The real question is...
How do I find good copywriting clients?
That distinction matters. A lot. Every time I'm looking for work, whether on a bidding site like Upwork, an online job board, LinkedIn, or offline networking (I've found great clients using all these methods), I evaluate the client, not the job.
Jobs come and go. Good clients will come back for years. Decades even. They'll also bring you valuable referral business.
Most of my work these days comes from referrals or repeat clients. Sure, I still look. It's a habit a freelancer should never give up. But the mindset you have while looking matters.
Here are a few practical takeaways:
1. Never work for a lower rate on the promise of "lots of future work for the right person."
Any client that pays well will pay well from the start. Clients who don't pay well never will, and they'll often use this line ^ as bait to lure you in.
2. Never quote prices or timelines until you know exactly what the client wants.
If they want you to edit something, get an example. No exceptions. The fastest way to blow a good long-term relationship is by setting poor expectations.
3. Meet all-new clients via phone, Zoom, or in person.
Get a feel for whether you have "business chemistry" with them. This is the most important factor for maintaining long-term client relationships.
4. Look for clients who will pay you for your insights and your writing.
Clients who are willing to change their minds based on your advice make the best long-term clients. You'll never get paid well just to write. This industry is too saturated. You will, however, be paid well if your client sees you as an expert in your topic and your audience.
Some clients won't care to hear your advice. Don't work with them. Ever. You will never change their mind because you're not a psychologist. Leave your schedule open for clients who will recognize and respect your expertise.
Finally, become a better writer.
Work at it every day.
Never rest on your laurels.
There's no substitution for competence.