Do your project costs only factor in time spent writing, editing, and in meetings? If so, you may be doing a lot of pro bono work for your clients–and we’re fairly certain you didn’t get into this business to work for free!
As a freelancer, it’s easy to get caught up in our emotions, fear, and self-doubt. In this episode, Nicki and Kate encourage us to put on our CFO hats, look at our numbers, and make sure that we are getting paid for *all* of the work that we’re doing.
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Watch the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[1:44] Any money that you’re leaving on the table in your copywriting business undercuts the goal of having a free, exciting, and fulfilling life. When you’re pricing out projects for your clients, there are certain things you need to remember to factor in.
[2:51] If you are just factoring in meetings, writing time, and some editing, you’re overlooking many tasks that can end up taking a lot of time when you add them all together.
[4:37] If you can do something special for a client like delivering a project early, let them know that it’s something special. Otherwise, you’re just breaking your boundaries and letting them think that’s normal.
[5:38] It takes the human brain a little bit of time to transition into different projects so it’s important to factor in time for task switching.
[7:58] It can take a bit of time to get your brain in the right space for writing copy. As this is part of the process, it’s something that you should be charging for.
[9:30] Definitely factor in the discovery call (and the prep work you did!) when charging your client. You might also think about factoring in a small portion of other discovery calls that you’ve had that have increased your skills, experience, and abilities.
[11:28] Estimate the time you spent creating and sending your quote, as well as the time for any research you had to do for that input call and the time you spent consolidating your notes from the call.
[13:57] You shouldn’t have that many unbillable hours when doing work for your copywriting business. Project management systems like Asana can help account for time spent on tasks for specific projects.
[17:08] Don’t forget to factor in the creative review meeting, as well as a couple of rounds of edits. Even if you do a great job first time round, they end up getting the final copy faster, which is a benefit to them.
[19:20] Your client is paying for the end result, not the individual hours to get there. They only need to know the deliverables they’re getting rather than an hourly breakdown of your time.
[23:30] If you are outsourcing admin tasks or elements of copywriting projects, make sure you know exactly what kind of profit you want to make. Dig into the numbers and factor in all the time it will take to get them up to speed to avoid losing money on the project.
[25:37] Invoicing is still part of the project and this time should be accounted for.
[27:46] When you work with a client and they drag their feet or make things a bit more difficult, consider charging what Nicki calls a PIA (pain in the…rear end) tax!
[29:39] Kate reminds us that if your client uses a payment software with a fee attached, make sure to include it in your project price as it is a convenience for your clients that you’re offering.
[32:59] It can be frustrating that there is no perfect formula for knowing exactly how much to charge your clients. The problem with calculators is that every project is different, every client is different, and every experience is going to be different. But with each project, you will learn.
As with every episode, we highly encourage you to listen to the entire conversation! But here are a few of the highlights:
“Considering that all of us got into copywriting to start a career, we all get into it to make money as a business, to support ourselves. Any money that we’re leaving on the table or we are forgetting to factor in, or missed opportunities…that just undercuts our goal of having a free, exciting, fulfilling life.” – Nicki
“As a freelancer, as a writer, sometimes we get caught up in our emotion and fear and self-doubt, and all that kind of thing. But as business owners we have to step back from that, put on the CFO hat and look at our actual numbers and make sure that we are getting paid for all of the work that we’re doing. Because a business is not going to succeed and thrive if it’s not getting paid for all of the work that it’s doing.” – Nicki
“I think we underestimate just how much time effective, good communication takes. And so you want to build in and bill for all of those hours because it does add up to hours of your time.” – Kate
Mentioned on this Episode
- How to Set Your Copywriting Rates
- Why Most Advice About How to Price Your Services is Dead Wrong for You
- Copywriting Is Only 1/3 Writing—Here’s Why That Affects How You Charge
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 20+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.