They have copy...
They get what they pay for. It's not my job to write their copy or to even edit what they have provided. Yes, I may read the copy and laugh, cringe, or be disgusted by it. But I am not responsible for what they provide me nor for their "business message" they wish to convey.
If they have a 17 year old, third cousin, of their mother's uncle's sister's nephew write copy that is horribly grammatically incorrect and littered with typos, that's what they've chosen to do. Not your problem. Most business are aware that they need someone to write content. Who they choose is up to them. Like any aspect of running their business, I feel it's a bit out of place for me to tell them they need a different writer if they've already chosen one.
If copy is truly horrible, I may say something like "I know a few professional writers. I'm sure they may be able to provide some copy suggestions if you are interested. Would you like me to pass along their contact information?" But beyond that....
I use what they provide.
- I tell the client to "please proofread everything closely. I'm not responsible for content or typographical errors once the design is approved." If they still want to use horrible copy.. I cringe and move on.
- I will correct clear typographical errors if I see them, but it's not really my "job" to do so if changes aren't requested.
- I will mention to the client that "X sounds a bit odd to me, is it just how I'm reading it?" if I see something out of place. Again if I see it. I'm not specifically looking for such items.
They need copy....
If I'm asked about writing, I state that I'm not a writer but I know several and would be happy to provide some referrals.
If they are adamant that they just "want me" to write the copy... well.... I, personally, never take on clients that need me to write their content. That's not what I do and not where I specialize. My time is much better served by sticking to what I know and do well.
It makes no business sense for me to venture into an area I either don't work in or perhaps don't want to work in for a single client. Clients come and go, why would I bother stressing myself out by performing duties I don't normally perform? Another client with good copy will come along shortly. I wouldn't attempt to take on the client's customer fulfillment responsibilities merely because they ask me to and they want to save money. That's not my job. And whether or not they can afford someone to do something they need done is of no concern to me.
But, well, I guess if you really want to be a writer as well.... First... the fee for services goes up, way up.
Copy writing is a profession. So earnings should rise accordingly. The client may be of the mindset that they can "save money" if you write copy.... but you taking on additional work doesn't mean you need to give the client some huge financial break. Remember you are a business too and most, if not all, business won't take on additional work without additional fees. Perhaps fees not as high as they would be for one dedicated to the tertiary profession but they should be higher than the base rate for the primary profession.
Often the mark of a "bad" or "less-than-ideal" client is the client that keeps wanting you to do everything under the sun for the same rate or to "cut them a break" because they are giving you "so much work" even if that work is not in your chosen field. It can be an attempt to overwhelm you, throw you off balance, use you as much as possible then move on, either paying as little as possible or not paying at all.
In short, it's not your job to save the client money. That is not to say you need to gouge or take advantage of anyone. You don't and shouldn't. But you absolutely should be compensated if you are performing tasks above and beyond what is normally expected. For me, personally, my hourly rates would double, if not triple, if I were to take on such a project.
So, will it save the client money? meh.. that's arguable. A professional writer has a better chance of creating copy that results in a higher Return on Investment (ROI) and while they client may save a little by asking you to do the writing, it's highly probably the ROI on your copy will be lower meaning they client is spending less but also earning less by asking you to do the writing. As the old adage goes.. You have to spend money to make money.