What it Means to be a Reliable Copywriter

“Thank you again Kate, you’re the most reliable copywriter we’ve ever found.”
Nice. But also intriguing. It means there are unreliable copywriters out there.
I decided to find out exactly what makes a copywriter unreliable in the eyes of the lovely people I write for. This isn’t a game, after all. It’s business, and business supports people, families and communities. Because every good blog post, article or web page contributes to business growth, it’s an important responsibility.

What makes a copywriter unreliable?

Unreliable copywriters apparently do unprofessional stuff like this:

  • Don’t reply to initial enquiries for days, if at all
  • Agree to send a copy writing quote but never get round to it
  • Misunderstand the brief
  • Miss deadlines
  • Forget to keep the client in the loop
  • Disappear half way through the project, never to be seen again
  • Keep giving excuses for non-delivery
  • Invoice more without first getting client agreement for the extra budget
  • Lie about their writing skills

What reliable service means in my world

I’ve worked since I left college in 1985. In the early years I was a barmaid, a sandwich maker, and a teleseller. I waitressed and washed up, cleaned, laboured on building sites and sold jewellery. I temped for NACRO, and in all sorts of financial services offices large and small. I eventually grabbed hold of the ladder, falling by accident into direct marketing as an assistant and leaving as a senior manager. All that time in business means I’ve learned exactly what it means to be reliable. This is how I operate.

  • I answer emails within hours or faster, even if it’s just to say I’ll respond properly at a specified time – “Thanks so much for your message. I’m writing right now, so I’ll respond properly before the end of the day.” 
  • I confirm back to the client what they want“OK, so you want six web pages, each around 1000 words long, with the keywords you’ve given me mapped to the relevant pages.” Or, “So you need 30 product descriptions, 150 words each.” Or “You’d like me to find twenty subjects for blog posts about your sector, then write one a week directly into your CMS.”   
  • I know clarity is essential. I make the quote date, copy deadline, and the dates for any interim stages crystal clear so people know exactly what to expect, when
  • I do what I say I’m going to do, when I’ve said I’ll do it

I don’t think I’d sleep if I treated my clients less than professionally. I’d feel bad if I didn’t give my all. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, either. Just good business practice… and good Karma.

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