My last three copywriting jobs have been for three of my Dream Clients. Basically, as a freelance copywriter, I would do whatever it takes to produce great copywriting for each of these organisations. Indeed copywriting for these clients is more like a relaxing vacation than hard graft. And I want to hang onto my Dream Clients for as long as I possibly can. So what do these particular three have in common?
Firstly, I’ve been copywriting for each of these Dream Clients for many, many years – well over a decade, in fact.
When they first got in touch, each was a very small concern that had recently set up in business. Each already had a web presence and a handful of other marketing material. However, in each case, the marketing material was pretty basic stuff, which was why they asked me to evaluate it – to give my opinion and recommendations for improvements.
One business comprised a couple of old friends who’d had a great business idea in a pub over a pint. But they’d reached the stage where they needed outside help to take their business forward. Another organisation had been set up by a former TV actor who’d also had a great idea and planned to become the best in his field. Likewise, he’d decided it was time to bring in outside help in order to take his business to the next level. The third was a guy who, on the phone, sounded exactly like (former) Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Again, he had big plans for his business model and needed a hand with the copywriting. (I never did get over the impression that, whenever we spoke on the phone, I was talking to JC!)
What each of these businesses had in common was that they had a great business model and planned to become the best in their field. But they recognised that they’d reached the stage where they needed to bring in outside help – and they were willing to listen. I was (and am) able to offer the experience that comes with two decades-and-a-half of working in the world of advertising and marketing. Copywriting isn’t just about knowing how to put words together; it’s about seeing the whole picture – and that includes the way marketing material is designed and presented, and all manner of other things that add up to attracting and retaining the customer.
Thus another thing they had in common was that they were willing to listen to what I had to say – and act upon it. They respected me as an experienced copywriter who could offer valuable input over and above stringing sentences together.
And on top of this, each of these clients was – and is – extremely good at what they do. Basically, when it comes to everything to do with great marketing, great products and great customer service, they appear to have got it absolutely right.
I am thrilled to have played a key role in their marketing, almost from the start. Today I know their businesses so well I almost feel like a longstanding member of staff. I know the tone of voice they like to use, I know their customer base, I know their products and I know what makes their customers respond. And so do they. Because they are great business people. Also, they always seem to employ great staff. For instance each of these organisations now has its own (very nice) marketing manager / team with whom I liaise these days. Sadly I rarely get to talk to the original founders; indeed at least one of them has retired.
Finally, what else do they have in common? From a cashflow point of view (which is important when you’re a freelancer and have bills to pay), each of these clients has always paid me on time. I rarely have to chase up invoices.
I used to have a fourth Dream Client in this bunch. Again, the business comprised two blokes who’d had a great idea in a pub and gone on to establish a highly successful business. I’d been a key part of this; I’d written their website, weekly emailers and other marketing material. I knew the marketing side of their business inside out.
So what went wrong?
Sadly for me this business became so big that the owners sold it to a large multinational organisation with its own advertising and marketing agencies. So I, as a self-employed freelance copywriter, was no longer required.
But I am pleased to see that, on their website, much of my copywriting has been retained, even if – in my opinion – a certain blandness and soullessness has enveloped their marketing material since the takeover.
This blog post is about just three of my list of regular and longstanding clients. I’ve picked them out because of their similarities, but I have other great clients too who are fantastic to work with, great at what they do and who pay me on time!