What are your rates?
Overall, we don’t have set rates, as we prefer to charge a project fee. There is one standard rate, which is a minimum fee for small jobs, and which equates to two hours’ work.
Why don’t you have standard rates?
Because each job is different, and places different demands on our time. If you want us to write something for you and all of the raw material is in place, meaning we just have to do the actual writing, why should you pay the same as a client who wants us to do extensive research before we’ve written one word? If your copy is pretty clean, why should you pay as much for editing or proofreading as the client who hasn’t even taken the time to run a spell check?
That’s why we like to assess each job on its merits and cost things accordingly – for your sake and ours. We also know that it helps if you have a fixed cost you can bank on – that way there are no nasty surprises when you get our invoice and we’ve taken three times as long as you thought it would take.
Why do you charge a nominal fee for a first meeting?
We charge R250 for the initial consultation, because first, it takes time away from our other clients, but most importantly, the boss lady, Mandy Collins, has the kind of brain that immediately starts churning, and when she has an idea, she can’t help sharing it. And in the past, all kinds of people have picked her brain, run with her ideas, and never been heard of again. So now we charge that fee – but we take it off your final invoice if you sign with us.
What is your work process?
Once you’ve decided to work with us, we’ll need a brief. This sounds more formal than it is – but it’s just a very clear outline of the outcomes you need from us. At Mandy Collins and Associates, we believe in starting at the end – so you need to tell us what end product you require.
Next, we’ll send you a quote, and for bigger projects, a proposal with deadlines so you know exactly how things will work, and when you can expect to receive them. If you’re happy, you sign and send the quote and/or proposal back to us, and then it’s time to pay your deposit.
This doesn’t apply to clients on retainer, of course – those we bill at an agreed time every month. Everyone else, however, has to pay a 50% deposit upfront, and we don’t start work until we have proof of payment. And if the deposit isn’t paid promptly, it will shift when we are able to deliver. The balance of payment is available on delivery, and we retain copyright until such time as your payment lands.
Is there any work you can’t or won’t do?
Yes – we are not advertising copywriters. We write content. We’re not here for the snappy slogan or poignant payoff line. And we don’t do it for the simple reason that it’s not where our skills lie.
We also don’t do any work that requires your intellectual input – we won’t write your thesis for you, or your brand strategy document, or your brand guidelines. If you need us to edit things and finetune them, then by all means hit us up for some final polishing, but there are some things you need to do yourself.