A career as a copywriter seems the right thing for you.
You are creative and full of new ideas and you want to unleash your creative juices.
Article writing and blogging does not excite you as it used to.
Freelance copywriting calls out to you but the question is where do you start from?
These and many questions will get answered in this post.
I do not promise quick riches overnight neither do I promise it will be easy.
I promise that reading this article will be worth your time.
Let’s us get started.
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Why Most “How to” Articles Are Not Useful
You must have read other articles on how to become a copywriter.
Most of them have the following common content.
Some will suggest you take time to learn about copywriting.
Some will offer an online course to teach you about copywriting.
Others will add no value to what you already know.
Some articles will make it look easy while others will make it look hard and next to impossible.
Copywriting is both a science and an art and can be learned by anybody and studied as a science.
The most important point I am making is that copywriting can earn you money.
This can be achieved without formal training and that is the bottom line.
What Exactly Is “Copywriting?”
Copywriting is not copying stuff to rewrite and there is no copying of anything.
Copywriting involves writing content that drives sales.
You play around with words and create new content for your clients.
It is original and creative because copywriters look at the big picture and focus on the headline.
Copywriters come up with content that connects with the consumers.
Ideally, they are good students of human behavior and the purchasing decisions of most buyers.
The content they create captures our thoughts and we take a pause and visit their site.
As consumers, we want to know more about the company.
The increased traffic on a company site will translate to increased sales.
The more people who visit the site will result in better sales.
The increased sales will drive up the revenue for the client.
This is the reasons why good copywriters are in demand.
Every company that wants to increase its web presence will need a copywriter.
Copywriters work with advertising or marketing teams.
They are team players and create the million dollar ideas that will sell.
They simplify complex marketing concepts and make them saleable.
Types of Copywriters
There are three types of copywriters.
The first step is to identify which type of copywriter you want to be.
This will guide you as you begin your journey as a copywriter.
The three types of copywriters are agency, corporate, and freelance copywriters.
1. Agency Copywriter
The first on our list is the agency copywriter who works in an advertising agency.
These include firms such as Ogilvy & Mather and WPP.
They use copywriters who create innovative content for their clients.
Most big advertising agencies reside in the large cities which include New York and Los Angeles.
The salary of an agency copywriter depends on several things with the first being the size of the agency.
If the agency is large, the salary is expected to be reasonable and you can earn up to $100,000.
Depending on your competence, you may earn a higher salary.
Those used by the mid-tier agencies earn between $50,000 and $70,000.
Agency copywriting involves working with different clients.
Clients will demand to see results that will translate into increased sales.
The working environment in an agency is super-creative.
You work with creative and talented people.
As a copywriter, you unleash your creative powers on a daily basis.
2. Corporate Copywriter
This is the second class of copywriter in our list.
The work of a corporate copywriter is relatively simple.
It borders on being termed as “boring” and is a stable job and unassuming job.
No fireworks are expected from the corporate copywriter.
Most of them are barely noticed where they work and create content for the firm they work for.
The content varies from web pages to TV spots while other content created is for brochures.
The salary ranges from $30,000 to $50,000.
This largely depends on the size of the firm that employs you.
3. Freelance Copywriter
This is the last category of copywriters.
It is where legends make their mark and “rags to riches stories” abound.
You work for different firms depending on the availability of work.
The flow of work is not steady and you actively pursue gigs.
Hustling is the best term to describe what you do as a copywriter.
You work on building a reputation as a copywriter with good content.
The reputation you build attracts more work for you as a copywriter.
The jobs that a freelance copywriter works on vary, starting from as little as $800 per job to $10,000.
Your main job is the creation of a rich content that converts to sales.
In some jobs, your work is improving the rate of conversion of clients to sales.
Some freelance copywriters earn salaries that hit a high of $1,000,000 per year.
These are the high-fliers while those who are less successful, earning $20,000 are the norm.
Freelance copywriters fall into three classes according to their earnings.
High-end copywriters earn the minimum of $300,000 per year.
Medium-class copywriters manage a respectable $150,000 per year.
The low-end copywriters earn less than $20,000 per year.
Most copywriters start at the low-end.
A small minority move on and work their way up to the big bucks.
How to Get Work as a Copywriter
Getting work as a copywriter involves careful planning and effort.
Plenty of effort is needed in the beginning.
This pays off later on as you get better copywriting gigs.
Focus on getting results for your clients as a copywriter and not the money.
The money comes later if your work is good.
Satisfied clients pay more and they will also refer you to new clients.
Make sure you maintain a high presence on the internet.
Below are my seven top ways to get work as a freelance copywriter.
Step 1: Do a Market Research
Study the market to understand what clients need.
Let this be your starting point and get to know what the current market trend is and where it is moving.
It is useless to offer copywriting services that are past their sell-by-date.
To drive this point home, a practical example from real life will suffice.
Imagine a salesman knocking on your door one day.
The deal he proposes is too good to reject.
The sales pitch is excellent and the salesperson is friendly.
He is well versed with the product.
The problem is that the product they offer is considered obsolete.
The product he offers is the old box TV that has gone out of fashion.
He offers you the biggest box TV for a fraction of the latest TVs in the market.
The package includes excellent after-sales services and two years warranty.
