Where do you copywriters find work?

35 replies
I was considering starting up my own site, the fee's on eLance are crazy and I can't seem to find any other sites that offer a stable environment to earn with my writing skills. So where do you guys go to find jobs? Probably a silly question to be asking considering you wouldn't want competition in your market, but I am just curious. I feel like I could write all day every day, I just don't have the work to do so!

Thanks in advance, and no hard feelings if you're hesitant to "spread the wealth"

Cheers!
#copywriters #find #work
  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Ron,

    Do you currently have your own website to use as promotion?

    If so, you could always start out with Adwords, Bing, Facebook, etc...

    But I'd also recommend doing what I've done over the years... which is build a platform and put out amazing content for others. Put out the best info you can, and offer great advice, for free, wanting nothing in return.

    You'll find that attraction marketing like that will bring forth prospects and clients who line up with your values.

    Honestly, getting clients is no different than getting customers in ANY business.

    You gotta market yourself, get the word out, and also produce results.

    Once you start producing results... you'll find the work comes to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Once you start producing results... you'll find the work comes to you.
    This is the key.

    One thing, though: as you start out, sometimes it will seem like the whole world will want you to work for peanuts. I strongly advise sticking with your price once you've set it. The only possible exception that I take to that rule personally is if I want/need testimonials. Even then I don't work for free.

    If you have a real skill, finding clients isn't hard. Just look to give value where you can, if you can afford to do so. Word of mouth is stronger than ever which suggests to me that sites like LinkedIn are a good place to start.
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    • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
      Originally Posted by Ghoster View Post

      Word of mouth is stronger than ever which suggests to me that sites like LinkedIn are a good place to start.
      Absolutely. Once you have a few successes under your belt, finding work will probably not be a problem. Marketers who understand the value of copywriting talk to each other about who's good... who's reliable... who's easy to work with... and who's more trouble than it's worth.

      Plus, they keep tabs on who their colleagues and competitors network with. That means LinkedIn -- done right -- can be a superb resource for copywriters.

      The best part: The clients often come to you. Many of my best clients approached me on LinkedIn. And while I maintain a low profile, it's still been a source of six figures (plus royalties).
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      Len Bailey
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      Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter

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      • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
        Originally Posted by Len Bailey View Post

        Absolutely. Once you have a few successes under your belt, finding work will probably not be a problem. Marketers who understand the value of copywriting talk to each other about who's good... who's reliable... who's easy to work with... and who's more trouble than it's worth.

        Plus, they keep tabs on who their colleagues and competitors network with. That means LinkedIn -- done right -- can be a superb resource for copywriters.

        The best part: The clients often come to you. Many of my best clients approached me on LinkedIn. And while I maintain a low profile, it's still been a source of six figures (plus royalties).
        So you make it clear you are a copywriter on LinkedIn (that's on your profile, maybe even links to previous works), but you don't blatantly advertise? Or, how do you go about using LinkedIn? I'd be interested in knowing your technique for this.
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        • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
          Originally Posted by Jeffery Moss View Post

          So you make it clear you are a copywriter on LinkedIn (that's on your profile, maybe even links to previous works), but you don't blatantly advertise? Or, how do you go about using LinkedIn? I'd be interested in knowing your technique for this.
          I've only actively advertised my copywriting services twice: The first time I emailed a few select publishers letting them know I had left Clayton Makepeace's agency. The other time I had a client bump back a project, leaving an opening in my schedule. So I contacted a few publishers I'd always wanted to work with and let them know.

          But other than that, I've never actively advertised.

          I do maintain Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. But I don't use either to actively promote my services. I use Twitter to share tips and news. And I use LinkedIn purely for networking purposes.

          Very rarely do I send out LI invites. I simply keep my page running and let them come to me. Which they do frequently. Since I last posted in this forum, I've booked two projects for next year with two new clients -- both of whom contacted me via LinkedIn.

          Why does LI work for me? Probably the biggest reason is my background and testimonials. They let potential clients know I'm experienced and can deliver the results they're after.

          Don't have a testimonial from Clayton Makepeace? You can still achieve similar results by getting testimonials from your current and prior clients.

          Once you have your LI page in order, do what the site was created for: Network with colleagues and potential clients. Join a few groups -- not just of copywriters, but ones that your target clients are members of.

          I do have one other trick up my LinkedIn sleeve... but I'm not quite ready to share it just yet. It's making me too much money.

