If you’re looking to start an at home copywriting business this post is for you!
Hey guys, today I’m going to share the very first 6 steps you should take if you’re looking to start a freelance copywriting business.
Now, I might be a little bit biased but I truly think that copywriting is the best business around… Because every single business on the planet needs copy. Whether you’re familiar with precisely what copywriting is or not, just think of it as any single word written for the purpose of business or making sales. So Facebook ads, social media posts, emails, print copy, website copy, all of that is considered copywriting and is needed by businesses small, large, offline, online, you name it. Copywriting is one of the only creative businesses that allows you to get paid with nothing more than your laptop. You don’t need any fancy software programs or Adobe Premiere to edit video, or Photoshop to edit graphics. All you need is a word document!
I have traveled all over the world thanks to my copywriting business. It has given me time independence, location independence, and I can truly say if you’re looking to start a copywriting business, I think that’s a pretty wise move.
Now, one of the questions I get asked all the time is “How did you get into copywriting? How did you even know what that was?” And I have to say I was a little bit lucky because I sort of stumbled into the whole online marketing and copywriting world when I applied for an internship at Mindvalley, one of the world’s leading online publishers of personal development programs.
Truly my goal with that was to defer law school for a year. I wanted to travel, I wanted to have fun, I thought “I have all the time in the world to go back to school.” So I moved to Malaysia started working at Mindvalley and my brain exploded. I had no idea that these types of careers existed. I thought you could be a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, accountant, a teacher, that was probably about it.
Getting submersed in this whole world of online marketing and copywriting just felt like such a gift. And I was able to hone my craft and learn how to copywrite, mostly out of necessity. Because at Mindvalley there was one in-house copywriter… And he was brilliant. But I started to notice that he was a major bottleneck because every single product, launch, email, everything needed his eyeballs on the copy. And so naturally I thought, Hmm… maybe I can get my projects progressing a little quicker if I just learn this whole copywriting business. So I got to work studying a tonne of different programs, I studied Frank Kern’s Mass Control, Andre Chaperon’s AutoResponder Madness, and I just truly fell in love with it.
So I was very, very blessed to not only have the education, training, and a playground to be able to test, but also the ability to do so. That was truly a unique experience for me. And when I left the company in 2011 I had all of this training and know-how however… I was essentially starting from scratch when it came to building and starting my own copywriting business. So that might be where you are right now, where maybe you’ve studied some courses maybe you wanna get into it, or maybe you haven’t done any of that yet and that’s totally OK.
Now before I dive into my 6 steps you need to take before you start your copywriting business, there’s something I wanna nip in the bud about copywriting. And that is this misnomer that in order to be a good copywriter you have to be a classically trained writer, or you needed to get straight A’s in English class in university or high school, or you’re a grammar Nazi. I can tell you none of that is true.
Here’s the thing, we as writers are given this extremely amazing skill set to be able to communicate through words. And every single business needs that skill set, that’s why copywriters are so highly paid and are so sought after by every single business on the planet. So truly all you need to start writing is empathy, creativity, and a passion for writing. And then with that you layer on the tactics, the strategies, the conversion principles, and the psychology…
And that is what I’m here for! So if you’re looking to start your copywriting business or if you’re looking to scale your business through copywriting be sure to hit subscribe on my YouTube Channel because I have plenty more videos coming your way. But with that let’s move on to the 6 first steps you should take if you’re starting your at home copywriting business.
Step #1: Study
I can not reinforce this enough, don’t take just one copywriting certification program and call yourself a copywriter. Get out there and learn from the best, buy programs, sign up for courses, enroll in seminars, if you haven’t yet go watch my very first episode on the first 5 books you should read if you’re teaching yourself how to be a copywriter.
I’m actually going to be launching a copywriting course and program later this year and will walk you though my exact process for copywriting. So if that’s interesting to you, subscribe to be notified here so you don’t miss that update from me. And whatever you do never stop studying, I’ve been in this business for over 10 years and I still absolutely love reading, listening to podcasts, and learning from the best of the best out there. So always hone your craft and focus on how you can get better and better and better.
