Copywriting is a business where deadlines loom large. All day, every day. There’s no escaping them.
I can honestly say that we’ve never missed one. And I can tell you that the ability to meet deadlines isn’t a superpower (and nor is it about pulling regular red-eye all-nighters).
We simply never accept a deadline that we know we can’t meet or we feel is unreasonable.
Of course, we can respond when clients have a real emergency and they ask us to work outside our usual hours to help them out.
What I’m talking about is being firm and clear when emergency begins to become the new normal, and the expectation is that we’ll do anything, at any time of the day, week or year, however unreasonable the request.
If a client calls on the Friday afternoon before a bank holiday Monday and asks for delivery on Tuesday morning, the answer is sorry. Even when you know your client is being leaned on, there’s nothing to be gained from accepting an unrealistic deadline just to please them.
While it’s hard not to feel the squeeze from an arm-locked and desperate client, ultimately they will understand. And they will probably trust you more once you’ve explained why you can’t give them what they want – and made it clear what you can guarantee.
Good relationships are about give and take, and difficult issues like deadlines sometimes require a bit of negotiation. So, stand up for yourself, and don’t over-promise.
That’s how you build a reputation for being a copywriter who always delivers.