All businesses on the planet — offline or online, big or small — require writing to communicate their cause to their target markets. The writers they specifically look for to do the job are “copywriters”. If you’re a copywriter yourself, that’s great news, but you may also wonder how to find these companies to write for in the first place?
To get copywriting clients:
As mentioned above, there’s no dearth of copywriting clients. Finding the right ones from the crowd or getting noticed by potential clients is where the real challenge lies. Read on to learn in great detail how you could go about the same.
There are different forms of writing, both for the web or print. And copywriting is one of those formats. However, it’s pretty common to see people (non-writers and also writers at times) confusing between “copywriting” and “content writing” and using the terms interchangeably.
Content writing is writing to “inform, educate, and/or entertain.” Copywriting, on the other hand, is “persuading” the reader. Copywriters churn out short-form articles. They are never expected to come up with 1,000 or 2,000-word articles. For content writers, long-form articles are bread and butter.
Businesses looking to promote and sell something through texts employ copywriters. The slogans, taglines, ad copies, etc., are the work of seasoned copywriters. Content writers can also write sales copies, but they are likely to not be as good as professional copywriters at “persuasion.”
Finding clients won’t be an arduous task if you are a skilled copywriter since all businesses have copywriting requirements of their own. But to accelerate the process or get potential clients to know about you quicker than usual, it pays to promote your services or reach out to prospective clients.
The following are things you could do to promote your copywriting business:
Before promoting your services to random businesses or strangers (which you must do at a later point), let family, friends, colleagues, and other people close or familiar to you learn about your copywriting business. While your friends, kins, and colleagues are likely not to require copywriting services, especially not when you engage with them, putting in a word with them could pave the way for future clients.
If you are serious about scoring clients through your inner circles, don’t just mention the word “copywriting” in the passing. Let your near and dear ones know in detail about the kind of copywriting you do, your level of experience, the clients you’ve served in the past or intend to serve, your rates, etc. If you have sample copies or web links to share, do so. When you talk at length or descriptively, the people around you will take you seriously.
Offer to correct any grammatical or syntax errors found in the fliers, brochures, etc., of small businesses around you. If a local shop has a website or content-rich pamphlets, peruse through those materials. Let the company know if there are errors in their marketing texts or specific things you believe can be improved.
Working on the written copies of local businesses is unlikely to get you any remuneration. Still, it’s a great way to spread the word or make the “copywriter” in you become known across the community.
Pretty much all copywriting work that’ll come to you will be through online sources. Having a presence on the Internet is, therefore, indispensable. There are different ways you could let potential clients online know about your existence.
A personal blog or website is the digital equivalent to the classic business card. The former is, in fact, a lot more impactful as it’s active, updatable, and offers a lot more information than a compact, rectangle-shaped card could ever pack in.
If you cannot let go of cards, print your website name and URL on them. That way, even local or offline businesses will be able to check your online profile and work and get in touch quickly.
Create a website. If you already have a blog but were not paying much attention to it off late, rejuvenate the space. Start writing blog posts and work toward making a brand out of the site.
Social media is not just ideal for spreading the word but also finding potential copywriting clients. However, the space is extremely crowded, and the whirlwinds you manage to create are contingent on the social networking site you choose to spend your time on and how.
Twitter is great to position and promote yourself as a copywriter. Facebook is quite impactful, too but is scattered. Pinterest might work, but you’ll have to alter your approach significantly to make the platform work for you. Promoting your services on Instagram is likely a waste of time and effort. Arguably the best social networking site for your requirements is where the professionals from across the globe converge — LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, your chances of finding potential copywriting clients are the brightest. Also, since people on the Microsoft-owned site are actively looking to connect with people they are not acquainted with, a potential copywriting client locating you on the site and offering work is not uncommon. You just require a LinkedIn profile page that communicates what it needs to.
To make your social media participation count, you need to be active on various social networking sites. You don’t need to post every other day or comment on every post in the group(s), but you must time and again exhibit signs of your existence. Some of the group members should at least know you through your past involvement or activities in the group.
You don’t have to comment in every thread created or go digging to find old forum threads to contribute to. What you must do is be vigilant and add value each time you get an opportunity. If the topic being discussed is to your interest or you believe you could add some value to the conversations through your thoughts, go ahead and indulge.
Most importantly, have fun or do not turn it into a chore or a routine.
There will be situations where a heated argument could be rearing its head. If you happen to sense that beforehand, bail yourself out. Similarly, you could be at the receiving end of condescension and ridicule at times. In such cases, it’s wise not to entertain or respond.
Through your website, social media activities, participation in online forums, etc., you’re sure to bump into people and get familiar with them. Some would share emails with you and become a part of your professional circle. To truly build a tribe, however, network actively.
In other words, reach out to more people and actively seek their contact details. Partake in workshops, marketing seminars, local meetups, etc., to meet and befriend real people. They could be potential clients or people with like-minded interests. By knowing them, you are indirectly promoting yourself and the services you have to offer.
However, do not mass-accumulate email addresses or hand over business cards to anyone who accepts. Learn more about the person’s requirements and check if they may need copywriting services in the future. Else, you could end up wasting your time and resources courting the wrong individuals or folks who think copywriting and video scriptwriting are the same.
