Copywriters rely on many different tools to optimize their efforts in managing their work. Especially when you’re working as a freelancer managing your own business, the tools you use can have a critical impact.
Yet premium tools can come with a hefty price tag and add up quickly. Beginners may not have the capital to invest in these tools right away and may need to find solutions that fit a more meager budget.
Luckily, free copywriting resources are more plentiful—and more effective—than you may have initially thought.
You may be hesitant about free resources. “What about all the functionality I’m losing?” you might ask. Or, “How can I be competitive in the marketplace with subpar tools? Can free resources really be effective when running a freelance business?”
Why Free Copywriting Resources Are Worth It
Hear us out. We applaud your skepticism. You don’t want to use tools that are ineffective or that don’t help you achieve the level of productivity and consistency that you expect.
But you don’t have to sacrifice quality or efficiency with the right free copywriting resources.
Templates, for instance, are a resource from which all copywriters can benefit.
You can access free templates to help you streamline and standardize your approach to contracts, invoicing, creative briefs, or even the different types of deliverables you produce.
Copywriter Exchange wants to help you unlock the potential of free copywriting resources and templates so that you don’t waste any time or effort. With these tools you can begin building the foundation for the copywriting career of your dreams.
When you’re a freelance writer, you don’t work for a marketing firm or in-house for a company that handles client contracts for you. While these hired jobs allow you to shed administrative burdens and focus on the content you produce, you have no such luxury as a freelancer.
While owning your own freelance writing business offers a high degree of control over your career, it also means all those business responsibilities fall on you.
When working with a client, you need a contract that clearly lays out the terms and conditions of the work you’ll provide.
Some of the critical elements you’ll need in a client contract include:
- The scope of the work you will provide
- Rate details and specific payment requirements
- Deadlines for delivery of work and other timeline details
In essence, a contract needs to make clear to both you and the client all expectations and responsibilities you’ve agreed upon and stand up as a legally binding document. The last thing you want to be doing is coming up with the language of your contract on your own—or worse, starting from scratch with every new contract.
Contract templates are a free copywriting resource that can ensure that you’re using a consistent and standardized contracting process. That way, even if the specific terms of each agreement differ, the basic structure and language of each new agreement will remain the same.
This ensures your contracts are as clear and definitive as possible while containing the necessary standard legal language.
Download a free contract template from Copywriter Exchange.
When you’re a freelance copywriter, invoices are inevitable. If you’re producing deliverables for clients, you’re also creating invoices to send to those clients—that is, if you want to get paid for your work. (We assume you do.)
Keep in mind that you may charge differently depending on the client, the project, or your preferences. This means that you may end up charging an hourly rate, per word, or per project, depending on what best meets the needs and expectations of you and your client. This will be reflected in your invoice.
A typical invoice for a freelance copywriter should include the following:
- Your company details, such as company name, address, email, or other contact info
- The client’s name, address, and contact info
- An invoice number
- The date the invoice was produced
- The date or period by which payment is due
- An itemized list of work completed, including all projects and other billable items
- The hours spent on each project, if charging hourly
- The rate charged for each line item
- An invoice summary, including the subtotal, taxes (if applicable), and the final amount due
The main concern when you send an invoice is that it’s professionally formatted and clearly communicates the amount owed for each billable task, who’s being billed, and to whom and when payment should be rendered for services.
A clean and minimalist format without a bunch of fancy colors and design elements is best. A simple black-and-white spreadsheet or ledger format can be effective.
Using a standardized invoice template lets you quickly go in and add or change specific details for different clients or projects without having to spend time constructing a new document every time. It also ensures you never miss an important detail that keeps you from getting paid on time because a template will prompt you to enter the necessary information.
Download a free invoice template from Copywriter Exchange.
Creative Brief Template
Going into any new project without a clear idea of what that project entails—as well as the metrics you need to hit for that piece to meet the client’s expectations—is a surefire way to produce poorly performing content.
Any copywriter who wants to keep a good working reputation and not be run out of town with pitchforks and torches needs to plan ahead.
Enter the creative brief.
A creative brief, in short, is a document that contains all the requirements and expectations of what a project will include. It serves as an outline of sorts, which often includes direct input from the client you’re working with.
Here are a few things a content brief should include:
- The topic and type of deliverable
- Target keywords for Google
- Length/word count
- Personas (audience), tone, and voice
- Stage of the marketing funnel
- Any key verticals to consider
- Other content to link to, such as pillar pages
- An overview and working outline of what information to include
- What resources to include
While a bigger client may opt to send you a creative brief on their own, many clients may not have the time, resources, or expertise to build this for you.
A standard template you use for creative briefs helps ensure you have all the details you need while also lightening the burden on the client.
When you bring your own creative brief template to each new project, your clients will give critical input that you can simply plug into the template for your brief.
This saves you time and ensures that you put your best foot forward with every new project.
Download a Free Creative Brief Template from Copywriter Exchange.
Free Copywriting Resources to Propel You to the Next Level
The free copywriting resources you use today are ultimately just a tool to get you to the next level of your copywriting career. Freelancers need every leg up they can get in today’s competitive copywriting industry.
But ultimately, the resources you invest in today should benefit you even as you transition from beginner to copywriting pro.
Using templates for the professional documents you commonly send to clients helps you streamline the business end of things. That way, you can be more efficient, eliminate avoidable mistakes, and focus your energy on being the best copywriter you can be.
Connor Holmes is a content writer with Content Workshop who comes from a diverse writing background. He worked as an award-winning public safety staff writer at his hometown newspaper, The Cape Coral Daily Breeze. He earned his MFA in creative writing and has professionally published fiction and poetry. He has also tutored English to students from grade school to grad school.
At Copywriter Exchange, we exist to help copywriters thrive in today’s economy by connecting them with the resources they need to step up their game. Join now to access our templates, guides, and courses to help you grow your career, skills, and network.