          Best wishes for BIG winners!
          Len
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          Len Bailey
          Copywriter/Consultant
          Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter

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          • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
            Originally Posted by Len Bailey View Post


            I do maintain Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. But I don't use either to actively promote my services. I use Twitter to share tips and news. And I use LinkedIn purely for networking purposes.

            Very rarely do I send out LI invites. I simply keep my page running and let them come to me. Which they do frequently. Since I last posted in this forum, I've booked two projects for next year with two new clients -- both of whom contacted me via LinkedIn.
            Thanks for all this great information and it really puts social networking into perspective, how it can be used as a soft sell for services. I'm very interested in building a more solid independent base for my writing and hope to put these ideas to work soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Rueff
      Originally Posted by Ghoster View Post

      This is the key.

      One thing, though: as you start out, sometimes it will seem like the whole world will want you to work for peanuts. I strongly advise sticking with your price once you've set it. The only possible exception that I take to that rule personally is if I want/need testimonials. Even then I don't work for free.

      If you have a real skill, finding clients isn't hard. Just look to give value where you can, if you can afford to do so. Word of mouth is stronger than ever which suggests to me that sites like LinkedIn are a good place to start.
      To add to your exception, I'd also throw this out there:

      As a new copywriter it can be beneficial to accept low rates to build up 6 to 8 quality portfolio examples.

      Combined with testimonials on the portfolio site, it's all downhill from there.
      Signature

      Life is full of nothing but opportunities. There is no misfortune, bad luck, or misery; only opportunity.

      “To move the world we must move ourselves.”
      -Socrates

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  • Profile picture of the author mosschief
    Calling businesses and agencies can work great. It's not much fun and is time consuming, but there's no faster way to get work. Sending out letters can also work really well (and uses your skills.)

    I agree with Shawn too, setting up a website is a good idea. Bring traffic in with great content. This is a good longer term approach.

    I've also been experimenting with landing pages and adwords for some new services I want to offer, and that's been working really well so far.

    Do as much as you can to get leads, experiment, do great work, and before you know it you'll have more than enough to keep you busy and financially stable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    This forum is a great place to find work.

    Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Marketing your copywriting services is no different than anything else.

    You've gotta position yourself just right.

    Who is your ideal client?

    Blueprint your avatar.

    Start talking with that person.

    Create your own website and/or WSO - so you have a platform to have that conversation.

    Drive traffic.

    Test different messages.

    I disagree that you need to produce results to get clients chasing you.

    You don't.

    If you know how to market yourself, you'll persuade prospects into believing you can do the same for them.

    Of course, it goes without saying:

    If you have some awesome results you can boast - that aren't NDA protected - pimp that shit out.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author RonGold
    Thanks guys, I was sort of looking for a short answer, but I guess there isn't one! I don't have a personal website and I'm a 5-star writer on eLance, maybe I should just create a site and make that my main thing? Who knows, plenty of ideas to throw around!

    Thanks again.
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    CanadianContentWritingBHW@gmail.com
    $2/100 words for REGULAR CONTENT
    $4/100 words for TOP NOTCH MONEY CONTENT
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery Moss
      Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

      Thanks guys, I was sort of looking for a short answer, but I guess there isn't one! I don't have a personal website and I'm a 5-star writer on eLance, maybe I should just create a site and make that my main thing? Who knows, plenty of ideas to throw around!

      Thanks again.
      Do you have any way to contact your former clients from elance? If you can find a way to contact some of these satisfied customers they could be your first customers for the independent business. Just say you are going out on your own and still want to offer them services.
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      • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
        Originally Posted by Jeffery Moss View Post

        Do you have any way to contact your former clients from elance? If you can find a way to contact some of these satisfied customers they could be your first customers for the independent business. Just say you are going out on your own and still want to offer them services.
        I'm sure Elance would have prevented exchange of personally identifiable information such as email address where seller or buyer could make deals off site.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Clouser
      Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

      Thanks guys, I was sort of looking for a short answer, but I guess there isn't one!
      I can give you *one* short answer: buy Carlton's Freelance Course. He breaks down building a freelance career into three parts: Get Good, Get Connected, and Get Paid.

      It's a great investment.
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  • There is no stable environment to earn with your writing skills.

    -- What do you mean you don't have a website? You are a professional writer, yes? Put up a Wordpress or an HTML site with your bio, samples, testimonials, a contact page, etc. Use the book, "Do The Web Write" as a guide. Look to other writer websites for template ideas. Don't know how to do it? Hire a Wordpress savvy Warrior to help you.

