A Choleric Copywriter's Strange Screed
Then he drops the bomb: "I put my best effort into those 3 letters ... Yet, I'd like to email you those letters and have you comment on each letter as to whether it is written well enough to interest a buyer to purchase."
Reading this, my immediate thought was: "And what's my motivation?" In my office, our solution now is to email a short, simple, standard refusal, sent by JG, who is my copywriting agent. Here is exactly how we replied to PH:
"John passed your message to me and asked me to let you know that he appreciates your admiration but simply does not have time to review your work (or anyone's work) at no cost.
"His fee to review your 3 letters and provide a written critique and his specific recommendations for improvement would be $1,000. If that is of interest to you, just let me know."
The objective of our boilerplate reply is not to get people to hire me for the copy critique. Rather, it is a polite way of telling people that I do not work for free.
I say polite, because if I told PH what I was really thinking of his request, it would offend him. JB has the ability to react in a reasoned and rational way, where I might not hide my irritation well.
But... PH, if you are reading this, watch this short video from Harlan Ellison; he explains my position on why writers should not work for free much better than I do.
Almost as bad as moochers like PH and TR are legitimate marketers—companies with the budget and knowledge to hire and work with professional copywriters—who ask you to write for them "on spec." I'll take this up in our next essay...