Copywriters: Are you a difficult service provider?

Do you shut clients out?.

Copywriter services blog post image

My daughter’s day care just closed.

Some of you will be squinting a little, thinking, “Riiight, so what?” Others (probably parents) will be opening their arms to me, offering to give me a hug.

If you’re in the first camp, let me explain.

Choosing a daycare provider is HARD. Firstly, you’re finding somewhere to leave your child. It has to be safe for them. Obviously. But it also has to be fun, educational, inspirational, empowering and more. And he or she has to like it.

It has to be the right decision because it’s also expensive. Really expensive.

Does this sound like any other service you know?

Finding a place that ticked a lot of those boxes and that Miss 3 would also enjoy was a process. I researched my options. I read and cross-checked reviews. I spoke to current customers (parents). I asked about prices and availability. I went on tours. I grilled the carers.

And now I have to go through it all again.


This daycare experience is showing me that as service providers, we’re all in the same boat and some of us are failing badly. Sometimes, we don’t realise how hard we make it for clients to decide whether to hire us.

Sure, you have our website up and you’re sending out quotes, but are you telling potential clients what they need to know to choose you?

When one client calls you, 10 don’t

In my first year as a copywriter, I wanted to get clients on the phone so I could dazzle them with my personality and knowledge. And my conversion rate from those phone calls was really high.

But most of a client’s decision to buy happens before they get in touch.

So, for every client who called me to find out more, I lost a lot of potential clients. Why? Because I didn’t want to give too much away. I wanted people to call me, and I thought being mysterious was the key. In reality, I held too much back and created too many hurdles.

You can’t wait to get a copywriting client on the phone before you reveal what makes you the right copywriter to choose.

Here are some tips to help clients decide to choose you.

Explain your service

Your copywriting collateral should explain what your service is and the benefits to the client. That means spelling out how your copywriting service will impact your client – in real and concrete terms.

Some example text for promoting copywriting services to clients:

A well-written newsletter helps you stay in front of your customers, so that when they need a solution, they think of you. My newsletter-writing service includes

“A professionally written brochure is a great way to introduce your business to new customers or share more details about your product range. I can write any brochure size from . . .”

“Website copywriting that’s persuasive will keep customers on your website for longer, increasing the chances that they’ll buy from you. My website copywriting also includes SEO writing techniques that help Google find you.”

You explain your service in terms of how your client will benefit.

Explain your process

In my experience, most clients haven’t worked with a copywriter before. They have no idea how it all works, which leaves them with feelings of low-level anxiety about the whole experience.

When you explain the process of working with you, step by step, you demonstrate that you actually have a well thought-out process, which is reassuring. They’re also reassured when they know what will happen next.

Clients know they’ll get a proposal with even more details about your services, and if they decide to go ahead, they’ll have to pay a deposit before the copywriting brief is sent. And so on.

This is all about removing anxiety and making the experience of working with you seem easy and hassle-free.

Explain your experience

This is your About Me page and this where you explain how you are awesome at what you do.

Your About Me page gives you a chance to tell your story, and it’s your story that will give your readers the opportunity to develop a connection with you.

It should cover who you are with some details about your experience, your business and what you love about what you do. Don’t be afraid to show your passion and personality, but link it all back to how the reader will benefit.

One of my favourite lines to do this is:

What does this all mean for you? It means you . . .

Include a photo of yourself

Many of you might think, “Eeeek!” But this is all about trust.

We are wired to look for facial recognition and signs we can trust someone, and a smiling photo will help clients trust you. Make sure your About Me page (as a minimum) has a professional photo of you smiling.

Think about including pricing information

This is a tricky one.

I didn’t include any pricing information on my website. I explained that most projects needed a customised approach to pricing, and I’d be happy to put a tailored proposal together.

Then, I got busier and busier until I needed to know that clients would have the budget before I spent time on proposals and the like. That’s when I introduced ball-park pricing to give clients some rough estimates of common projects.

When we eventually chatted about a copywriting project, I wasn’t wasting their time and they weren’t wasting mine.

Invite questions

You won’t be able to answer every single question in your FAQs or on your copywriting services page (and you may be surprised at how many people just don’t read the content), so invite potential customers to get in touch with any questions they have.

They might email or phone you. Or, you might get fancy and have a live-chat function on your website. However you do it, be open and helpful to boost the good vibes between you and potential clients.

Answer enquiries in a timely manner

This is not the time to be shy. And if you are busy, acknowledge the enquiry and politely explain your situation and when you’ll reply more fully. I think 24 hours is reasonably enough time to expect an acknowledgement, but 2–3 days is okay for a longer reply, if you let people know your situation.

Going back to my daycare situation, I was shocked at how many day cares and preschools did not answer my calls or return my messages. I was told, “They won’t return messages if they are full”, which is just rude in my book.

Put it all together and what have you got?

You’ve got marketing that has everything they need to know to say “yes”. Or not.

Gear your marketing around the assumption that a client is going to decide to hire you (or not) without talking to you.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

The Copy Detective

12 Responses

  1. You make such excellent points here, Belinda. It’s astonishingly rare for someone to call/email with “I’m looking for a writer, is that something you can do?” They already know what I do because how the hell else did they find my details in the first place! But there are other cases where people ask me about a specific writing task, and it occurs to me that I clearly have not made it clear that, yes, I can do that, too. You never know which precise item in your collateral attracts a particular prospect, only that excluding detail probably excludes some classes of clients.

    Just so happens your analogy is spot on too as we’re currently looking for daycare too! So, you’re really speaking to me here, which is the point. Why, if I was in need of a copywriter…

    1. You’re so right Mike, you never know what someone has read before chatting to you – if anything at all. The best you can do is make your messages as clear as possible so anything they do read, helps them understand it all.

      I just want to make every client’s journey to me much easier than the day care hell I’m in. Is returning a phone call so damned hard??? Apparently so.

  2. Hi Belinda,
    Your blogs & Hot Copy podcasts are always so on the money. Really helpful to me as I’m still in the learning/fact gathering phase (this will never end) as a fledgling copywriter. Thank you!

    1. How lovely Rachel – thank you! And you’re right, it never ends. There is so much that stays the same but it’s exciting to know that there’s always some freshness to what we do.

  3. Hi Belinda,
    Thank you for your very useful and clear advice here.
    May I ask you to explain to a French reader of yours what you mean exactly by “ball-park pricing” ? I’ve been to your website in search for explanation but couldn’t find anything referring to pricing, let alone ball-park.
    I would be very grateful, thanks in advance.

    1. Aha! A classic example of me using slang, assuming everyone would know what I’m talking about. Fail!

      A ball-park figure, when we’re talking about pricing, is a rough or estimated price. So when you’re talking to a client you might say,
      “For the number of pages we’re talking about, the copywriting would come to about $1000. But I can confirm this once we confirm the scope of the project.”

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