    -- WF is the biggest marketing site on the Web. Open a WSO or Warriors for Hire ad. Change your Warrior sig to point to the ad. Use all the testimonials you can from Elance in the ad. Get involved more. Start posting. Look around the site. Post in sections you have expertise like Social Media or SEO. People will go to your ad and contact you for work, or something is wrong with your pitch. Rewrite it and go again.

    -- Pick up the phone. Call the marketing directors at the top 1000 businesses in your town or province. Keep it simple. Here is a suggested script modified from Peter Bowerman's "The Well Fed Writer":

    Good morning my name is ____________ and I'm a local freelance writer making contact with area banks (insurance companies, software firms, etc) to determine whether you have any current or occasional needs for a good freelance writer to help create marketing material: web copy, sales letters, emails, etc. Who might be the best person to talk with?

    Of the marketing directors you call that use outside freelancers, only 5-10% will need someone in the next 90 days. You'll get assignments just finding them.

    The other 90+% that might hire you will not need you until 90 days to 18 months from the day you call. You'll lose those sales unless you keep in contact with them over that time period. That means a call, postcard or letter a minimum of every 90 days.

    Elance is great, but now you can leverage those ratings and testimonials into bigger and better clients, more returning clients, more interesting assignments, more money per order, more income per year and better seats at the (Canadiens/ Maple Leafs/ Canucks/ Fill in your favorite team) games.
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  • Profile picture of the author alphaomegalady
    Have you try promoting your services on craigslist or other classified ads sites? Craigslist is also a good source to find freelance jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author John P
    You can find work as a copywriter on forums and freelancers sites like odesk and the others.

    Another way to find work is sites like iwriter and hirewriters..
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  • Profile picture of the author RonGold
    Tried Craigslist, had a great little speech about how I was a 5-star writer, etc etc. No bites. I've got a 100% recommendation from everybody I've ever written for, and a lot of the money was repeat jobs. I guess I was just looking for a way to find new clients.

    Thanks again guys! Cheers!
    Signature
    CanadianContentWritingBHW@gmail.com
    $2/100 words for REGULAR CONTENT
    $4/100 words for TOP NOTCH MONEY CONTENT
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

      Tried Craigslist, had a great little speech about how I was a 5-star writer, etc etc. No bites. I've got a 100% recommendation from everybody I've ever written for, and a lot of the money was repeat jobs. I guess I was just looking for a way to find new clients.

      Thanks again guys! Cheers!
      I've said it here before...

      I've found Craigslist to have an abundance of really high quality clients.

      Do you have to be persistent?

      Yup. Duh!

      Just get someone to post your ads for you. All you need to do is write the copy and pay 'em.

      Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author kentah
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        I've said it here before...

        I've found Craigslist to have an abundance of really high quality clients.

        Do you have to be persistent?

        Yup. Duh!

        Just get someone to post your ads for you. All you need to do is write the copy and pay 'em.

        Mark
        Take Mark's advice. Craigslist is one of the best place for any kinds of leads. Good valuable prospects too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    I noticed you say you're a five start writer, what does that mean? Are you specifically a copywriter or an article writer? That's a huge difference right there.

    That being said if you're a copywriter, another place to see listings is at Copywriting Jobs - Direct Response Jobs (Someone started a thread about this a few weeks ago but I forgot who).

    Many top guys will go to events to rustle up some business. Personally for me I spent a lot of time developing relationships with the right people. It's not overnight by any stretch, but it's well worth it in the long haul.
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  • There are many ways to get clients...

    helpful hints....

    only work with people who already use copywriters...if you find yourself in a situation where you have to explain what a copy guy does...hang up the phone.

    Clients love to feel that you understand their business/product, So if you have knowldege in some area, use it.

    Build a list, of prospects.

    ask for referals

    decide who you want to work with and target them.

    having results does really help...in my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rhino99
      I get pretty good rankings in Google but most of the enquiries I get are from low ballers used to paying low fees thanks to sites like Elance, Odesk etc. The best results I get are from networking locally and speaking to business owners in person - this gives you an obvious advantage over your online competitors because many businesses prefer to work with a writer in person.

      Another tactic I use is I have a sales letter (it's in my portfolio on my website) which I send to 100 marketing agencies at a time with some samples. You can buy lists but I'd recommend creating one of your own - time consuming but you'll get better results. A lot of the lists I've bought have been garbage and out of date. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      Read Peter Bowerman's book.
      Bowerman's book is good (that's how I first discovered copywriting)... but Bob Bly's The Copywriting HandbookThe Copywriting Handbook is better. I strongly recommend it for anyone even considering becoming a copywriter.
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      Len Bailey
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      Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter

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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

    Probably a silly question to be asking considering you wouldn't want competition in your market, but I am just curious. I feel like I could write all day every day, I just don't have the work to do so!

