Do you have a list of the dream clients you’d love to land? The clients that would make you feel like your business has arrived?
I have to admit, I am impressed and seduced by big name brands. I used to be green with envy as I looked through the portfolios of successful copywriters I admired. They were packed with household brand names and that’s what I thought I needed to strive for. The bigger the brand, the more successful I was. Right?
Since starting Copywrite Matters, I’ve worked with many businesses from solopreneurs and one-woman shops through to small teams, multinationals and global companies.
As I’ve added more projects to my copywriting portfolio, my ideal client has taken shape. Last year I was surprised to discover that big name brands aren’t my ideal client after all.
This post will step through some of the pros and cons of working with big brand clients.
- Big brand clients are impressive. That’s a fact. When you tout their logo you can get access to clients that would otherwise be behind the red rope.
- Big brand clients often have a much bigger budget to play with.
- Big brand clients usually have a clearer sense of their brand (who they are), and they have an established market, which can make your job easier.
- Big brand clients often have teams of internal specialists so you get to speak to the subject matter expert who will give you the answers you need.
- Big brand clients usually have teams of people you need to liaise with. It can often involve much more engagement, as you have to explain yourself to multiple groups. That’s ok, as long as that time is in your budget and project plan.
- Big brand clients often aren’t very nimble or responsive thanks to all those extra teams and politics, making the decision-making process much more time-consuming and laborious.
- Big brand clients usually have payment conditions that can’t be budged. You say 14 days, they say 90 days and there isn’t much you can do about it. It can pay to issue your invoice directly to the accounts department to make sure it doesn’t get lost along the way.
- Big brand clients have a much tighter rein on that bigger budget and there is a lot less flexibility because the money has to be divided between a few costs centres, and every cent has to be accounted for.
On the other hand, in my experience, small business owners are often more nimble and responsive; they can be more in tune with their market and their customers even if they have a greater marketing challenge to get their name out there. Because of that, small businesses are often willing to try new tactics and make quicker decisions to keep the project moving. Even if you’d love to add some big name brands to your client list, don’t overlook the benefits of working with smaller businesses. I’d love to hear your experiences working with big and small companies alike. Which do you prefer?