How to fire a client without falling into a heap

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Are all copywriting clients made of sugar and all things nice?

    No. In fact, you have a higher chance of working for a toxic client than your dream client.

    This post was written by TCCS member, Rashida Tayabali


     

    Do you have a client whose phone calls and emails send shivers down your spine? A client who demands you answer their emails at once, and follows up with a phone call if there’s a few minutes delay. And who always seems to be unhappy with your work but can’t tell you why?

    If you do, should you stick it out hoping they will turn into a prince?

    No.

    You should fire them.

    In this post, I’ll be sharing how I fired a client for the first time, and how you can do it too—confidently and coherently.

     

    Signs of a problem client

    In my copywriting business, I’ve had a dream run for five years, with appreciative clients and great projects. But last year I finally met my first P.I.T.A (Pain In The Ass) client.

    On paper, he sounded ideal. He wanted to lift his profile in his industry and needed someone to create content for his new website. After an introductory call, I sent in my proposal and briefing form.

    The warning signs were clear almost immediately. The client:

    • Sent me two-word answers for some questions, and started calling me frequently to tell me about his plans
    • Told me about the bad runs he’d had with service providers in the past who took him for a ride because they didn’t deliver. (At this point, I was upfront with him about my experience and assured him I could deliver what he wanted)
    • Haggled me on price. I stood firm and told him my rates were not negotiable
    • Liked lengthy chats on the phone, and needed constant reassurance and handholding
    • Said he’d need to borrow money from family to pay me (clang, clang clang!)

    Despite the alarm bells going off in my head, I was keen to do the work because it was an interesting project. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and submitted the first draft on time.

     

    Lack of proper feedback

    I waited for feedback, but instead, I got… crickets.

    After following up numerous times, I finally got an email saying he’d read the copy but it wasn’t what he wanted.

    I scheduled a call to go through the changes. The client had provided some feedback (and a lot of waffle) via email that I addressed in the second draft. With the first version falling flat, I agreed to rewrite the copy from scratch (against my better judgment).

    Still, I wanted to salvage the relationship and deliver on my promise of providing good service and content.

    I sent in the second version.

    I waited for client feedback, but nothing concrete came in. By this time I was losing money and time on this job.

    One thing was clear: he didn’t like the new version either, but couldn’t say why.

     

    Breaking up with the client

    The client raised the point that I didn’t do a good enough job because I was bilingual. (He was bilingual too.) Apparently, people who have mastered more than one language are poor writers.

    On another unscheduled call, he heard my baby cry in the background and suggested I was distracted and unable to devote enough time to his work.

    My self-confidence was starting to take a hit because of the client’s comments. And really, who needs this kind of negativity in their working life?

    So I made the decision to end the business relationship with the client—not by email but over the phone.

    I explained clearly that despite writing website copy in two different ways it hadn’t met his requirements, and so it was better for me to refund the deposit.

    I even suggested it was better for him to write his own content after he admitted, “There was nothing really wrong with the copy. I just don’t like it”.

     

    How to know when to let a client go

    If the process feels hard, and the client is always unhappy with your work and starting to show the P.I.T.A warning signs or becoming personal, it’s time to let them go. Fire them on the phone or email, but don’t burn your bridges. Offer to find them another copywriter who might be a better fit (but warn the writer in advance). Stay firm on the firing and don’t take them back.

    Honestly, I shouldn’t have accepted the client when he didn’t fill out a proper brief.

    I shouldn’t have gone ahead and written the second version or ignored the warning signs.

    You live and learn. Now I pay attention to warning signs and don’t take on a client if alarm bells start going off.

     

    Over to you

    Are you working for a similar client who’s causing you grief?

    When did you last fire a client?

    If your answer is “Never”, it might be time to start.

    If you liked this article, please share on your favourite social media platform.

     

    About Rashida

    Rashida Tayabali is a copywriter and features writer. She loves creating clever copy for clients that inspires their audience and leads to the right action through storytelling.

     

     

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    How to get the most out of your TCCS membership

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    From newbie to copybeast in 8 simple steps

    This post was written by TCCS member,  Angela Pickett


     

    If I wanted a copywriting career I had to start using the resources I already had #copywriter #copybeast

    After 12 months in The Clever Copywriting School, I wanted to share some thoughts on how I’ve embraced my inner copybeast.

    If you’ve just joined TCCS – welcome.

    But if you’re sitting on the fence then I hope what I’m about to share will convince you to sign up.

    When I joined, I wasn’t even sure what a copywriter did.

    A friend introduced me to another member who needed a blog post written for a client. I wrote it, got paid for it, and began my copywriting career.

    Despite my interest and enthusiasm, I spent six months sitting on the sidelines. I kept using my lack of formal training as an excuse not to build my business.

    I argued that I didn’t know where to start. But the truth is I was a bit scared.

