As a freelance author to get a job at an agency and not to merge after the first project

Freelancers drifting on stock exchanges sooner or later go to neutral waters. It’s scary here, greedy scammers customers and unknown web-based desktops — they don’t appreciate copywriting work and try to go in every possible way on someone else’s hump. Well, no, guys, let's take a look at the situation sensibly. The assholes are everywhere: both among customers and performers. You just need to choose each other correctly. How? Develop internal flair and think at least a couple of steps forward. In fact, everything is simple.

I myself am a copywriter and the head of a team of full-time and distant authors at a large Internet agency, so I take a sober view of the situation as a “customer-performer” on both sides. Over the past year, our company has greatly increased the amount of work, and many remote employees have been selected, good and not so good. Based solely on my experience in finding authors, I want to tell you how it is and should NOT behave a freelancer with a potential client so that the cooperation takes place and is mutually beneficial. The agencies have their own specifics, however, in general, these recommendations are applicable to work with the business directly.

It’s cool to work with an agency! Not really

It's just that there are high requirements and tough editing. It is not outbid, who accept texts with closed eyes, because they do not understand anything and never. Here the whole team is immersed in the business of each client - big budgets and reputation are at stake. If this does not scare, then it is worth a try.

A large Internet agency with a representative office in regional and federal centers can offer the freelancer a good cooperation option. Studios love to outsource because it is cheaper than the state, it does not work according to the 5/2 standard from 9 to 18 and can take large amounts for the weekend. This is very cool, because the client business is open 24/7. But, on the other hand, freelancing is a risk, not always a good product quality, a low level of executive responsibility and associated costs. Believe me, the customer is also afraid of you. Afraid, but still wants to work with you.

Does it need a freelancer? Yes, free cookies, coffee houses and private corporate parties do not threaten with remote work. However, studios have something to bribe the authors:

  • Stability

The main text has something to do, in addition to recruitment. It is more profitable for him to find one good specialist, to form a trusting relationship with him and connect to the work quickly than to surf the stock exchange in a day. Insulting money is also unprofitable. But if a copywriter can work from time to time or only after sunset, on the 20th day of an odd month, the cooperation is unlikely to be long.

  • Cases

Large agency - large customers. So, you can write not only for the store Svetlana Nikolaevna, which forces you to indent, but also for well-known retailers, banks, manufacturers, dealers. I do not argue that large fish can come directly, but this is quite rare. Such clients usually come to the agency with a budget on all fronts - copywriting is not an end in itself, but serves only as an instrument to achieve the result promised by sales.

  • Development

In decent offices, they do not keep old-believers sooshnikov, which require spamming keys and worship the word "buy", and selling texts are not subject to questionable standardization. Whereas a private customer can live in the head of cockroaches, thrown up by an antique marketer, whose methods are outdated with his once-resilient belly. It is more profitable for the manager to maintain a team of real pros who monitor the market and are ready to produce results, raising the company's rating, than to save on specialists and degrade along with the profit. In such conditions, you will be forced to study, read and follow the development of content marketing in order to be paid for your work. Plus, the head of the texts will always indicate errors and tell you how to do better.

Having worked with a good customer, you will notice that you have really grown professionally.
  • Official collaboration

Many freelance writers work on contract. This is not always convenient, because sometimes the contractor lacks the necessary documents for registration or he lives outside the Urals, and the customer in Moscow, and the signature of the document turns into a race of couriers. But I will definitely say that having a contract is better than not having it. For a freelancer, this is a guarantee that they will not throw him (well, they should not, in any case), and for a representative of the agency - proof of his serious intentions. Although I myself was in no hurry to conclude an agreement, but after the first project I understood that we would not work any further, but that time was spent a lot. Well, what to say, costs.

  • Inadequate filter

A good communicator always filters the negative and emotional outbursts of the client and managers at the editing stage. You can not imagine what a tiny percentage of comments sometimes comes to the artist. He simply makes corrections and returns the texts in full confidence that, in general, “all norms” are motivation at the level. Working directly with the client, the author sometimes snatches such lyuley (often unfair), after which there are only a sense of worthlessness and an empty bottle.

  • Work flow

Good copywriters are always tightly loaded. For many authors, the agency becomes the main (and sometimes the only) customer. If the copywriter is satisfied with the earnings, and clients - his texts, he always gets a lot of projects. It is convenient for both parties.

