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How To Enhance The Client/Copywriter Relationship

The battle between copywriter and client is one that all of us have faced at one point or another.

The client wants to pay as little as possible, and the copywriter wants to work as little as possible.

And in the next few minutes I’m going to explain why BOTH of these sides of the coin are morons, and how to fix it immediately.

Why Clients Should Want To Pay MORE Money

It’s amazing to me that some clients try to negotiate down price as much as possible. They want to pay the least amount of money, take a month to pay the bill, or any other shenanigans you and I have both been through.

But the question here is…why?

To me, it makes no sense.

Think about it.

To me it’s blatantly obvious that the more I’m going to get paid for a job, the better work I’m going to do.

Keep in mind – I’m NOT saying me or any other copywriter out there would do a worse job on purpose…

I’m talking about the unconscious process going on behind the scenes which makes all the difference in the world.

It’s kind of like writing about a subject you really don’t care about versus writing to a niche you’re insanely passionate about. Even though you’re still putting 110% effort into both jobs, you’ll ALWAYS write better for a niche you’re passionate about.

And the same goes for clients.

If you have a client who gives you more money, pays on time, is easy to work with, etc. – you’ll write better for them than a person who doesn’t do those things. There’s simply better karma in the relationship, more good-will and more “pleasure” that comes out of it when we get bonuses, extra pay, etc.

So my message to clients is…stop worrying about saving a few hundred bucks and getting the absolute lowest possible price from your copywriter – and start seeing what you can do to help them write better copy!

It may not always be money…it might be simply giving them more research, paying on time, giving better feedback, or a number of other things.

But trust me, even if you end up paying a little more money on the front-end…it will pay off HUGE as time goes on because I can guarantee you – you’re going to get better copy written every single time.

Why Copywriters Should Put 110% Into Every Job

For all the copywriters out there who have a hard time doing work for certain clients…trust me…I understand.

Sometimes you and the client simply don’t “click” but you need the money so you do the job anyway.

Or maybe you simply don’t think you’re getting paid enough for the work you’re doing…but you do the job anyway.

Either way – you still need to put 110% into that job, even if you don’t THINK it’s worth your time.

Why?

Clients talk.

Just because you may not be getting your highest fee for a job doesn’t mean it won’t pay you back in dividends later.

I’ve had clients that I did jobs for and they ended up starting a chain that led to about a half-dozen more clients, and still continue to push me more and more into their circle of influence as time goes on.

And am I perfect?

Of course not.

Earlier in my career I didn’t realize how important every job was. Whether I didn’t click with the client, wasn’t getting paid enough money or whatever the case – sometimes it just “happens” that the job didn’t get done to my absolute best standards.

Sure, it’s a very hard thing to admit…especially when I know a few of my clients that read my blog (don’t worry, the client-relationships I’m talking about naturally dropped off over time!) …but it’s the truth.

And it’s the truth for every single person reading this post. As a human being, it’s simply impossible to put your absolute best into every single thing you do – no matter what you think or say.

As I mentioned earlier, it may even be that it was subconscious because the client didn’t pay as much, but sometimes your mind simply doesn’t allow you to do the best you can.

Here’s my message to all the other copywriters reading this… if you’re doing a job you’re not happy with, do the best you can anyway. If you do a great job on a cheap project and that client tells 1 person who tells 3 more, who tells 5 more, etc…it can add up big time. Trust me – word gets around whether you’re a great copywriter or a lousy copywriter, so you better be on the winning end of things!

My #1 Secret To Successfully Handling Client Problems

In my opinion one of the hardest aspects of being a copywriter are the emotional tolls it takes on you.

You hand a project in thinking it’s absolutely brilliant…just to get shot down by the client, wondering what you were thinking.

You come up with an idea you think will explode their business…but they simply don’t like it.

Or maybe you put dozens of hours of work into a project and the client simply doesn’t even seem to care or appreciate the fact that you just worked for an entire month on their project.

Whatever happens…their is one thing that will always happen to every copywriter in the world, no matter what.

The Client ALWAYS Thinks They’re Right

I think it’s funny that we get paid thousands of dollars to write copy and come up with brilliant ideas, but some clients always need to have an input.

And it’s not really their fault either – they’re humans and as humans we want to have a say in anything. It’s hard to simply trust someone 100% – I understand that.

After all, it’s THEIR project and THEIR money so they should have SOME kind of say in what’s being produced…right?

What To Do In These Cases

There are 3 different routes you can take depending on your own credibility, balls and knowledge of what you’re doing.

#1 – The Easy Route – If you do this you can simply listen to your client and make the changes they want with no explanation of why you think you’re right (and please, don’t just say..”I’m right you’re wrong” – learn how to communicate properly without offending them!). In my opinion this is simply stupid because if they are wrong – it looks like YOU are wrong when you show other clients. It also will most likely decrease response, and put an overall damper on your reputation.

