How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are (Lesson 4 of 4: Present Your Copy)

Presented live on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are (Lesson 4 of 4)

In Part 4 of our 4 part series on “How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are”, Jo tackles how to present your copy.

If you’ve ever simply sent your copy as a reply in an email chain, this lesson is for you.

This week, Jo shows how to present your copy in a way that inspires confidence by looking SO PRO.


View the lesson pack for this training here:

Lesson 1 of 4 of the How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are series

Lesson 2 of 4 of the How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are series

Lesson 3 of 4 of the How to Look like the Pro Freelancer You Are series

Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: Welcome, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, depending on where you are. We are about to dive into part 4 of our four part mini course on looking more pro as a freelancer.

OK, so you should now be seeing a my packs. This is what we’ve been working in so far, this mini course. So just to recap, lesson 1, that was 4 weeks ago, was how to actively try to convert visitors into warm leads. So you can see more of that therapy you want to refer back.

Lesson 2 was on making your productized services feel like incredible value for money. And again, these are all about doing the little extras that actually don’t take more time. They just require that you be prepared. And then, once you have these things in place, you can just duplicate them and look like a pro way faster than the manual process that you go through if you’re not really taking your business that seriously.

Lesson 3 was how to actually get that research that you need from clients. It’s not always research. It’s brand guidelines and other things that are kind of scattered around in their world. And you need to pull those things together. Or when it comes time to do what we’re going to talk about today, which is presenting that copy to your clients, if they didn’t give you the right files and things up front, you are going to hear, oh actually, we did this test back in 2019. Let me send you the results of that.

And then, you can incorporate those learnings in the copy. And then, the brand person comes in and says the same thing about some brand update that they’ve decided to do, where the voice has been tweaked a little. Stuff like that. You need to get that up front so that you can present your copy better. If you’re not requesting those files in a way that makes it easy for clients to get them to you, you will pay for it later. You will. And you will resent your client for it. And it wasn’t actually their fault.

So keep that in mind if you are still kind of on the fence about looking more pro. Some of the stuff is going to feel a little bit like extra to you. Do we need to do that? All I can do is give recommendations based on what I have done, what our agency has done, and what we’ve seen work. I don’t think it’s accidental that we get to charge premium rates. And I don’t think it’s accidental that our clients love the work that we do and feel involved along the way.

And by love the work, I mean that they keep coming back for more. And so that’s a good thing. That’s what we all want. So if you’ve been struggling with it or you’ve been uncertain about doing it a different way, think about 2022, what you want to get out of your freelance business next year. If 2021 was not grand or if it was pretty good, it can get better next year. So start thinking about that. Go back through this. You already have access to this pack.

So that’s the pack that you already you’re used to seeing. You saw it earlier. I removed some of the things from it that we no longer need, like how to add this to your calendar, OK. So let’s dive in now to the lesson of the day. This is today’s lesson. It’s in that. So I see some of you are in here. That’s awesome in your view-only mode. Or of four lessons here today, fourth part.

Today, we’re going to use Packs. Again, these are all sponsored by Packs. And you’ve, hopefully, find it quite useful. There’s a reason they’re sponsored by Canva as well and AddEvent. And these are tools that you’ve seen us use already. So you don’t need to have every tool under the sun, you really don’t. You can have Packs, Canva, AddEvent and Typeform. And that’ll make you look pretty pro all along the way.

So Packs brings everything together. Canva is that little extra layer of making things look nice. Add Event makes it easy for your clients to say yes to booking you. Oh, Calendly is another one that we’ve used a lot of. And then, Typeform as well. So go back through the past lessons to see what those are good for.

The really good thing is that these are all super affordable. So if you are bringing in better leads, bringing in better clients because you’re looking more pro, spending 50 bucks a month on a tech stack of five solutions– and I think 50 is even an exaggeration, I think you can probably get away with 25 bucks– to get all of these at your disposal and look more pro, worth it. OK, cool.