Not without cons, of course:

  • Payment

Yes, the agency prices are likely to be less than what the direct client will offer you (if you are at the level, but he is not a miser). Here we must understand that the agency costs are much greater than the amount that is transferred to the performer "in the hands." The content is accepted and checked by the content manager (senior copywriter), then by the editor and / or proofreader, as well as by the specialist who set the task. In our agency, the texts are checked even by account managers, because they communicate with the client personally and can snatch a "disagreeable" word or an outdated information during the coordination process already at the last iteration of edits. Although, if you are sure that your texts are flawless and they do not require additional verification, feel free to ask for more and blackmail them with your care to competitors.

  • No direct communication with the customer.

Usually it happens through several people - the editing process is delayed, information can change when passing from chat to chat. Many customers are eager to keep in touch with the content maker, which is great if they manage to connect. But not every freelancer is ready for it.

  • Hard deadlines

A copywriter does not take off for an overdue deadline, but the agency has obligations to the customer. In addition, there are more than one clients here, everyone needs to have time to give the checked and corrected texts, so the work is carried out in the "meat" mode almost constantly. I rarely give away burning tasks to a remote location and usually agree on comfortable deadlines in each particular case. But not always the content manager has enough hands and time. Monthly turnover of some agencies passes for several million characters.

Actually, here is the main thing. Objections? Let's go further.

How are looking for an artist in the agency

If the author is needed, then a vacancy will necessarily hang somewhere on hh. And the head of the direct writing unit will surely put his nose into the thematic community, go through the exchanges, look at the portfolio in freelancing, leave the post with the title "Wanted".

Here now I will say an important thing!

Keep track of your online reputation.

I do not mean ratings and stars on stock exchanges. I often sit at work in the thematic communities where my colleagues live, communicate, discuss profile news, complain about customers and fate. By posts and comments to them, you can easily get an idea about the guests, “mark” specialists for different topics for the future, learn a lot of useful information. Personally, I have my own imaginary blacklist of performers, whom I will never offer cooperation, although I don’t know how they write in my heart. And there are guys who inspire confidence in both people and authors - I will probably turn to them if necessary or advise them to my friends.

No, of course, not every potential customer is hanging out on VK and Facebook among copywriters. Direct customers - certainly not. But the person in charge of copywriting in the studio may well be. And here you are chasing the customers and telling about the chronic intolerance of deadlines, pfff.

What infuriates the customer when searching for an artist

If you are looking for a person for a specific project, then the topic is surely indicated, as well as the requirements for the availability of relevant materials in the portfolio. Simply. Read. If there is relevant knowledge, but there was no reason to write the relevant text, indicate this in the cover letter. But then, most likely, you will be asked to perform a test. If you do not meet the requirements, but "you can sort out any subject," do not waste either your own or someone else's time. Agencies do not need formal replies - they need adequate and thoughtful texts. Looking at hundreds of stupid responses with sample copy-paste reviews without a hint that the ad was read infuriates.

In any case, you will not get a job, but the next time the system will show that you have already responded, but you turned out to be undesirable.

The same applies to the responses in social networks. Negative inability of the candidate to answer questions of interest from the first time causes negative. It is necessary to conduct a long correspondence to extract the necessary information. One gets the impression that a person is either not interested in work, or stupid. Neither is good.

From personal experience:

I published a very specific vacancy on the social network and asked the candidates to respond immediately with an indication of the desired payment and examples of work.

The answers were divided into three groups:

  1. A short story about the relevant experience + rates + links to examples of work.
  2. "I am a copywriter with 5 years of experience, I will write for you delicious selling texts with a 100% conversion, write in a personal, agree". There are no quotes, no examples, nothing on the topic. "Tasty texts" - so in general, someone else writes?
  3. "And tell us more about the job?" The inner voice wants to shout. The text of the job read something, no?

Lord, think again! The dialogue, of course, took place only with the first group. The direct client can still spend time on such under-authors, but the agency will fail.

