How to Optimize Working With a Freelance Copywriter

You may have never worked with a freelance copywriter before, or it may have been awhile. Here are some helpful pointers for making your experience more profitable.

  1. Treat the freelance copywriter like a partner, not a vendor. Include the freelancer in initial in-house meetings or conferences. If possible have the copywriter meet all the team players, see your work, understand the culture of your business and feel like part of the team.

  2. Insist on an upfront estimate/quote. Any professional freelancer probably won’t proceed without one. Is the cost based on a project fee or hourly rate? How many revisions are included? How many creative concepts will be presented? Ironing out these details at the beginning eliminates possible problems when the bill arrives. It also helps establish the parameters of the work and create a comfortable working situation.

  3. Provide a purchase order/authorization for the freelance writer to proceed after approving the estimate. Set hard and fast due dates for first drafts and revisions. ASAP is not a good approach.

  4. Assign a primary contact person responsible for giving direction and forwarding information. This makes communications more efficient and streamlined.

  5. Provide a focused creative worksheet or project brief with target audiences, messaging requirements, desired outcomes, calls to action and other mandatory information. See the Gregor & Co. Creative Worksheet.

  6. Make sure the direction is approved by the client (internal or external) or principle decision-maker before work begins. Doing so can save time and money spent pursuing an inappropriate direction/strategy.

  7. Give the freelancer the “Big Picture.” What is the marketing and branding situation? Give the freelancer access to reports, market data, competitive information, etc. This overview can have a major impact on the thinking going into a specific copywriting project.

  8. Creative Collaboration. On creative concept assignments encourage the freelance writer to work closely with your in-house or freelance graphic designer/art director assigned to the project. These collaborations result in better work and synergism between written and visual communications.

  9. Keep your end of the bargain. You expect the freelance writer to meet deadlines, make sure you meet deadlines to deliver promised materials and approvals to keep the project on schedule.

  10. Keep the freelance writer in the loop. Give feedback, updates on revisions and project progress.

  11. Provide samples or files of finished work. Freelancers live on their portfolios, having samples of good work is essential to their viability and can also promote your business.

This story was written by Chris Gregor, freelance copywriter. Take a look at my other work (the stuff I get paid for) and learn more about my copywriting capabilities and experience/backgroundContact me at Gregor & Co. 413 528-4763 or

Gregor & Company, P.O. Box 646, Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-4763  •

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