    But at the beginning of 2019, I decided I wanted to quit my part-time job by the end of June.

    I knew that if I wanted a copywriting career I had to start using the resources I already had. This wasn’t about doing another course.

    I had to start showing up instead of complaining I was a newbie with no experience. And if I was sick of writing that, imagine how everyone else felt.

    So here are my tips to help you don your copybeast cape much sooner than I did.

     

    1. Join the coffee chats and training calls

    It’s scary when Kate Toon asks you to share your unique selling proposition (USP). But once I started turning up and getting involved in the conversation, I gained confidence and knowledge.

    I saw that experienced members had the same fears as me.

    I realised how generous everyone was in sharing their knowledge.

    I now know that the more often you share your USP, the better it gets. You become more confident. Hearing it out loud helps you refine the words that might look good on the page but sound lousy when you say them.

    At first, I felt like an intruder. But everyone was so welcoming. And when I eventually met some copybeasts in real life, it felt like I was meeting old friends.

     

    2. Get a copy buddy

    In my first coffee chat this year, Kate asked if anyone needed a copy buddy. I said yes, and I hit the jackpot. My copy buddy is one of the most experienced writers in the group.

    At first, my chats with her were all about building my confidence and having someone to be accountable to. But I can now be a sounding board (as well as a proofreader) for her.

     

    3. Search the group, and ask questions

    There’s five years’ worth of information in the group. And because every post has a hashtag, its easy to find the right information.

    There aren’t any silly questions. People are generous with their knowledge, which is amazing when you realise we’re all competitors.

    But like any relationship, try not to make it one-sided. You might feel like a newbie, but unless you’ve been living under a rock you know things.

     

    4. Make the most of the membership area

    There’s so much information available to members, including masterclasses and member makeovers.

    In one makeover, Kate helped a member work out how many billable hours she had available. From there, they worked out what she needed to charge to reach her income target.

    But don’t use ‘catching up on training’ to stop you from starting. Schedule some time to watch a couple of videos every week.

     

    5. Buy some templates

    The templates are such a worthwhile investment.

    They save you reinventing the wheel, and make you look professional.

    Each template is like a mini-course.

    While I was working in my day job, I’d ‘treat’ myself to a couple of new templates each week.

    Search the member area and the Facebook group for suggestions about the best templates to buy first.

     

    6. Understand your pricing

    The pricing course was a game-changer for me.

    It showed me how long I should be spending on copywriting projects.

    More importantly, it helped me start with the right mindset about how to value my work.

    It also helped me feel more comfortable with my hourly rate when I realised half of it went towards tax and expenses.

    Do a search in the Facebook group on Profit First. And while you’re there, search the group for some frank discussions about money.

    Finally, lowering your price to get the job harms not only you but also the community as a whole.

     

    7. Put your hand up for jobs

    There are loads of opportunities on the job board and working for other copywriters. However, there are some rules.

    You don’t want to be bidding on jobs you have no expertise in. But at the same time, applying for jobs is a great experience. And using your new templates will make you look professional when you’re applying.

    My first couple of jobs (including a four-month subcontracting job) came from this group.

    I became a full-time copywriter a month earlier than I’d planned.

    Working with more experienced copywriters is better than training.

     

    8. Be part of the community

    There aren’t too many other groups where competitors share so generously.

    Find the copybeasts in your area and get along to real-life catchups.

    The support from Kate and everyone in this group is amazing.

    Without it, I’d still be sitting on the sidelines doubting my ability.

    Share your wins and your challenges. Be vulnerable and put your pride to one side.

    Chances are someone in the group will be able to answer your question, or maybe just reassure you that how you’re feeling is completely normal.

     

    Conclusion

    If you’re a TCCS member who’s been unsure of how to get started, I hope these tips will help.

    If you’re not yet a member, I hope I’ve convinced you about the value of signing up.

    Get involved, make the most of the resources on offer, and your membership will pay for itself.

     

    Over to you

    If you liked this article, please share.

     

    About Angela Pickett:

    Angela-Pickett-Copywriter-Barossa

     

    Angela Pickett a Barossa-based copywriter who writes articulate, approachable, and adventurous copy to help businesses connect with their customers wherever they are in the world.

     

     

     

     

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    Contact details:

    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

    Contact Email:

    Contact Website:

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    We help aspiring copywriters build a thriving copywriting business, hone their writing skills, make connections and boost their confidence.

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    10 terrifying (but terrific) ways to market your copywriting business

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    How to win more clients in a competitive industry

    This post was written by TCCS member, Leanne Shelton


     

    Not everyone can write well. But these days, more and more business owners – large and small – recognise the importance of high-quality written communications.

    Whether it’s influential conversion copy, engaging websites, heartwarming scripts, or captivating blogs, they need us to help them market their business.

    Yes, our copywriting skills and expertise are in high demand. But that doesn’t always translate to an inbox or voicemail full of enquiries.