How Most Copy Gets Presented [04:34]

So most copy gets presented this way. So this is a sent from Google Docs. The freelancer page is ready for chipping. Is copy that got presented to us. And this is a bit of an exaggeration. But very often, freelance copywriters will just send copy via Google Docs. They’ll just put it in there, and go like, hey, guys, check out this copy and let me know your feedback deadlines due by whenever. And they’re shocked that their client doesn’t get it, doesn’t rush to review it. Wasn’t sitting there at their inbox going, gosh, I hope that copy comes in soon. They’re not thinking that they are busy.

So if you kind of just sneak copy into your client’s inbox, don’t be terribly surprised if they don’t think you’re very professional. They don’t rush to review it. When they give you feedback, they’re a little bit annoyed by you, so they give you a little bit harsher feedback that might not even be that accurate. Try to have full empathy for your client.

This is a client who I don’t know where you’re at in your freelance business. But if you’re asking them to pay you $2,000, that’s real money. That’s not fake money. That’s a real $2,000 investment that they’re giving to you. You got to have empathy for what that took for them to find that money, believe in you, and give that money to you. Budget, they could have spent on something else, they’re giving it to you.

It might not feel like a lot to you all the time. But chances are good, it feels like real money to them. And they would rather not have to give that money up for somebody who’s going to, quote, unquote “annoy them”. Just being honest, it’s going to be annoying if you don’t take control and act in a really professional way. Now, especially when we get into $5,000 projects, $10,000 projects, $30,000 projects. Or if they’ve chosen to retain you, they’re giving you $8,000 a month for you to do the copywriting work.

If you just kind of fire them copy in ways that feel chaotic, that’s not going to make them have great trust in you. So the goal is to inspire confidence by looking extra pro. Extra, try to be extra, try to go that extra distance with this. And that’s how people notice you. I know that when we have a freelancer who controls everything, we end up hiring them. Where do you think Carolyn came from? We were like, you’re the best. Come work for us. What would it cost? So keep that in mind.

And that doesn’t– you’re like, I don’t want to get hired. That’s OK. You can always turn it down. It’s just really nice to be asked. You will like it.

How to Present Your Copy Like a Pro [07:12]

OK, so when we’re talking to looking pro, it’s not just about make sure you put everything in a nice-looking pack. It’s also presenting your copy. So there are two things. And in that pack, that was for this whole four part series, there’s also supporting lessons on how to present your copy. If you’re in 10xFC, you already know this. Hopefully, you’re doing it. Those are the people who see the really good results or those who actually do this stuff.

Presentation #1 [07:36]

So presentation one is about two weeks before your copy is due. You have a review of your outline. And that’s where, if you’re writing a sales page, you can say, OK, we’re opening with problem. This is the problem. And walk them through the outline of the key points that you’re going to hit. And that way, they can say, cool, I’ve got visibility into what you’re doing.

And that’s a big thing for clients. They need to see that their freelancer isn’t off doing what you hear freelancers love to do, which isn’t even accurate. But this whole idea of, oh, you’re off on a beach or you only work from coffee shops. And so you’ve been kind of chilling on your sofa with your cat. And now copies due tomorrow, so you’re going to haul ass and pull it together. That’s an easy enough myth that’s out there in the world about freelancers. And freelancers buy into that too, like that’s how it works.

It’s not actually how it works. Anybody who’s making money as a freelancer knows that’s not how it works. What you want to make sure your client knows is that you were doing work on this the whole time. You’ve been doing the research. You already have that your research recommendations presentation. That’s not part of copy presentation. That would have come sooner. Here’s what we’re learning. Out of that comes your outline, what you’re going to do based on what you’ve learned, what you’re now hypothesizing.

Then, you get those sign-off on that outline. This doesn’t have to be a long meeting, you’re just really, again, giving that visibility. Here are the notes we’re going to hit. Are you cool with it? This is the general copy, like sound, that we have. This is the voice that we’re using. Is it the right interpretation of your voice? Is it the right tone? Give them that chance to give you the thumbs up. Which, very often, they will unless some things truly inaccurate or shockingly different from what they expected.

