How do I find clients as a copywriter?

by stk776
12 replies
Hi All,

I'm a newbie copywriter looking for my first clients to work with. Of course, my skills are not up to snuff yet, but I'd be willing to work either for free, or for minimal pay so that I can improve, while simultaneously building a portfolio.

My end goal is to become a highly sough after copywriter in a specific industry. Not sure exactly what industry yet, I'll have to feel that out as I go along.

For those of you who have "made it" as a copywriter, what step by step advice would you give to a newbie like myself who is trying to improve his skills and find clients?

I have heard mixed reviews about finding work on sites such as UpWork, etc. Is this a good place to start? Where do I go from there for higher paying gigs once I get better?

Thanks!
#clients #copywriter #find
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by stk776 View Post

    Hi All,

    I'm a newbie copywriter looking for my first clients to work with. Of course, my skills are not up to snuff yet, but I'd be willing to work either for free, or for minimal pay so that I can improve, while simultaneously building a portfolio.
    Well, you just flunked the Copywriting 101 test.

    Why should any marketer pay you (money or lost sales) to learn on his or her dime?

    As part of your study for the re-test, do a Google Search on "WIIFM" and read some of the articles. Then ask yourself, how does hiring a copywriter whose "skills are not up to snuff" benefit the marketer?

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author Anthony La Rocca
      You nailed it, Alex.

      I was a copy apprentice many years ago, so I see this glaring mistake frequently made by newbie writers.

      All one needs to do is network with the perfect persona example of what they forsee themselves being...and as you learn from them and showcase an above average writing style with plenty of practice....then this issue disppears.

      How?

      A talented and indemand copywriter have very enriched networks of clients that are always looking for work and will send those your way as time goes by. Especially when you have "scratched their back" first.

      Stk776: start a blog...pick a lane/niche....contribute and write as much as you can about it....guest post as you get more popular and better. Also...get in as many Facebook copywriter groups as you can...one I love is called 'Cult of Copy'. Plenty to learn and network from.

      Put in your time and then one day people will find you in all directions banging your door down to hire you.

      Goodluck!
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      • Profile picture of the author desireedavid
        Anthony said it. Start a blog and write as much as you can! You can also follow blogs and just keep reading articles and web copy so you can better familiarize yourself with the common writing styles. Each writer has his or her own style, but it wouldn't hurt to learn from others.
        Signature
        “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    My end goal is to become a highly sough after copywriter in a specific industry.
    In addition, and I don't mean this in a snarky way, be sure to proofread everything you post. You wouldn't want to show up for a job interview with mustard on your chin, would you? But you just did.

    Good luck,
    Marcia Yudkin
    Signature
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author chooseyourself
    Originally Posted by stk776 View Post

    Hi All,

    I'm a newbie copywriter looking for my first clients to work with. Of course, my skills are not up to snuff yet, but I'd be willing to work either for free, or for minimal pay so that I can improve, while simultaneously building a portfolio.

    My end goal is to become a highly sough after copywriter in a specific industry. Not sure exactly what industry yet, I'll have to feel that out as I go along.

    For those of you who have "made it" as a copywriter, what step by step advice would you give to a newbie like myself who is trying to improve his skills and find clients?

    I have heard mixed reviews about finding work on sites such as UpWork, etc. Is this a good place to start? Where do I go from there for higher paying gigs once I get better?

    Thanks!
    Hey there, I'm not gonna be telling you to just start a blog up.

    That can work but I want to tell you something I did myself.

    I'll admit that I've moved onto other internet marketing stuff rather
    than just copywriting.

    It was following a strategy this dude uses to get clients via Upwork.

    There's already people on there actively looking for copywriters.

    Yes, there's competition but some of the tips this Danny guy
    gives in
    this blog post are awesome.

    You may not be getting a ton of money right away, but you can definitely
    land a job with some of the tips there.

    I got one doing 10 blog posts for a horse blog.

    The lady was so indecisive that I only ended up doing 2. She paid me $175
    even though the work was never done due to her lack of
    action/communication.

    Not bad lol, that was fine by me. She never asked for any money back
    because I think she was ashamed she quit the blog.

    Either way, it got me started with making money copywriting.

    Good luck...I hope this helps!

    -Phil
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  • Profile picture of the author easy gov grants
    Why work for free? Just pick beginner jobs in Upwork until you grow more skills and become more confident about your copywriting. Why would you need a step-by-step advice from anyone in this forum? Part of copywriting is doing research.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    Start writing copy for your own product first.

    No one wants you to learn on their dime.

    And they shouldn't have to either. This may not be want you want to hear but it's the truth.

