Four inside tips for a successful copywriter – client relationship

You’ve hired a freelance copywriter.

Now what?

If you’ve found a good professional freelance copywriter, they will make your project goals their goals, your voice their voice. They will be communicative, responsive to your needs, and deliver on deadline. They’ll produce researched, targeted, quality copy written to mutually understood and agreed upon specifications. Copy that will reach your audience, meet your marketing objectives, and provide a return on your copywriting investment.

As a client, it’s important to recognize that copy that consistently meets such lofty goals comes with hard work, time and no small amount of skill. You play an important role in the process by providing supportive materials, being responsive to communications, honest about deadlines, and timely with feedback and revision requests.

Man and woman shaking hands

In my years as a freelance copywriter, I’ve worked with clients of every ilk. Some are well attuned to the process. Others are completely new to the idea.

Here are four essential pointers I’ve found helpful in easing the way to a successful project experience. Tips that not only will help you know what to expect when working with a professional copywriter – but what to expect from your copywriter.

Four Tips for a Successful Copywriter – Client Relationship


1.  A good copywriter asks questions.

Well-informed, fleshed-out copy can’t be written without the facts and background information that will make it come alive.

You can help your copywriter best represent you and produce top-notch results by providing the appropriate tools. The more information we have and the better we know you, the more successful your content will be.

Be prepared to: Provide materials about your business and/or project including company history, services, company bios, mission statement and marketing plan. Brochures, articles and existing web content are all helpful.

2.  A good copywriter will often invite you to be a partner.

Be an available and active participant in the process, and your project will run more efficiently.

My clients often get “homework” (none have ever complained): Personal history, competitors, websites of interest. My favorite client relationships are partnerships, where clients share ideas and preferences and maintain an active interest in the project.

Be prepared to: Be present and available for your copywriter, particularly if you’re on a deadline. Make interview time available with key staff as needed, and provide additional supportive information as requested. Be ready to share and be very clear about:

  • Project scope & goals
  • Likes/dislikes, what works/doesn’t
  • Target audience (Who, what and where)
  • Competition
  • Strategy (Company, marketing, project. Short term, long term.)

3.  A good copywriter needs time to adequately turn over your copy.

Understand that quality copy requires lead time, and you’ll be better equipped for a successful venture.

Copywriting is so much more than writing. Research time (discovery, as we sometimes call it) to familiarize with everything from the client to the competition is key. And “brain time” spent developing the ideas that become copy is a vital part of the process. A good copywriter will also be well booked – because they’re good. So figure on queuing up for your turn and anticipate a reasonable project turnaround. Don’t call on Tuesday and think you’ll have a complete website done by Friday.

Be prepared to: Book your copywriter with sufficient turnaround time to meet your deadline – or be prepared to (literally) pay the price. A rush fee may be required.

4.  A good copywriter looks to you, the client, for approval of copy.

Much as we may love the work we submit, your word is final. And your timely response upon copy delivery is important. (Really, it’s not fun when we bend over backwards to make a deadline you’re hot under the collar about, only to then have you sit on a project once delivered.)

Depending on the project, it’s sometimes difficult to come back and pick up again once we’ve moved on and become immersed in other projects. Many copywriters include contract limitations on revision requests in part for that reason.

Be prepared to: Respond when you receive content from your copywriter.

  • Confirm receipt of deliverables
  • Provide honest, thorough feedback
  • Be timely in requesting revisions, while copy is fresh and there is a momentum with your copywriter

Whether you’re new to working with a professional copywriter or an old hand at the experience, these tips should help you to get the best out of your relationship – and the best possible copy as a result.

What has worked well – or not so well – in your copywriter-client relationships?