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Copywriting by professional or amateur copywriters

3 Ways Copywriters Can Protect Their Businesses

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer
copywriting protection as a concept

When you’re a professional copywriter, you want to make sure you protect your business (and your personal assets too) in case something goes wrong. After all, it only takes one unhappy client with deep pockets to destroy most copywriting businesses.

Although you can’t eliminate every risk, here’s three things you’ll want to consider doing right now.

1. Nondisclosure Agreements (NDA).

Whether you’re using an NDA as a marketing tool or a prospective copywriting client insists you sign one, ideally you’ll use a nondisclosure agreement that’s designed to favor you as the copywriter. Too many copywriters sign NDAs without realizing how much they’ve given away by the language in them. If you’re not careful, an NDA can be wielded by a client like a baseball bat to prevent you from doing work for other clients in the same industry, geographic location, etc.

2. Freelance Copywriting Agreement.

If you’re working as an independent contractor (not an employee), you’ll want to use a freelance independent contractor agreement that covers one or more projects with each client. And you’ll want that contract to contain terms favorable to you.

3. Sales Copy Legal Compliance Review.

If there are government investigations or lawsuits because of the sales copy, chances are your client is going to want to come after you. In addition to having the right legal protections in place in your copywriting agreement, using a business entity with a liability shield as the party to the agreement (e.g., an LLC or corporation), you’ll also reduce your risk by having the sales copy reviewed by an experienced copywriting lawyer before handing it over to the client.

If you need help protecting your copywriting business, check out our Copywriter Protection Packages.

Copywriting Agreement: Who Owns The Sales Copy?

By Business Lawyer
copywriting agreement contract example

One of the most common mistakes made on a copywriting project is to be unclear as to who owns the copy.

Too often, the client believes it owns exclusive rights to the copy. On the flip side, the copywriter plans to recycle the copy for other clients.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to resolve this issue by using clear and concise legal language within the contract between the parties.

Here are some possible scenarios…

1. The client owns the sales copy but pays the copywriter a premium (e.g., 3x the price) for exclusive rights.

2. The copywriter owns the copy but licenses it to the client for use. The copywriter can recycle the copy for other clients.

3. The client owns the copy but agrees to transfer ownership to the copywiter when the client ceases to use it.

4. The client owns the copy but licenses it back to the copywriter to repurpose for clients in noncompeting markets.

Of course, there are variations of these that can be implemented too.

Are you a copywriter? Do you need a new copywriting agreement to use for your business? Or to upgrade the contract you’re already using? Let’s talk. Schedule a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.

“I’ve had sales copy reviewed by Internet Marketing Attorney Mike Young. I’ve been doing business with him for years. In fact, he does all my legal disclaimers and agreements, for my websites, some up-coming offers I’m launching, my paid newsletter, and everything in between.” – Ben Settle

“As a copywriter and entrepreneur, I usually do whatever I can to avoid attorneys. Fact is, the overwhelming majority of attorneys don’t have a clue what entrepreneurs want and need. Michael Young is the exception. He understands internet marketing and what internet marketers need. Recently, I contacted Mike to get some legal advice and his knowledge and preparation really impressed me. So if you need to contact a lawyer, and you need somebody who understands the unique legal challenges facing today’s internet marketer, I recommend you contact Mike Young.” – Matt Marshall

Who Owns A Copywriter’s Work Product?

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer

copywriting agreementWhether you’re a copywriter or someone who has retained one to prepare sales copy for your business, one of the most common mistakes made is to fail to identify who owns the intellectual property.

Is the copywriting work-for-hire that’s owned by the business or does the copywriter own it?

Two Ways To Handle Sales Copy Intellectual Property

The best way to handle this issue is to address it clearly in the contract between the parties (the project’s copywriting agreement) before the work begins.

However, you can also address it with legal documents after the fact if needed. This could include a copyright assignment and/or a license to use the work depending upon what the parties agree upon. Unfortunately, doing it afterwards may be more difficult because both parties have likely operated under the assumption that they each own the sales copy to do with as they please in the future.

Where To Get Help With Copywriting Ownership

An experience business lawyer who understands direct response copywriting can provide you with the right legal documents to help you get what you want when it comes to intellectual property ownership. To get help from Attorney Mike Young with this issue, the first step is to schedule a phone consultation today.

Why Get A Sales Copy Legal Compliance Review

By Business Lawyer

Whether you’re using sales copy online or offline, you’ll want to make sure it complies with applicable law and regulations.

Of course, this is true whether you’re marketing business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). And whether you’re selling products, services, or a combination of the two.

Because the wrong sales copy can get you sued, investigated by the government, fined, or in some cases, even arrested!

Now, don’t just rely upon your copywriter to know what can and cannot be said in your sales copy…unless your copywriter also happens to be an experienced lawyer who focuses on this type of legal compliance.

At our firm, Business Attorney Mike Young performs sales copy legal compliance reviews. Not just a lawyer, he also understands marketing (including direct response copywriting).

Naturally, if you want his help, the first step is to set up a phone consultation to discuss what you want reviewed.

Books for Website Owners – June 25, 2015

By Internet Lawyer

Title: Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy

Author: Maria Veloso

Reason to Read:

In this third edition of the book, the author reveals what it takes for business owners to convert website visitors into sales. This is not simply a rehash of the prior two editions. Veloso stays current with Internet marketing trends, identifying what works with online sales copy now. Whether you’re a professional copywriter or a do-it-yourself business owner with an ecommerce website, this book is a must-have addition to your library of resources.

Just remember not to lie or mislead with your web copy. In addition to being effective at conversions, you also want to obey applicable Internet laws and regulations so that you can avoid expensive lawsuits.

Key Quote:

“Words are the true currency of the web. The single most important ingredient in a commercial website is web copy. Words make the sale, and no amount of cool graphics, interactive bells and whistles, cutting-edge design, or sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure could ever compare to the selling ability of compelling web copy.”

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