    Because before we can help other businesses, we need to market our own.

    And that’s easier said than done.

    Especially when there are so many other talented copywriters out there.

    However, in my experience, it all comes down to building connections.

    After all, you are your business.

    But I promise the effort will really pay off.

    To help you out, I want to share my 10 terrifying (but terrific) ways to market your copywriting business.

     

    1. In-person networking

    Networking.

    <SHUDDER>

    I’ve freaked you out already, haven’t I?

    But honestly, in-person networking has been one of the most effective marketing strategies for my business.

    By putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’ll find endless opportunities to find collaboration partners, referrals, and clients.

     

    Tips

    I recommend looking into the various networking groups in your neighbourhood, such as:

    They all have different styles and structures, so visit a few (or ask others for feedback) and see which ones suit you best.

    • If you receive a list of attendees before the event, make a note of the people in your target market or niche. When you arrive, ask the event host (or someone who appears to know a lot of people) to introduce you.
    • Start a casual conversation by asking the other person about their recent wins or current challenges, or compliment them on what they’re wearing. (Everybody loves that.)

    Remember: Networking is NOT about the hard sell and throwing your business cards around. Don’t aim to score work from the event. Aim to make new connections instead. You never know where they will lead.

     

    2. Facebook Lives

    Ah yes, those scary Facebook Lives.

    What if I forget what to say?
    What if I look like a complete idiot?
    What if I have broccoli wedged in my teeth?

    Well, here’s the good news: if you stuff it up, you don’t have to save it.

    Editor’s note: Keep in mind that when you first start no one but your friends and family will be watching anyway. I’m not sure if that makes it more or less scary.

    Facebook Lives are great for building relationships with your audience.

    It’s your opportunity to show the real person behind the brand. And the less scripted it is, the better.

    After all, real-life conversations aren’t usually rehearsed.

     

    Tips

    Step 1 – Choose a topic that shows your expertise or highlights your opinion.
    Step 2 – Think of a few points to cover, but don’t overthink it.
    Step 3 – Decide on an attention-grabbing line that describes your topic
    Step 4 – Take a deep breath and go ‘Live’.

    You could go live on:

    • Your own business Facebook page
    • Within a Facebook group (with permission from the admin, of course)
    • Your <eek> general newsfeed

    Remember to keep it short and friendly. Going live will both build your personal brand and attract kudos from those too scared to do it themselves.

     

    3. LinkedIn videos

    If you’re not on LinkedIn, now’s the time to get on board. It’s not just a hub for job seekers anymore.

    Yes, I’m talking about videos again.

    But uploading a pre-recorded video to a platform where powerful and influential business people hang out can be even more excruciatingly biting-your-nails-off terrifying than Facebook Lives.

    Because unlike Facebook, your LinkedIn videos won’t be seen by just friends and family.

    They could also be seen by real-life money-paying potential clients.

    Which is precisely why you should do it.

     

    Tips

    While I suggest having a clear message in mind to avoid babbling, you still need to show the real you. Here are some great LinkedIn video tips from HubSpot.

     

    4. Cold pitching by phone

    Before email and SMS, business owners had to reach out to potential clients by – wait for it – calling them.

    Oh, the horror.

    These days, most of us feel snug and secure thanks to the email safety net. But if you want to make yourself stand out, pitching to clients by picking up the phone is the best way. It shows confidence in your abilities and is fantastic for building rapport.

     

    Tips

    • Check out their website and get an idea of what their business offers.
    • Don’t try to predict how the conversation will go. Just call and say you’re enquiring about the job posted on the TCCS job board or job request in the Facebook group and go from there.
    • Find opportunities to connect with the potential client, such as highlighting something you saw on their website or asking about their weekend.

    On multiple occasions, the person on the other end of the line has been surprised and impressed when I’ve called, and I’ve instantly won the job.

     

    5. Cold pitching by email

    Even if you choose to email, cold pitching in writing can still create a whole lotta pressure. After all, you’re a copywriter. So any spelling or grammatical mistakes won’t exactly leave a great impression.

    Ultimately, it’s a great opportunity to sell yourself in a non-salesy way.

     

    Tips

    • Remember to pitch according to the job request, but also add some personality.
    • Use conversational language.
    • Consider what experience and skills you bring to the table. Highlight why they simply must choose you for the task.

    Oh, and if you’re often victimised by autocorrect or spelling mishaps, it’s best to use a tool such as GradeProof or Grammarly before pressing ‘send’.

     

    6. Showing your face

    Selfies are no longer limited to obnoxious teenagers. These days, selfies can actually be beneficial to your business.

    Similar to videos, showing a selfie is your opportunity to display the face that’s usually trapped behind a computer screen. It also means giving your audience a snapshot into your world.

