Freelance Copywriters: Stop handing in second rate work!

When I’m busy with other work, I sometimes outsource copywriting work to other freelancers.

Working with project partners, I often have to read the copy submitted to my partners by their freelance copywriters.

Here’s the shocker…

More often than not, freelance copywriters hand in garbage.

These are good, professional copywriters, all capable of producing outstanding work.

But the work they submit is rubbish.

Maybe the opening is weak. Maybe the flow just doesn’t work. Maybe there are factual errors, or spelling errors. Maybe part of the offer description from the brief is missing. Maybe the headline is just plain wrong.

Or maybe it’s not terrible, but clearly in need of some more polish, with a second or third draft required.

You think I’m joking? I’m not. I see this again and again. In fact, I see unfinished, unpolished copy more often than I see well-crafted, error-free copy.

The bottom line is – most freelance copywriters fail to hand in their best work.

This is insane, because you will be judged by what you send in to your clients. And it is immensely frustrating for your clients, because they often know what you are capable of, and don’t understand why you would send in anything less than your best.

Maybe you thinking, “Hey Nick, sometimes we send in a draft just to get feedback, before we move on to the final draft.”

That may sound like a reasonable excuse, but I think it’s just that – an excuse.

If you have questions you need to ask your client, ask them. But don’t send them a weak draft, in the hope that they’ll help you make it better. You are meant to be the expert. That’s what they are paying you for.

“But Nick, I have a lot of clients and tight deadlines. I can’t spend forever on each project.”

Well, you won’t have a lot of clients for long if you send in second-rate work.

Let me ask you a question – don’t you have in pride in your craft as a copywriter?

Do you feel good when you send in work that is less than your best? Does it feel OK to do that?

It’s complete craziness. As the saying goes, you are only as good as your last job. And if your last job was second rate, so are you.

Work for fewer clients and spend longer on each job, so you can hand in your best work every time. And as you build your reputation as a copywriter who always submits great work, you’ll be able to charge higher fees.

Fewer clients. Better quality. Higher fees.

Doesn’t that make more sense?

And believe me, with so many copywriters submitting second-rate, unfinished copy, there is a huge opportunity to brand yourself as the freelancer who always delivers his or her best work.

2 thoughts on “Freelance Copywriters: Stop handing in second rate work!”

  1. Before I relaunched my website, I asked my existing clients what their pet peeves were about freelance copywriters and what they appreciated about my work. Their answers absolutely stunned me! I had expected them to complain about rates, lack of creativity or over-sized egos. (In other writers, of course!).

    But no! Their wish list was so simple my heart ached for them. Solid, crisp writing. No spelling mistakes. No hand-holding. Meet deadlines. Like you, Nick, I can’t believe there are “professional” copywriters out there who would miss deadlines, turn in text replete with errors and not have a requisite passion for words and language.

    Armed with this insight, I developed my USP: Fresh, error-free writing. Delivered on time or it’s free. Guaranteed.

    So far, I haven’t been working for free! And one of my “factory visits” involved donning a hard hat and work boots so oversized I nearly tripped and fell into the cement this amazing new machine was churning out on a construction site…

  2. This is why it’s more important to look for a good honest work ethic than just good writing skills. A writer’s skills are only useful to you if they take pride in their work enough to hand in their best stuff.


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