Many events prompt a big copywriting project. It may be a website redevelopment, a branding exercise, or even a new product launch. In any case, you suddenly find yourself faced with a mountain of content which needs to be reviewed, refined, and (most likely) re-written.
Thankfully the powers that be have given you a budget to hire an external copywriter to help with the work.
Now from a copywriter’s perspective, big projects are a completely different kettle of fish than a quick-turnaround brochure or web page update. They require far more planning and often a different approach. You really need to understand how a project works, and how your component (the writing) fits in with everything else.
Often, you need to do far more non-writing activities like content audits, schedules, and stakeholder interviews than you’d otherwise allow for.
So from your point of view, when it comes to selecting the copywriter for your big project, make sure you ask them these questions to see if they’re going to be the best fit for your project.
Have you worked on a big copywriting project before?
A copywriter who understands the basics of project management will be easier to manage than one who doesn’t. This includes things like stakeholder engagement, scope changes, and risk management.
Do you have a day rate?
Personally I find it easier to work on a day rate for big projects because you have to be more fluid with the timing of deliverables. Allocating which days you’ll be working makes it easier for the project manager to schedule meetings and allocate tasks.
When quoting for big projects I break the project up into a number of core deliverables, each with an estimated amount of days. I then identify key milestones to re-assess if the days are still realistic.
Have you allowed enough time for feedback?
This is an important one. From my experience, the best-planned content project can still be de-railed by rounds and rounds of feedback. Even if you stipulate your hours only cover two rounds of feedback, some organisations simply don’t work like that (no matter what they say). So you have to be flexible and adapt along the way, and that’s why I use milestones to re-assess how much work can be done in the time allocated (see the question above).
What happens if the scope changes and there’s additional work to be done?
Find out if your copywriter has other copywriters who can be called on, or if they have the capacity themselves to take on the additional work.
What’s your availability after the project is scheduled to finish?
Delays are common. Don’t get trapped by having your project run over time and then losing your copywriter because they are already booked immediately after your project finishes.
What’s your experience with big copywriting projects? Have they gone to plan?
Share your thoughts below.
I can help you with the content strategy and copywriting components of your next content project. Send me an email to get in touch.