What is business copywriting?
Although we are all exposed to advertising everyday, most of us don't think about copywriting and those of us who work to produce all that content.
As a business owner, you are insanely busy. If you don't have time to develop this skill
yourself, it makes sense to hire an expert copywriter. There are copywriters available to write for
your website content, newsletters, ebooks, brochures, and more.
I'm Maria Pease, an author and copywriter specializing in informational content. A few months ago I was interviewed for a marketing newsletter and I though the information may be useful to businesses looking for information about working with me. The interview is posted with permission below on this page.
I hope it offers some insight on what it is like to work with a freelance copywriter and myself in particular.
Today I have the pleasure to speak with Maria Pease, a freelance copywriter who also runs the www.freelance-writing-success.com.
Maria has agreed to answer some questions about what to expect when working with a copywriter, from fees to the work process itself. Thank you, Maria, for taking time to speak with me today.
I'm happy to do it. Thank you for asking me.
How long have you been a freelance copywriter?
I decided to become a copywriter in 2000. Although I have been a writer my whole life, that's when I decided to start my freelance career in copywriting.
How do you charge for your services? What is your copywriting fee?
I prefer to charge a flat rate based on the project, that
way the client knows exactly how much the service for that particular project
will cost with no surprises. But not all projects can be billed that way, so for
those I charge my hourly rate.
Can you tell us a little about different ways copywriters charge for their services, and the pros and cons of those methods?
Most copywriters charge by the project or by the hour. I
prefer to charge by the project so the client doesn’t have any billing
surprises or cost issues. They know, up front what the project will cost. I
also always get partial payment in advance, before I write anything. Business copywriting is just that, a business.
What kinds of copy do you usually write for other people? Is it advertising copy, web content, or something else?
I do a lot of web site copywriting as well as e-newsletters, case studies, brochures, e-books, manuals and copy that is primarily informational in nature.
Do you specialize in a particular industry, or in a particular type of writing?
I specialize in business copywriting and have written content for many industries over the years. I also specialize in writing informational copy like newsletters, case studies, brochures, web copy, manuals and ebooks. I like the idea of sharing valuable information that is helpful to the reader.
What other kinds of writing do you do?
I write non-fiction e-books as well as a series of detective
mystery novels called the Malicious Novel Series.
If a small business owner wants to hire someone to write copy, what are some things to look for in a copywriting expert?
A good copywriter listens to the client, asks questions, and
studies the materials that exist on what they will be writing copy for. The
copywriter must also get as much information as possible about the audience
they are writing for, so they can present the material in the best way possible.
What are some objective ways for the buyer to evaluate the finished product? I mean, how do you tell good copy from bad copy?
The advertiser must read ad copy as a client, not the
advertiser. If it answers the questions the consumer would ask, in a clear,
concise manner, in a voice they understand, that's good copy. It's all about communicating clearly.
How can a client keep their costs low for their business copywriting project? For instance, are there things they can do before they contact you to make the process go faster and thus reduce their costs?
Yes, the client should ask themselves:
It's a good idea to think about these questions before
hiring a copywriter. Business copywriting is important for all types of businesses both large and small. It's a very valuable service that all business need to help them stay in touch with their clients.
Please tell us about your process, and what a client can expect when they work with you?
I like to set up a meeting first (either face to face or by e-mail-or phone) so I can ask questions, listen to what the client is looking for, and gather information about the product or service, do interviews, and get a full picture of the project.
Then, I will go back to my office and figure out how long it will take and price the project. Once I quote a price and it is accepted, agreements are signed and a deposit paid, I get to work, calling the client if I need further information as I work.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who can tell me clearly what she wants, is nice to work with, lets me do my job and pays on-time. It's also nice if she stays in contact with me. I like to work with my clients as part of a team. We all have the same goals, so working this way makes it much more gratifying.
What other advice do you have for a small business owner about hiring and working with copywriters?
They should understand that copywriters are professionals. We work hard and want to do our best for them. If they look good, we look good. Don't be afraid to ask for a meeting to see if the copywriter would be a good fit.
"A cardinal rule of writing to follow is, never write your own back cover copy. Why? You’re too close to the work and can’t be objective. Enter Maria Pease.
I contracted her services to write the back cover copy for my upcoming novel, Crossing Lives. The only caveat was, my manuscript was nowhere near finished. Despite this obstacle, Maria took on the project.
Most copywriters won’t touch this type of project unless you can furnish them with a copy of the entire work to be summarized.
In a span of three weeks, with just a few chapters and handful of character sketches to go by, she was able to craft a masterful blurb that captured the essence of the story I’m trying to tell.
Maria communicated with me on consistent basis and took a personal interest in my project. This was a pleasant surprise. Most “work for hire” is cold, aloof, and distant.
I highly recommend Maria Pease for all your copywriting needs."
Matt Leatherwood, Jr. Author, Train To Baghdad http://youtu.be/4ENnNDy-Thc
“Thank you very much for the job well done! I hope we will have an opportunity to work together again in the future."
Timo Kestrel - Website Owner, UK
"I needed a website for my new practice and I had no time or skills to do it myself. Thank goodness I met Maria through a business associate.
She had my site up and running in no time. She even gave me some suggestions on how to make some affiliate income along with the service I provide.
If you need a writer who listens to what you want and gives great ideas on how to improve it, call Maria. You won't be disappointed."
Sandee West - Marriage & Family Therapist
"Maria has developed a business brochure and numerous newsletters and has been able to interpret the information I give her into professional writing pieces that communicate to my clients the value of my product.
Maria’s professional knowledge has played a large part in portraying my
company in a professional light.
Maria Pease has been a pleasure to work with and I feel she would be an asset to any company in need of a commercial writer."
Lisa Beach -The Box Wrap Company
"I needed to update most of our marketing and sales materials including a brochure, a couple of sales letters, tips sheets and some in-house communications. Maria took care of it all and did a beautiful job on all of it. If you are looking for a capable, and enjoyable copywriter to work with, you can stop looking, Maria is your girl."
Wayne Francis - Window and door installation services
"My advice is to hire Maria Pease to write for you. She is full of great ideas and will execute them beautifully. I have worked with her many times on several different types of projects from articles to websites and more and she never disappoints. She is truly a delight to work with. If you need a writer, look no further than Maria."
Ken Sellic - Business Owner
"I hired Maria Pease to help me promote my business and have been extremely pleased with her performance. She has developed all of my marketing materials to date including brochures, postcards, and promotional flyers.
Maria is a pleasure to work with, always energetic and enthusiastic about the task at hand. She continues to come up with fresh, new, innovative ideas to help move my business forward. She is dedicated to providing a superior product and has continued to exceed all of my expectations. It has been refreshing to me, as a small business owner, to be able to rely on an outside consultant to be professional, reliable, and self motivated."
Andrea Tomes - New Image Fitness