I’m a copywriter like you. I’ve been asked to provide a quote for writing approximately 1,000 product descriptions for a jewelry company. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but I’m sure the client expects some sort of quantity discount. Can you give me a suggestion for how to estimate such a large project?
Your project sounds like it could be a good one but only if the client has a realistic budget. Writing product descriptions in that high quantity is a substantial undertaking.
I recommend you quote a per-item price so that you don’t get roped into writing more descriptions than your initial quote includes. In a project that large, scope creep is always a possibility.
To quote per item, you’ll first need to figure out the approximate length for the descriptions. How many sentences or words should each description be? And be sure to include that specification in your quote so the client is clear on how much writing is included in your quote. Once again, you want to protect yourself from a project that grows in scope but not in budget.
When you know description length, then you can figure out approximately how long it will take you to write each description. How many descriptions can you write in an hour? What do you typically bill per hour? Even if you don’t bill your services by the hour, you should be able to estimate approximately how much you make an hour for your copywriting. Then divide your “hourly rate” by the number of descriptions you can do an hour, and you’ll have your per-description rate.
For example, let’s say you think you can write 10 product descriptions per hour. That’s moving at a pretty good clip, and probably keeping descriptions to 1-2 sentences. Let’s say you typically charge $50 per hour. You’d probably want to charge $5 per description.
Once you come up with that number, before providing the quote to your client, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Keep this thought in your mind. Writing 1,000 product descriptions is a lot of work. You’ll hate yourself if the reward for your efforts isn’t favorable. The job needs to be profitable for you. You’re not operating a charity.
In a recent interview with Susan Johnston, a product description copywriter, Ed Gandia, who coaches copywriters, asked about pricing and wrote about the answer he received.
“What kind of fees do these types of projects command?
There are two ways to work with clients:
When Susan started she was paid $3.00/description. Now she is paid as much as $18.00/description. Once you understand the companies brand/voice, you can write quickly and efficiently which can translate into $100.00+/hour when writing multiple descriptions.
With an hourly rate there is no incentive to be more efficient, so charging a per description fee makes more sense for the freelance writer.”
Finally, here are a couple of suggestions to help you land the job:
I hope you get the job. Good luck!
Do you need help writing persuasive descriptions for your products? Choose an experienced copywriter. Contact Susan Greene today!