Communication with a prospective client about a copywriting proposal needs to be clear, succinct, and comprehensive so that the subsequent research, planning, and collaboration ultimately bring the project together. However, if the proposal doesn't have all the details or possibly the copywriter is just too eager to get on with the writing, then both the freelance writer and the client will end up with a confused sense of the project's scope, which results in no one being sure what is to be finally delivered or when.
This article aims to introduce the concept of the scope of work for a copywriting agreement, how it is written, and even a sample copywriting contract template (at least the scope of work part) to clarify the layout and content. If you are interested in seeing how a scope of work in a copywriter contract sample can be presented online, then Indy offers a really useful with our Contracts and Proposals tools. For now, let's take a look at what a scope of work is and how it fits into your copywriter contract.
What Is the Scope of Work in a Copywriting Contract?
In summary, scope of work for a copywriting job is a carefully laid out, formal description of all the tasks the copywriter needs to carry out to accomplish the client's brief. For each of the involved tasks, their associated budgets and timelines are detailed, so accurate costings and schedules can be created. A good scope of work will show what's included in the job but, importantly, it will also highlight relevant tasks or resources that are not.
Naturally, the detail in the scope of copywriting needs to be pertinent to the style of work. So, for example the file format and storage location of deliverables need to be made clear to all parties involved. Additionally, the copyright and publishing restrictions should be clarified so everyone has a clear understanding from the outset.
What Are the Benefits of the Scope of Copywriting?
Clarity on Both Sides
Clearly outlining the objectives, deliverables, expectations, and timeline of the project helps to reduce any ambiguity; the client and copywriter know where they stand. Similarly, the copywriting proposal needs to detail payment and cost arrangements to avoid any embarrassing situations at the end of the project.
As a Legal Document
As a written agreement that is dated and signed by at least two parties, the scope of copywriting acts as a legal document in the unlikely event of a major dispute. By outlining all the work involved the expectations are clear, so the deliverables, the costing, and the timeline of the entire project have been tied down, agreed and signed. There is no possibility for scope creep autocratic revisions.
It is just human nature to want to change projects once they are underway. In scope of work this is called scope creep, where additional elements to the existing job are requested by the client. This is frustrating for copywriters as the client tries to change the original terms of their contract. The additional costs and time involved can often lead to disputes on both sides. The causes can be many but poor communication and unclear goals are frequent.
Work as a Team
Copywriters frequently work alone as freelancers however it's not unusual for a copywriter to work with several members of a company when working on a project. By involving all parties of the client company in the scope of copywriting there is much less chance of misunderstanding and miscommunication.
What Is Included in the Scope of Copywriting?
When creating a scope of copywriting the aim is to create an overview of the project initially with an introduction and then define the objectives and the scope it entails.
The introduction of the scope offers brief and general information about what the project is delivering as some pertinent background about the client company. It is usual to include a summary of the project goals, the relevant staff involved, and the deliverables for the client all of which is best practice and legally binding.
The definition of a deliverable is a specific output created as a result of work performed during the course of the project. They can be wide-ranging in nature but for the copywriter usually consists of written work submitted as files or digitally. It's best to think of deliverables not as the objective of the overall project but rather as components that chart the project's path to its conclusion. The quality standards and acceptance criteria for each of the deliverables are normally included along with them.
Timeline or Project Schedule
The timeline of a project details the scope of work to be completed and the timeline required for finishing it. Timeline details will include elements such as start date, end date, tasks, milestones, as well as the resources required to complete it. For a copywriter, it's necessary to detail the project milestones and then break down the tasks required to complete them.
For a copywriting job, this may include carrying out research online, devising the structure for the written work, and then writing a number of articles. Creating an accurate project timeline is essential to keep the project on track and ensure that deliverable deadlines are met and all tasks are completed when required. Using visuals such as a Gantt chart or a Mind Map are often a vital format for representing the totality of the project clearly. The overlap or conflict between different tasks is much more evident when portrayed visually and consequently much less easy to overlook.
Tasks in a project need to be seen as discrete actions that build towards the overall objectives. However, tasks are not deliverables, they are just components or actions that contribute to moving the project forward. For example, for a freelance copywriter, a task could be to rewrite the landing pages for XYZ website. It's a discrete task that has a clear beginning and end. If tasks are too complex to detail break them down into simpler, more manageable component parts. Part of the remit for documenting tasks includes detailing the responsibility and timeline.
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By the nature of the work, the resources a copywriter uses in the production of a project are usually quite limited. Creating copy, website pages or product descriptions only involves the production of computer files and the labor needed to create them. Resources extend to tools, materials, equipment, and skills that are required to produce the project, so for the copywriter, this may include setting up software accounts, which all need to be charged.
Team Member Roles
Copywriters often work as individual freelancers so it's not unusual for a project team to just consist of that one person. However, for larger projects, the copywriter may employ a pool of external writers who will directly contribute to the project. It's necessary to include all these external writers, as well as the copywriter when documenting all the relevant project team members, as well as their roles and responsibilities within the project.
It is good practice to state the preferred communication method between the team and the client and how often updates will be provided.
The management of a copywriting project is often more simple than in many other business sectors. The copywriter will act as project manager and the list of tasks documented in the copywriting contract defines a clear overview of the project requirements that need to be achieved and the timeline. In the management of a copywriting project, it is also necessary to detail how project issues or risks are to be handled and resolved for legal protection. An example would be when a copywriter agrees on a start date to provide services of an agreed scope but the client changes their mind.
