As a freelance copywriter, you have to respect yourself enough to claim the rates you should be working for. Growing your copywriting career to a five-figure-a-month business is entirely possible. Not only is it possible, but it’s probable, if you follow some specific steps to grow your copywriting business.
In today’s episode, Nicki and Kate discuss rates, tracking time, retaining current clients, and pitching as well as the importance of knowing your value as ways to help you achieve the financial success you deserve!
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Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Watch the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[3:00] You deserve to be paid well for performing a valuable service! Not only is it possible, but it’s probable, if you follow some specific steps to grow your copywriting business to making five figures a month.
[4:00] If you track your time very closely for a week or two, you will find areas where you are not accounting for your time and missing out on billable hours. You are almost certainly leaving money on the table.
[7:15] If you increase your rates and you still are doing unaccounted for work you will still end up working for less than you should be. And yes, you should evaluate your rates at least once per year.
[9:45] Repitching your current and previous clients is an excellent way to help increase your income because they know you and like what you do, they already know you are great to work with, and they also know your work is high-quality.
[13:50] Giving a current client the opportunity to put you on retainer can be a great way to have a baseline, and then plan your other pitching and work around that to make sure you are hitting your financial goals each month. Having recurring work can help you plan!
[18:00] When you set your rate you also need to set your “no lower than rate.” And sometimes you might have to walk away. Having that rate will make it easier to say no.
[22:40] Not every client is going to pay the rate you have set, but that doesn’t mean that no clients will. It’s just part of the process. And knowing what your boundaries are means you can focus on the clients who will meet your rates.
[23:30] Think about your pricing in terms of value. The length of time you have been a copywriter doesn’t mean as much as you may think. You are bringing value to your client; messaging is the most important part of a business.
[28:50] It’s always better to quote on the higher side. That gives you some wiggle room for negotiation. Value yourself and don’t be afraid to have conversations about your rates.
As with every episode, we highly encourage you to listen to the entire conversation! But here are a few of the highlights:
“The first thing, and the first place to start … is that copywriters don’t actually account for all of their time … I can guarantee if you track all of your time very, very closely—say to the minute, but every 15 minutes—writing down exactly what you’re doing and tracking that for a week or two, you’re going to find areas where you think ‘Oh, I didn’t account for that.’ Or ‘I sent this email, and it actually took me 15 or 20 minutes to write this email.'” – Kate
“15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, and you may be thinking ‘5 minutes, that’s not a lot of time!’ That time ads up. Over the course of a week, a month, a year, that is thousands of dollars that you may very well be leaving on the table. In fact, I guarantee that you’re leaving money on the table.” – Kate
“You have to take care of yourself. Someone who gets to the level of 5 figures a month has to lean into respecting themselves and taking care of themselves as a professional.” – Nicki
“You need to set your rate. But you also need to set your ‘no lower than’ rate … all too often, though, copywriters get in the position of ‘well, I’m just going to take this work because it’s what’s here and I don’t care that it’s half my regular rate. I need the work.’ When, instead, you could be using that time saying ‘no’ to a client who won’t pay your rate, to pitch and work with clients that will pay your full rate … you need that price when you’re willing to walk away.” – Kate
“I think especially newer copywriters may think ‘I’ve only been practicing copywriting for 6 months.’ Or ‘I’ve only been practicing copywriting for …’ however long. But the length of time you’re practicing copywriting, it doesn’t mean anything. Someone could be ‘practicing’ copywriting for 6 months and not write a single piece … you putting in 6 months may have been a lot of studying, a lot of practice … you are bringing value to your client.” – Nicki
“As you’re thinking about your rates, and as you’re thinking about who you’re going to pitch and how you’re going to pitch, don’t forget to respect yourself as a professional and respect the skills that you have developed and you will continue to develop. We’re never done learning.” – Nicki
“And so if you’re the type of person who goes to send a quote, and you’ve done all the work ‘I factored in all the meetings, and emails,’ and you get to the point where you’re like ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to charge $1,500 or $2,000’ or whatever your number is for this project. And you start to feel like ‘Oh that’s really high. I did all the math, and this is right and this is what it’s going to take. But $2,000 feels like a lot, maybe I’ll it $1,750 because that feels a little lower and maybe they’ll accept that.’ Take your pricing dear listener or viewer and send it. Send it. Do not second guess the work. If anything, second guess in the other direction. Did I factor in enough time for meetings and emails and all of this?” -Kate
Mentioned on this Episode
- Ep. 42: How Copywriters Can Negotiate with Confidence – with Susie Tomenchok
- Ep. 104: Biggest Copywriting Mistakes in Our Careers
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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 15+ 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.
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Last Updated on May 22, 2023