Frequently Asked Questions
Tell me more about MarketSmiths.
... A copywriting agency? That's awesome! What unifies your work? A fervent devotion to crafting content that captivates. If it’s got words, we can tackle it. Whether your content is for customers, clients, employees, the masses, or esoteric insiders, we’ll strategize and execute it with our trademark verve. What’s more, when you hire MarketSmiths, you don't hire one particular writer. You get a copywriting team.
Do you use questionnaires in your Content Strategy Sessions?
It depends. For smaller projects, we prefer to follow our asset review with two-way conversations and the rich gems they inevitably uncover: hidden insights, crucial nuances, and the stories that bring your solutions to life. If your project scales across multiple brands, departments, or locations, then questionnaires become a real necessity. In these instances, we would like to weigh in on and/or write discovery questionnaires—and prefer to have a few SMEs (subject matter experts) on hand for continued exploration.
For blog ghostwriting, who generates the topics? Who does the research?
Great question! Most of the time, it's a collaboration. It might skew toward us (generating blog topics for your approval), or toward you (if you're that rare client with specific ideas). As studious sleuths and creative thinkers, we’re more than happy to research and craft topics for you--and wrap the effort into our engagement. We also realize that some blogs require a client's natural authority, thought leadership, and/or source material. In this case, we can fine-tune blog post titles from a general topic concept, or take your title and run with it. We use our blog ghostwriting kickoff to define a process, then stick to it.
How does payment work for copywriting services?
For all copywriting services, we accept credit cards, ACH wire transfers, and checks.
How do we know our marketing copy will be as envisioned?
The short answer? You don’t. We can’t guarantee that we'll deliver exactly what you imagined. That said, we will deliver the most engaging, brand-aligned, and actionable marketing copy we've got. If it's not right on the first try, you get two rounds of edits:
- 85% of our clients are thrilled with their first take.
- 10% more love the second iteration.
- 4.5% of the remainder are grateful for their third round, when we nail it.
- The remaining one-half %? Yeah. We discuss, understand where the differences lie, and part amicably.
Do you do any PR work such as placement in trade publications, mainstream media, etc.?
No, we focus on strategic execution. We've made the occasional introduction to an editor we happen to know, but cultivating pitch-worthy relationships with media is explicitly not in our wheelhouse.
What’s special about your Content Strategy Session (CSS)?
A lot! We leave few stones unturned, diving into strategies, eliciting case studies, testing assumptions, and walking away with a thorough understanding of what "success" looks like—for you, for your teams, and for readers. The process is unusually thorough, and it enables your copy and content to act like a heat-seeking missile—reaching intended targets with precision, power, and velocity.
How do you pick your copywriters?
We love this question! After all, talent is the difference between content that sinks (or stinks) and content that soars, and we never forget it. That’s why at MarketSmiths, we accept only writers showing raw talent. We look for whether new copywriters:
- Are able to express vividly, leveraging soul v. words
- Have a knack for enterprise, in all its delicious nuances
- Can efficiently structure phrases, sentences, paragraphs, pages, and whole websites
- Have an absence of bad habits
Does your team utilize a project management app?
Of course! We use an internal system to track milestones and daily progress—and an external system to share with clients, when warranted. Both enable clear, consistent tracking without overloading clients (or ourselves) with unnecessary detail. When clients have requested a different system, we are always happy to oblige, while maintaining our internal tracking. If we need something from a client, we typically send you a good old-fashioned email (vs. an automated nudge).
We’ve already written our web copy (or we hired a copywriter that didn’t work out). Can you edit? Please?!
Sure! But take heed: 9 times out of 10, we scrap existing web copy, and start from scratch. It all depends on whether the structure is solid—and the development useful. A lot of times, it's not. If you already have a start, definitely send it to us. We'll mine it for any nuggets of insight, and then mine your (live) brain for the rest. If you don't, then by all means save your team the struggle. You can turn the job over to our rigorously vetted, quality-guaranteed team, and end up with a product that's 8,000% better—without moving a (typing) muscle. It's fun—and far more conducive to focusing on your real role.
Why can’t the intern in our marketing department perform our copywriting services?
We've no doubt your intern/English major/essay wiz is amazing. We just suspect he hasn't mastered copywriting, yet. Just because someone's got a way with words is no guarantee they'll be able to use them to forge branded, integrated strategy. Powerful copywriting entails a) extreme comfort with the content type (e.g. case study, web copy, blog post, ghostwritten article, Powerpoint deck), b) a keen head for enterprise, and c) absolute clarity on how words enter the reader's brain, dance with the heart, and result in a clear-cut decision to read, share, like, download, fill out a contact form. Let us do that for you--and let your intern employ his charm in a different realm!
