1. Clients that say, “I ran this by my wife/husband and they had a few changes…” — are they copy experts? Are you paying them to do the job? If not, leave them out of the equation, please.
2. Clients that make revisions by committee — getting everyone’s input, including the delivery guy, means you don’t know what you really want. If you’ve got to send the copy around the office to be politically correct, then assign a point person to put all changes and comments into ONE document. Otherwise, your writer gets really confused.
3. Clients that use time they’re unwilling to pay for — Calling your writer to bounce a ‘few ideas around’ at all hours of the day and night and on weekends, or expecting to meet more than once or twice without getting billed is disrespectful and it wastes your writer’s time. Trust me, they’ll start putting your calls into voicemail.
4. Clients that tell writers their budget is small but ‘We’ll make it up to you the next time around’ — This is the fourth biggest lie in the world. There is never a next time around. Pay your writer what the job is worth. Or if you have limited resources, be honest about it and let your writer decide whether or he/she wants to do the job for less than what they typically charge. Most times, we will.
5. Clients that don’t provide a creative brief but expect perfection right out of the gate — If you’re not willing to put the parameters of a job in writing, complete with a description of the target audience, the key message you want to get across, the reasons to believe, and what you want the net takeaway to be, you’re not ready to hand it off to your writer. If you’re not willing to provide this information, don’t be surprised if the writing is off target and off strategy.