Why You Want a Fixed Price from Your Copywriter

Before you hire a freelance copywriter to help you create marketing for your company you need to do a number of things.

The first thing you need to do is compile a list of questions for your potential copywriter. The specific questions that you may want to ask were spelled out in What you need to ask a Copywriter before hiring. When you find a copywriter that answers these questions to your satisfaction, you need to move onto the commercial arrangement.

Copywriters charge for their services in a number of ways, by the hour, by the project or a combination of fixed price for a defined scope and by the hour for scope changes.

You want to know how much this project is going to cost and your boss is certainly going to ask you that question so that he can plug that number into his budget for marketing. Now if you tell him that your copywriter is going to charge by the hour, your boss’ next question is going to be, “how many hours?”  And if you don’t know the answer he’s not going to be very happy, particularly if the hourly rate is high.

When the copywriter quotes an hourly rate your boss has visions of uncontrolled costs because he may think that the copywriter has no incentive to finish the project if he/she can continue charging you by the hour.  Now most copywriters will not take advantage of you in that way but you don’t have a firm control on costs except for the schedule end date.

When a copywriter who charges by the project sits down with you to nail down the specific scope of work that you want completed by the schedule date, you can both agree on a scope and commit that scope to paper. Then the copywriter will provide you with a fixed price based on your agreed upon scope.  He will also tell you that if you change the scope he/she will change the price.

But now you have a fixed cost number and both you and you boss will be happy with that.

You still have some risk – the copywriter may not do the job you expect for the fixed price or may not finish on schedule but the bulk of the risk is assumed by the copywriter.

It’s a win/win situation for both you and the copywriter. You will not be surprised by the final cost of the project because you know it before you start and the copy writer will not be surprised by the fee you pay him/her because that’s also known before the start of the project.

Now there may be some cases in which the project scope is nebulous.  That is dangerous for both you and the copywriter but there is a way around the problem. Break the project into two projects each with a fixed price.  The first project is to establish the scope of the main project and, consequently, the fixed price for completing the main project.

So insist on your copywriter quoting a fixed price even if the project must be broken into pieces each with it’s own fixed price.  That way you can stop at any point.

Charging by the project is a win/win situation for both you and the copywriter.

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