NDAs, Voice Documents and Other Paperwork


“Can’t we all just get along” harks the newbie copywriter. Unfortunately, the answer to that is a big fat no. In this modern age you have to do more than produce a valuable product or service. You also have to do everything possible to protect yourself.

Let’s begin with an NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement. Sometimes these are referred to as Confidentiality Agreements. Essentially, these are agreements between two parties that they won’t share proprietary information. For example, as a content marketer I have the honor of learning a ton about specific companies. This might mean that during my research I get a whiff of their “secret sauce” or something else unique about their business.

It would be totally unfair of me to then tell their competitors about all their goodies. That’s why I am occasionally asked to not only sign a NDA but also a Non-Compete, thereby preventing me from even entertaining business of direct competitors. However, the vast majority of the time NDAs as they pertain to copywriters have to do with citing employment. That sounds very technical, but all it means is that some companies prefer you never mention you worked for them at all. There are plenty of reasons for this: they don’t want their competitors to poach you, they don’t want people to know their copy is outsourced, etc.

It’s kind of a pain, as you can imagine, when you have a client roster of 100+ companies, but you just have a few samples… but, eh. It’s the cross we bear.

Now let’s talk about the Voice Document. This is the cornerstone of proper copywriting. This is the one go-to piece of information your copywriter will refer back to over and over again. It can take on many forms but typically a Voice Document is just a questionnaire. It asks questions to discover how you want your corporate voice to be perceived, how friendly the tone should come across and more.

Most Voice Documents also bleed over into an audience profile. This is because who your copy is speaking to is just as important as how your copy reads. This of course is the major building block to any proper content marketing campaign.

Now, the reason I lumped NDAs and Voice Documents into the same post is because in my eyes they do the same thing, they both protect your company. Non-Disclosure Agreements protect you from losing confidentiality and Voice Documents protect you from losing brand authenticity.

The world is moving faster every single day. Your potential clients have more access to more options every time you turn around. The last thing you want to worry about is a blog post gone awry or a big-mouthed vendor. PR nightmares are not limited to the big boys anymore. As soon as you hit “publish” the game is on.

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Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money. She lives in Lexington, KY with her two dogs: Billie and Lily. She has been writing content for her web based clients since 2005. She launched Content Equals Money in Oct of 2010, home of conversion focused content writing services. She loves to chat about small business development and how to make content equal money!

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