A couple a tips for them newbie freelancers out there....

by Ric
6 replies
Howdy fellow Copywriters,

Copywriting is an awesome business to be in, especially if you've got a passion to write, but there are a few things you've gotta look out for if your starting of as a freelancer....apart from your writing..

I made 2 big mistakes that I wouldnt want any of you to make, because had I not made them I would be where I am now much, much earlier...

Big Mistake Number 1: Looking for paid clients when I started off, this was probably one of the dumbest things I've done in my life...I am pretty ashamed of it. I learned to write copy from some of the best copywriters out there and I thought I deserved paid clients..... I mean common the sales letters I wrote were working and were going to send their (my clients) conversions sky rocketing...what else do you expect from a copywriter?

But that one was terribly wrong belief.... I had a tiny portfolio and very little proof that I can produce some solid sales copy...that was the obvious problem but not the real one:

You see, as you all probably know, to write a good sales letter you need to know what the customer wants, you need to know how he/she feels, you've got to, for a moment, become your avatar...otherwise you wont sell!

Before you start taking up paid clients you want to have gotten your hands dirty in EVERY SINGLE NICHE that you would like to write for....that way when you start a paid project with a strict deadline, you've already done the basic homework necessary for writing a killer sales letter...

Big Awesome Instantly Valuable Career Changing Tip 1: Start writing, without charging a cent, free sales letters, free emails, whatever you can get your hands on...its what John Carlton (my favourite coywriting teacher and guru) calls being a Shameless Whore..... Write as much as you can, till you've got a massive portfolio and cant even remember how much sales copy you've written...its a small investment in terms of time, but its probably the best you can make as a rookie just starting off...

Big Mistake Number 2: I am a perfectionist, a pretty darn self destructive one, I cant let go of any work I've done...I feel that there is still more I can do and keep putting of finishing the damn thing...Now trying to perfect your copy is probably the best thing you can do for your client...but it should not come at the cost of missing a deadline... When I first started off I missed almost all my deadlines, and where my clients absolutely LOVED the sales copy they got, they werent exactly very happy about the turn around time... It didnt harm much at first but when my clients had a fixed launch date, I began to loose work and my reputation tanked....I then made a promise to myself not to miss a single deadline again, and ever since I havent...

Big Awesome Instantly Valuable Career Changing Tip 2: Dont EVER miss deadlines...if you take time (which is totally justified and in fact very beneficial) tell your client honestly.... If you're good, your clients will start to work around your schedule....but nothing annoys a client and harms your reputation as bad as a missed deadline...make a promise to yourself and KEEP IT!

That's all I have for you guys today....I hope it helps and where both things may seem obvious to many of you..you'll be surprised at how many people end up making these mistakes...

I'd love to hear all of your thoughts, comments and even criticism

Stay Frosty,
Ric Rocco
#couple #freelancers #newbie #tips
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    • Profile picture of the author Ric
      Originally Posted by happyday View Post

      Really insightful,friend,hope you're now where you'd ever wished to be?
      Glad You liked it.. and No I am not....success is a journey, not a destination
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      • Profile picture of the author Courtney Keene
        Good points, though with the first one I also think it's important not to sell yourself short. If you're specifically building a portfolio, do so on your own terms. Offer free copy to people who deserve it and clients who will really make you shine and show your expertise. I would advise against writing free copy for the guy who comes along and says "Write my copy! I don't want to pay you but you'll get great exposure and experience!"
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        • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
          In my opinion, the biggest mistake you can make is "writing free copy". It undervalues you, shows that you think you're a newbie and are having difficulty selling yourself.

          Who in their right mind would want to hire you (even free).

          Free can be much more expensive than paid. There is no commitment from either side.

          Delivering more value than you're paid for is a completely separate thing and I highly recommend doing that, but stop teaching people to do free things. You're hurting them.

          Write copy to sell yourself to clients. You may be average but if you've studied even a bit of marketing and copywriting (and understood the concepts), then you should not have a problem standing up against 99% of the population.

          You don't have to compete against the big guns in most markets anyway and should do fine. Hone your chops and you should be able to contact some of the big mailers (who are ALWAYS on the lookout for new blood) with a portfolio which you built truthfully - by charging a fee!

          The only "free copy" you should write is for yourself (and time and charge it too for the record so you have an idea).

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  • Profile picture of the author David Merriman
    The biggest advice I have for newbie freelancers is...

    Make money on your own!

    If you can't write a sales letter or VSL (video sales letter) that makes you money, you shouldn't be writing for other people.

    It's ridiculous to hear new copywriters talk about "increasing conversions" when they've never seen a conversion themselves.

    Be unique.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Originally Posted by Ric View Post

    Stay Frosty,
    Ric Rocco
    Isn't that John Carlton's tagline?
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