Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Career in Copywriting
Copywriters are responsible for writing content that makes an impact and engages and influences readers. But oftentimes, copywriting is thought of as a side gig and not a full-time job.
In fact, copywriting can be more than just a job – it can also be a lucrative career. Copywriters are much more than desk employees who crank out boring content pieces.
They’re an essential part of any robust marketing strategy, and they have a central place in the business world.
So it should come as no surprise that copywriters are in high demand, so if you’re considering a career as a freelance writer or looking for a job at a copywriting agency, there’s never been a better time to take the leap.
Every business, large or small, needs well-written copy. From compelling taglines to interesting blogs, copywriting is often the first way a potential customer encounters a brand.
Therefore, businesses must put their best foot forward with clean, compelling copy. Copywriters take a brand’s voice and translate it into content that engages and converts.
This guide will go over all the things you’ll need to know before starting your own career in copywriting, including excellent copywriting courses and tips for how to grow your own copywriting business.
Cultivating Your Clientele
Starting a new career in copywriting can be thrilling, but it can also be overwhelming. The most difficult part of running any business is attracting clientele at the start and then maintaining them. Copywriting is no different, but with just a few pointers you’ll be on your way.
Gaining clients is essential for your business’s long-term health. Of course, a business won’t succeed if it fails to attract customers in need of its services.
While being a new copywriter means you’re fresh and probably revving to go, you don’t yet have the mature client base of an established copywriter.
Keep in mind that 90% of companies rely on copywriting to build their marketing and content efforts. With such high demand, you should be able to find companies in need of your services. It may just take a little work.
Once you’ve established yourself as a copywriter, clients will reach out to you directly. But until then, some elbow grease and creativity are the way to go for finding clients.
A great place to start is by reaching into your circle of family and friends. You can also speak to your larger business network, such as on LinkedIn. Someone in your network may be able to get you started with your first gig.
Practice how to pitch yourself and talk about your skills, and don’t forget to leverage the business events in your area to meet new clients.
At this stage, the name of the game is finding a solid base of clients that you can begin working for.
Still not able to find that first client after reaching out to your network? You could be surprised by how far cold emails can take you. By emailing potential clients directly, you’ll cut through the noise a bit faster.
In addition, writing emails is a great way to flex the copywriting skills you’re selling in the first place.
If you don’t know where to start with direct emails, start by making a list of companies you’d like to work for. Remember that small businesses often need copywriting services.
Once you have a list, consider sending a pitch for content to your potential clients. Remember that you’re selling yourself, so use direct, unadorned language. And don’t forget to follow up!
Make Use of Online Marketing
Of course, there’s nothing more vital to a digital copywriter’s strategy than the internet. It’s the medium you’ll make your words shine through, and it’s smart to learn how best you can take advantage of it.
The internet provides a host of ways to spread the word about your copywriting skills. If you’re struggling to create a network of clients, digital advertising is a great way to sell yourself to people you might not have found otherwise.
Another option is to build a personal website with a portfolio and services breakdown.
Even if you have spoken to a client before, your website is likely the first place they will see your work for themselves, so it’s important to make it attractive, intuitive, and user-friendly.
Include a diverse portfolio of your work so that potential clients know what you’re capable of and instill trust.
Websites are one of the best opportunities to showcase not just your skills and credentials, but also bolster your reputation as a professional copywriter.
And don’t forget about social media! Instagram and Facebook not only allow you to advertise for a wide reach of people, but these sites are a great way to showcase your copywriting chops.
Getting started is one of the most expensive parts of being a professional copywriter. If you’re in an agency environment, you can expect a steady stream of revenue, but freelancing is a different animal.
Revenue can be unpredictable at first, and you should strive to earn funds as quickly as possible.
However, not all client opportunities are created equal. Instead of grabbing every job you can without looking at payment, focus on gaining a quality clientele.
One way to go about this is to find your niche. By specializing in a technical subject, you can focus your client search while honing your subject matter expertise.
What’s more, by targeting high-yield industries you’ll make sure that you aren’t working too much for too little pay.
Some copywriters specialize their copywriting and then sub-specialize further from there. Other copywriters will focus instead on obtaining a wide breadth of knowledge across multiple in-demand industries.
Regardless of the approach you take, research will be a vital part of your copywriting practice. It’s good to keep this in mind and continue to perfect it with every assignment you take on.
Another necessary skill for the freelance copywriter is communication. The more informed your clients are about the product you’re creating for them, the better you can build up a valuable relationship. Give your clients sample copies of your work so they have an idea of what you can produce.
If possible, include objective performance stats showing how your copywriting generated revenue for the company.
For example, include your success rate with an email campaign or a social media ad that drew visitors to the website, ultimately leading to a sale.
Keep SEO in Mind
Copywriting is, in part, about maximizing the reach of your client’s brand. You accomplish that through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO keeps a particular company at the top of a Google search, where potential customers will be more likely to find it.
Copywriters should be deeply familiar with the principles of SEO and leverage them well on their client’s behalf. If you’re not well-versed in SEO, consider taking an online course or workshop to deepen your skillset.
Every client will be different, as will every assignment. This range of work is part of the thrill of professional copywriting, but it also means that you’ll have to be adaptable and deliver what the client wants.
Likewise, every client’s voice will be different. You should be able to slip in and out of the particular language quirks that each client is using to position themselves on the market and write to their customers.
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Companies build memorable content through copywriting genius. Every copywriter starts somewhere, so here are some key takeaways to ensure you’re making the most of your copywriting journey.
- Create a professional website with a portfolio.
- Meet clients through networking.
- Cold pitch potential clients.
- Master SEO best practices.
- Provide copywriting samples to interested clients.
- Ensure your copy is deeply researched.
- Learn to adapt your voice to different clients.