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So, you’ve booked a discovery call with a copywriter… Now what? 4 super quick things you need to know
What happens in a discovery call? If you’ve never had a discovery call before, (or a chemistry call, or an introductory call, or an exploratory call- they’re all the same thing but with different names) you might feel a bit uneasy about what to expect.
Let me clear up any questions you might have, outline what you can expect, and highlight a few green and red flags to look out for.
Since I’m a freelance copywriter, I’ve had plenty of discovery calls with potential clients. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it all, from no shows all the way to people telling me their whole life story.
I’ve also booked freelancers myself, so I know how it feels to be on the client side of a discovery call. There have been things which have massively impressed me, and things which have given me the ick.
So, before your upcoming discovery call, doing a lil bit of research with the info below will help you out.
ONE- Hiring a copywriter: Before the discovery call
I’m hoping you’re speaking to a couple of copywriters, not just one. Even if you’ve got a great personal recommendation and you love their website, it’s best practice to meet with a few copywriters before you decide to hand over lots of money and spend a lot of time with them.
When you’re hiring someone like a copywriter you’re embarking on a project together, so it’s really important you get on, have a good rapport, and trust each other.
Aside from setting up more than one copywriter, it’s a good idea to think about what kind of copy you want, what you want to achieve with your copy, your budget, how you want to sound/ read, your audience, and your ideal timeline/ deadline for the project. A good copywriter is going to ask you about these things, so having an answer ready is a good idea.
Sure, you can say “I don’t know” if a copywriter asks you a question and you’re stumped. It’s not an exam. Buuuut, you’re going to get the best results if you can go into the meeting knowing exactly what you want.
Here’s a break down to help you out.
- What kind of copy do you want from your copywriter?
Website copy? Blogs? A series of newsletters? Product descriptions? Do you want them to be more creative, or more SEO focused? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but the clearer you are the better your copywriter can quote for the project.
- What you want to achieve with your copy?
More sales? More brand awareness? Consistent online presence? A full rebrand? Clarifying a message? More followers? More email sign ups? A successful new launch? Get clear on your main objective so you can be a) sure your copywriter is the right copywriter to help you and b) actually measure the results.
- What’s your budget?
Copywriters can charge wildly different amounts and they all have their own pricing systems. Here’s a guide for you: ProCopywriter’s annual survey found the UK average day rate for a copywriter is £430 per day. And, it’s going to be a couple of days to do anything of value. Think about it: research, first draft, edits, revisions, proofreading, meetings, more research… Good copywriting is not quick.Not every copywriter charges that, depending on their experience and qualifications. I don’t, for example. I’m a good bit cheaper. Buuuut, remember you get what you pay for, k? Someone offering a multiple page website rewrite for £500 is not a bargain, friend.
- How do you want to sound/ read?
Even if you can’t super clearly communicate precisely how you want to sound, a general idea is helpful. Go back to your branding. Are you more refined, or more edgy? More playful, or more serious? Your copywriter can help you with this in the project, but their work comes from your preference.
- Who’s your ideal audience?
Your copywriter is probably going to ask you about this. If not in the discovery call, then certainly in the project. So, having a good idea of who you sell to is a good place to start.
- What’s your ideal timeline/ deadline for the project?
Your copywriter needs to know how you’re going to fit into their calendar, so you need to communicate when you need the copy. Likewise, you copywriter needs to know if there will be a rush fee because you want your copy ASAP. For a guide, it takes about a month to get fully polished, perfect new website copy for a full website. You can get it faster, but it’ll probably cost more.
Grab yourself a notebook and plot out your ideas before the call so you’re going into it feeling prepared and ready.
TWO- Hiring a copywriter: During the discovery call
This is where the copywriter is sussing you out, and you’re sussing them out. So, look for key indicators for how reliable, personable, and professional they are. Here are some things to think about or look out for:
- Are they on time?
- Are they smiley and warm?
- Do they communicate clearly?
- Are they supportive and encouraging?
- Do they ask you questions you’re expecting?
- Do you feel like you can work with them?
- Do they answer your questions fully?
- Do they explain the process of working with them?
- Are they in any way pushy or salesy?
This is also your chance to ask them questions to get an idea if they’re the best copywriter for the job. Here are some questions to ascertain if you’re a good fit.
- Have you ever written copy for [your industry]?
- What was your last project?
- Do you have a favourite type of copy you like to write?
- Can you explain your pricing?
- How did you become a copywriter?
- Can you show me examples of [type of copywriting you want]?
- What are some pitfalls on this kind of project?
- How can I be the best client for you?
- What’s your process for copywriting?
- What are the next steps for this project?
You might work out some of these answers from their website or social media content, but never be afraid to clarify in the call.
Don’t be put off if they can’t give you a price straight away. They might need to have a think about it before they can give you a quote. This is normal practice.
As a courtesy, if you’re speaking to other copywriters, give them a heads up. This isn’t going to be a problem, but it’s always best to be honest.
THREE- Hiring a copywriter: After the discovery call
Here’s your first chance to see if this copywriter does what they say they’re going to do. If they say they’re going to send you a proposal in three days, and they don’t, then… they better have a good reason.
Ideally your copywriter should follow up with the examples you requested (if you did), a bespoke proposal, and a clear email exactly when they said they would.
The proposal should be clear, with straightforward next steps, and understandable pricing.
FOUR- Hiring a copywriter: Red flags and green flags to look out for
General copywriting discovery call green flags:
- If they do what they say they’re going to do, this is a good sign.
- Any price which feels fair to you, or is at least well explained, is a green flag.
- Your copywriter should give you space to think about your decision.
- They should be able to provide examples of their work, testimonials, and a clear step- by- step process of how to work with them.
- The call should feel positive, clear, and straightforward.
- What’s your gut saying? That’s a good indicator if you’re making the right decision for you.
General copywriting discovery call red flags:
- There should not be a hint, not even a hint of a hint, that the copywriter is pushing you towards one price/ course of action/ or timeline. You’re the driver in this car, k?
- Any pushy or salesy tactics are an immediate no.
- Any moment that you’re not sure what they’re saying, what they mean, or that they’re not answering your question is a red flag.
- If they try to bamboozle you with jargon, it’s a no.
- If they try to promise you a certain number of followers, sign ups, sales, or rank on Google- RUN.
- Anything you consider to be unprofessional, especially at this early stage as of the project, is a big ol’ red flag.
- Huge prices but you’re not sure what you’re paying for, or cheap prices which seem too good to be true. RED FLAG.
- A bag gut feeling, even if you can’t put your finger on why, is enough of a reason to say no.
Fancy a discovery call with me? Here ya go, just fill out this form.