As you may know from your own experience, quoting for any kind of project isn’t all about the money. A major component in delivering a job is being realistic about what’s achievable, so you can keep your promises. It’s how your client comes to know they can trust you to deliver.
Of course, it’s important to deliver jobs quickly, but quality is an important part of what we do – it’s what separates us from the content mills (*shudder*). So we have a clearly defined set of questions we need to ask before quoting for a project, which enable us to stick to deadlines, and ultimately, let our clients know exactly what they can expect, and when.
So, what do we look for before we put pen to paper? Here’s five things we consider when quoting for a writing project:
1. How complex is this, really?
We’ve been doing this for more than a decade (and we’re really geeky about our data). So when we get presented with a brief, we can usually work out how much work it’s going to entail at a glance. But there are of course exceptions.
For example, from time to time we get asked to copy edit an existing document (usually written by one of the client’s colleagues). It might need shortening, expanding upon, or something different to copy editing – like proof reading, or a rewrite. My colleague George has put together a great piece to explain the difference.
It’s only natural to take an optimistic view of an existing piece. But if we don’t quote properly for a project, we’re not helping the client. If the piece turns out needing a complete re-write, this could pose a problem when it comes to delivering the work to the agreed schedule. We pride ourselves on never being late, so it’s essential to get right.
The more information we have at the brief stage, the better we’re able to understand the true scope of the job. (And if we ask to see the content you’d like us to copy edit before we quote, this is why.)
2. Yes, we know B2B tech, but do we need a call, or extra research?
We understand enterprise technology; it’s what we write about every day. But that doesn’t mean we’re experts in every field. The nature of the industry means it’s constantly evolving, so we as much as anybody else to keep up with the latest trends and developments.
For some projects, this is pretty straightforward. But if it’s a key piece of content where you really want to add value for your reader, we’ll need to dig a little deeper, and uncover things your audience won’t already know.
This can mean doing extra research, or having a call with product experts – they live and breathe this stuff, so if anyone is going to give us invaluable insight, it’s them. (In fact, it’s so valuable we recorded a whole podcast episode about it.)
3. Who’s our best writer for the job?
One of the real benefits of having ten specialist B2B copywriters in a room is that we each have our own natural strengths. Like anything in life, we have subjects we find more interesting over others and special areas of interest – and our natural writing styles fit certain types of content.
This means we’ll always to try to match the job to the ideal writer and content lead. This can affect the turnaround time slightly, but it also ensures you’re getting a great piece of copy from a copywriter who has a genuine interest in the topic and, what’s more, truly understands what you’re trying to achieve.
The more specialised or important the job, the more essential it is to find just the right blend of interests and style.
4. Can we be certain of delivering quality work on time?
We know you’re busy, and you have deadlines to meet. If a job’s urgent, having 50+ hours of writing time at our fingertips every day means we can usually turn it around.
But like air traffic controllers at a busy airport, our account managers balance this hectic, fast-moving workload with the absolute need to get the job right. They’ll always have a clear, visual grasp of our writing diaries, enabling them to ensure the right writer has time to do the job well.
That’s why we need to receive a project brief, set out the breadth of the project, and understand who’ll write it, and when, before we give you a firm deadline. But once we have, you know we’ll absolutely deliver exactly what we say, when we say, for the price we agreed.
5. Have we allowed enough time for review, and amends?
To make sure you’re completely happy with our work, we factor in up to two rounds of amends as standard in our quotes – as well as our own internal review process.
This gives you the flexibility to question and edit what we’ve produced (within reason) if you need to, so we can refine the piece totally in line with what you want.
Quite often, that time won’t be necessary (especially if we’ve worked hard on the brief), but you’re safe in the knowledge that we’ve factored the time it usually takes into your project schedule – enabling you to confidently forecast your content schedule.
Ultimately, we’ll always be realistic and upfront with you
Getting copy projects turned around quickly is great, but getting them done properly – and reliably – is even better.
In our experience, clients are much more satisfied with the end result (even if they’re in a hurry for it) when we’re clear about what they can expect, and keep them updated at every stage. That’s why we’ll never overpromise or say yes to a project without reviewing a brief first.
If you like the sound of the way we work and you’re interested to know more, feel free to give us a call on 01326 373592 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Or if you’d just like to see a copywriting price list, that’s no problem either.)