Step #2: Get Crystal Clear on What You Offer
As I mentioned before every single business on the planet needs writers, but will you write copy or content? If you don’t know the difference be sure to watch my video on the Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing. Do you want to write long form sales letters, social media posts, videos, Facebook ads, how do you want to serve your client? Do you want to work part time, full time, contract basis, retainer? Just really take some time to map out what that dream freelance business would look like and how you could offer your services.
Step #3: Get Crystal Clear on Who You Want to Serve
I know in the beginning it can be tough because you’re like ahh I’ll take any old job. And that’s fine… But just remember that the first few clients you have really sets the foundation for the types of clients you’ll get in the future. And that’s because a lot of business owners want to hire writers with experience in their particular niche.
So I got started in personal development and that has always been my niche of copywriting. I love writing about personal development because it’s something that I’m truly interested in so I never get tired of it. Remember, empathy is absolutely key in being a good copywriter. So really think about your own personal life and experiences… If you want to write about pets, or parenting, real estate, or finance, there is literally so many niches that are looking for great copywriters and the more specific you can be the better you can show up and serve your ideal client. So take some time to think about this in the beginning because this will set the foundation for the types of clients you’ll attract in the future; and really niche you into a specific area of copywriting. And the more experience you have the better you’re going to get.
Step #4: Write A Self Sales Pitch
Now I know this sounds a little bit icky especially if you don’t feel comfortable selling yourself.. But if you’re going to learn how to write for other people and sell products for other people, you need to know how to sell yourself. So that’s why the last two steps were so important. Once you get very clear on what you offer and who you serve, this step will become so important and will really help you find your niche. Now if you’re sitting there wondering… I don’t know my niche, be sure to check out my episode on How to Find Your Hot Niche.
The most important thing to remember with this step is just be honest where you’re at. A lot of business owners actually don’t want to hire the most seasoned and experienced writers because they’re looking to train someone who’s really going to learn and adapt to their brand voice. So if you are really green and you are just starting out, don’t worry about it. Just be super honest, show up, and deliver results.
Step #5: Build Your Online Portfolio and Profile
Because how are your clients going to find you if they cant find you? So now that you’ve taken some time to get clear on what you offer, and who you serve, and you’ve written out a little bit of a self sales pitch. Be on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, have a personal website, get an UpWork profile, because here’s the thing when clients start hearing your name they’re immediately going to go Google you and see where you’re present and where you’re active online. So with that you’re really going to want to have a portfolio and some social proof.
So if you have worked with anyone in the past, get a testimonial from them. This is so huge, and what so many creatives forget to do. Immediately after you have a positive exchange with a client, ask for a testimonial. These can be added to your Facebook fan page, to a Google review, to your website, all of this is going to increase your chances of getting more and more clients. And be sure you’re building your portfolio in the meantime. You don’t have to have it available online for everyone to see, but just know that people are going to be asking you for it. So have some writing samples, whether they’re paid, or whether you’ve done them in your free time, go out and find clients you can do some sample work for, anything you can do to really build up that portfolio is just going to help you in the long term. And then of course the more clients you get, the easier it is to build your portfolio.
Step #6: Find Clients
Now I’m a huge believer in both a push and a pull strategy. What I talked about in this post was a lot about the pull strategy. Get very clear on what you offer, who you serve, and get an online portfolio presence and profile set up so the right people can find you. In terms of a push strategy, which means really going out there and finding those clients you wanna work with, you gotta be a little bit more strategic it so I actually created a whole other post on this topic. It’s my 4 methods on finding clients: The Hunt, The Gather, The Pray, and The Slay. So be sure to check that video out here.
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All right guys there you have it those are my 6 steps you should take if you’re looking to start a freelance copywriting business. If you found this helpful please comment and share. And before you go, I want to hear from you! What is the number one challenge you’re experiencing when it comes to copywriting and your business? Where are you stuck? Where can I help you? Comment below, let me know. I can’t wait to see you guys again.
I’ll see you again next week. Till then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!