Convincing your client to hire a writer

client-thinking-flippedMany design projects hit a wall when the time comes for the client to deliver the copy. They discover they don’t have the time to do the writing after all, or worse—provide substandard copy guaranteed to undermine your carefully-crafted design.

Whatever the cause, this scenario is all too common: you know your client needs to get a writer involved, but they’re holding back, claiming they don’t have the time, the budget, or whatever. When this happens, convincing them that a writer will be worth the investment can make or break your project. Here are a few strategies that speak to your client’s deepest needs:

Stress the business case

Most clients are concerned about minimizing costs, but what they ultimately care about most is their customers. Draw on what you know about their best buyers when reviewing their current copy strategy and stress how a professional writer’s skills can boost customer response to your project. Convincing them of the potential for better results is the easiest way to help them justify the cost of adding a writer to your team.

Position the writer’s expertise as a solution

The primary skill a writer brings to any project is the ability to communicate clearly to your target audience. In addition, many writers also specialize in specific markets or types of work. When going to bat for your writer, look for skill gaps he or she can bridge in your current creative team. For some clients, it will be enough to take on a professional with basic spelling and grammar skills. Others might be more inclined to hire a specialist if it means working with someone who already “gets” their business—saving them the time of bringing someone new up to speed.

Watch the deadline

Adding a writer saves time for everyone else, especially if writing isn’t a core skill for other members of your team. The closer you get to the client’s deadline, the more compelling this approach can be, though it’s still best to get the writer involved as early as possible.

Speak from experience

Many of the reasons your client will benefit from a professional writer are the same as they are for you. If you have past experience working with a writer, give your client specific details about the advantages you’ve enjoyed. Any hard numbers you can provide about time and cost savings, increased response rates, higher sales, and other bottom-line metrics are particularly effective. Writers know how powerful numbers like these can be in their own marketing efforts, so they may be able to provide them for similar projects they’ve worked on in the past.

Don’t have experience partnering with a writer? Check out the post “Designer + Writer = Creative Dream Team” to learn more about the benefits collaboration can offer—both to you and your client.

If all else fails, try a test

If you’re still stuck, encourage the client to hire your writer for a low-cost experiment. Choose a key sample piece of the copy and have the writer create or re-work it. Some clients respond best by seeing the difference or testing the results, and this kind of low-risk trial can be an effective way to bring them around.

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