Freelance Copywriting – Develop a Creative Workflow

Freelance copywriting is similar to other forms of writing: the more you write, the more you earn. Once you have a creative workflow that works for you, you'll have a process to follow. This saves you time, and builds your confidence.

1. Get the Information You Need from the Client

Some clients know exactly what they want, while other clients aren't sure. Ask sufficient questions so that you have the client's needs clear in your own mind.

At this stage, chances are that you won't have accepted the project: no money has changed hands. Ask questions until you're sure that you have sufficient information and resources and can complete the project in a timely manner.

2. Rewrite the Brief in Your Own Words

A "brief" is the project description. This is the most important part of the project. Both you and the client need to be absolutely sure of exactly what the brief calls for.

Here's a great question you should ask your clients: "How will you measure the success of this project?" You have no way of knowing, and often your client hasn't considered this either.

Now rewrite the brief in your own words, and get the client's agreement that this is what he wants.

Once the client agrees with your re-written brief, you're good to go. You know where your information is coming from, and you have a good idea of how you'll handle the project.

You also know the limits of the project — you know you won't be blindsided by the client when he asks for additional material when the project is almost done. (Ensure that you tell the client in your terms of service that if anything is added to the brief after you've accepted the project he'll face additional charges.)

3. Write While You Research

For all writers, words are cheap. If you've been in the habit of waiting until you've completed your research before you start writing, change your process. You can waste an awful lot of time collecting research material which you'll never use. Therefore, as soon as you accept the project, create a working outline.

Then use mind maps and other pre-writing tools as you research. Create a first draft quickly; then create a second draft which you'll send to the client for his input.

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