What is a Reasonable Turnaround Time for Copywriting Projects?
As you know, I'm a relatively positive and optimistic person. I usually don't let people get me fired up. After all, I'd rather channel good energy into doing the best possible job I can at whatever it is I happen to be doing.
So, let me start by sharing a story. Please note, this story isn't specific to one incident. It's actually been fictionalized from a combination of experiences from me and my colleagues. (It's so great to have like minded tribes who "get it!"). Imagine a busy day in the life of a copywriter. Deadlines looming, research projects in full swing, writing time blocked out, scheduled conference calls on the calendar, email correspondence clicking away and calls rolling in via telephone or messages being filtered via stellar VAs.
Then "IT" happens. A new client inquiry from a frantic soul. Someone who "doesn't have time to write copy."
The questions begin. A barrage of inquires peppered forth. How do you work? What are your rates? Can I have the copy tomorrow?
Patiently and methodically the copywriting process is explained. The "this is how I work" spiel is shared.
When we get to the standard turnaround time of 4 - 6 weeks there is silence.
Then, slight stammering from the potential client and a request to have the project sooner.
Eloquently, the option of requesting a rush job (anything less than 2 weeks out for me) is billed at 50% more is offered.
More stammering and the comment "I don't consider two weeks a rush job."
Suddenly, the copywriting groove is broken. The copywriter's groove is a fun, funky process. It is writing after all. Plus, some negotiation and knowledge that the end product helps provide a solution or lucrative end result. This includes time, creative mojo, talent and most professionals are booked well in advance.
A deep breath from the copywriter and a polite "That's my policy" ends the inquiry.
Amusement overtakes annoyance. The copywriter smiles, shakes his or her head and gleefully realizes the potential client wasn't a good fit. Clearly there was a lack of understanding of how professional copywriters roll.
The satisfaction of knowing only clients who understand the value of both great copy and time are worthy of a collaborative working agreement, settles in.
Finally, we're left to question, "If you don't have time to write your own copy, why would you think someone who does so for a living would have time to drop EVERYTHING else on their plate to move heaven and earth for you without an already established working relationship?"
The answer: Quick turnaround time isn't likely (without a rush fee or prior working knowledge of the clients needs). Especially when it comes to seasoned copywriting pros. We're busy, we have loyal clients we work with regularly and they understand not only the importance of stellar copy, they respect the process.
So, thanks, on behalf of copywriters across the globe, to all of you who "get it". You are appreciated and you'll have your copy in 4 - 6 weeks.