Monday, February 24, 2014

For Copywriters: Should You Allow Free Rewrites?

Writing advertising copy for flyers, catalogs, brochures, websites or blogs can be one of the most lucrative and rewarding field in freelancing. If you "write in order to sell," so to speak, or review new products or existing brands, you may be aware of freebies being offered. And of course, nothing can gauge the pleasure of being able to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

And yet, I always aim to balance the good and bad side of any aspect of freelancing. Be forewarned that there are -- and there will always be -- unscrupulous clients out there who will not think twice about banking in on your talent and taking advantage of you.

You may be thinking, if a client isn't satisfied with the final draft of the copy that you wrote for him, should you provide him with free rewrites?

The answer is yes, you should. But this is a tricky area that needs skillful negotiating, because as I've mentioned, some clients can easily claim dissatisfaction only to get you working on the project again without additional charges.

So the solution is, you should provide free rewrites only within reasonable parameters. Consider the following:

  • In your collection email, state that your client is allowed free rewrites only if he gets in touch with you within, say, 48 to 72 hours after the finished draft has been dispatched to him. This is proof that your client checked on the quality of the finished draft immediately. 
  • Decide on the maximum number of free rewrites. I recommend not more than two.
  • If the client emailed you and 72 hours have already passed and yet would like you to make revisions, state that you are charging additional fees. 

I hope you will think carefully about how dealing with dissatisfied clients could take a toll on your schedule, and possibly, your productivity. Two weeks is more than enough for you to take care of a "problem project." Always remember that for every single day spent stalling, that's also a day lost that could have been spent looking for new assignments or projects, or negotiating with other clients who would like to hire you.

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