I’ve tried to keep these Terms and Conditions as simple and jargon-free as possible, so that there’s no room for confusion. (Plus, as copywriter, I’m naturally allergic to buzzwords and business-speak). All contracts and projects are undertaken with the assumption that you have read and agreed to these Terms and Conditions.
Stage One: A brief encounter
The first stage is the easiest. If you’re in need of words or are even considering hiring a copywriter, get in touch with me and let me know what I can help you with. At this stage, the more information you can provide me with the better – the sooner I can get a clear idea of what you want to achieve, the sooner I can get you a quote and we can begin to work together. However, if you’re not quite sure what you want or how I can help you achieve results, just ask – we can arrange a meeting or phone call to discuss what you need and what I can bring to the project to help you achieve that. Of course, these consultations are all free of charge.
Stage Two: Whatever floats your quote
After we’ve chatted and I’ve got a clear idea of what you’re after, I’ll send you a quote. I usually work on a project basis, providing you with a quote that covers everything – from the initial research and meetings to the final draft. This way, we both know where we stand and how much the project is going to cost – there’s no additional extras, no change to the fee and no additional fees for consultations or meetings – it’s all been factored into the agreed price.
The only time that this quote may be subject to change is if the brief is changed significantly mid-project. In instances where the scope or direction of the project is changed or additional work is added on, I’ll get in contact and we can come to an agreement on an additional fee and deadline for this work.
(Although my daily rate is used mostly as a way of calculating quotes, I am also happy to work at a daily rate of £300. However, as outlined above, it’s probably more beneficial for you to brief it in as a project – for example, if I think your project is going to take me one day but it ends up taking me three, you’re already £600 better off for having briefed it in as a project rather than paying the day rate.)
Stage Three: It’s a date
Once we’ve agreed on a fee, it’s time to talk schedules and delivery dates. During our initial conversations, I’ll have given you a rough idea of my availability – from that, we can work out submission dates for the first draft, second draft and final draft that work for both of us.
Should any situations arise during this period of time that mean that I cannot deliver on time, I will give you no less than 48 hours notice
Stage Four: Mum’s the word
Obviously, all information you give me prior to and during the project are treated with the utmost confidentiality. Having worked on a general election campaign, I know the importance of keeping schtum.
Stage Five: I’ll take it from here
At this stage, there are only two things to do before you can put your feet up: confirm our agreement and pay the deposit.
Once we’ve agreed the brief, terms, schedule and pricing of the project, please send me an email confirming the agreement (including the cost and delivery date). That way, we both have a final written record of everything, and there’s no room for confusion.
Secondly, with all new business, I require a 50% deposit upfront to cover initial costs, overheads and time booked.
Stage 6: Dealing with any bumps in the road
Should you change your mind and want to stop the project at any time, don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you cancel within 7 days of paying the deposit, I will issue a refund of 50% – the remaining 50% covers any work I have already undertaken and/or compensates for work I have turned down to work on your project. However, after 7 days, I will keep all of your deposit and send an additional invoice for any work I have undertaken over and above the value of the deposit. Payment is due 30 days after invoice.
However, if you’re cancelling the project due to time constraints or short term problems, just let me know. If you still want me to work on the project, but just need to hold off for a while, get in touch and we can see if we can schedule it in a little down the road.
Stage Seven: Getting the copy exactly how you want it
Included in the project fee are two rounds of amends. Usually, I will do all of the research, consultation and drafting before sending you a relatively final first draft. After that, we have two rounds of back and forth conversation to get the copy perfect.
However, if you do not get back to me within the 14 days of any draft submission, I will assume that the work has been approved and send you the final invoice. If it looks like there’s going to be a delay for any reason at all, just let me know in good time and we can come to an agreement about extension dates.
Stage Eight: Golden handshake
At this stage, everything should be completed and ready to go. All that’s left is payment. Once a job is completed I’ll send you an invoice (usually within 24 hours of completion). Please make sure you pay within 30 days of this date. If, after 30 days, I haven’t received payment, I’ll send you a reminder and give you an extra 7 days to pay the outstanding balance with a 10% fee (of the remaining balance). After those 7 days, if you still haven’t paid, there’s a 30% fee.
Hopefully it won’t come to any of that!
Stage Nine: Who owns the copyright to the copy I write?
This one’s simple enough – once you have paid in full, you own the copyright to all of the copy that I have produced. Until full payment has been received, I own all of the copyright (under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988) so you cannot publish, reproduce, distribute, change or re-purpose any of it. If you choose not to use the copy I produced, then you are still expected to pay the full project fee.
Also, once you have approved the final draft, all responsibility is passed to you. I cannot be held accountable for any repercussions as a result of the copy I have written. (Not that this ever happens, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful!)
I do reserve the right to publish excerpts or snippets from the copy that I’ve produced as part of my portfolio – but I’ll always check with you beforehand.
And that’s it – nothing too scary at all!