The Most Expensive Copywriters In The World
I’m still hearing a lot of talk about this stuff, and I still can’t believe my own damn ears. It’s the kind of talk which is usually coming from the mouths (and the blogs) of broke marketers. It’s the kind of talk which seems to be a constant theme on the warrior forum. (More about this later). It’s the kind of talk which, if you’re the source, is costing YOU big time. So snap out of it, and fast.
I’m referring to people talking about copywriters’ fees.
I posted about this kind of thing a while back, though my message seems to have been ignored to some degree. So here I am again to try and drum this stuff into your head once and for all.
First my disclaimer: Yes, I am a copywriter and yes, my fees are considered by some to be relatively high. Like the idiot I posted about a while ago, who wanted to bitch and fight me about my fees all the way. I say to prospective clients: Sure, you can get your sales letter done on elance or the warrior forum, or even on fiverr for heaven’s sake, but any sales you may make will be purely coincidental.
So while this rant supports my position of relatively high fees, it’s justified – because I have the track record to be absolutely certain I’ll get results for my clients. End of disclaimer.
I’ll say it as simply and as plainly as I can – if you’re just starting out, if you don’t have much of a marketing budget, if you feel a tightening in a certain personal area of your body at the thought of paying $5,000 or more for sales copy, that’s ok . . . but this is not the area to cut costs – marketing is your #1 priority and if you get all cheap here, you’re not going anywhere.
There are 3 ‘fee bands’ in copywriting, which I have found most copywriters and most copywriting prospects fall in to. I am going to start by ignoring such idiotic things as fiverr, which I have used several times myself for small projects, but if I ever start using this site for even a scrap of copy which is supposed to sell something, I want somebody to please come and slap me on the back of the head. Hard. This kind of thing, along with ridiculously low ‘maximum bids’ on elance and vworker projects don’t even deserve mentioning.
Band #1: Up to $500.
You’ll find these writers on the warrior forum, and freelance sites. If you’re going to ignore me and go down this path, at least go in with accurate expectation. Don’t think you’ll get a ready-made sales letter here. Many of these people are good writers, honest and keen to learn, but even making back the $500 will be hard, without more work on the sales letter.
Also, some writers may use this price bracket to get clients and upsell or cross sell them. It’s a much better idea to sell product, then upsell clients to copywriting, but why listen to a pro, right? Oh well, if it’s working for you, that’s cool.
Copywriter John Carlton calls the initial stages of learning to write copy as the ‘Shameless Whore’ stage, where you’ll do any job, for any money, just to get experience and maybe even a bit of cash. I’ve been there, and there are a number of honest and probably talented writers on the warrior forum who are there now. If you’re one of them, good stuff but get out asap. If you’re hiring them, expect editing work. Take the letter and have a pro work on it, you may end up with a good sales letter for only a grand or 2.
Band #2: $501 to $5,000
The next level up consists of good copywriters who are honing their chops and moving on up. Most good copywriters are in this band yet it seems they’re the least well known. Here, as a client, you can expect some damn good work for the money, because on one hand, many copywriters live here who really know their stuff, but don’t have the stones to charge 5 or 10k for a sales letter. It’s a confidence thing.
On the other hand, a copywriter without balls is not the most potent weapon you can choose. Clients often balk at my ideas, simply because they are concerned about their image, or copping criticism, or some such lame reason. So it’s a trade-off, and it’s also a gamble – can YOU find a brilliant up & coming copywriter who doesn’t realise how much people would be willing to pay him or her?
Band #3: $5,001 and up
Yes, I’m sure you are thinking how biased I am here, but I don’t care one bit, here’s the truth and if you can take it, then great, but if you’d rather stick your head in the sand (or some other place where the sun don’t shine), and pretend you’re going to get rich without investing cash somewhere along the lines, feel free to ignore me and go wait for sales to come to you.
Here’s the deal – if you hire a copywriter who knows a sales letter written by them is worth at least 5k, if they have testimonials and documented results, if you can see that they live and breathe copywriting, then they are going to be able to give you a return on your investment, provided you follow their advice and USE the stuff they write for you. (I’m tempted to write another post right here and now on that subject for all you non-implementers out there…if this is YOU then stay tuned)
If you hire me or Bret Thomson or Pete Godfrey, or Trevor Crook, or John Carlton or numerous other copywriters who charge what they’re worth, we know we’ll give you the best chance of making back the money you invested in us, and then some.
If you want sales, you have to have the tools to make it happen. Despite what your parents and Hollywood have always tried to drum into your head, if you build it they will NOT come unless you SELL it. Having a great product is NOT enough, you need a great sales letter.
An average sales letter will give you average sales. In fact even that’s a fairly optimistic statement, because you need to cut through the clutter and connect with the emotions of your reader. Doesn’t matter if it’s a video sales letter, or email copy, whatever, there is one old saying your parents probably taught you which IS true, it’s the only one worth remembering…
You DO Get What You Pay For!
The most expensive copywriter in the world is one who doesn’t make you any sales – because zero sales on a $500 investment is a pretty damn low return, but any of the writers I’ve mentioned above will be an investment in your business, one you can use over and over again.