We’d like to hire your fabulous copywriting team. How can we start?
Great! Fill out our contact form with a specific description of your copy project and timeline. If it's a website, send your site map to info@MarketSmiths.com. Our copywriting team will respond within a few hours, or at most one business day. Assuming we can help, we’ll set up a quick introductory phone call to hear about your objectives, and capture scope. Once we have a complete idea of your needs, we'll send you a customized proposal, clarifying our exact approach and flat-rate fees.
Team copywriting? How does this work?
It's easy! We assign a lead writer to every project. If the project warrants, we assign other team writers, too.
- All writers work under the direction of a dedicated content strategist.
- All of us go to school on you, reviewing existing copy (if applicable) and supporting materials, then shopping your brain for the creamy layer that informs effective copy.
- Behind the scenes, your copywriting and strategy team meet to discuss strategy and approach.
- Then, your writer(s) go to work, creating the kind of copy that grabs readers, builds trust, and gets results.
- Before you see a single word, all copy then goes through our signature 35-point Quality Control Process. This goes far beyond typos to facilitate momentum, ensure brand alignment, and, complete 32 other strategic and QA checkpoints.
Which copywriter tackles my project–and why is this the right decision?
Simple. We know the right copywriter: a) can channel your company voice, and b) knows your chosen FORMAT through and through. (An example of a format is website copy, an engaging article, or an email.) Subject matter comes into play, but it’s NOT decisive. Why? We leverage your subject-matter expertise with our expertise in both discovery and copywriting, giving you content that's strategic--not stale-sounding, or dense with lexicon.
Why “Copywriting for Humans”?
Do you like our slogan? It's a point of pride. We coined it even before the Google algorithms began rewarding organic, engaging, high-quality content. Here's why:
- Search engine algorithms are crucial. But they're not acting on search results: people are.
- You want your copy to fit in with your industry. But generic, bland, tedious language don't change minds or take action. People do.
Isn’t all commercial content the same?
Or, as a friend of MarketSmiths once asked, "With a quarter of a million words in English, what makes our writers qualified to pick and choose? Is there mind reading involved?" Sort of! As with any craft, the more you do it, the sharper you get. Our copywriters have spent two cumulative centuries building up to your copy project. We’ve leveraged commercial content to produce hardcore conversions for over 800 clients, and counting. We know how to engage the reader’s brain, build logic, add charm, smooth rough edges, and—most importantly—cut.
How do you keep content strategy consistent?
Simple. Regardless of your industry, format, or brand voice, we apply our 35-point Quality Control Process to ensure that every piece of copy does what you want it to: boost your brand while converting readers. This step is robust content strategy, and we don't ever skip it.
How do your copywriters stay inspired?
Learning about a new business is always exciting. But what inspires us more is the challenge of creation. Our content strategists and copywriters are hunting for an "aha!" moment—or 12. When we hit them, our brains light up like asteroids in a gaming app.
- Sometimes, we get it with the initial consultation, as with a tech startup that you know is going to be a hit.
- Sometimes, it doesn’t happen until 1:50 into a two-hour content strategy session.
Do your writers do SEO copywriting, too?
Absolutely. We know very well that if they can’t find your content, they won’t find you. So we take two approaches to SEO copywriting:
- First, we can work with your SEO or digital strategists to incorporate keyword strategy.
- Next, we make sure your content is intriguing, readable, and compelling. We make readers never want to click off, since that increases bounce rates (reducing SEO).
- Third, we understand that when it comes to SEO, conversion is king. So we work toward clean conversions at every stage, making visitors readers, readers fans, fans prospects, and prospects clients. What could be better than that?
How do you price your copywriting services?
With clarity, by customized flat fee. That way, you're not getting any surprises, and conflicts of interest inherent in hourly and per-word rates are eliminated. Specifically, we offer three service types:
- For non-recurring, finite projects (like website copy, where there's a beginning and an end), we price based on complexity, scope, and the like.
- For recurring, ongoing projects (like blog subscriptions), we price by the month.
- For recurring, finite projects (like case studies, which you may need from time to time, but less regularly than say a blog post), we price by the unit, charging you solely upon request.
Do you have minimum fees for copywriting?
No. Simply put, we must believe in your value, and you must be able to invest in ours. We typically find that our most successful projects involve a long-term investment of USD 25,000 or greater. That said, our initial project rates vary.