And then, that present that sets you up to go into that final copy presentation with everybody already having bought in to the core of the work you’re doing. Which makes them all more likely to give you good feedback and give it to you quickly because they’re not surprised by anything.

Presentation #2 [09:34]

So presentation 2 is your final copy presentation. That is a longer presentation. Again, go through the supporting lesson so you can see exactly how to present that copy. But really importantly here, for looking super pro is that you book the meetings. And book them in advance. Set out an actual timeline for how you work with clients. And make sure that you’re hitting those notes in advance. So that if you’re like, OK, this is a six-week project. We’re going to do recommendations for within the first three weeks. A week after that, we’re going to do the outline presentation. And two weeks later, we will present the actual finished copy to you. OK, that’s six weeks.

Cool beans, what are the meetings you have to have along the way? What are the deadlines you need people to hit? You can use AddEvents to help your client remember to give you things. I’m going to show you that right away. But the point is that if you know what the timeline looks like, if you know where you have to be at each milestone in your project, then you can book those meetings in advance. You can make sure that you’re talking to clients about what you need from them well in advance.

And then, when the meeting comes, you run that meeting. It’s on your Zoom link. Or if you use something else, God help you if you do. I don’t know. The other ones are all weird to me. I hate Google Hangouts. Sorry, Google Hangouts. Other people love you, I do not. So you have to run those meetings and make sure you’re intentionally doing it in a way that feels meaningful and planned like you use Zoom, because that’s what you like, that’s what you prefer. And the world is used to it. So do it.

And then, you send follow up emails with notes after the meeting. So that’s this part where you’re keeping things under control. Everybody knows that they can trust you, that you have done this before.

Before Your Presentation [11:15]

OK, So before that copy presentation, the 60 minute one, you want to send the copy about 5 minutes before the start temperature scheduled meeting. Now, what’s showing here is what you can hopefully see a bit of, which is a little hard to see. And that’s normal, that’s the normal experience in email.

Before a meeting where you’re presenting copy, you want to show them the copy doc. Like here, you’ve got about 5 minutes to briefly scan this. So you send this about five minutes before that meeting and say, hey, guys, this is what we’re looking at today. You don’t have enough time. You intentionally don’t have enough time to review it in detail. Just take 5 minutes to quickly scan it. Then, you save it to copy doc. So you’ve got a copy doc.

Your wireframe, if that’s in Envision, then you’ll link to your wireframe. If it’s not, then you’ll upload that to your email. And then, you’ll also want to put a copy of the presentation itself in there. And that gives them everything they need to follow along with you, when you’re actually presenting.

Plus, they can open it up, give it a quick scan before the meeting, and feel good that they’re not going to ask the common questions that people ask in meetings. When will I get a copy of the copy Doc? When will I get the wireframe? Where is it? Can you email it to me right now? And all those things that make it feel like you weren’t prepared for this, that this is your first time doing this. Send it all in advance. Then, they have it handy.

But you can see here looking at this email, we have a copy doc. We have an attached wireframe. And we have an attached PDF. God help you if you forget one of those things as well, or you leave the wrong people, or leave certain people off your email.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Everything for Your Client in an Email [12:52]

So things can go wrong when you send an email. It’s really common. But it’s also really frustrating to be a client who has people firing them stuff on Slack, and in email, and all over the place. And my job as your client becomes to keep track of everything you’re sending to me, which is La garbage. Nobody wants that in their lives.

So things get really lost with email. It doesn’t mean it’s the worst thing to do. But we’re not talking about how to do the bare minimum as a freelancer. We’re talking about how to be super pro as a freelancer. So I recommend against this. I’ve worked with really strong consultants, who when they send me stuff like this, immediately, I’m like, come on, have you never been on the receiving end of an email like this, where now, my job is to organize your life inside of my world? That’s unpleasant. Is not good. So we want to avoid that.

It also doesn’t allow you– an email like this doesn’t let you kind of control the flow of things. And then, you’re going to follow up after the presentation with another email that includes this stuff, as well as notes and a replay. And there’s just all sorts of links, and docs, and files, and everything just flying at your client.

