter relationship is the same as in creating any other relationship . . .

Good communication.

You and your copywriter need to clarify your expectations of each other, preferably in writing. Each of you needs to understand the other’s expectations. Your writer also needs to know the audience and purpose of what he or she will be writing. You can’t just say, “I need a squeeze page and four blog posts by next Tuesday.”

You need to clearly express . . .

  • Who the target audience is. The more information, the better.
  • What the articles and blogs need to say—topics covered, length, and formal or informal style.
  • Where the blogs and articles will appear. The writer can visit those sites to get a feel for the style and tone of the writing.
  • When you need the writing completed. Allow for editing time.
  • Why the articles and blogs are being written and what the calls to action need to be.
  • How the writing will be used, such as adding articles to a directory, compiling an ebook, or guest blogging.

Your copywriter needs to ensure you’re aware of his or her guidelines and best practices for . . .

  • Writing the copy. How does he or she plan to write those articles and blogs and create effective calls to action?
  • Managing deadlines. If you’re both communicating, there should be no issues here. When you have a big project, setting internal deadlines is crucial so no one is scrambling at the last minute.
  • Editing. Some copywriters have their own editors, and some do not.
  • Gathering background information. How much research will you provide, and how much will your copywriter need to do?
  • Revising copy. If the copy doesn’t speak to the audience or isn’t well done, you need to know how the copywriter will make it right. However, there should also be a guideline for what happens if you accidentally misinform the writer or provide inaccurate research.
  • Requesting payment. Are you paying your copywriter by the project, by the hour, or some other arrangement? When does the writer invoice, and how long do you have to pay after invoicing?

Many of these points can and should be put in the master contract you have with your copywriter, as they’ll be constant, but others will vary by project. Always put as much in writing as you can, even if it’s just an email. Written communication helps projects run more smoothly.

As you work with your copywriter, you’ll get to know each other and how you work best. For example, my copy is significantly better if I have at least two days—as opposed to a rush job—because I write the first draft, let it sit overnight, and then go back and polish. So rush projects are kept to a minimum.

A good client / copywriter relationship can be a gold mine for you. Nurture it. You’ll be surprised how a good writer can make your life easier and your business more lucrative.

Melody Brooks is Sumér’s head copywriter and can be reached at .


If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. 7 Questions You Should Ask Your Copywriter
  2. Don’t Worry about Offending Your Copywriter . . . Here’s Why
  3. Hiring a Copywriter: So Much More Than Words on a Page
  4. Web Copy: Use the Right Words to Connect and Prosper
  5. 5 Ways to Keep Your Prospects Entertained
  • Maggie W

    Great post, Melody! People expect copywriters to be mind readers, and we're not! Clients have to clearly articulate what they're looking for and their objectives are for the copy.

  • Copywriters

    My best tip for any copywriter, or client for that matter, is to agree on a detailed brief before work commences. That way you have a benchmark to work from and an effective resource in the event of any disputes.

  • webcopywriter

    Hi Martin,

    Yes–I completely agree. It’s important to outline all the details before beginning work so that everyone is on the same page.

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