Finding your first clients. Specific sites?

9 replies
What I've come to realize is getting your foot in the door is hard!

Other copywriters make it seem easy to get their first client.

I'm starting from zero leads. Zero on the internet, and zero outside of it.

How easy was it for you to find your first client?

I'm not even interested in writing for much pay (please, hear me out, I need to use references. I wouldn't advise writing for low pay if I didn't need their references.) I'm willing to do pro-bono work if the client is part of an industry I want to write for and they have a size-able list. What I need right now is recommendations and reports on how well my copy has done.

So far I've done the following...

Created a website
Signed up for LinkedIn
I went to a specific realtor forum, posted a message, but no bites
Applied for Upwork jobs, but without any jobs completed, I feel like I'm passed over

I've read all of the reading recommendations, or a hell lot of them. I'm hungry for work, but I'm looking to be pointed in the right direction.

My plan is to focus on email marketing first. That way, I can get specific reports quickly about how well I've done.

The question is, where do you go besides LinkedIn and Upwork to find your first leads? Upwork is out of the question right now, I'm afraid.

Those around me I can tap for references don't have a big enough email list.
#clients #finding #sites #specific
  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    I find it's easier if you market yourself as a WRITER-copywriter, rather than a MARKETER-copywriter. Go to restaurants or local business, look up their website, and send them an email saying you can rewrite their stuff to sound more professional, friendly, and boost more sales. Of course, you have a link to your website that makes your writing look amazing.

    The problem with most copywriters is because they don't even sound like writers when you look at their work. They sound more like SEO keyword stuffers or somebody trying too hard. So in a way, you have to impress your potential client with your ability to write. Hit them with some personality and wit.
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    Passive income since 2007. Trying to consistently crack 5-figures/month. find what you love - dream big - work hard
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by themodernworld View Post

    What I've come to realize is getting your foot in the door is hard!

    Other copywriters make it seem easy to get their first client.

    I'm starting from zero leads. Zero on the internet, and zero outside of it.

    How easy was it for you to find your first client?

    I'm not even interested in writing for much pay (please, hear me out, I need to use references. I wouldn't advise writing for low pay if I didn't need their references.) I'm willing to do pro-bono work if the client is part of an industry I want to write for and they have a size-able list. What I need right now is recommendations and reports on how well my copy has done.

    So far I've done the following...

    Created a website
    Signed up for LinkedIn
    I went to a specific realtor forum, posted a message, but no bites
    Applied for Upwork jobs, but without any jobs completed, I feel like I'm passed over

    I've read all of the reading recommendations, or a hell lot of them. I'm hungry for work, but I'm looking to be pointed in the right direction.

    My plan is to focus on email marketing first. That way, I can get specific reports quickly about how well I've done.

    The question is, where do you go besides LinkedIn and Upwork to find your first leads? Upwork is out of the question right now, I'm afraid.

    Those around me I can tap for references don't have a big enough email list.
    The two things:

    1) Create your own product, write the sales copy, sell it. 30 days then show your copy to other people in a similar market.

    2). Find an under-promoted product, write new copy for it, sell it. Best if you find someone with a list (of at least 10,000) who will test your copy to their list. Plenty of us out here.

    Both of these ways have been used by others to quickly accelerate their copy careers. Nothing works better than a successful sales page (or email series) that has results behind it.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    So far I've done the following...

    Created a website
    Signed up for LinkedIn
    I went to a specific realtor forum, posted a message, but no bites
    Applied for Upwork jobs, but without any jobs completed, I feel like I'm passed over
    Firstly, don't work for free - that's not the right precendent you want to set.

    You've set up a website, LinkedIn, started a thread on a industry forum gone onto Upwork.

    So from this information you want to send eMarketing campaigns to the real estate market? Is that correct?

    If this is your target marketing you might want to branch out a little further and do some legwork.

    - List building - I would create a list of every single real estate agent in your region including business name, email, website, director etc and personally phone each of them and introduce yourself tell them what you do and why you can help them. I would follow up the phone call with a couple of mock up email campaigns you have created.

    - Email campaign - create a cool template with an offer and send this to your contact list. You must have a few contacts in the industry if you have decided this is your niche so send your eMarketing to them with the offer and encourage them to share with their colleagues.