     

    Tips

    • Attending a conference? Take a photo in front of the massive signage as proof.
    • Having coffee with your favourite client? Just met an influential leader? Get a photo together and show how well connected you are.
    • Add some words around the scenario and ask a question to create engagement. And selfies usually attract very high engagement.

     

    7. Being a guest on a podcast

    Appearing as a guest on a podcast or local radio station allows you to present yourself as an industry expert. But it’s bloody scary.

    What if you don’t know the answer to a question?
    What if you start babbling?
    What if you feel like an absolute knob-head at the end of the interview?

     

    Tips

    • While it can be extremely nerve-wracking, the host will be eager to make you relaxed to produce the best possible interview for their show. So just follow their lead and be yourself. You’ve got this.
    • Share the podcast link across all your social channels and website once it goes live. You gotta make sure people hear it.

     

    8. Showing your true personality

    People buy from people they like and trust.

    But the reality is that not all business owners or marketing managers will connect with every copywriter. We’ve all got our quirks and skills that will appeal to some but repel others.

    The key is to be yourself so you attract the right people.

     

    Tips

    • Be consistent in your personal brand. (For example, I always wear something turquoise when I’m in a business setting.)
    • Use your normal conversational language when writing an email.
    • Don’t be afraid to express your true feelings in a Facebook Live or LinkedIn video.
    • Don’t switch to corporate speak or jargon when you pick up the phone.

    The right people will be eager to work with you

     

    9. Checking in with old clients

    Have you had a great working experience with a client but haven’t heard from them in months, or even years? It doesn’t need to be the end.

    While it’s good to keep in contact via a newsletter, sending a personalised email or making a friendly call to an old client to check in may be very well received.

    You might feel salesy and annoying. But they’ll probably see you as someone who actually cares about their business, rather than being just a one-night-stand.

     

    Tips

    • Casually start the conversation by asking how their business is going.
    • If you wrote their website copy, blogs, or landing page, you could ask about the views and click-throughs they’re getting.

    You never know. They might have a series of copywriting tasks on their to-do list and been meaning to get in touch. Or they may have ended up hiring an internal communications expert. But you’ll never know unless you ask, right?

     

    10. Speaking up (TOON TIP)

    Now that you’ve done all those Facebook Lives, Podcasts, and LinkedIn videos, you should feel more confident about your subject matter.

    It’s time to take it on the road, people.

    It’s time to clamber onto the stage, clutch that microphone with sweaty paws, and SPEAK.

    People often ask me how I get speaking gigs.

    The answer? I apply.

    You’d be surprised how few (decent) applications events get. You could be one of the lucky few. It’s an amazing way to build your expertise, authority and trust. And you get to connect with humans in a real and genuine way.

     

    Tips

    • Review previous speakers to ensure you’re pitching new content ideas.
    • Look through Facebook groups to ensure you’re picking a hot and relevant topic.
    • Prepare well. Rehearse your speech a few dozen times before you go on stage.
    • Keep it simple. Don’t fill your slides with thousands of bullet points.
    • Include a CTA. Give the audience a way to follow up with you.
    • Brand it, baby. Ensure your presentation branding is strong and encourages watchers to take photos and share on social media.

     

    Conclusion

    Yes, some of these marketing tips are super scary. But you don’t have to do them all at once. I suggest picking a couple and seeing how you go. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.

     

    Here’s a summary of the tips

    • Try a few networking groups to see which ones suit you best. Start a casual conversation by asking the other person about their recent wins or current challenges, or compliment them on what they’re wearing.
    • When doing a Facebook Live, remember to keep it short and friendly.
    • When doing a LinkedIn video, have a clear message in mind to avoid babbling. But still show the real you.
    • If you’re doing a cold call, find opportunities to connect with the potential client such as highlighting something you saw on their website or asking about their weekend.
    • For cold emails, consider what experience and skills you bring to the table. Highlight why they simply must choose you for the task.
    • Attending a conference? Take a selfie in front of the massive signage as proof.
    • If you’re a guest on radio or a podcast, follow the host’s lead and be yourself.
    • Be consistent in your personal brand.
    • When checking in with old clients, show an interest in their business by asking how it’s tracking.
    • When pitching to present at an event, look through Facebook groups to ensure you’re picking a hot and relevant topic.

     

    Over to you

    Feeling inspired to take action? I hope so. If you have any wins from trying any of these 10 tips, please share them below.

     

    About Leanne 

    Leanne Shelton is a freelance copywriter and content marketing trainer in Sydney. As a mum of two young girls, she enjoys attending evening networking events to escape the bedtime routine and listening to inspiring podcasts. Otherwise, you’ll find her curled up on the couch with a tea and gluten- and dairy-free chocolate biscuit.

     

    Long description :

    MORE DETAILS

    Contact details:

    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

    Contact Email:

    Contact Website:

    Cart

    Want to be a successful copywriter?

    We help aspiring copywriters build a thriving copywriting business, hone their writing skills, make connections and boost their confidence.