    If you can get good at writing copy for yourself then you'll get real world experience on how to write great copy. I'm talking the copy that hits all the emotions and all that good stuff.


    Bill


    .
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  • Profile picture of the author jones kerrin
    You should listen to Alex and Anthony.

    If you prefer to take the Upwork route, there are many advice online. But if you prefer to stand out and get better clients, networking offline or online will bring better results. This is based on experience.

    Also, be mindful of the things you put online, especially if you want to be a copywriter
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  • I agree with everything that was said here, you are making the classic newbie mistake of copywriting.
    But dont be ashamed of that, we all have done that at some point, when I was reading your post, the memories of my first pitch email came to my mind, it contained the exact same words you are using :"im willing to work for free because im new in the business". My God, what was I thinking?
    Learning to sell your skills and build a reputation is perhaps the first thing you need to learn in this business.
    I would suggest that you read and try to study as much as you can about copywriting, and when you get your first clients, treat them like kings, make sure you leave the best impressions of all on them.
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Good for you for making a start, it's hard to get cracking and I am sure you're really motivated.

    First thing, I would really take in consideration some of the comments here - as many of the people in this forum have been in the biz for ever.

    Secondly, while freelancer sites are easy and probably a quick alternative to jump into copywriting I would ensure you have a few revenue streams and options on the go, meaning don't neglect your CRM and lead generation actvities and organically growing your business through referrals, WOM and general marketing.

    I used Freelancer sites for a bit when I was starting out however I found that the hourly rate is lower, the individuals I worked for weren't always very clear with the brief and the online sites prefer you work digitally and without phone conversations so often there are small things in the brief that get missed which makes the project take longer.

    For a while my workload when I was starting out was probably 25% freelancer type sites which was good for business development however now I just get jobs now and then from the sites and only for my currently hourly rate (no discounts).

    It is a great way to learn and fine tune your skills, however you must be prepared that it isn't always going to be easy and while you might get rave reviews on one project another set of feedback may not be as glowing.

    Soak in as much advice as you can from forums like this one, read, work on your skill set, and most of all avoid doing free work as you won't really ever be able to make the leap to being a copywriter if you're just doing it for free.

    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    'How do I find clients as a copywriter?"

    The same way you'd get your client clients,
    customers and patients.

    Have you worked out how'll do it for them?

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author wordsandthebees
    I am fairly new to the industry myself and can give you a couple of pieces of advice that have helped me move my business forward recently:


    1) Study.
    Copywriting is a form of sales and getting the technical knowledge behind you improves your confidence no end and will quickly change your language from ‘skills not up to snuff’ to ‘I’m a copywriter, and a damn good one at that.’ This positivity will project in your marketing and turn potential clients into paying customers. Remember, not everyone can write, and there are plenty of people who will pay a pretty penny for your invaluable skills.

    2) Get experience.
    I don’t see why you should have to work for free to gain experience however the more you write the better at it you become. Write a journal, write a blog, write letters to your friends…anything that sees you putting pen to paper will help you become better day by day.

    You will have to start at the lower end of the pay scale if you’re just starting out and sites like Freelancer and Upwork are invaluable to help you bring in money, especially if you’re also available to provide written content in addition to copywriting. This should be looked at as a short term solution while you establish yourself though as the clients you find on these sites often pay less and expect more (in my experience). In the short term however they can be a good resource to keep cash flowing and to get you accustomed to different styles of writing while you establish yourself.


    3) Get a website.
    You can get a pretty cheap landing page up and running which might not have all the bells and whistles that you need, but it will show people that you’re serious. You can promote this through social media and while it might not make it to the top of a Google search, it leaves the possibility open that you never know who might stumble across it.


    4) Make quality contacts.
    Identify someone in your local area who comes into contact with a lot of people who require copy. Think web designers, printers, marketing companies and the like. Building strong relationships with these companies can take time however once you have your foot in the door you open yourself up to the opportunity of a regular stream of income.


    5) Network.
    There are lots of online opportunities for networking. As Anthony has already mentioned, Facebook has a thriving little community of like-minded professionals who are all willing to share their experience and help you along in your journey. You’d be mad not to take advantage!


    6) Stay true to yourself.
    There are lots of people out there who think, sorry know that their way is best! Soak up all the advice that you can from those more experienced than yourself but do stay true to yourself too. If something doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t do it and find another way. Over time you will develop your own style of writing and running a business and it is your originality that will make people choose you over your competitors.


    I’m living through this too and can completely identify with how overwhelming it can be to start off with, but put as much energy into mastering your craft as you do into getting new clients and the rest will hopefully work itself out along the way.


    Good luck!

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