And again, if they work in Slack, now they have to find a way to get everything from here into Slack to share with the team or they have to change to working in email and invite different people from their team into that email thread. What could possibly go wrong? Only everything. If we all worked in an email today, then it wouldn’t be that freaky-deaky. But because so many of us work in Slack or Microsoft Teams, we can’t depend on everybody just looking through their email to get all of the files and links that we want to send along. That’s what a non-pro does. That’s not what we’re going to do.

Make Life Easier: Send a Single Link Instead [14:47]

We want to send one link instead. So the great thing about sending one link, you can send exactly the same email. But just replace everything that you otherwise had in there, all this chaos, with a single link that has everything in it. What’s great about that is you can update it if you forget something. They can forward it around and share it in Slack. That one link that they can just pop in the general channel, or the marketing channel, or anything else creative services. Or for review, who knows what they have set up in their Slack? But they can pop that link in there and all the right people see it there.

You can organize everything in the order that you want people to review it. So when you include an attachment in a Google Doc or, sorry, in Gmail, you already know, because I’m sure you’ve done this, that Gmail puts your attachments wherever it wants to. You get to drag them around. That’s true. But you don’t get to put an attachment in a bulleted list with all of the other things. Which starts to feel like, well, where has that gone to?

And this way, you can organize everything in the order that you want people to review it. And after the meeting– if you put everything in one pack, after the meeting, you can then add your notes to that one pack. You can add a deadline to that one pack. You can add all the things you want to add to that one pack. So that’s what we want to do. I’m going to show you what that should look like.

Let’s go back over here to our Packs. And this is it. So you can put a thumbnail on it too. So if they’re using Packs, then they’ll see it. If they don’t ever go to a Packs home page, then it doesn’t matter. But this is what that can look like. So right at the top, you can say copy feedback is due by this time. So this is at the end of your presentation. You add all of the important stuff in here. So replace that with the client’s name. You’ll have your information down at the very bottom. So they always know who this is from when they share it around as a link in their team.

They can add to calendar, the deadline. And that’s a better chance that you’ll have of the clients actually giving you your feedback when it’s due. So put an Add Event together if you’re spending the $7 a month or whatever it is on AddEvent. Do it for all of your clients. And then, they’ll have this in their calendar. Businesses work in calendars. That’s how people get stuff done. So it’s really good to get your deadline in their calendar.

Then, you can include your proposed copy and everything organized in the way that you want it. So in the event that you don’t actually present copy live, such as if you’re on a retainer with a client, you’ve been working with them for three months, they know, they trust you. They don’t need to have a full review for every single thing that you send their way. Then, you’ll want to do a Loom video. And you can just embed that right at the top so they can watch the video, as they’re looking at the other stuff too.

So organizing it, embedding what you need to. Embed the wireframe if you want to. You can unembed it as well, if it’s taking up too much space. But this way, at least, you can see all of the copy in one place. And they can just click anything to open those links up in new tabs. And then, you’ve got all of the supporting stuff as well. The portal, the client portal that you put together in a previous lesson. You add a link to that right here.

You could put this and should put a link to this in that client portal. But the reason to keep this copy separate from the client portal that you set up, I think, last week is because this is going to get shared around. This pack is going to get shared around in their team. And if they have to figure out research versus copy, it can get confusing. And that’s the last thing you want. Again, real empathy for your client.

So we put everything here. And then, you can put a link to this in your client portal. And you put a link to the portal in here. So that it’s always easy for your client to find stuff that they need. The approved outline goes here. Everything they need to get this copy reviewed goes in one place. That is how we do it. That is all. You can share the Pack in view-only. And that means people can’t do weird things to it. So it’s really good to share around within a team. And, of course, to make it look extra cool, you can edit that thumbnail. Add a different thumbnail in. Do whatever you want to do with that.

OK, guys, thank you, everybody. We will see you on the next one. Have a good one.

Get our new articles, videos and event info.

Join 89,000+ fine folks. Stay as long as you'd like. Unsubscribe anytime.