    Copy Shop







    What to do when copywriting work goes quiet.

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

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    This post was written by TCCS member, Kate Merryweather


     

    Quiet times happen to us all. As a copywriter with seven years of experience, I recently found myself in a quiet stage. What did I do? Got busy.

    Here’s 19 productive steps you can take to get ahead, improve your processes, and find new clients when copywriting work goes quiet.

    From upping your network game to preparing content in advance to stalking leads on LinkedIn, there’s plenty of work to be done that will pay off down the line. Your future self will thank you.

     

    1. Panic. Seriously, if work is getting quiet, now is a perfectly good time to panic.

    It’s your livelihood.

    When you have bills and mortgages to pay, it can be incredibly stressful to lose income.

    So, don’t listen to anyone who says not to panic. That’s nuts.

    Panic as much as you want. Then move on to the rest of the items on this list.

     

    2. Watch the TCCS (and other) job boards like a mofo.

    Don’t email responses.

    Give the leads a call.

    First in gets the curly fries.

     

    3. Audit your website.

    Freshen up outdated pages, optimise your images, ensure it’s responsive and mobile-friendly.

    Does your website look like it belongs in 2019 or 2012?

    For the love of pancakes, get rid of any sliders on your website.

    Plus, banish any images of fingers tapping on keyboards. (Could it *be* any more cliché?)

     

     

    4. Gather case studies.

    Publish them on your website so your portfolio is looking smick.

     

    5. Consider your niche.

    By specialising in an area, you can establish a reputation for being the go-to expert copywriter in real estate, finance, beauty, or lifestyle brands.

     

    6. Brush up on your LinkedIn game.

    Request connections from potential clients in your niche, and post content on how you can solve their problems.

    Refine your bio, ask for referrals, and leave thoughtful comments (Gary Vee says 90 comments per day but he’s nuts.)

    Publish interesting posts, showing off your pithy writing skills in the process.

    Instead of posting links to your blog, write native LinkedIn articles, and watch your visibility soar.

    Do Kate’s LinkedIn course.

     

    7. Take a deep dive into your SEO and find out which pages are ranking best.

    Do one of The Recipe for SEO Success courses to jump a few notches on the Google search rankings.

     

    8. Sort out your Google My Business page.

    Write posts, add images, and invite customers to give you reviews. I find humorous I’m-not-begging-but-I-am-begging requests work.

     

    9. Write blogs in advance.

    When you’re busy down the track, you’ll have pre-written blog posts prepared and ready to publish.

     

    10. Unless you are starving, don’t reduce your prices to be more competitive.

    On the contrary. Review your prices by doing the Toon pricing course.

     

    11. Update your timesheeting process.

    Watching the clock is the only way to see exactly how long jobs take you and which are most profitable.

     

    12. Guest blog. Pitch guest articles for high domain authority websites.

    You will raise your profile and you may get a juicy backlink which helps your SEO.

     

    13. Increase your network.

    Your clients may need suppliers like developers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and social media managers. You can helpfully refer your clients to your network of experts (and they can refer to you too = $ker-ching$).

     

    14. Review your workflow.

    How can you automate oft-repeated processes? Write a sequence of emails as templates for each step in your copywriting process. Check out workflow and project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, or Dubsado so your client experience is ultra profesh.

     

    15. Polish up your proposals.

    Ditch your dorky Microsoft Word proposal and create something snazzy on Canva.

     

    16. Network.

    Kick-off your moccasins, pluck your monobrow and enter the world of face-to-face networking. Wear your TCCS ‘copy beast’ badge as a conversation starter.

     

    17. Tell people you are available.

    A regular client of mine was surprised when I told her things were quiet. She hadn’t been giving me briefs because she thought I was busy.

    So, when copywriting work goes quiet, get in touch with previous clients and let them know you’re available.

     

    18. Subcontract to other TCCS members.

    There are plenty of opportunities for subcontracting to senior copywriters. Put your hand up.

     

    19. Update your email signature.

    You can do cool things like beg for ask for reviews, share your availability over coming weeks or link to your newsletter.

     

    Guess what?

    I’ve been following the items on this list and I’ve booked in two juicy projects. So it works.

     

    But also?

    My slump coincided with school holidays, so I’ve been playing Footy Feud, learning to floss, watching Disney movies, and making apple cakes in my Thermomix. So it’s cool to take a break from freelancing. My list is here when you need it.

     

    About Kate 

    Kate Merryweather is a freelance copywriter and mum of three who annoys people by talking about her Thermomix. She specialises in copywriting for digital marketing agencies and likes borrowing books from the library she will never read.

     

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    The discombobulating reality of being a freelance copywriter

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    This post was written by TCCS member, Andrew Lau

     

    Over the years, a lot of people have told me they want to become freelance copywriters like me. They want to free themselves from the 9 am to 9 pm rat-race. They want time flexibility. And they want the freedom to pick and choose clients they really want to work with.

