Ep 042: How to charge for your copywriting work

Charging the right fee for your copywriting services can be a hit and miss affair. Some people charge thousands and have no trouble finding clients. Others charge a pittance and can’t get a sale.

What’s the difference?

Here’s the truth – it’s not what you charge, it’s how you charge. Sure, your hourly rate or project fee is hugely important and can determine if you get the job or not. But it’s how that fee is framed that makes all the difference.

In this podcast we cover:

  • The four main ways to charge for your work
  • The pros and cons of each method
  • How to move from free to fee as quickly as possible
  • Why we linger too long in the world of ‘free’ for too long
  • What to charge for your work
  • How to talk to clients about your fees
  • The three levels of ‘competence and confidence’
  • When and why you should take out insurance
  • How to work with difficult people and when to say ‘no’ to toxic clients


Bernadette Schwerdt is the founder of Copy School and the head copywriting tutor at the Australian Writers’ Centre. She worked as a senior account director at Wunderman Cato Johnson advertising agency and has 30 years’ experience in the sector. She has worked on global brands such as Apple, American Express, Colgate, BHP, McDonalds and has created award winning campaigns for a raft of others. She is a TEDx speaker, the author of two bestselling books about online entrepreneurship (How to Build an Online Business and Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs) and a ghost-writer of business books for leading entrepreneurs. Her third book, documenting the success of the founders behind the billion-dollar start-ups Catch of the Day, Menulog and Scoopon became an Amazon #1 bestseller and was a finalist in the Australian Business Book Awards for 2021. She studied acting at the Victorian College of the Arts and has appeared in some of our most iconic TV shows including Neighbours, Round the Twist, The Games, Winners and Losers and Jack Irish. She has a degree in business and marketing from the University of South Australia, is an accredited NLP, DiSC, and MBTI (Myers Brigg Type Indicator) facilitator and is a recipient of the Prince Charles Silver Jubilee Award for Outstanding Achievement and was listed in the Top 50 Small Business Leaders in 2021.

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Definitive Rate Card (The Copywriter's Rate Card is included in the Copywriting Business Kickstarter Template Pack. This pack is available for free – simply sign up to receive the instant download link through our website here.)

Listen to the episode below. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or add the podcast RSS feed manually to your favourite podcast app.

This podcast is brought to you by Copy Club

For copywriters. Creating wealth from words.™


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