I gotta warn you... this email is boring. So if you have a hyper short attention span, are not a freelance copywriter, have no desire to be one, and/or don’t give a hoot about the advice I gave to this particular newbie (advice I believe any copywriter, newbie or established can use to get far better at writing copy and potentially land clients fairly quickly), best to tune out now.
If you are still with me for this wild (yet boring) ride, then here is the message I received from a newbie copywriter the other day:
“Hello, Mr. McCune. I hope you are doing well. I would like to be a professional email writer. I really need your help. I guess the book you promised could help me a lot. Also, if you got some sort of training, can I get some direction from you? Thank you in advance.”
The truth is, questions like this are usually ignored on arrival. Mostly because people do not listen to free advice and I don’t like wasting my time or theirs.
And really I am not the right guy to learn how to become a copywriter from. I had to struggle my way into this biz. And I really don’t know any “shortcuts” to getting clients or honing your skills.
Everything I do to get better at writing copy takes hard work.
Nonetheless, below is what I told our eager hero to do (mostly because he seemed like one of the few who would actually take action). And while it all takes hard work, there is no doubt in my mind that if our hero dedicates himself that he would (eventually) become a successful freelancer.
Here’s what I said (remember, it’s boring and completely unedited… ye be warned):
Hello Mr Erick. Here is my best advice for you:
1) Put 1 hour (minimum) into studying copywriting, sales, and marketing every day. Read great copy and take notes. Read the classic copywriting and sales books and take notes. Find training's on youtube. Listen to podcasts. Whatever you can do to get your hands on valuable copywriting resources, do it (there are plenty of free resources out there for you to find, so you can do this without spending a penny if money is tight).
2) Write every day. You can get a Linkedin or Medium account for free and begin writing posts or articles to practice. Teach the things you are learning from your study above. But more importantly, use what you are learning from above every day when you write. Focus on adding one new skill to your repertoire each day. This will also begin to build an audience for you (more on that below).
3) Set up an opt-in page and use your writing to drive traffic to that page. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just put something up with a compelling headline and an opt-in box. Begin building your list and mailing it each day. If you don't have anything to sell, simply offer free consultations. Or critiques. Or build a sub-list of interested clients. Or whatever. Just start writing and using what you are learning to persuade people to take an action.
4) Do whatever you must to get your first clients. Go on Upwork, Copyblogger, Indeed, FB groups where copywriters get hired, or wherever clients will hagn out and tell people you are available to be hired (don't beg or act needy, just share that you have some time in your calendar and how can you help them). Don't worry about getting the best and highest paying clients right off the bat. Do work for free if you have to. Just get some experience under your belt so you acn gain confidence, get samples, get testimonials / references, practice your skills, and most importantly get referrals. Every time you do get a client and they are happy with the work you did, simply say "I am so pleased you are happy. Do you know any business owners who might also be interested in my services?" And if they say yes, simply ask for them to make an email introduction right then and there before they forget.
If you are starting from scratch, it may take a lot more time and effort that you had hoped. But there's no reason you can't achieve it if you dedicate yourself. So best to start today.
Hope that helps my man.
So it was written. So it shalt be done.
If you want to be a freelance copywriter but didn’t know how to get started, consider any excuses you had hogtied, zapped, and burnt to a crisp. All you must do is follow that plan (it’s a start at least).
If you wanted to become a freelance copywriter but are now thinking “man that sounds like a lot of hard work, I thought I’d make 6-figures sitting on the beach”, then consider me the bad news bear bringing the news that you should just give up. Becoming a freelance copywriter does take hard work. So I just saved you hours of heartache and woe figuring that out (you can thank me later).
The truth is, the hard work is worth it. There are few ways to support yourself as good as this copywriting gig.
As long as it suits your personality.
And as long as you don't mind hard work.
If you are not a copywriter, but are interested in hiring me to write your copy, congrats for making it this far as this email had zero to do with anything you are interested in most likely.
So here is your reward — the chance to join my client waiting list. Which you can do by clicking that little bitty link below: