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Any copywriters out there? I need advice on rates

(10 Posts)
northernlights0710 Wed 28-Nov-18 15:46:42

Hello,

Could anyone tell me what the going rate is for medical copywriters in London please?

A healthcare marketing company wants me to write newsletters and web page content and wants to know my rates. I told them £43 an hour (not sure if I'm pricing myself too low for this work in London) but they are not keen on an hourly rate.

Don't know how else to charge them though as some work will involve research, which is an unknown quantity. The wordage per job will be 200 to 500 words.

I'm 25 years in Fleet St journalism and have been working for this company for six months as a freelance editor (and not paid much till now) Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
grumiosmum Wed 28-Nov-18 17:14:01

For specialist writing I think you should charge at least £60 an hour. Work out how long it will take you to do a job, work out a per 100 word rate from that, and then add 10% for contingency.

northernlights0710 Thu 29-Nov-18 01:09:10

Thanks Grumiosmum, it's helpful to know that. I can't ask the company for £60 an hour unfortunately, as I've already told them I'd work for £43 an hour. However, they want me to quote for the job rather than per hour.

I was posting here because I have no idea how to price a job before I know how long it will take me. There will be research required for some of the jobs they ask me to do - such as web page copy - and for other jobs, like newsletters, they'll provide me with all of the info they want crafted into an article, so no research required.

Thanks very much indeed for your guidance. I wouldn't feel I could justify £60 an hour just yet for medical copywriting as it's a new thing for me that I fell into by accident. I'm not an experienced medical copywriter and don't have the medical qualifications that most agencies/employers require. Maybe six months or a year down the line I could charge better rates though smile
flowers flowers

OP’s posts: |
spudlet7 Thu 29-Nov-18 01:18:14

Unfortunately you're just going to have to estimate how many hours it will take you and use that as your basis for a total project price. You might get it wrong but you'll learn something for next time. Remember to include time for proofing and revisions, as well as your research and actual writing.

Grace212 Thu 29-Nov-18 08:55:44

OP I've done some copywriting in the past but I'm wondering how you fell into medical copywriting - I always thought I'd need some kind of medical qualification for that?

LanceStatersGold Thu 29-Nov-18 12:56:45

Add up research and writing hours and quote that as a full price if it makes them happier or give them your day rate x how many days you think each project would take.

Usually when clients ask this it’s because they want to know up front that you’re in line with their budget. They’re probably happy with your rate but want to know whether they’ll be paying for 5 or 50 hours!

I always specify revisions as extra, if necessary.

Also, don’t underestimate how long it is going to take you.

Even when I do price ‘per job’ it’s stull actually based on my hourly rate - they just don’t know!

LanceStatersGold Thu 29-Nov-18 12:57:30

*still, clearly. Can’t be leaving that on a copywriting thread!

northernlights0710 Thu 29-Nov-18 12:58:23

Thanks Spudlet.

Grace, I only work for one private healthcare marketing company and I got the work through friends of friends, who run the business and were looking for editors. I'm an experienced editor. I've also worked for business and finance publications, so I'm used to understanding complex concepts and presenting them in a simple format that the layperson can understand.

However, there isn't an awful lot to get my head round with the particular work I'm doing as most of it relates to the promotion of their business and the services they offer. Any medical terminology I do come across I can look up online. So perhaps it's not accurate to describe it as medical copywriting. More like marketing with a medical bent.

I think that most employers these days demand qualifications that aren't necessary. For example, most media organisations now require entrants to have a degree, but a degree won't help you to write any better than someone who doesn't have one. I know of some graduates who can barely string a coherent sentence together and of non-graduates who write perfect, clear copy.

I expect with medical copywriting it is different as the specialist knowledge would make a difference to rates in terms of how quickly you're able to work. So I guess I'd be limited to writing about private medical businesses and their staff and services rather than being able to write a detailed research report, for example.

OP’s posts: |
northernlights0710 Thu 29-Nov-18 13:09:49

LancestatersGold - thank you - your answer is very helpful. Especially the part about your rate for the job being based on your hourly rate, except that they don't know it! This is the way I'll have to go, I think.

I'm thinking I might ask for £43 per X number of words (which I know takes an hour) plus half that rate per 30 minutes of research in addition to that. I'll be careful to specify extra for revisions, too!

I'm wary because the company wants to give me frequent, continuous work long term and sign a contract, so if I "guess" the wrong rate, I'm stuck with it. At least now I'm starting to have a good idea of what to charge, thanks to all the help I'm getting on this thread!

Many thanks everyone! flowers flowers

OP’s posts: |
Grace212 Thu 29-Nov-18 13:45:03

Thanks op
Sounds like you're doing really well so I'm sure this new line will go well for you too.

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