Give Your Copywriting Business Professional Polish

4 minute read

Successful copywriters are like magicians who moonlight as therapists.

You create magic with words out of thin air… and sometimes you have to talk clients off the ledge.

In addition to delivering results-driven copy to your clients (and giving them the moral support they need to try new things and test new ideas), you’re also working to grow your own business, learn new skills, and keep on top of paperwork.

In other words, you’ve got so much to juggle in your copywriting business that sometimes you forget to shower. The idea of a four-day work week might seem like a distant dream, never mind a four-hour one.

But, there’s good news.

There’s a way to recapture more time, to deliver high-quality work in fewer hours, and to never lose track of what comes next. What you need are a few essential Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”)… and, in this article, that’s exactly what you’ll get, along with help on how to create them.

If you’re frustrated because, every time you get a copywriting project, you have to start from scratch, this article is for you.

Imagine if, as soon as you get a copywriting project, you could use SOPs to onboard the client, get the project done (while exceeding expectations), and get paid FAST.

What Are SOPs?

A Standard Operating Procedure outlines repeatable, detailed steps of an entire process from start to finish. It’s useful whenever you have a series of tasks that comes up often in the course of your work.

Implementing an SOP for each repeating set of tasks in your writing business will help you save your energy… and cut down on the time it takes to finish client deliverables.

The difference between professional, top-of-their-game copywriters and stressed-out, struggling writers often comes down to having systems in place that increase productivity.

Why Use SOPs?

According to Statista, companies are expected to spend over $600 billion on digital marketing by the end of 2022. Yes, that’s with a “B.” This is fantastic news… because this translates into a ton of copywriting projects.

But, how do you get these writing jobs done faster, so you can take full advantage of this HUGE opportunity?

Creating SOPs will help get you where you want to be. I can’t promise you’ll reach a four-hour work week, but SOPs will help you get more efficient as a copywriter.

Here’s how SOPs can benefit your copywriting business…


SOPs help you to onboard clients without missing steps, so you can take on more projects at once or move on to other projects sooner. Either way, you’re able to make more money. They’ll help you target your research process for a better result and get your writing done faster, too.  And, you’ll hit your deadlines with ease.


Clients like professionals who have a well-established process they follow. When you use SOPs, your clients will feel confident they can depend on you to do good work that meets their objectives and is delivered on time.

Consistent Results

Using SOPs will help you to be methodical, so you don’t miss any steps when onboarding new clients or in your writing processes. Depending on how you implement your SOPs, you may have a list of go-to references and resources that are reputable and current. That will streamline your workflow and help you deliver a great result every time.

Reduced Errors

You’ll have fewer errors when you put systems in place to help you. For example, as part of your SOP for copy editing, you could create a checklist that includes using spell-checking software, followed by a close read of your copy, and then reading your copy backwards. Adding these three steps to your project SOPs is simple… but miss them and you could send copy to clients that has a noticeable number of errors in it.

How to Create SOPs

Your SOPs should be clear, easy to follow, and logical. Imagine you work with a Virtual Assistant – your SOPs should be clear enough for them to follow any steps that apply to their work.

Here is a four-step SOP playbook that will help you develop strong systems for your business:

  1. Start with your goal for the specific SOP. What is the SOP intended to accomplish?
  2. Decide on the format you will use for your SOP. This could be a simple written document that describes your workflow. Or, you might decide a checklist, flowchart, or diagram will work better, depending on the SOP you’re building.
  3. Create a list of all the steps you typically take for the work process you’re documenting. Also think about the steps you don’t take, but would make the process smoother.
  4. Organize the list in step 3 in a logical sequence from start to finish.
  5. Review the steps and add any missing details where needed. Plan to review your SOP periodically and update it as needed.

Here’s an example of a simple bulleted-list SOP for client onboarding:

  • Schedule a discovery call.
  • Review the prospect’s website and at least three competitors’ websites.
  • Conduct the discovery call.
  • Send a proposal within 48 hours.
  • Once the proposal is accepted, send a contract within 24-48 hours.
  • Once the contract is signed, send an invoice within 48 hours.
  • Once payment is received, confirm payment with the client.
  • Schedule a launch call at a time convenient for both you and the client. Collect all information needed to begin the project (such as, their ideal prospect, their existing marketing materials, existing metrics, etc.).
  • Agree with the client on a start date to begin the project.

That’s a basic format. You could expand on each with more detail, such as the questions you typically ask in the discovery call. Your SOP might refer to other SOPs, as well. For example, you may have an SOP for putting proposals together that you’d reference in bullet four.

There are plenty of situations where SOPs can be useful:

  • Proposals and contracts
  • Project types – you may have one SOP for writing website copy and another for writing newsletters
  • Research
  • Editing and submissions
  • Client follow-up

When you craft SOPs, imagine you’ll share them with employees. Are they clear enough for other people to use and rely on? If yes, then they should be reliable and helpful in growing your business. And, if you do need to hire other writers down the line, you know you’ll be ready to help them get up-to-speed quickly.

Keep your SOPs in a centralized location, so you can find them easily.

Once you begin implementing your SOPs, your clients will be pleased with your organization, your professionalism, and the work you deliver.

Maybe you’ll get that four-hour work week after all!