So you’re a copywriter and you have the business cards to prove it. But what next?
I asked 12 successful copywriters to share one nugget of advice. If they could pass on just one tip to a newbie copywriter what would it be?
Here’s what they said:
Copywriting tip #1
“Back yourself. Write the words the client needs, not the words they THINK they need. Even if this means breaking the rules and spending time convincing the client you’re right.”
Glenn Murray | Divine Write
“Talk to someone about putting together a business plan before you start. It’s essential if you have specific financial and/or personal goals you want to meet as it gives you a clear idea from the outset how much money you need to be making to cover your overheads and what kind of adjustments you may need to make in the first few months when money can be really tight.”
Shauna Maguire | Take my word for it
“Steer clear of job bid sites as they will destroy your soul and make you question your abilities. You are better than that.”
Nicole Leedham | Black Coffee Communications
“Don’t work in a void – mix with other small business owners in person and online. Ask questions, offer help where you can, and develop relationships.”
Melinda Leyshon | Write Copy
“Know when, and when not, to listen to your fellow freelancers.”
Bek Lambert | Unashamedly Creative
“Tell EVERYONE you know that you’re now a copywriter and open for business!
And remember, if you produce excellent copy and meet the client’s expectations, they won’t care whether it’s your first job or your 500th – they’ll just be happy they got what they needed.”
Steve Manning | Business Copywriter
“Start off as though you are already successful. Set up your office and your systems so they will work for you whether you have 3 or 30 clients. Changing systems when your business really gets going can be time consuming and impact on the quality of the work you’re trying to complete at the same time. ”
Anne Maybus | Clever Streak
“Remember, it ain’t love, it’s business. You don’t need to tell clients that you’re just starting out and don’t have much experience, or that you’re not sure what to charge, or that you’re working from the kitchen bench at midnight after working all day in your full-time job. All they need to know is that you are the best person for the job.”
Sarah Morton | Sarah Morton Copywriter
“Build a relationship with a web designer/developer who is happy to push the value of professional writing on client websites.”
Anna Butler | Copybreak Copywriting Services
“Get a few clients under your belt BEFORE you invest in a website / business cards etc. It’s easy to spend a fortune getting yourself all set up and then wonder where your first client is going to come from.”
Melissa East | Writeable
“Never, ever, ever underestimate your skills – and always quote a higher rate than you think you’re worth because 90% of the time the client won’t even quibble.”
Ben Lloyd | Tech Write
“If you’re going from full-time work to freelancing, try to go part-time if you can so you have at least some form of regular income coming in while you’re establishing yourself.
Not only will you have to survive on next to no income, it also means you’ll be so desperate for work you’ll take anything that comes along. And some of those gigs can be truly soul-destroying. (I once accepted a job with terms including unlimited rewrites and a ban on including it in my portfolio.)
When you’re making enough freelancing to cover what you’d be getting in your day job (or close to), then you can think about going full-time.”
Bill Harper | Sharper Copy
Bonus copywriting tip #13
And a final bonus tip to finish off with? We highly recommend joining our our Copywriter Community.
It’s a place to learn from other copywriters, share ideas, get advice, tips and moral support.
Over to you
Are you a copywriter? If so, please tell us what YOUR number one tip for newbie copywriters would be.