    And yes, this dream is achievable.

    You can do all these things as a freelance copywriter. You can say goodbye to horrible 12-hour days in a corporate cage because you’re the boss. And if you just happen to hate the colour of a potential client’s tie, you have zero obligation to service them.

    But here’s the discombobulating reality that most copywriters don’t talk about:

     

    You’re a business person first, and a copywriter last

    You probably think that sounds bonkers, or even stupid. After all, a copywriter’s job is to write copy, isn’t it? Isn’t their role to generate words that persuade everyday punters to spend their hard-earned cash on services and products?

    Isn’t the job about being creative with language?

    Nope. At least not yet. Let me explain.

     

    Before you write a single word…

    — you’re a marketer, a salesperson.

    You see, you’ve gotta get out there, let the world know who you are, what you can do, and the value you add to a client’s business. Otherwise, you’ll never write a word of copy.

    To be more accurate, you’ll never be paid for a single word of copy you write. Let’s face it: you’re not interested in writing copy just because you love words. Survival is the driving force here.

    You’re trying to make some bacon.

    A lot of people want to become writers so they can escape the icky grossness of business-wank chatter. But the reality is, nobody’s handing out copywriting coupons. Especially not to Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Hidey-Hole.

    Copywriting is a business, and in business you have to sell yourself. You need to draw some attention to yourself. You need to show clients you’re so creative with words that you’re worth hiring for money you can actually live on.

    Again, it’s about makin’ bacon. Which means it’s business!

     

    So you’ve sold yourself and won a project

    Good on you! But you’re still not a copywriter. In fact, you’re not even in the vicinity of being a copywriter.

    You’re now an accountant, business manager, information interrogator, researcher and notetaker — all at the same time. But you still don’t get to be a copywriter yet.

    How’s this possible?

    Let’s say a client has nominated you, the ‘chosen one’, to write their next 5,000 Twitter posts.

    It’s time to put your accounting hat on. Punch in those numbers and make that invoice. You have to charge your client a deposit (or ‘commencement fee’) of some kind. It’s madness to start work if they haven’t made a monetary commitment.

    Think about it. What if you start writing and the client cancels the project? That’s time down the toilet. And time equals money.

    Put your business manager hat on and get them to sign the damned, dotted line of that contract. Protect yourself legally from getting bent over backwards and snapped in half. Remember, A – B – C. Always. Be. Closing.

    Only closers get coffee around here.

    Can you be a copywriter yet? Nope. Now you’ve got a pile of client meetings to attend, a ton of notes to make, and even more research to do.

    You need to ask the questions that must be asked. What are the services and/or products that must be sold? What tone of voice is needed? What’s the core of your message? Who are your competitors? Have you got any business intelligence and statistics that can be used?

    What do you, my beautiful behemoth client, really want to say and achieve?

    If you’ve elicited all this info, you’re getting closer to writing the copy.

     

    Can I write the damned copy yet?

    No, you cannot write the copy. Not just yet. You still need to do a few things before you type that first word or put pen to paper.

    You need to be smart.

    Start by controlling expectations and mitigating risk around delivery of deliverables (try saying that five times fast). You need to manage your time, because who knows? You may have won a few other projects in the meantime. And you can’t do all the things at once.

    So put your project manager hat on. Get your calendar out and mark down when your Twitter campaign of 5,000 posts begins and ends, as well as where your other projects will fit into the grand scheme of your beautiful freelance copywriter life.

    When does the client need their work delivered? Does it need to go through their legal team? How long will the approval process take? If the workload is too big, can the delivery be made in phases over an extended period of time?

    Get the answers. You got ‘em? Good.

     

    Writing the copy (finally)

    Okay, now you can get creative with those ideas and words.

    But can you see how much you need to do before you get to the work implied by the glorious title of ‘copywriter’?

    Having time flexibility and being able to cherry pick your clients is awesome.

    But make no mistake. If you think a freelance copywriter just sits on white sandy beaches with crystal blue water lapping at their feet while smashing out words on their shiny, golden MacBook Air (oof, take a deep breath), read this blog post again.

    Whether you’ve been a copywriter for 30 days or 30 years, the same rules apply as when you jumped into the freelance game for the first time.

    You’re no longer surrounded by a cushy corporate infrastructure made up of accountants, business managers, researchers, statisticians, project managers and other creatives.

    You’re on your own. And as a freelancer, all that responsibility is now on you. That is, at least until you make your first zillion bucks and can afford to hire copy minions to do your bidding.

    Discombobulated yet? Great. Now go make some bacon.

    Editors note: Veggie bacon!

    PS — It’s okay to be discombobulated. Now say ‘discombobulated’ ten times really fast.

     

    BIO: About Andrew Lau

    Andrew Lau is a copywriter, partly obsessed with deep fried chicken drumsticks but wholly obsessed with the movies. What a nerd.

