How to (Gasp!) Fire Your Copywriter

May 16, 2019 0 By Eleanor Pearson

I got fired. And if you’re shocked that I’m even admitting this (so am I), well, it was actually a blessing in disguise.

For one, I was miserable. I can only vouch for the fact that I was supposed to be assigned four tasks a day and was, instead, being given about two per week.

My last straw, after asking to be assigned about eight jobs throughout one day, was to see that two other writers had been awarded two jobs each.

I shot off an email to the manager asking why? why? why? (Ok, I actually asked what I was doing incorrectly and how to improve myself.)

Copywriter Getting Fired

I received this lovely response to my inquiry later that night:

“It’s with great regret that I must inform you that, collectively, we have made the decision to end your contract.

Unfortunately, after a careful examination of your copy quality, we feel that this position is just not a good fit.

Good luck in your future endeavors and thank you for your commitment to our team.”

If this process, and business, had been running correctly, let’s just recap how I should (as a professional writer and business woman) have been treated.

Why was I unaware there was a “quality-of-writing” issue?

Clearly, to improve something, the guilty party needs to be made aware of the issue. Not once did the manager communicate my website copywriting was even in question.

I have to believe that, instead, this squeaky wheel struck a nerve with the unfair process the manager was using. Make sure you communicate exactly how you think your writer can do better.

Did you try improving your writer?

Good managers who manage copywriters do not just let people go; they first make them aware of a problem, and then work to improve them.

Until they are made aware of the problem, your writer can’t work to improve themselves. Remember that it is often more difficult to take your time to train someone new on your style than to have at least one or two improvement chats with the current writer.

How can you improve your process?

The correct answer to this issue should have actually been, “Thank you for your feedback to . Unfortunately, we feel our creative differences are unresolvable and will be ending your contract at this time.”

I was promised a certain amount of work, maintained that space in my editorial calendar, and then raised a complaint when I wasn’t provided (after two weeks) the specified amount of promised work. Their process was actually incorrect, not my objection to it.

The right way to part ways

If you need to fire a copywriter, remember that we are sensitive about our work. Those of us who have dedicated our life to full-time freelance writing (just check out the stats) are also savvy business people who can’t afford to engage in arbitrary systems.

Be polite, kind and mindful of this. You can also turn around the issue and let the copywriter draw their own conclusions: “You don’t seem happy with our process of doing things. Do you think it makes sense for you to seek another position?”

Finally, try not to end your contract same day. You should respect that your writer was dedicated and reliable – you should be too. (In another instance, I was actually paid for over two weeks of articles because I’d completed the work in advance to prepare for a vacation.)

Remember, above all, to make sure you have enough work to justify hiring a writer. Even though this system was poorly managed, it was actually the lack of workflow that lead to unrest among the other writers too.