Copywriter Milton KeynesI had an interesting conversation with a fellow copywriter the other day,

“How do you respond when a client rewrites your copy?”

I tend to have a variety of responses: most times I shrug it off, perhaps they have valid content changes, for example to do with legal compliance.

It only really annoys me in two situations, firstly when the client either changes their mind about what they want part way through a project and rather than pay for the extra work caused by changing the brief they simply rewrite it themselves and you end up with a mish-mash of copy that is part theirs and part mine. Or secondly when the client just wants to put their own stamp on it; ending up with non-essential, stylistic changes that can make the copy worse.

And yes, I’ve experienced both situations. But in general I try not to get stressed by it.

The other copywriter challenged me,

“So why bother paying a professional copywriter with years of experience when and then simply rewrite it yourself?”

I think that sometimes us copywriters have to remember that we are often engaged to write a particular piece of marketing material because either:

  • The client doesn’t know where to start or
  • The client doesn’t have the time

Often when changes come through, it’s because what I’ve written has given them a good starting point or it’s because they like what I’ve written but they just want it to sound a bit more like them, and this is especially true when it comes to owner-manager businesses.

I tend to pick my battles with regards to which amends I agree with and which ones I push back on. And it’s the ones where the changes will change the meaning or the integrity of the copy that I push back on.

The approval of content is a very strange thing. And at the end of the day, the only version of the copy that matters is the version that the client has signed off. And it’s up to the client and the copywriter to work as a team to get the copy signed off.

I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee which means I support my copywriting until the client is happy with it, and then includes rewriting from scratch after the first draft if that is what is needed.

The key lesson for clients is that you need to brief your copywriter properly. I have a briefing document I use with clients to find out about their business, their tone of voice, their ideal customer and more. Your copywriter should take the lead when it comes to the briefing, but don’t be afraid to call them or email them with anything you think of after the briefing. Don’t wait until you receive the first draft.

Additionally, if the copy needs rewriting spend some time talking to your copywriter about what changes need to be made and why. It might be easier to simply make the changes than explain, but your copywriter needs to understand the reasoning behind the changes so they can avoid the same thing happening again.

And if you’re interested in working with a professional copywriter who won’t just be your ‘yes’ person, offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and who works as a team with you then I’d love to talk to you.