Portfolio. Make it normal

One copywriter, whom I was interested in, at my request to show texts answered that he had a portfolio in his laptop, and a laptop in repair, but I can download the app in which he worked on the content in the Appstore. Well, ok, that. I do not have apple gadgets, but even if they were. Seriously? Portfolio should not be in a laptop, in a tablet, in a notebook with newspaper clippings. It should be in online access, now it is not a problem at all. And about the "download application", well, maybe in this way he increased the number of downloads?

The portfolio should not contain 1,000+ texts interspersed, a large customer will not waste time selecting material of interest. It is better to split the texts by subject and attach 2-3 best works to each one. This is convenient and allows a potential customer to quickly find what they need.

Of the two equally good performers, the work will most likely be received by the one that has saved more time for the customer.

If your texts are placed somewhere, just leave a link to the resource - this is better than unreadable screenshots, plus throws a couple of pluses into your karma, if the resource is quite serious. Against the screenshots, I personally also have nothing, only they must be of good quality. It will be useful to show your blog if you have one. The ability to think adequately beyond the TK is a very important factor when choosing a candidate. But the texts published under the authorship of others, do not need to show, even if they are "Wah!" I think you should not explain why.

Test, burn in hell!

From test tasks for many copywriters straight bombs. I am also pleased with the people who perform only paid test, and even for prepayment. These immediately receive a virtual kick in the ass and pass on. Will explain. I also do not like writing free texts, but I don’t need it, I’m already working here. Do you want? Everything rests only on desire: if you need this work, then spend an hour or two, if not, then what are we talking about here? You are fine with customers, close the article.

The correct test task is not a full-fledged commercial text, which can then be used by throwing a copywriter at the loot. Typically, there are several tasks to test these or other skills. The test is not sent to everyone in a row - it is inappropriate. It is easier to first select promising candidates, then find out their price tag, and only then send the task to those who are suitable for the tariff.

Giving a full text on the instructions for a real customer is wrong. First, the text is written "in isolation from production" - the copywriter does not know the details of the content strategy, corporate identity and customer preferences. Secondly, no one will delve into the essence of the business for a test, and the text will be as superficial as possible. 90% of the authors rewrite the first reference in the issue, it is very striking.

From personal experience:

I was looking for performers on automotive topics and, as a test, offered to create a portrait of Central Asia for different consumer segments, suggest a plan for an article review for a particular model and sketch a couple of paragraphs on it, give a link to a resource where successful, in my opinion, copywriter, seo text on a given topic. Such tasks allow you to assess whether the performer can write in one language with the audience and feel its pain, whether it has an adequate idea of ​​the CEO and the “taste” in web-writing. I can appreciate the style and literacy of the texts in the portfolio.

Dozens of performers responded to the vacancy, many were ready for a test, 95% of the work was outright shit. Is it worth paying for it? I do not think. But it is worth paying 5 percent of good copywriters, with whom we now successfully cooperate.

Now I often do without test ones, focusing on internal feelings after talking with the author. Sometimes it really is possible to see a pearl. And this is awesome!

I do not argue - threw a lot. I am only talking about my experience. If a new suspicious customer has come to you, who asks to write a full-fledged "working" text with detailed TK, you can send him, for example, a screenshot. To assess the level of a copywriter, this is enough, but for personal use he will not exactly reprint it. Or, at least, zadolbatsya do it. Well, you will not be so offended. IMHO, freelancing is always a risk: if the prospect is tempting, take the time. Well all the more useful than watching the show.

How much? Payment

Always voice the price you are willing to work for in the long run. If the author is ashamed and understated the price so as not to frighten the customer, then there is a high probability that in a month or another low income will drown enthusiasm, the quality will fall, and regular customers will be pushed back by one-time expensive orders.

If you, on the contrary, deliberately overestimate the price of your services, then be prepared for high demands on your texts. The agency has a fork in prices at which cooperation proves beneficial. If the limit is exceeded, then this must be justified. No fools work there - if your texts are not worth it, no one will overpay.

There is no concept of a bad or good price - for each artist it is its own. There are copywriters with an inflated price tag and bloated ego who know how to skillfully write and cut, re-read all copy-bestsellers, but their texts are as silly as babbling, and the logic of presenting material at the level of a committed humanist.

There are authors with a low rating on the stock exchanges and an acceptable price tag, but with their own author's style, developed outlook, unintelligent perception of reality and unconventional thinking.

