07/05/2011: "Why Copywriters Shouldn't Provide Rewrites or Revisions"
The famous Super Bowl ad that opened doors for Apple, Inc. aired January 22, 1984. It's now considered a masterpiece of advertising. The ad introduced the Macintosh computer to the world. The suits at Apple hated the ad and didn't want to run it.
Fortunately, they were overruled by Steve Jobs, Bill Campbell, Steve Wozniak, and Lee Clow, the creative director at Chiat/Day, who created the commercial. That commercial became one of the most popular TV spots in history.
What does that tell us?
Simply put, it tells us that the client is seldom right. At least when it comes to judging sales copy. So why do almost all copywriters allow clients to have one, two, three or even more revisions? Why will some even do a complete rewrite. How stupid!
Copywriting great, the late Gary Halbert, never allowed clients to have revisions. He told them to use it the way he wrote it or forget it. He was the expert. Not them.
I do not give revisions and never a rewrite. I will correct factual errors. That's it.
When you allow clients to mess with your copy, you're allowing them to ruin their sales campaign that you've so carefully crafted.
When you turn over sales copy to your clients, if you're a good copywriter, you've done the very best you can. You've taken the information they've given you and that you've researched and you've created sales copy that's compelling, has all the hot buttons and should sell their stuff.
When you do that, to change a single thing is taking a knife to a Rembrandt.
Your job as a copywriter is to sell stuff for your client. Now, great copy alone won't do that. Your client has to do his or her part. He must have a viable product. His business must be working well on all cylinders.
But, it's your copy that's going to make him and his product or service look good. It's going to be the 24/7/365 salesperson that brings home the bacon.
So, don't let him mess with it and don't you mess with it. If it's good enough to turn over to the client in the first place, it's damn sure good enough to go to work for him.