What would you do if your boss adds a project to your already long list of responsibilities? Say a need for fresh, rich content for your company’s website or a new employee handbook. Who would you hire to do the job? What would you request in the budget for the project?
Most managers would do one of the followings: (a) do the job themselves, (b) delegate it to their staff, or (c) put in a request to employ the service of a company – an advertising agency or a company with copywriting service – to help them and their staff cope with the additional workload. How successful you are in getting your budget approved to outsource the job (that’s what we want, right?) often depends on the amount you ask for and how convincing your case is. After all, your boss wants to put his money in the most productive and effective use. However, hiring a company often sounds expensive to the management, and many a times, it really is. So why not propose a freelance copywriter instead of a company the next time this scenario occurs?
There are many different types of freelance copywriter; we do not just do brochures and write blogs. A copywriter who is a generalist also writes business proposals, manuals on company procedures and guidelines, reports, articles and many other projects that require professional writing skills.
There are many advantages to hiring a freelance copywriter. Let us just explore a few obvious ones.
Hiring a freelance copywriter is less expensive than engaging a company or employing a new employee to do the job. Companies, for example, an ad agency, charge more because their overheads are high. Their overheads are high because they employ people like account executives, account managers, account directors, creative directors, strategies, junior copywriters, senior copywriters, general managers, finance managers, office managers, IT managers, IT executives, receptionists, secretaries, CFO, CIO, CEO, etc. to run the company. Of course, I don’t mean to say that these positions are redundant. They all have a part to play in operating a successful ad agency and in getting beautiful advertisements out there. But because of the high overheads, you have to pay more.
A freelance copywriter, on the other hand, works for oneself and does not carry the burden of high overheads. In fact, one has to work hard to keep the expenditure as low as possible in order to remain competitive.
Unless the project becomes a permanent job, which technically would qualify as a project, it does not make sense to employ someone full time and long term to do the job. Firstly, the cost of employing someone is more than meets the eyes. Beyond the basic salary, we are looking at insurance, healthcare, dental, bonus, office equipment, office space and many other hidden costs. Not to mention the idea of having an additional headcount to your department, a “dirty word” to the ears of the management nowadays. Even if the project is recurring, for example, a quarterly company newsletter, it is possible to engage a freelancer on a long-term, contractual basis.
You can engage a freelance copywriter as and when you require the person’s service; there is no obligation to keep the person with the company on a long-term basis. And you don’t have to think of reasons to fire a freelancer if you hire the wrong guy; you just stop engaging his service. On the other hand, the relationship becomes permanent once you hire an employee. Even if you have a good reason to let an employee go, you worry about the emotional and psychological damages you could cause to the guy. Freelancers, on the other hand, are tough. They are used to rejections and terminations. They have to; otherwise, they can’t be in this business for long.
Some projects just can’t wait. If you are facing a tight deadline, the best solution is often to get a freelancer who is flexible with his time and is willing to meet impossible deadlines. Some freelancers don’t just work during normal business hours and can be very helpful in times of need.
Freelance copywriters write for a living; that’s what we do. We are the ones to go to if you want quality and professional writing.
A Fresh Perspective
There’s a Chinese idiom which reads “当局者迷，旁观者清 “, which means the spectator sees more than he who plays. Sometimes, it’s advantageous to have someone from outside to look at your company, products or services from an objective point of view, someone who can offer you a fresh perspective, to look at things differently.
For managers or executives who have never engaged a freelancer before, it is a crucial step. Of course, once you decide to take that step, the next thing you have to do is to find the right freelance partner, for not all are suitable for your company or industry. Once you get the right person who knows how to build a strong rapport with you, the person will make your job a lot easier.
Judy Tham is a freelance copywriter in Singapore. Please visit www.one-elephant.com for the range of services she provides.