I strongly urge all authors to adhere to one principle. Voiced the price tag n / 1 000, then write well at that rate. Nobody forces you to work cheaper than you want. You were offered a job - you agreed. This means that this price suits you, and you are ready to provide high-quality content. Philosophy "What quality can we talk about at such a price?" lead you to poverty and professional degradation.

Why the agency is not profitable to throw

What for? The agency must perform work on time and with high quality. Good performers are worth their weight in gold, and to conclude with them constant cooperation means to acquire a strong and independent employee in the piggy bank of the department. В агентствах и веб-студиях слишком большой поток клиентов, чтобы заказывать по одному текстику у разовых исполнителей. Да и экономия сомнительная - время проверяющих выйдет дороже.

Как платят

Деньги в агентствах обычно выплачиваются раз-два в месяц (где-то чаще), предоплата не предусматривается. Договор составляет юрист - документ стандартный. Менять пункты под определенного исполнителя никто не будет. Always ask for a prepared preliminary review contract so that the first payment does not come as a surprise. If the payments are official, then income tax may be withheld.

Conditions for successful interaction

1. Be adequate. If you write well and know how to sell anything in words, but are terribly difficult to communicate, do not make any disagreeable changes in principle, argue with the customer on trifles, he will think five times before giving you the job. Of course, they will listen to your professional opinion, but if the client is embarrassed by the word "smoothie", then your arguments do not interest anyone. Just write "cocktail", period.

2. Comply with deadlines. If any of the copywriters I work with read this article, they will surely agree that I am always flexible in terms of deadlines. If you do not have time, then at least warn you - show respect and allow the customer to have time to find another performer.

I, perhaps, made a mistake more than once, giving a second and even a third chance to copywriters who broke deadlines and disappeared into oblivion. And I can say honestly - you should not do this. Meeting deadlines - it is either there or not. Sometimes the level of inadequacy of performers rolls over, and they sit on the head. Observe the agreed deadlines, always.

3. Comply with the requirements of TK. In 9 cases out of 10 I return the texts for revision, because the requirements of the TOR are not met. Although it is written in Russian in white. In order to avoid this, simply compare the finished text on each item at the reading stage. Always ask questions if something is unclear or you see an obvious mistake in the problem. The specialist who set the task, could not paint some nuances due to the fact that he did not delve too deeply into the process of creating content.

I had a case when the lines went to seo-texts, and the copywriter pretended not to notice, and left-handed keys slanted into a completely inappropriate text. And so several times. The obvious nonsense and short-sightedness of the performer, who then reworked everything. No, well, but what, in the TZ is written! You can go to the principle. And then - in FIG.

4. Delve into the subject and check the facts. There is no need to paint - just do it.

5. Do not sculpt excuses. Profafiled, adjusted, did not see the letter - speak directly, excuses have not saved anyone. There are no hopeless situations, but you will not fall in the eyes of the customer.

6. Make edits calmly. Often I hear the opinion that the customer is inadequate, he did not give specifics, but he asks to redo everything. I will say as a copywriter who works with other people's texts - sometimes it’s really useless to make edits. The text can be entirely bad: from beginning to end. The customer has less time and patience, so he does not formulate the points that did not suit him. But when working with a web studio, you are shared by a contact person who can transform customer resentment into structured edits. Just deposit them and do not take it to heart. Not all your lyrics are bad, just this one is not shot. It happens.

7. Do not give work to outsource. To grab volumes and distribute to copywriting friends is the last thing to do if you are planning a long-term collaboration. The author's style is always noticeable, so a good editor always "burns" a fake. You were sure, and your friend was not. Now you are in doubt.

8. Be in touch. Regardless of what your schedule, agencies work in standard mode. Therefore, if you only get in touch at night and make changes in three days, it will be inconvenient to work with you. Ideally - to be in touch in the messengers in the mode of operation of your customer. It is not necessary to break with the new "Transformers" and run to make edits instantly, but you can let know that you have received edits and will be able to make them, for example, before 17 o'clock.

Perhaps this is all I wanted to tell you today. Friends, thank you for mastering this longrid. I love good authors and I want them to become more. Write with the soul, do not write garbage. I wish you to find a good customer with whom you will be on the same wavelength!

Watch the video: How to Get a Job in Marketing Without a Resume: 3 Digital Marketers Share Their Stories (April 2020).

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