Why won’t you let me read my copy to you?

It’s important for copywriters and designers to present their work in person (or over the phone anyway.)

I encounter almost universal resistance to presenting my work to clients. And just so you know, when I say, “present” I mean read my copy aloud to you over the phone as opposed to just emailing.

I think I understand why. Maybe you don’t want to be rushed or feel like you’re being “sold.” I get it. That’s why I don’t push it when you insist to just email it.

But I do believe that it is better to present, and here’s why:

  • Ideas are fragile things. And it’s silly to risk an idea being killed just because of a misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up in person.
  • The copy I’m presenting is almost always out of context. In other words, there are no pictures or sound effects (in the case of radio). I can help you visualize the concept if I’m there to explain it.
  • My work can’t defend itself. “Ah-ha,” You’re thinking, “But it should stand alone.” Not really. It’s possible to nitpick any copy to death, no matter how good it is.

How I present my work in a best-case scenario.

  • I set up a meeting in advance. I try to get somewhere between 20 minutes to a half hour to present a print ad or a landing page. For a website, I need about two hours. And for radio, video or TV, about an hour.
  • I do email the copy fifteen minutes or so before our meeting so you can print it out – but no peeking. I know this seems infantile, but trust me, it leads to a much more productive meeting.
  • I explain the reason for everything I’ve written, and then I read every word to you.  Is this necessary? Yes. If the copy is important, which it always is (said the copywriter), then we should go through every detail.
  • Afterwards, I take your comments. And that’s it.  If you want to think things over and get back to me, that’s fine. At least now you have the context and the details to make good decisions.

Try it this way on your next project, and see what a difference it makes. And if you’re looking for a writer who likes to read, shoot me an email.