So, you’re interested in becoming a copywriter?
Copywriting is one of the most in-demand jobs out there. And yes, you can make a bucket load of money without ever having to worry about getting a university degree or attending a writing course.
But there are also a lot of failure stories – copywriters who aspire to be freelancers, hoping for a better lifestyle…
And only being able to get a few low-balling clients every now and then, barely making ends meet.
‘Well, if there are experienced copywriters out there doing it tough,
what chance do I have as a beginner?’, I can hear you asking.
Like any meaningful goal that you set for yourself in life, it’s important to have a plan – outline a career path for yourself. And if you follow the steps I set out below, not only will you be able to get a copywriting gig with no experience…
You’ll be well on your way to getting that six figure income!
1. Be prepared to aim low at first
Be realistic – you’re not going to have multinational companies beating a path to your door right away, offering you big $$ projects. Your best bet when you’re beginning your career is to go to sites that offer copywriting gigs like Fivver and Freelancer.
You’ll definitely get some opportunities this way. Yes, the jobs are low paying, as a lot of people who post on these sites are bargain-hunters. But you can gain valuable practice that’ll increase your chances of getting higher-paid jobs as time goes by.
2. Become popular in a specific niche area
One of the temptations for people starting out as a copywriter is to say to potential clients, ‘I can write anything.’ The ‘logic’ here being that the more variety of copy you offer, the more chance there is of finding work – you don’t want to miss any opportunities.
In reality, it’s better to choose a specific type of copywriting or an industry that you know well or that you’re interested in. For example, focus on writing blogs. Or if you’re a fitness fanatic, aim at the fitness industry. If you walk into a meeting with a gym owner, and you demonstrate a lot of knowledge, they’re much more likely to take your advice.
3. You don’t need to have an extensive portfolio
There are gurus out there that say, ‘Oh, you must have a comprehensive portfolio to attract customers.’ WRONG.
Certainly, it’s a good idea to have at least some writing pieces to show a potential client if they ask to see your work. But it’s important to remember that projecting confidence is just as important.
Most people will take you at face value. So if you can say assertively that you can handle the gig, you’re half way there.
Secondly, most potential clients don’t care what you wrote for someone else. They only care about what you write for them. What you can do is offer to write a demonstration piece if you think that’ll get you over the line.
4. Join a networking group
There are several business networking groups out there. If you become a member, you’ll be given the category of copywriter – and no other copywriter can join that particular group or chapter.
Members pass referrals to each other – but no one’s going to refer you if they don’t know you. The most important way to build up trust is to go to one-to-one coffee meetings with other members as often as possible – so they have the opportunity to get to know you.
5. Join forces with complementary businesses
At networking groups, there’ll often be other members who have complementary businesses to copywriting – some of the more important ones include web developer, graphic designer, printer and business coach.
You can discuss ways you can help each other, including working on joint projects and how to best approach potential clients.
6. Read, Read, Read
Finally, it’s very important to READ READ READ. There are many excellent resources on copywriting out there and you’ll learn a lot from experts such as Dan Kennedy and Gary Halbert.
If you’d like to read more about compelling copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at [email protected].