As a free-lance writer, you will, of course, need clients. And to get clients, you need
to make cold calls. Often, for the writer, this can be as daunting as getting up and making
a speech. But it must be done, there's no other way. Otherwise you'll begin to get
hungry and passersby on the street will begin to
notice that the ribs are poking through your chest. You might begin to think something's wrong when you have to move
around in the shower to get wet.
Sometimes, you might find yourself not writing anything...or
one of your clients suddenly pulls his business. That means you must keep one step ahead of the pack
and always have a few pokers in the fire,
In his book "Cold Calling Techniques", Stephen Schiffner is writing
for the sales/telemarketing professional. However, his words are worth reading if you're
ever faced with the challenge of making a "cold call".
His most important piece of advice is to always have a script ready when
you make your call. The idea is not to read off a script and sound wooden -- but
rather to use the script as a reference. That way you will never got lost in your words or you will
be able to think on your feet
Mr. Schiffner goes on to say that making cold calls is like every
other salesman's job. You will get many "no's" before you finally get a "yes". He revels in
"no's". In fact, his company (EDI Management) gives their new salespeople a bonus of $1,000
for a chart of 250 no's. The reason is because "once they have that many no's, a "yes" is just
around the corner! I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the book. He has dozens of
great tips. Plus, he can help those "butterflies" go away. On second thought, maybe they'll
never go away but with this book you can at least make them fly in formation.
Direct mail production: $50-60/hour.
Direct mail response card for a product: $250-500/project.
Event promotions/publicity: $40 low, $60 mid-range, $70 high/hour; $500-750/day.
Fundraising campaign brochure: $50-75 for research (20 hours)
and copywriting (30 hours); up to $5,000 for major campaign brochure, including research,
writing and production (about 50 hours of work).
If you are just beginning your copywriting career, the best thing to do is make up
a fee schedule of your rates. In other words, you could have one rate for a sales letter and
another rate for a brochure. How do you determine the fee? You can always call up a freelance
copywriter, pretend you're a client and ask how much s/he charges. Do you charge an hourly
rate or a fixed fee? Our recommendation is a fixed fee for beginners and an hourly rate
for the more advanced, brilliant copywriters with a reputation. If you're a beginner, you can work day and night
for a fixed fee. Put everything you can into the project. Remember that once you gain
a reputation, the money will come. Another advantage of the fixed fee rate is that clients
are more accepting of a fixed fee. They know exactly how much you will cost. If, for example,
you quoted an hourly rate of $60 per hour, the client might worry that you will spend a few
hours digging the toe tar out of your toenails rather than working on his project (although we hasten to add that it's still possible to come up with
a great creative idea while grooming your toenails). Clients are like that!
Direct-mail packages: This includes copywriting direct mail
letter, response card and advertising materials. $50 low, $75 mid-range, $115 high/hour; $25,000-10,000/project, depending on complexity of the project. Additional charges for production such as desktop publishing, addressing, etc.
Here are some of the professional rates being applied today:
Advertising copywriting: $400 low, $1,000 mid-range, $2,000 high/full page ad depending on the size and kind of client; $50 low, $75 mid-range, $100 high/hour; $250 and up/day; $500 and up/week; $1,000-2,000 as a monthly retainer. In Canada rates range from $40-80/hour.
Advertorials: $25-35/hour; up to $1/word or by flat fee ($300
for about 700 words is typical). In Canada, 40-80¢/word; $35-75/hour.
Book jacket copywriting: $100-600 for front cover jacket plus
flaps and back jacket copy summarizing content and tone of the book.
Campaign development or product launch: $3,500 low, $7,000 mid-range, $12,000 high/project.
Catalog copywriting: $25-$45/hour or $85 and up per project.
Copyediting for advertising: $25-35/hour.
Direct-mail copywriting: $25-45/hour; $75 and up per item or