The beginning of any copywriting career is, probably, the most challenging part of the path. You’re entering a whole new community with unfamiliar rules and requirements, which doesn’t seem any simpler even if you had some writing experience before. This article is made to simplify the task for newbies, who are tired of being called so.
My own sad, sad story
Copywriting and marketing stand much closer together than copywriting and storytelling. This means you’ll have to master writing skills basically from scratch, as well as to find your own, unique, answer on the question – “How to be a good copywriter?”
I’ve come through this point once, too, and I remember, how hard it was to learn everything from my own mistakes. The first six months of my career as a writer were entirely “experience-collecting.” I didn’t have any serious orders or regular customers, worked for peanuts, and tried to reveal, how top copywriters got their reputation.
Thinking about those times, I wish I knew some basic copywriting tips I had to learn later – but you can’t hold back the clocks. Thus, I decided to share my copywriting experience with you, reader, in case you face challenges I once did. Maybe, these tips will help you to overcome the “entry” stage faster than I did, so that you’ll be able to start working under some real projects without the trial period full of worries and low-cost labor.
Tip No.1. Cheer Up!
I bet you’ve already thought about leaving a copywriting area and trying to seek your fortune somewhere else – and that’s natural! This is the way our brain works: it tries to preserve as many mind & body energy as possible so that if the efforts don’t bring the desired result instantaneously, we feel a loss of strength and often give up trying at all.
There are two basic things you can do if you feel like you’re tired of being an unseen creator. First of all, you should answer a simple question – Do you really want to write?
If the answer is at least 50% positive, and you are sure that you want to connect your life with texts, then the only advice here is to keep trying. I know more than anyone else how disappointing is to leave dozens of bids and see a zero outcome, but the most obvious solution here is the most effective. The more you get acquainted with the clients’ requirements, the more you understand in which areas you have to evolve. Moreover, you see how the other copywriters draw clients’ attention, and you can always try those methods by yourself.
The statistics also approves this message. From a hundred bids, there must definitely be at least one client, who would like your candidature. The main trick here is to leave a message the employer will want to read (ten copypasted phrases “Available for work” have a very low probability of being chosen). Here is an article which will help you with the creation of a perfect bid.
You should be ready for a slack period, which might last from a week to half a year. Yet, if you’re not ready to wait without doing a hand’s turn, there are certain recommendations you can stick to, which might improve your chances of being noticed. Recommendations like..
Tip No.2. Complete Your Profile.
Your profile on any job searching website is your face – literally. By reading it, clients decide whether to choose you as a task performer, which is why this is the aspect you have to pay maximum attention to.
What should be in your profile?
- Your well-quality photo in a formal setting, where you wear business clothes. The picture should capture your face close up – neither the beach behind you nor you among the company of your friends.
- Captivating “About Myself” text. It should tell a possible client about your experience, motivation, the areas of your interest, what topics you wrote about, and what topics you know the best. Describe yourself as a professional, drastic and reliable copywriter – but be ready to answer clients’ expectations.
- A portfolio is the key attribute of any profile because it demonstrates your experience and skills. If you only start your copywriting career, you can either honestly tell your customer about your absence of working practice or fill the profile with your own, non-marketing texts (they should show your knowledge in a range of areas like medicine, technologies, psychology, health, beauty, etc.)
What SHOULD NOT be in your profile?
- Low-quality photos, photos of you in improper clothes (swimwear, sportswear) or places (beach, cafe, club). Funny animals, nature, flowers won’t tell much about your professionalism too.
- Three lines, listing your school and university. One sentence which tells that you’re an expert and you want to work. Blank space.
- Texts, which include grammatical mistakes, poor content texts.
The profile is your actual description, according to which the customers will picture you in their imagination. If you want to impress a client, be creative and spend some time searching for the best way of representing yourself. You’re a copywriter, all in all! Your main task is to create catching texts, so make one just for yourself, describing your advantages over the other workers.
Tip No.3. Don’t Focus On A Single Website.
By this stage, you must have already found a perfect job website for your researches. This might be Upwork (if you’re lucky enough to pass the registration), Freelancer or even Craigslist – everything depends on your personal preferences.
Every website has different numbers of registered users, and to be noticed you have to concentrate on the big “fishes.” The advice may seem obvious, but some time ago I wrongly underestimated its importance: more activity on different websites means more exciting projects you can take part in. Spare from one to three hours in a day to scroll around job offers and leave bids. Don’t spam with the identical messages – read the task, and then try to convince the employer that you’re the person he/she is searching for in a polite, professional way.
Tip No.4. Grammar and manners.
Not only your texts should be grammatically seamless – don’t forget about your conversation with the clients! Before sending any message read it twice. Be polite and keep the distance unless your client asks you the opposite.
In case you can’t boast of attentiveness, consider using such a service as Grammarly. It’s not only a great assistant when it comes to text editing – the service may as well check your correspondence on-the-go if you install the plugin on your browser. This is the service I use in my job – and you may as well.
Another “must-have” copywriting services I can recommend are the Thesaurus vocabulary, which I regulary use when there are too many identical (alike, equal, matching) terms in my texts and Context.Reverso – either for the contextual translation of phrases (which is an extremely useful feature if your native language isn’t English) or for the synonyms search (sometimes even better than Thesaurus offers). To check the originality of my texts I use Advego application, while WebFX tests their readability.
Here I listed my Newbie-Copywriter-Starter-Pack, which I wish I knew about 3 years ago. I’d be happy to hear about your must-have tools in the comments!
Tip No.5. Work For Money – Not For Chump Change.
This question goes down to the problem of the copywriters’ self-esteem, which we’ll discuss later. I saw copywriters with 15 years of experience working for 1$ per 100 words, and I saw illiterate writers working for the price ten times higher than that.
The secret here is to find a happy medium between:
- your experience
- your understanding of the theme
- the complexity of each task
…and turn it into money equivalent.
Of course, without any experience you won’t get 100$ for a single text – honestly, I still don’t receive such offerings – but working for free is not an option too. All in all, the prices for your job are your very own business, but I strongly advise you – respect your work and the efforts you put in it!
To Sum Up
The beginning of any copywriting career is, probably, the most challenging part of the path – it’s true, but not a complete one. Your career start is also one of the most enthralling and fascinating periods, during which you discover a brand new copywriting world and your role inside it. This is the time you can experiment with texts and formats, meet new interesting people and face challenging tasks – but the best part of all this campaign is your first serious salary, which you can get
faster then I did faster than anybody else by following these five simple tips.
Add this article in your bookmarks and comment it if these pieces of advice came in handy for you!