#2 – The Tough Guy Route – Some people have the balls to simply tell their client “hey, you hired me to do the job and the copy is staying this way no matter what”. Usually you can only do this and get away with it if you have HUGE credibility and have been proven over and over again to get results. I don’t recommend this route because it makes you a hard to get along with – which no client enjoys…even if you ARE right.

#3 – The Middle-Of-The-Road Route – What I like to do is very simple. Whenever I hand in copy and the client thinks something should be changed, I simply explain (in a nice way) why I think I’m right. If I don’t feel that they’re fully onboard yet I say “ok, I’ll make you a new version – but I just ask that you test both versions and let me know which one works better so I can then have that knowledge for future projects”. That’s not that hard is it? It lets your client get his way, lets you get your way (yes you have to do a little more work but you keep the client happy so it’s worth it), and gives you another set of test results to lock away in your mind for the future.

One of the major blunders I see with some clients is that they simply don’t understand the psychology of the prospect as much as I do.In my business, this is usually where the issues come up.

AND THAT’S OK!

I’m not expecting them to be psychology graduates and have an obsessive compulsion to understand what people are thinking at any given moment or why they might think something completely different than what “common sense” would tell you.

Take-Home Example

Let’s say you’re creating a landing page and giving away multiple items – Dan Kennedy style – with a “Free Gift Worth “XXX”.

Some people might think it’s smart to inflate the value of whatever they’re giving away, thinking that if people saw they were giving away $2,489 worth of stuff…they would take it more often than if it was a smaller amount.

And while that may be true in some cases, like if the value actually WAS that high, in most cases it’s because people are claiming that a simple 20 page report is worth $497.

And again…while that may be true in terms of the knowledge they might gain (and this is the part people don’t understand)…your prospects simply can’t comprehend the fact that 20 pages might be worth $497. People think in terms of size and bulk…they don’t think about the value inside that book.

Why You Need To Start Doing These Tactics Today

As of right now, my copywriting business is probably about 75% referral based.

Why?

Because I treat my clients like gold, produce great copy at good prices (e.g. prices worth it to THEIR business), and understand that even though they’re hiring me – it’s still human nature to have their own opinion.

If you start doing that today…you’d better start learning how to become more productive because you’re going to have more copywriting jobs coming at you that you can handle.

Once You Go Mac…You Never Go Back

I finally took the plunge and said GOODBYE to Bill Gates.

And got myself and IMac ๐Ÿ™‚

Since my first computer I’ve been loyal to PC’s but lately I’ve said “enough is enough” and decided to buy myself a REAL computer.

Because as a copywriter, it’s a little annoying when you work for an hour just to have your computer freeze up on you and lose all your work!

But today’s post isn’t about me going to Mac…it’s about why Mac converted me over to a “fanboi” (that’s the right spelling isn’t it?) within 22 hours of ordering.

So here’s the story…

I’ve been considering getting a new Mac for probably about a year now but never really had anything push me to spending the money to get a new computer. After all, my PC laptop is only about a year old – even though it’s already completely died on me once and is about to do it yet again.

Tuesday I was talking to one of my buddies who is basically a computer wizard and he told me the new IMac’s came out and that they kicked some major ass.

Naturally…I spent the next 3 hours not only looking at the new IMac’s but also looking at the difference between Mac’s and PC’s, etc.

Fast forward to Thursday.

Thursday at about 2 p.m. I decided to order one of the new IMac’s (the 21.5″ core 2 duo – not the top of the line…simply couldn’t justify since I don’t play games or watch movies on my computer).

I get the email and it says “ships within 2-3 business days, delivery time 7-10 business days”.

Ok so I go back to work, wishing the shipping time was a little faster but thinking…”oh well, that gives me time to back everything up to make the transition a bit easier”.

Friday I wake up at 6, write a blog post for my niche website, work on some copy, and do a few other business related things…and suddenly I hear the doorbell ring.

My Mac was already here!

21 hours after I ordered…my new IMac was at my doorstep. Keep in mind, I did NOT pay for upgraded shipping. In fact, shipping was free.

And that, my friends, is how you instantly make someone loyal to your company and purchase from you for the rest of their lives.

So How Else Can You Do This?

Here are a few examples you can modify to fit your own business.