The copywriter knows he will need 1 month to plan the project, but the client has a date in mind that cuts into this. It may be required to hire additional resources to address the work, which will increase the budget to achieve the new finish date but at least both parties understand.
Indy Is Ideally Suited to the Copywriter
In the world of copywriting services, the working day is a constant battle to juggle numerous administrative tasks, as well as secure enough quiet time to get down to the task of writing. This is where Indy, the freelancing app, can assist in organizing and documenting many of these tasks.
For copywriters, it is a daily task to network and find new client contacts. With Indy it's easy to create a web form, contact entry and a user-friendly CRM to document each new client. Then the Proposals and Contracts tools assist you in creating clear and professional documents that create just the right impression with your new clients.
Detailing the structure of a new writing project can be very involved, so it's important to create a clear copywriting services proposal template and not to leave out vital details. Indy’s Forms tool Simplifies the task, enabling you to build a clear picture of your potential client, their project goals, as well as important notes you gather during communication. Once the project is underway the Indy Tasks tool will enable you to organize the work, as well as monitor it through Time Tracker. The last and best part is that Indy's app can also help you organize copywriting invoices, payments and automatic reminders to make sure you get paid for your hard work.
In comparison to many other trades, the work of the copywriter, from an organizational perspective, is often quite straightforward. However, this doesn't mean that using a scope of work is redundant. In fact, the opposite is true. By having a documented scope of work the copywriter understands what he has to achieve with his team and when it's required. On the client's part, they are fully informed not only about progress but also full details about the deliverables.
Indy can help you create a reusable copywriter contract template that will save time and money in the project process. Create your own scope of work or start from our template. Use Indy's signature blocks to track your documents. Soon, you'll have clearly defined projects that help you build up winning momentum. Get started with Indy today!
Example Copywriting Scope of Work
This sample of a Copywriting Scope of Work illustrates the sections in the project, as well as the clear expectations and the required information.
The client's business is Frosty Frozen Foods (FFF). They have updated their website with plenty of professional images. To augment this they want to improve the copy on the landing page and they want five blogs to help customers and improve the corporate image. FFF has hired Wordy Copywriting (WC) to do the writing for the landing page and blogs.
Peter Frosty is the Head of Marketing Projects for FFF and is acting as the project manager. Brian Wordy is the proprietor of Wordy Copywriting and his copywriter's obligations include writing the landing page himself and using two freelancers, John and Adam Smith, to write the blogs. Peter Frosty wants the project finished by 9/1/23. The entire agreement of the copywriting proposal is to be supplied to the client by 8/1/23 for his written approval.
FFF wants the content of the landing page to have a more professional tone to educate customers about the quality of frozen food. Reference to the three supplied images should leave customers feeling they are dealing with an upmarket product.
The five blogs, titled Recipe 1-5, need to show off how FFF products can be incorporated into a recipe to create a professional-looking meal. The landing page (1000 words) needs to be SEO optimized and the 5 blogs written using Grammarly and Surfer SEO 500 words each.
By agreement, the project will start on 8/1/23 and will be delivered on or before 9/1/23. The deliverable deadlines are as follows:
7/15/23 - Create copywriting contract template
8/7/23 - Delivery of copy for landing page
8/16/23 - Delivery of Recipes 1-3
9/22/23 - Delivery of Recipes 4 & 5
Landing Page - responsibility of Brian Wordy. Deadline 8/7/23
Review existing copy and general sales copy for research
Write copy using SEO techniques and layout wordcount for each section
Submit to client for review
Edit copy according to review
Submit copy for uploading
5 Recipe Blogs - Responsibility of John and Adam Smith. Deadline: 8/16/23 & 9/22/23
Supply John Adam with the first three recipe blog titles, brief, writing guidelines and Surfer SEO access.
John Adam to send first draft to Brian Wordy. 8/10/23
Brian Wordy returns copy with corrections, which John edits.
John sends final draft to Brian.
Brian submits final draft to Peter Frosty. 8/16/23
Supply Adam Smith with the last two recipe blog titles, brief, writing guidelines and Surfer SEO access.
John Adam to send first draft to Brian Wordy. 8/16/23
Brian Wordy returns copy with corrections, which Adam edits.
Adam sends final draft to Brian.
Brian submits final draft to Peter Frosty. 8/22/23
All resources for the project are the responsibility of Brian Wordy. External freelancers agree not to infringe the intellectual property rights of any of the copy produced and all copy remains the sole property of Brian Wordy. Brian Wordy will supply login details for Grammarly and Surfer SEO as part of his working relationship with John and Adam.
The team members and their responsibilities in this project are as follows:
Client name: Peter Frosty, Head of Marketing, FFF
Contractor: Brian Wordy, MD, Wordy Copywriting
Freelance writer: John Smith
Freelance writer: Adam Smith
Brian Wordy is the project manager on this copywriting project and the parties agree he will report directly to Peter Frosty at FFF for the services provided. John and Adam Smith are freelance writers and they will report directly to Brian Wordy. Brian Wordy will liaise with Peter Frosty, and the parties agree to meet at least once a week following the start of the project. If Peter Frosty has any concerns or problems he is asked to contact Brian Wordy as soon as possible by email.