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clean copywriting: the difference between a referral and a guarantee


So last night I was barbecuing shrimp. I wasn’t wearing an apron, and I sloshed raw shrimp juice all over myself. And it got me thinking about keeping things where they are supposed to be: marinade in bowl, shrimp on grill, my work in my office, my responsibility in my writing.

Oftentimes, I take on the role of project manager for my clients – pulling together graphic designers, data base creation, web designers, web techs, researchers, printers, mailing services and the like. Over the years, I’ve created some wonderful partnerships with individuals and companies in these fields, and I recommend them to my clients because I believe in their work.

But, I have to be careful. I can not in any way guarantee any work but my own. My advice to all copywriters, and service providers in general, is that you establish this fact in both your proposal and your contract. This way, if it comes up, you’re covered. If it doesn’t, you aren’t the freak that says, “I highly recommend this printer, but if they make any mistakes it isn’t my fault…” and then starts tripping over yourself, “not that they would make any mistakes, they’re great but, just in case…” OY.

Keep it clean:

1. Pick good, dependable, trustworthy partners.

2. Do not guarantee any work but your own.

3. State clear boundaries in your proposals and contracts.

4. Wear an apron…the last thing you need to deal with is raw shrimp juice – believe me, it smells.

DISCLAIMER- this is NOT a picture of anyone I know – for goodness sake, people. The apron pictures available on the web are so terrible, I decided to showcase the absolute worst that I could find. Forgive me.

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