4 Reasons Clients Look for a
By Steve Slaunwhite
What motivates B2B companies to look for freelance copywriters?
There are four key reasons. When you understand these reasons, you can use the information when talking with them, pricing your services, and even the words to use to convince them to hire you.
#1. No time to write
Sometimes a client will look for a freelance copywriter simply because they’ve been doing the writing in-house, it’s time-consuming, and they want to outsource it to somebody. They just want to get it off their desk.
It’s like hiring someone to clean your house. You can clean your own house, but you may not want to do it anymore because it’s time-consuming. So you hire someone to come in and do it for you. That is the motivator number one.
For example, I was speaking with a prospective client just a few days ago. One of the things she said was, “I just don’t have the bandwidth to write copy for my own business anymore. I don’t have the bandwidth to write the pages on my website, my flyers, and everything else I need to market my business. I just want to get someone else to do it for me because I don’t have the time.”
Although this is a true motivator, it tends to be the toughest type of client in terms of getting a good fee for your services and for working with them in general.
The reason is, the “no time to write” client tends not to want to pay much for what they’re trying to outsource. They just want to get it off their desk. They either don’t want to do it themselves anymore, or they don’t want their in-house team spending their time on it.
When just getting it done is the motivator, the client usually wants to outsource it as economically as possible. They want to get good copy, but they don’t want to spend any more than they have to. So, that makes for a very tough client because they’ll tend to shop around on price.
I’m not saying they won’t be a good client. They could become a very good client, but you have to understand their motivation for hiring a freelance copywriter.
#2. A new project
In this situation, something has happened to generate a need.
Perhaps the client has had a marketing strategy meeting. In the meeting they decided they need a blog, a new web page, or an email blast. Whatever it is, they’ve decided on a tactic and they’re looking to get it created and written.
To give you an example, I was speaking to a long-time client just yesterday who needs a sell sheet. He phoned me and said, “We need a sell sheet.” Now, I didn’t question why they need a sell sheet. I got some background information on it, but he’s already decided that’s what he needs. They’ve made that strategic decision. Now, they’re just trying to get the sell sheet created.
Project clients can be good clients. They’re motivated to get something specific done. You can probably get a decent fee in this situation.
#3. “Don’t like our copy”
The third type of client is what I call the “don’t like our copy” client. This is the type of client that for whatever reason has decided they don’t like the copywriting for their business.
Maybe they don’t like how their website is written or how their website tells their story. It could be they don’t like how their emails are written. Or their ads.
It could be they looked at competitor’s sites and get jealous of the great copywriting their competitor has and they want the same thing.
This motivator often produces an excellent client, because they are looking for a strategic partner, someone they can rely on to write great copy for them on a consistent basis.
To give you an example, I had a client two or three years ago who came to me. He was a business owner of a fairly large business and had gone to a graphic design firm to get a website created. The graphic design firm created this beautiful-looking website, but he hated the copy.
So, he contacted me. On the phone, he said, “You know what, I just want better copywriting. I’m not happy with the copywriting for our website or our marketing pieces. I want great copywriting for our company because I know how important that is and that’s why I’m talking to you.”
Well, as soon as he said that, I knew this could be a great long-term client because he’s looking for a real pro to come in and take his overall copy and content up to the next level.
#4. Better results
These are clients that want better bottom-line results. They want more leads with their direct mail. They want more conversions on their website. They want more open rates and sales with their emails and landing pages.
They want better bottom-line results and they know working with a great copywriter is a way to get them.
To give you an example, I’m working with a client right now on a series of emails. They have a program they want to sell. One of the things they need is an email series to motivate their target audience to click through to a landing page and sign up for the program.
They’re hiring me because they like my copy, but really, a big part of it is because they’re hoping I know how to get really good results with emails. (I do!) So, that’s why they’re hiring me — to get better bottom-line results.
These clients are your best-paying clients because they are so motivated to get results. They’re willing to pay what it takes to get those results.
If you’re the type of copywriter who really knows how to get great results with email, website conversions, or you can write some other type of piece that gets bottom line results, these are your ideal clients.
So, those are the four reasons clients will look for copywriting help.
How Freelance Copywriters Can Use This Knowledge to Land Clients
Now, how do you use this information to help you and your business? Well, first of all, when you talk to a client on the phone, pay attention to what they say so you can determine what is motivating them. It’s going to help you when it comes to pricing and how you present your services.
So if you’re talking to a “no time to write” client, you know they may be a little economical. If you’re talking to a “want better results” client, you know if you can demonstrate you help them get better results, then you’re probably able to charge a pretty healthy fee. If you’re talking to a “don’t like our copy” client, you know that could be a long-term relationship, then you know how to talk to that client and price appropriately.
It also helps you have a better conversation, the kind of conversation that can help you close the deal.
If you’re talking to a “want better results” type of client, then you know to frame the conversation around getting better results. You may point to success stories you’ve had with other clients.
If you’re talking to a “project” client and they’re motivated by getting a project done, you can assure them you can get the project done. You know how to deliver the piece, make it look great, read great, and be very effective.
So you can see how understanding what is motivating the client to contact you to begin with can really help you with pricing and help you have the kind of conversation with them that will help you close the deal and land that client and land the gig.
Use this knowledge. Listen for these motivators when you’re talking to a client for the first time. I’m confident you’ll land more clients!
I know a copywriter who was putting together a direct-mail campaign to promote her services. She focuses on big-name speakers who do highly paid motivational speeches to large groups.
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