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    10 reasons why you MUST head to CopyCon19

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    If you think copywriting conferences are only for grammar geeks waving red pens, it’s time to change the colour of your ink.

    Here are ten reasons why attending CopyCon19 is a no-brainer if you’re a content creator.

    As Australia’s only dedicated conference for copywriters and content creators, CopyCon is now in its third year.

    In 2019, the event has moved to Melbourne and is being held at the wonderful Arts Centre from May 4–5.

    Tickets are selling fast as the well-penned word travels quickly on what great value the weekend is for anyone who writes for a living.

    The brainchild of Australia’s SEO expert and copywriter Kate Toon, CopyCon was established to give a dedicated online community the chance to meet in person and gain invaluable knowledge from expert speakers.

    In doing so, it has become a conference for anyone looking to grow their copywriting business, learn about content creation, or connect with other creatives in a collaborative space.

    If you’ve been wondering whether CopyCon19 is the conference for you, here are ten reasons why the date should already be in your calendar and the tickets in your inbox.

     

    1. A conference that’s not just for copywriters

    Okay, let’s get this out of the way first up.

    Yes, it’s called CopyCon. And yes, it’s a conference for copywriters. But it’s not only for copywriters. CopyCon has been created for anyone who needs to write well in their business or work.

    In an age where great content is vital yet so hard to find, you’ll learn the tips and tricks that will make your words heard among the noise.

    If you’re a social media manager, marketing manager, inhouse or freelance content creative who needs to connect with an audience (and what business doesn’t?) then it’s time to become a part of a community that can take your engagement to the next level.


    “It’s about finding your tribe. It’s about going with half an idea or no idea and coming out with a better idea.” — Steve May, Rockatansky


     

    2. Speakers who deliver relevant information, not a sales pitch

    There’s nothing worse than spending a day listening to speakers who are so disconnected from your reality you feel they must come from another dimension.

    They’ve become so successful on the speaking circuit, they’ve forgotten the day-to-day struggles to fit everything in.

    You don’t want to hustle, hustle, hustle, and you certainly need more than four hours’ sleep to function.

    You want more than five minutes talking to the topic before an unsubtle segue has them recapping their well-told story or pitching their latest offer.

    At CopyCon, each speaker is chosen because they bring honest value to the stage.

    When you have a group such as The Clever Copywriting School, you can go directly to the members and ask them which guest speakers they want to hear, what topics they want to learn, and what help they need to grow their business.

    As a conference participant, what you get in return is speakers who tailor their content to answer relevant questions.

    This year’s line-up includes:

    • Kate Toon: Suriving the client dating game
      Ryan Wallman: Making taglines work
    • Rob Marsh: Writing the perfect sales page
    • Bernadette Schwerdt: The 7 secrets to writing copy that gets results every time
    • Suzanne Chadwick:Building an unbeatable brand for you and your clients
    • Aaron Agius:The secrets to advanced content marketing and SEO

    Here’s the full speaker line-up and schedule.

     

    3. Practical advice and easy-to-implement actions

    How many times have you attended a conference and left full of enthusiasm to make changes for personal or professional growth, only to be completely overwhelmed by everything you need to do when you sit down at your desk and don’t have the hype of the presenter in your head?

    It happens. A lot.

    When you leave CopyCon you’ll undoubtedly want to make changes to your business.

    But unlike other conferences, there’s no smorgasbord of expensive options you need to commit to with discounts if you sign up in the next 27 minutes.

    CopyCon gives you delicious bite-sized morsels of goodness you can act immediately. The take-aways are manageable, with enough leftovers for another day.

    They’ll give you a return on your investment – whether that be your time or your money –but without that awful feeling of biting off more than you can chew.


    “I walked away with half a dozen insights that I put into action in my business. Those actions helped me streamline my processes and feel more confident and in control as a small business owner.” Anna RoganCopywriter


     

    4. Keep yourself accountable with video access

    You’re listening intently, completely focussed on what everyone has to say.

    You’re entirely present and not bothering to take notes.

    Why? Because you know CopyCon has your back. You know the entire day – speakers and panel discussions – is being recorded.

    You know you can go back and listen to the recordings, take note of the key points and upload them directly into Trello or Asana for quick action.

    And it’s all included in the price of your ticket.

     

    5. Connect with the best copywriters in Australia

    When you attend Australia’s only dedicated conference for copywriters, you’ll find the best Australia has to offer.

    Not only do you get to hear from them on stage, but you get to talk with them during the day, at lunch, and even in the coffee queue.

    If you’re a web developer, graphic designer or marketing manager, this is your chance to be a kid in a candy store.

    You get to meet the people you’ve been talking to in Facebook groups and forums.

    You get to make real connection out of a virtual one.

    You can ask the questions you’ve been afraid to ask but in a face-to-face conversation. And the good news? Copywriters by nature are people pleasers.

