‘I always meet my deadlines’.
Copywriters sometimes say this when they are promoting their services. But how significant a consideration should this be, when you are choosing a writer?
And is there actually any need for a copywriter to use ‘I always meet my deadlines’ as any kind of selling point?
If on completion of a project, a client determines that the writer’s work has not hit all aspects of the brief, can these shortcomings be balanced out in any way by the fact that the work was delivered to the agreed timescale?
Of course not.
The content is what really matters.
A copywriter promising to hit deadlines is implying a kind of formality or distance in their perceived client relationships, where the deadline is owned solely by the whip-cracking client.
Of course timescales are important, but it is always better for writer and client to have mutual ownership of a deadline.
In other words, there must already be a shared sense of purpose and the seeds of a good working relationship.
When I first started out in copywriting – more than 15 years ago – I was hungry for work so I happily took whatever projects came my way. Quite a few of these went well, but a few did not.
Although my lack of experience didn’t help, this least successful work was almost always the result of poor briefing – and for this, we must not just blame the client, we must also blame the writer – i.e. me!
These days, with vast experience in just about every medium and industry sector, I am in the happier position of being able to choose the work I take on.
A key consideration for me is how well I think am going to be able to work with the client.
I would also want to understand any identified copywriting requirement in the context of the client’s existing and past marketing.
And I would want to know how well the client understands this too.
So. are deadlines important? Well yes, but look at it this way. When you, as a copywriter, are in tune with with your client’s brand and marketing objectives, it stands to reason that the copywriting will flow more naturally.
You will invariably find this to be the most satisfying kind of work, because now, you are not just working for the client, you are also working alongside them, with a shared view of what needs to be achieved – including when things need to get done by.
And these, surely are the most meaningful kind of deadlines.