A lot of grief can come from poor communication when it comes to copywriting clients. Scope creep, insufficient feedback, brand misalignment, missing deadlines, technical frustrations, formatting nightmares: there is quite a lot that can go wrong.
I think it’s very important to help people APPRECIATE your role as a copywriter so that they can get more value from your services. A lot of that stems from good communication with your copywriting clients.
Some ideas to help you communicate with clients more clearly:
Start off on the right foot
A client questionnaire or an initial email template with some scoping questions can go a long way to iron out any misunderstandings.
Get clients to really think about what they’re asking for! (And try to set realistic expectations on what you can deliver).
Have an on-boarding process
Have a clear on-boarding process where you go through the different stages of copywriting with your clients: research, distillation, drafting, editing, proofing etc.
Attach timeframes and estimates to these if you can (just create a template that you can then reuse).
Talking about money and setting up invoicing processes with a new client is an important step: it can really help focus the mind.
You may need to ask for a deposit, or at least have a 50/50 billing structure for longer copywriting projects.
Itemised invoices might not be your thing, but keep a log of the different aspects of the work that you do (and be ready to explain it).
Show clients what you can (also) do
Have a few relevant case studies and testimonials that give clients a clear idea of the depth and breadth of your experience.
For example, you could also offer content management, interviewing, features images, social media management etc.
You are in a great position to diversify as a copywriter, but you have to be ready to put yourself out there without clients necessarily explicitly asking for it (clients may not even know themselves that they need extras: in fact, they often don’t).
Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback doesn’t need to be scary: anybody can create a Google form, and you can ask open-ended questions.
Get people to comment on the experience of working with you, and make it clear that any positive messages may be lifted out for marketing purposes (these are great website or social media fodder).
Don’t do consultancy for free
What about an upsell? Make it clear where your copywriting contract ends, and where extra consultancy services begin.