    They’re only too happy to answer your questions and talk your ear off about the things they know and love — SEO, keywords, site audits, tone of voice, USPs and ideal target markets, just to name a few.

     

    6. All right stop! Collaborate and listen.

    So, there are more than 100 copywriters and content creators in the same room.

    They’re all giving each other side eyes and clutching their notes close to their chests.

    The breaks in the day are quiet affairs, with no-one really talking about what’s happening in their business.

    It’s a room full of people competing for the same jobs, the same work. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, right?

    WRONG.

    CopyCon is a room of more than 100 copywriters and content creators encouraging each other to succeed.

    They view each other not as competition, but as co-workers and colleagues.

    They may not work in the same office, but they hang in the same space, and the online friendships transfer to the real world.

    It’s where you get to take time out of your busy schedule to talk about future projects, sub-contracting opportunities, and joint venture partnerships.

    It’s where a finance writer speaks with a beauty writer and sets up a referral network. It’s where collaboration is key, and magic happens.

     

    7. Networking for people, not pitches

    Conferences and networking. Two words that strike fear in the heart of any introverted writer.

    It conjures up images of standing in a room full of strangers, desperately thinking of things to say to fill the deafening silence. Or trying to escape the seen-it-all, done-it-all, know-it-all who insists you must buy their latest e-book/course/webinar/product/service.

    Not at CopyCon.

    This is the conference where you have like-minded people coming together to meet, talk, chat and listen.

    There are introverts and extroverts, omniverts and ambiverts. Everyone’s there to have a good time and get to know the person, not make a hard sell. Because we all know you have to know, like and trust someone before you sell to them, right? That’s just Networking 101.

    Here’s what attendees from last year’s conference had to say:

    “It’s a douchebag-free zone – no sales chats, no upselling, onselling, just clever creatives coming together to do clever creative things.”
    Emma Gilmour – Emma Writes Copy

     

    “The only conference you need to attend all year. Practical, generous advice without the fluff or hard sell.”
    Beck Cofrancesco – Marketing Goodness

     

    “Your brain will be buzzing with the new ideas and the audience is one of the friendliest bunches you’ll meet.” Rashida Tayabali – Copywriter

    By the time the networking event rolls around on the Saturday evening, you’ll have made firm friends you’ll want to have a few bevvies and a bite to eat with.

     

    8. Hear from business owners at different stages of their career

    Let’s face it: we’re not unique snowflakes.

    No matter where you are in your copywriting career, there’s always somebody ahead of you on the leaderboard, and somebody behind you learning the rules of engagement.

    It’s great to look forward to what you can achieve while looking back at how far you’ve come.

    One of the keys to CopyCon’s success is the presenters aren’t overnight successes who made their millions living the laptop lifestyle.

    They’ve worked hard for their reputations – they’re leaders in their field who are known for their willingness to share their knowledge, their successes and the occasional failure.

    The schedule also contains ten-minute slots that showcase copywriters at different stages of their business building, talking about the lessons they’ve learned so far. Some are starting out, and some are seasoned veterans with wise tales to tell.

    Either way, the speakers give an honest insight into what it takes to run a copywriting business in 2019.

     

    9. Family-friendly for new mums and dads

    We all know that when you’re in business, personal and professional development is essential to your success.

    You need to continue upskilling yourself and keep in the know with the latest the industry has to offer.

    Having a small human who is dependent on you for their very survival shouldn’t stop you from gaining knowledge. After all, it’s 2019.

    It’s also why CopyCon welcomes new parents with babes-in-arms.

    You’ll be comfortable knowing your little offsider is a welcome member of the CopyCon team.

    Facilities are provided for feeding and changing (no hiding in the bathroom), and there’s a good chance your little one will get a head start in their own personal branding.

     

    10. And then there’s the icing on the CopyCon cookie

    Yep, there are cookies. And there are massages. And delicious food.

    There’s the community, comradery and possibly karaoke.

    In a beautiful venue close to all Melbourne has to offer, it’s a weekend away to immerse yourself in words and wisdom.

    CopyCon isn’t like other conferences. It’s been designed that way.

    Until you’ve experienced it, you can’t really describe the feeling of welcoming and warmth it offers.

    But once you’ve been, you’ll know you’ve attended something very special.

     

    So, there you have it – ten reasons to attend CopyCon19

    It probably sounds too good be true.

    But believe me, it’s not.

    If you’re still sitting on the fence, undecided about whether you should attend, you can always watch the video reviews from CopyCon18.

    But don’t wait too long. Numbers are limited. Tickets are selling fast. And we don’t sell false scarcity.

    It really is the conference for copywriters that delivers quality content.
    Make sure you’re a part of it.

     

    Did we nail it?

    We’d love to hear your experience if you’ve attended CopyCon previously.

    Thinking of attending, or know somebody who should? Feel free to share away.

     

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