How to become a freelance copywriter
To become a freelance copywriter, here are some tips you need to take note of;
1. Show some proof
Show some proof that you’ve done the same work before.
But how can you do this, especially if you’re a newbie?
All you have to do is;
- Pick a niche you want to work in.
- Write some sample copy for the niche. (Two to three samples are fine)
- Place them on your website, medium, or Google Docs.
So, when a potential client asks for your writing samples, you’ll have something to show them.
2. Let everything you do be talk worthy
This means you need a blog where you post your wins and only focus on clients’ work that will translate into a blog post that brings in more clients.
Do you see?
For instance, let’s assume you want to write copy for a salon. And you want to be the go-to person in that niche.
Because hairdressers connect with other hairdressers.
Plus, they also have clients they talk to during each visit.
This means that, if you do a good job, they’re likely to tell people in and outside their niche about you.
3. Choose a niche
You’ve chosen the hairdresser niche because they talk to other hairdressers.
And you pitch your service to them, offering to do it for half the price. (This is only something you do at the beginning)
Because you want someone to bite.
And when you do a good job, you get more jobs in the same niche through referrals.
4. Pitch yourself
Yes, pitch your services to your ideal client.
Do this even if you have to discount your services to get the job. (At the beginning)
What I did when I started as a direct response copywriter was that I told the lady that I can write a sales copy for her for free, (She was hesitant because I had only one sample), and that if she loves it, then she can pay me.
She loved it and paid me.
The thing about this method I used is, that you must know your craft.
You must be good at what you do. Simple.
That means practice, practice, practice.
So, how do you find clients?
Check out my article on how to find copywriting clients fast.
I got my first copywriting client in just one week when I started.
5. Use what worked for a previous client to market to new clients
When you work for a client and you helped that client get new customers, talk about it.
If your copy generated a profit for a client, use it to market to the next client.
It doesn’t even have to be much.
Just say, my last client, increased his/her sales through my copy.
I got to work for a huge business coach in my country who had 1 million email subscribers and after writing a sales page for him, and marketing the page to his subscribers, it generated over #60 million for his business.
Now, you know I’ll use that every time I pitch myself.
That’s how you do it.
Leverage every success you have and turn it into a sales message.
5 basic freelance copywriting tips
These are basic things you should do as a freelance copywriter:
1. Think about your niche
What type of people do you want to work with?
Thinking about your niche lets you refine your marketing message in the best way possible when pitching your services.
What do they want?
What’s their pain point?
When you know these things, it becomes easier to position yourself as the go-to person in that niche.
2. Set up a website
You’re a business.
And in the 21st century, every business needs a web presence if you’re to be taken seriously.
So, you should have your own website that has your portfolio and other relevant information a client might want to know about before hiring you for their marketing project.
3. Set up a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a place for professionals.
And as a business owner, you’re a professional.
So, you must set up a LinkedIn profile so people in your niche can find you.
Click here to find out how to set up a professional LinkedIn profile.
4. Read copywriting books
To grow as a copywriter, you need to read books on copywriting.
Just because you’re literate doesn’t mean you can write well.
You might have a natural talent and that’s great.
But it takes a while to develop any skill.
So, getting help along the way is not a bad idea.
Some copywriting books you can read are:
- The copywriting handbook
- Copywriting made simple by Tom Albrighton
- Persuasive copywriting by Andy Maslen
- Read me
- Survival skills for freelancers
- Content DNA
There are more copywriting books you should read.
But these are good for now.
5. Get some training
This is almost the same with reading copywriting books.
But in this case, you’re learning from an established copywriter.
It could be at a conference, network event, or even a live webinar.
the point is, that you get first-hand tips on how to become a better copywriter.
And, if you happen to buy a course or program they sell, you can have access to them anytime you want (through email of course. Although, some of them are good with a phone call) to ask questions about copywriting.
10 Tips to becoming a top paid freelance copywriter
Here are the top tips on how to become a well-paid freelance copywriter.
1. Niche down
As has been mentioned above, you must find your niche and dominate it.
Specialists command higher fees than generalists.
2. Land leverage clients
Do what you can to have one client in your portfolio that potential clients recognize.
This can get you through the door if they see you’ve worked with a similar company.
3. Be prolific
To become a great copywriter, you have to work at it every single day.
Great copywriters are made through hours and hours behind the keyboard.
4. Be easy to work with
Be kind to clients.
Make good on your promises.
Make sure people can count on you because people pay good money to people they can count on.
5. Express yourself
Businesses don’t hire for just your words.
They want what is in your head.
Learn what your skills are worth to the client and use that as your value proposal.
6. Do the hard work
Anybody can write a 500-word blog post.
But it takes a certain level of work to write a well-researched white paper.
Therefore, put in the work to get paid more.
7. Ask for referrals
Referrals are a way to keep getting clients without having to constantly pitch yourself.
And the thing is, word of mouth marketing works better than other forms of marketing.
This is because you’ve been referred to by someone they trust.
8. Market to more businesses than you can handle
Here’s the simple math,
If you get two or three clients coming to you, you get to pick the one you want to work with.
And because they’re more than one person coming to you at a time, you get to charge more.
It’s the law of demand and supply.
9. Become so good that they can’t ignore you
Always do your best work.
The practice may not make you perfect…
But it’ll surely make you better than the competition.
10. Stick with it
Companies will pay more for a copywriter who has been in the game for a long time.
So, if you want to be paid top cash, outlast the competition.
Final freelance copywriting tip
As a freelance copywriter, you’ll meet with decision-makers.
Therefore, it’s important to nurture that lead, not just for copywriting work.
Did I miss any other freelance copywriting tips? Let me know in the comment section.
Maku Seun is a freelance copywriter and Direct Response Marketer. He helps digital marketers, coaches, and course creators boost sales by writing compelling sales letters for their products and services. If you’d him to write a sales letter for your business, click here.