This is the same as a copywriter that offers clients services that are not current.
Your pitch is good, but you offer services that add no value to the client.
Find out what the clients want.
Then send your samples according to their needs.
It is advisable not to write a bunch of samples and email your potential client.
Get to know what they want before emailing your samples.
As a beginner, search for copywriting jobs which require no technical knowledge.
Pursue jobs that are small and which you can deliver within hours or days.
Avoid copywriting gigs that are long-term in nature as you start out.
Step 2: Locate Sites That Provide Work for Copywriters
This may sound easy and straightforward but turns out to be easier said than done.
As a beginner, it would be a waste of time to follow the path advertised by many gurus as the way to success.
You have read about cold and warm pitching as well as networking.
There is the possibility that you have been told that starting a blog will attract copywriting clients.
We should not forget your social media space as a marketing point as a copywriter.
All of the above have some element of success but not always.
For a freelance copywriter who is starting out, I advice that you visit sites such as Upwork.
You are sure to get work once you register with them.
This is better than spending hours trying to get clients who are not sure if you can deliver quality content.
Upwork is one among many sites that a novice copywriter can visit to look for work.
Such sites have a steady flow of work from thousands of clients who do not have the time to look for individual copywriters to hire.
It also gives you as a beginner the ability to improve your copywriting skills.
You will start to earn and grow your client base from there.
Step 3: Aim to Impress and Produce Results
Most clients have used the services of one or more copywriters before they met you.
The previous services they received may not have impressed them much.
At the back of the clients’ mind, they may wonder if you offer anything that is new and fresh.
They will probably hire you to re-write content that was created by another copywriter.
In effect, you will be correcting the mistakes of the first copywriter who left the client unsatisfied.
Rise to the challenge and offer services that sweep your client off their feet.
Strive to create content that is refreshing and new.
Try to be original and put your signature on the content that you create.
Your work will identify you and will become your badge of distinction.
Satisfied clients will offer you work in the future and may refer you to new clients.
As a novice copywriter, it is good to approach each task with fervor and vigor as if it will be your last.
Since there is high competition with other copywriters, your first job will make or break you.
It is highly unlikely that the unsatisfied client will give you a second chance.
Impress them the first time and wow them.
A good copywriter works to leave a good image.
Make sure you get results that will add benefit to them.
Step 4: Increase Your Popularity on the Web
Increasing your popularity as a copywriter means several things.
It does not mean you start posting photos of yourself on the beach.
It is not a popularity contest based on looks.
Neither does it boil down to witty posts on social media but is based on the content of work you do.
That is how a copywriter builds popularity which then translates into credibility.
Create content that is unique to your clients and they begin to notice that you deliver excellent content.
Good content will attract clients and make you popular.
The high competition from competing clients will raise the minimum pay you can accept.
Start out as a copywriter that can work on most content that your clients will bring aboard.
Once you can handle copywriting jobs that are general, upgrade to the next level in copywriting.
This requires you to identify an area to specialize in.
One such area where you may specialize is marketing emails or any other copywriting service.
Learn and expand your knowledge about the niche service that you will offer to your client.
Read as much material as you can about your area of specialty.
Many online resources are available from which you can increase your knowledge for free.
Follow up on the success stories of similar copywriters in your sphere of excellence.
Learn from their success and apply whatever you find applies to you.
If possible, try to be the best copywriter in that area where you feel you can excel.
Step 5: Create a Portfolio
You are probably thinking that I am talking about your CV.
Creating a portfolio is different from writing your CV in several ways.
While your CV is useful in showing your educational background, the portfolio shows real samples of copywriting work.
If you do not have any samples, you can create one in the following easy steps.
Let me start by suggesting that you create a sample similar to what a client may actually want.
You can write about “The best places to find good food in New York,” if you reside there.
If the potential client wants content for a blog post, create content similar to what they want.
The client may want a post on the 5 best ways to get a date in New York.
You can write on the best 3 ways to get a date in Miami.
Remember to keep it short and to the point within the range of 200-400 words.
The key word here is quality and not quantity.
Step 6: Perseverance
This is not actually a step per se but a way of life for a copywriter who has just started out.
To be a successful copywriter takes time and effort.
Do not be in a rush to start earning big money without investing in the time to grow.
As the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait.
Nurture the virtue of patience and learn to persevere.
Your first earnings may look like a pittance, but you will earn more as time goes by.
Work on your skills religiously and practice your copywriting skills daily.
Initially, your clients may offer trial jobs.
Accept the days of small beginnings and start from there.
This is with the promise to pay better in the future if they are satisfied.
Take every opportunity that comes your way and hone in your copywriting abilities.
With the passage of time, the number of clients willing to give you work will increase.
This goes in tandem with the rates that you can negotiate for your copywriting work.
Step 7: Go Forth and Start Earning
In conclusion, I now send you out there to start copywriting and begin to earn.
All the above information that I have shared with you is enough to start copywriting immediately.
Make the decision that you will be a doer and a go-getter.
No excuse and reason should hold you back, including fear.
In case you are not sure of anything, time to read through this post again.
And remember to bookmark it for future reference when you want to refresh your knowledge.
Better still, consider sharing this post with your friends who may be considering copywriting as a career.