    Thanks in advance, and no hard feelings if you're hesitant to "spread the wealth"
    Can I offer some important advice that's a few levels up from the actual work?

    Jettison the mindset of lack and "competition" you're revealing above.

    There's so much more money and work to go around than you realize... more than anyone can possibly manage all by themselves.

    The best leads and work usually comes through referrals - from both clients and colleagues.

    Some of the many talented writers who hang out and post here have gotten loads of leads, referrals and $,$$$ from me over the years. And that's a direct handing down of the help I've gotten from others when I was starting out. They get what I got - it's up to them to do with it what I did.

    More importantly, trusted relationships develop. They know, and I know, we've got a group of talented people in our corners who believe in our abilities and are there to make sure we don't fall down the wrong rabbit holes (or help us dig our way out when we do).

    So - what can you do - starting now - to become more useful to the folks who are getting the work you want?
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  • Profile picture of the author RonGold
    Great informaion guys, I'm really soaking up some great stuff here. Just got a project from a client on eLance (a non-low baller!) and have $600 sitting in an escrow fund WAITING FOR ME!

    I guess eLance isn't too bad, but I'm definitely going to be giving Craigslist another try.

    Thanks everybody, appreciate it.
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    CanadianContentWritingBHW@gmail.com
    $2/100 words for REGULAR CONTENT
    $4/100 words for TOP NOTCH MONEY CONTENT
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    • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
      Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

      Great informaion guys, I'm really soaking up some great stuff here. Just got a project from a client on eLance (a non-low baller!) and have $600 sitting in an escrow fund WAITING FOR ME!

      I guess eLance isn't too bad, but I'm definitely going to be giving Craigslist another try.

      Thanks everybody, appreciate it.
      Congrat's. Best wishes for big winners.
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      Len Bailey
      Copywriter/Consultant
      Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter

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    • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
      Originally Posted by RonGold View Post

      Great informaion guys, I'm really soaking up some great stuff here. Just got a project from a client on eLance (a non-low baller!) and have $600 sitting in an escrow fund WAITING FOR ME!

      I guess eLance isn't too bad, but I'm definitely going to be giving Craigslist another try.

      Thanks everybody, appreciate it.
      Kick ass Ron... good job!

      By the way, when I work with students from time to time, we'll go onto Elance and I'll show them how to land gigs.

      This thread i wrote a while back may help you when writing a proposal on Elance. I had MANY students tell me it helped them pick up gigs there.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...y-clients.html

      Also, another way to get clients that I don't remember seeing on this thread... is going to some of the big internet marketing seminars.

      I specifically remember big dogs like Harlan and Ray Edwards talking about getting some of their first well-paying gigs from internet marketing seminars.

      Also, I can name off about 10 copy colleagues who have used Internet marketing seminars to mix and mingle... picking up copy jobs.

      Not sure if you want to include travel or seminars as part of your marketing mix... but it's been a HUGE client-getter for many copywriters.

      But again, great job with landing that client!
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  • Profile picture of the author greatwriter
    The question should not be where to find work
    but how to find work. Market
    yourself the way a normal business markets itself.
    Don't get sucked into buying lots of ebooks and courses
    which you don't need. Just find one really good one,
    read it and follow the advice given.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    I think Ryan Lee's post this morning can help a LOT of copywriters make the shift needed to land more gigs...

    You Are a Marketer | Ryan Lee | Continuity Income | Internet Marketing

    The only 2 things you need in this business to succeed... is continuous marketing and then trying to produce results. The rest will happen naturally if you put most of your time and effort into those first 2.
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  • Profile picture of the author NellyColby
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  • Profile picture of the author Dustin Kendall
    Hirewriters.com will hire plenty of writers.
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    I am a marketer that has made it BIG > Ron Jeremy

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    • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
      I often here Linkedin talked about but have always found that site to be a waste of time.

      Admittedly I have little idea what to do with it, but it seems I just get hounded by other writers, wanting me to "join their network".

      Why?

      For what?




      AC
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      This man is living his dream. Are you...?
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  • Profile picture of the author flmrms
    I got my start locally. Check with local businesses, especially in high competition industries. See if they have use of your skills. You may not be able to charge much to start, it really depends on the business and the area, but you can build a portfolio pretty quick if you are persistent.
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