Let this network-building exercise be continual. You can never have more than enough emails on your list. Continue building the directory by regularly attending events and meetings and networking with people. As the list grows in size, your copywriting service will become more familiar.
Talking about sending marketing emails to people already on your email list, make sure you provide value in every email message. Because it only takes seconds for your leads or potential clients to unsubscribe.
Most established copywriters do not have a degree in journalism or writing. They are likely to be formally educated in a completely different discipline, such as finance or engineering, and would have discovered their passion for writing only with time.
If you also have a college degree in a subject not related to writing but write for a living, reach out to businesses in the industry you studied in school, and find out if some copywriting could help them.
Make a list of companies that you are interested in helping out and peruse their websites. If the content on those sites is poorly written or the websites simply lack content (in the form of case studies, white papers, or even a blog), reach out and let them know your thoughts.
Suppose you are a genuine copywriter (someone with a website, LinkedIn profile, work links to share, etc.), and the concerns you brought up are practical. In that case, the target business will likely respond to your correspondence and commission you the task of cleaning up or rehauling their content.
A writing sample helps clients ascertain the quality of your writing and the kind of work you’re capable of. If you don’t have previously written articles to show, an interested client would give you a sample topic to write on to check how good your writing truly is.
Some clients could commission a trial assignment even if you have past work to show – maybe because they don’t believe what you shared is your original work or ascertain whether you will be the right fit for the kind of writing they need. If you have a blog with a few posts published, you could send links and quash the legitimacy concerns.
Write specifically about copywriting services or how to market a product or service. Do not write a review of your favorite smartphone, for instance, and mail them to potential copywriting clients as a legitimate sample. While the review piece would introduce the client to your writing chops, it won’t be the kind of article the client would want to see before coming on board.
A high-paying copywriting client represents the second or later phase of a writer’s career. Very few manage to score a high-paying client as their first writing client. For others, it’s a reasonably uphill task that entails some preparation, waiting, polishing of skills, etc. Below are the steps most writers would have taken before striking a deal with a high-profile client, which you must adhere to too:
Every copywriting client has specific requirements. They may want their clients to replicate their unique style, adhere to particular formatting, etc. That’s more so the case with high-paying clients.
Clients willing to pay a solid premium for written content have high expectations. If you do not meet them, you will be chucked out with no considerations or questions asked. High-paying clients usually do not have the time to educate you on the basics. And since such clients are in the minority, mishandling or losing a client can turn out expensive.
To prevent the bungle-up from happening, be fully equipped to meet the typical requirements of a high-profile client. For example, if a client you’re eyeing wants a specific number of years behind you as writing experience, accumulate those years of experience before approaching them.
Give your best shot. Do not act in haste.
Most people consider writing for print publications or getting published with established news sites as the zenith or holy grail achievement of their writing career. That’s because writing for high-profile media houses and websites imputes a level of credibility like nothing else. Only the creme de la creme write for those websites.
If a potential client with an expansive budget is hunting for copywriters and happens to stumble upon your profile, your past/current associations with reputed news sites or blogs will tilt the balance in your favor significantly.
In other words, if the client had to choose between writers with excellent copywriting skills but no authority website links to share and you who have the links but minimal copywriting experience, you are likely to get the nod.
If you are looking to score high-paying clients, not associating with clients who pay less than minimum wage is natural. Inexperienced or amateur writers, however, tend to work for pennies until they land real clients. The theory behind the strategy is “some money is better than nothing at all.”
While that thought process seems sensible, it will backfire in the long run. Writers who agree to write articles for very little money do not realize they are harming their reputation. Also, working for low-paying clients gets them tuned to sub-standard writing that’s usually deemed correct for the price. With the bar set so low, there’s no scope to improve or hone writing skills.
You might have started as an average writer. After a few years, you’d be the same sub-par copywriter, or your writing could have gotten worse. And when the “real client” beckons, you won’t possess the writing skills needed to justify those high-paying projects.
Therefore, instead of wasting time and resources writing for bad clients, use the time to do things that’ll help you become a better writer.
Start reading works of people you look up to. The reading will expose and acclimatize you to high-quality writing, besides introducing you to newer words and syntaxes. And those subconscious learnings will flow through in your reports without you even trying.
The results of all the efforts mentioned above won’t come through overnight. But, over a period, you’ll gain the confidence needed to approach high-paying copywriting clients or respond when a potential client comes knocking by.
And don’t bother creating an account with content mills that hire substandard writers or sites where you need to bid the lowest for work. High-paying clients do not hang out on those websites.
The clients at those bidding sites only care about how little they could pay to get their assignments written. They don’t care about quality or may even lack the expertise or judgment to discern good writing.
Job boards, on the other hand, paint a different picture. Some freelance copywriting boards may act as the liaison between you and a potential high-paying client. These are sites where copywriter seekers must pay a fee to get their job adverts listed.
Being able to write or string a few words together into a comprehensible sentence doesn’t make anybody a writer — similar to how knowing to hold a camera, see through the viewfinder, and press the shutter button doesn’t make one a “photographer”. Therefore, before looking to get paid as a copywriter, make sure you are one already.
Once that part has been established, employ the steps mentioned above to bag copywriting clients. As mentioned earlier, it will take time to score real copywriting work, particularly those that pay higher than the average. The key is persistence and consistency.
Believe in the process and continue to hustle.