What’s the cost of hiring a copywriter?
If you’re looking to turn more of your traffic into happy customers, that’s probably one of the first things that comes to mind.
Unfortunately, it’s also a question not many copywriters are eager to address. Most of them aren’t upfront about different price ranges, structures, and the potential upsides and downfalls to each.
But you deserve an open conversation about this stuff. I‘m a firm believer in giving you as much information as it takes for you to feel comfortable deciding which copywriter to hire (if you choose to hire a copywriter at all) and how much you agree to pay.
That’s what this post is designed to address. Whether you end up working with me, someone else, or doing it all on your own, you’ll have the tools to make the best choice for you and your business right now.
Ready to dig in? Let’s get started…
Pricing and the Complexity of Professional Services
Hiring a copywriter isn’t like buying a dozen eggs at the grocery store.
That would make things easier in a lot of ways. But it isn’t reality.
With eggs, have a few choices (size, color, grade, regular or organic, etc.), but for the most part, you know what you’re getting when you pick up a carton from the shelf. You have a general price range in mind. Basically, you know what to expect.
If you’re thinking about hiring a professional copywriter to help you make more sales, you’re talking services instead of standardized products. You’re seeking a tailored solution to boost your conversions instead of a fungible commodity.
Any copywriter worth his or her salt will take the time to learn more about your business and specific goals. Even if they’ve worked for decades in your niche, great copywriters understand that no two businesses are alike and act accordingly.
If you come across a copywriter offering standardized services and unwilling to be flexible, run in the other direction. Packaging what they do into standardized “products” lets copywriters knock out projects faster (and earn more money in less time), but it’s not the best solution to boost your conversions.
Do Your Homework Before
Making a Decision
Hiring a copywriter is a lot more like buying a car than a carton of eggs. You start with a basic model, but there are always plenty of options and features to consider.
Some copywriters are as flashy as Ferraris. Others are understated and dependable, like Honda Civics. And whatever you do, you want to make sure you don’t end up with a lemon.
This explains why the price range for copywriting services is all over the map. Anything from a few hundred bucks to over $100,000 plus royalties for a sales letter (here’s looking at you, Frank Kern and Dan Kennedy) is fair game.
This Writer’s Market PDF is a good starting place to get a ballpark amount on how much to expect to pay for different services. I wish I could give you an exact dollar figure on what to pay for the project you have in mind, but… “It. Depends.”
That sounds like a copout answer, and I know it’s a cliche. But the best way to get a better idea of the cost of hiring a copywriter is to put your feelers out. Reach out to a few of them, have a conversation about your business and your most pressing goals right now, and get a dialog started. Any copywriter unwilling to talk with you like this, whether through email, on the phone, or in person, isn’t worth hiring.
A copywriter’s price should reflect the value they can add to your business. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework before hiring anyone. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who “refuses to write a sales letter for less than $10,000” out of principle.
Things to Think about Before
Hiring a Copywriter
The first and most important thing to think about before hiring a copywriter is your budget. An A-list copywriter like John Carlton or Dan Kennedy could supercharge your next product launch, but are you willing and able to pony up six figures (and royalties) to hire them?
If that’s more money than you can part with right now, don’t try. The last thing you want to do is get so emotionally attached to a big-name copywriter or someone your buddy recommended you fork over more than you’re comfortable with. It’s important to do business with someone you like and trust because you’ll be working closely with any copywriter you hire. But throwing caution (and your budget) to the wind is a recipe for disaster.
Treat your copywriting like an investment. Price is a factor. Money doesn’t grow on trees after all, and there’s only so much of it in your bank account. But the smartest business owners focus on the value a skilled copywriter can create for them. You might have to pay a copywriter a significant amount of money up front, but you reap the returns of your investment in more sales and satisfied customers. If a copywriter doesn’t do a good job of getting you to focus on the value they can bring to the table, don’t hire them! That’s a reflection of their (lack of) ability to sell for you.
Revisions and guarantees. Is the copywriter you’re thinking about hiring willing to revise their work? Are they confident enough in the results they can create for you to guarantee their work? This stuff’s important to me as a consumer; that’s I offer it to my clients. Going back to the car example from earlier, I wouldn’t want to drive off the lot without a warranty. You might be okay with relying on the copywriter’s reputation alone. It’s ultimately a personal decision, but it’s definitely something to think about before you hire anyone.
Your specific project. There are different “types” of copywriters for hire, and the specifics of your project should determine the best fit for you. Some copywriters specialize in certain industries and/or types of copy. These guys can kick ass for you if your project is a good fit for them. But expect to pay premium rates for their specialized knowledge and expertise. Other copywriters are generalists. They’re great for holistic projects (combining different services), and they’ll usually charge lower rates, too. If you have a question about your specific project or if a copywriter would be a good fit for you, just ask! Don’t hire anyone unwilling to answer you to your satisfaction.
Hiring a Copywriter Doesn’t
Have to Be a Nightmare
Hiring a copywriter is more complicated than shopping at the grocery store, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Solid copywriters are worth their weight in gold. It’s not uncommon for them to double or even triple your conversion rate. The key is treating a professional copywriter as an investment. Do your homework up front, don’t get emotionally attached, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and screen out bad fits.
Get that covered, and you can make a smart investment that will pay dividends months and years down the line.
If there’s anything you’d like to ask me about pricing or what to think about before hiring a copywriter, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. I’m happy to help in any way I can, whether you end up working with me, someone else, or handling this stuff all on your own.