  1. I’m sure you see the video on the right hand side of my blog when you first come to it. Well, after that video you get the chance to have me send you The 30 Day Copywriting Challenge for FREE and sign up to get a free 14 day trial of my monthly membership program. You pay only $9.95 for shipping, and although I actually LOSE money…I upgrade your shipping to priority for free so you get it faster.
  2. I once heard a story about Zappos in which a lady called the customer service rep and explained how she ordered a pair of shoes for her husband who died the next day. She was simply asking how to send them back. However, a few days later the lady received a package in the mail. Turns out that this customer service rep. took it upon herself to order flowers and have them delivered to the widow, giving her condolences and letting her know if there’s anything she needs…just ask.
  3. Another story about Zappos is that the owner and his friends were out drinking and one of them had the bright idea to “test” the support of Zappos – which as you can see, they’re well known for. They called the rep and told them they wanted pizza. The rep then put them on hold, did a Google search, and gave them multiple names and phone numbers of the closest pizza places still open who would deliver.
  4. Doing a salesletter? Why not give them a few different versions with different headlines and deck copy for them to test? Even if you give them ONLY headlines, you should already have dozens of them written out anyway so it only takes you a few minutes to do it – and it gives you prospect multiple chances to hit it bigger with the sales copy. This not only impresses the client that you went above and beyond, it gives you a better chance of writing winning copy.
  5. If you’re client is expecting an update on your progress for a job you’re doing…don’t give them it when you say. Instead, do it sooner. For example if they want an update 2 weeks in, give it to them 1 week in. Little things like this make all the difference.

Those are just a few examples of why customers and clients become loyal.

And if you’re wondering …I LOVE my new IMac. It runs a lot smoother and faster, is setup a little weird but is pretty easy to get used to (and now I like it), and although I’m obviously not able to “know” this right now…I’m sure it will be much more reliable than my previous PC’s ๐Ÿ™‚

Creative Marketing Strategy Most People Forget…

I recently moved into a new apartment and as we were moving in I came upon a creative marketing strategy that any small business can use…and the best part is that it’s just about free and is incredibly effective.

Here’s what happened.

We bought our bed from a local furniture store named “EFO” (I’m not sure if they only local or a national chain).

When the bed came to the house, the delivery men did the simplest target marketing strategy I’ve ever seen – all they did was hand me a small postcard giving me $20 on my next purchase…just for filling out a tiny little survey that took me about 20 seconds to complete.

Now some people might think that the importance was that I took the survey, but honestly I don’t think they cared about that.

What happened when they offered $20 off my next purchase is that I immediately was like …”wow, $20 for 20-30 seconds of work…nice!”

So #1 – It developed an instant rapport with the company.

#2 – I ended up going back to that same place and doubling the price of my original order (we got our couch from there as well, which was roughly the same price as the bed).

Now I’m not saying that a creative marketing strategy like this completely caused me to go back to them, but I can tell you one thing…it definitely made me more likely to go back.

And you might be saying, well…it’s only $20.

Yes, it’s only $20…but it’s the fact that they were giving me $20 JUST to fill out a tiny little survey.

And as marketer myself I knew all the psychology going on behind it and that they just wanted to get me back in the store, but for someone who didn’t know better…I think this marketing strategy model is a great one to follow.

All you have to do is simply change your offer and tailor it to your own clients or customers.

Now…take a second to watch the video below where I explain this in a little more detail, as well as show you the postcard I got (to be honest the copywriting sucked…but the offer was great).

Woody From TGI Fridays…Brilliant Or A Flop?

TGIF!

Thank God It’s Friday…and thank God FOR Friday’s as well.

TGI Friday’s that is.

They’ve just come out with what I think is a brilliant marketing piece that I can “almost” guarantee will not only go viral on the Internet (after all, it made me write this blog didn’t…didn’t it?) but will make them a ton of money.

Here’s what they’re doing:

If you become a fan of “Woody” and he gets up to 500,000 friends by September 30th, you’ll get a 100% FREE Jack Daniel’s burger from Fridays.

Not a bad deal eh?

The reason I think this is so brilliant is simple.

#1 – It’s Viral – Like many other online promotions I’ve seen online, I think this is going to hit Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. with a big bang. People tell their friends. Why? Because they want to make sure they get that free burger! Even though it’s only worth like $8 or whatever they charge…it’s still cool that’s free.

#2 – It’s Different – People like seeing something “different”. Here they are creating a story out of thin air and getting people talking about their business. Brilliant!

#3 – It’s Easy – All you have to do is go to Facebook and add him as a friend. If he hits 500,000 before the end of the month, you get a free burger. If you’ve ever noticed, a lot of promotions make things very complicated. But in this case…”a monkey could do it”.

#4 – They’ll Still Profit – Even though they’re giving away a free $8ish burger, they’ll still make a profit off the drinks, appetizers, desserts, and the 2nd meal they’re going to sell. Plus, it will get people thinking about Friday’s more as well, which’ll bring people into the door more often.

#5 – It Sets Them Apart – I’ve always loved Fridays simply because of the fact that they set themselves apart from the other joints which have similar food. They’re all about fun and being kind of…non-corporate, for lack of a better word. If you’ve ever seen their advertisements or been there to eat, you know what I mean.

Have an awesome Friday ๐Ÿ™‚