    - Share the offer / ad on LinkedIn page - this is fairly straight forward and it will promote your offer - I would also ensure your connecting with plenty of industry professionals in your niche and providing examples and clear pricings and outlining the FAB of your service.

    - Branch out and offer your service to other industries - right now when you don't have any work coming in, can't you offer your eMarketing services to all industries? You can jump on Freelancer.com and find plenty of jobs to bid on that are looking for someone to create an email campaign. That would certainly be a good starting point.

    - Create partnerships / affiliations - when I started out all of the work I received was referral from a couple of friends and also my accountant. She sent over so much work it was amazing. I was working my old job and she found the service really beneficial for her client's that had no marketing support. Win win for me and her. If you can find someone who knows lots of people in the industry, partner with them and even offer them an incentive. You could do their marketing/copy work for free in exchange for leads.

    When I started out in copywriting it was all about word of mouth contacts, everyone was referred to me for the first year. I was working another job and I had absolutely zero time to look for work, so this was a great starting point.

    You have nothing to lose right now, however you do have to establish some partnerships and engage personally with people, not just digitally.

    You might find yourself in a heck of a lot of meetings and coffee catch ups for a while, but eventually it is worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Hi John,

    On the desirability scale for a business owner
    who has staff, rent and other expenses...

    which would be the highest...

    1 A random offer from an unknown to
    do a better job in his existing marketing

    2 An offer from a known person who has no track record
    in his profession, but others, to improve existing marketing

    3 An offer from an unknown person who has a track record
    of creating more revenue for others in his profession

    4 An offer from a known person who has track record
    of creating more revenue for others in his profession

    5 An offer from an unknown person who offers to implement
    the exact campaign which created $67,500 in 90 days
    for a Chiropractor?

    And what if you acquired that proven campaign so you leapfrog over all the
    others who have so called more experience than you?

    Something to think about.

    Best,
    Ewen

    P.S. A client got permission from me to use a proven Yellow Pages ad from me
    for a plumber, tweaked it for an electrician in a different country and ran it
    in a different media from what he had been doing.

    It brought in an extra $30,000 per month for his electrician client.

    P.P.S HE WASN'T A COPYWRITER.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jayden William
    Nowadays, referral marketing is the best strategy to get clients for your products or services. I would recommend you to use word of mouth by telling your friends about your services and also try to get involved in the business community of your category. Join some referral programs on the website like NetProReferral, there you can get referrals easily for your services.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Here we go again. A new writer asking where to find work, because they haven't found any ONLINE. So far, you've listed all the worst places to look for work.

    Get a list of prospective clients in your local area. Put together a PHYSICAL LETTER. Then, MAIL it and follow up with a phone call. This is how I made almost $50,000 my first year as a freelancer and over $100,000 my second year.

    Amazing how many newbies ignore this advice. If you're too afraid to look for jobs offline, you picked the wrong profession.
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

      Here we go again. A new writer asking where to find work, because they haven't found any ONLINE. So far, you've listed all the worst places to look for work.

      Get a list of prospective clients in your local area. Put together a PHYSICAL LETTER. Then, MAIL it and follow up with a phone call. This is how I made almost $50,000 my first year as a freelancer and over $100,000 my second year.

      Amazing how many newbies ignore this advice. If you're too afraid to look for jobs offline, you picked the wrong profession.
      How much would you sell that letter for, Seth?

      Just asking.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    If you have a hard to refuse proposition
    and the email addresses of a semi starving crowd...

    and bring the two together...

    You'd get your inbox full of people wanting to work with you...

    as shown, a one day of responses.

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  • Profile picture of the author olilynch
    Lots of great advice on the replies here. Just to add my ten pence (or cents... hey I'm British!)

    If you have nothing on your CV ask a friend or family member if you can do some work for them to get experience. I bet you know someone who runs a business - ask them if you can do their next newsletter/email bulletin, print advert -whatever need writing. Hopefully they'll see their way to pay you SOMETHING but if you have to do it for free for the experience then it's a start.

    I am currently working on a friends startup business with an arrangement that for now the pay will be minimal (whatever he can afford plus a few beers) but when he needs marketing in future, I'll be his guy.

    Other than that, all info below about getting out there and being direct definitely trumps sitting on your ass online. Don't be afraid to show your face and chat to people.
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