Start from where you are.
It’s easy to compare yourself to the thousands of seasoned copywriters out there as a new freelancer. But here’s why you shouldn’t:
Maybe they spent thousands of dollars on formal education or went to a networking event at the exact right time.
Maybe they took years to hone their craft but make it look like they did it in a day on Instagram.
Maybe they invested hundreds of dollars in courses and coaches to propel them forward.
The thing is, they had to start somewhere.
Instead of comparing yourself to these experienced copywriters thinking you’ll never be at their level, start from where you are.
Because you’ll never get to the level you want by comparing yourself to others. You need to put your blinders on and take action.
And in the spirit of taking action, I want to give you practical, actionable steps that will propel you on your journey to becoming a freelance copywriter.
So, let’s get into it!
Don’t have an online portfolio with examples of your writing? CREATE ONE!
When I first started out, I used carrd.co to showcase my work. I also sent people to my (now archived) WordPress blog and social media accounts to see examples of my writing (even before I had my first client).
Don’t worry if you haven’t landed a client yet. Here’s what to do if that’s the case:
Write your own blogs, articles, newsletters, product descriptions, website copy about a niche or topic you’re passionate about.
The people looking at it don’t have to know it’s not a real client… but you DO get to show them what you’re made of.
You’d be amazed by how many people I’ve spoken to over the years that decide to go freelance but struggle to find clients.
I say amazed because when I ask them if they’ve informed their network that they are offering freelance services, they say no.
Here’s the thing… you have to tell people what you’re doing. Otherwise, how are they supposed to know?
The second I made the decision to go freelance, I posted on all my social media accounts that I was going to be a freelance copywriter.
Because I told my network, I got a few leads THE VERY SAME DAY.
And one of those leads ENDED UP BEING MY FIRST FREELANCE GIG.
Don’t underestimate the power of telling people what you do.
Everyone and their mother is promoting themselves in Facebook Groups.
Honestly, it’s a bore.
I see the same post in every group I’m in:
“Hi everyone! I’m *insert name here* and I’m so excited to be here! Happy to say I’m new to freelancing, but if you’re looking for a copywriter to write blogs, newsletters, product descriptions, articles, social media captions, marketing materials… I’m your gal! Send me a message and we can talk!”
First of all, no one is going to reach out to you that way.
Why YOU? Why you over literally anyone else in that Facebook Group?
You need to differentiate yourself and one of the best ways to do that is to join Facebook Groups and NOT promote yourself.
Stay with me.
Instead, provide value.
Scroll through the group and answer people’s Q’s that relate to what you do (copywriting, persuasive writing, SEO, social media, etc.).
Chime in with a referral for projects not in your wheelhouse if you know someone who would be a fantastic fit.
Engage with the community, provide value, offer your 2 cents, and become KNOWN in the group as someone who gives.
You’ll position yourself as the expert in your area of work AND make better, more lasting connections this way.
It comes down to storytelling. And this is something us writers excel at.
Your services are likely exactly like mine — copywriting for web and social.
But why YOU over ME?
It comes down to how you present yourself online. Because when it comes down to it, people buy from people.
They’re not hiring you because you can write copy for their website. They’re hiring you because of the specific set of skills and energy YOU bring to the table.
So, show up online as yourself. Don’t be afraid to differentiate yourself from others (especially in your industry)! You’ll attract your people in no time.
The best thing I ever did for myself as a freelancer was hire someone to help me get out of my own way. It only took me 2 years to do it… but wow was it worth it.
I hired a wealth coach and she helped me realize my worth enough to start charging more than $30/hour for something I went to school for 6 years for.
The point is, when you start anything new, you come in with a healthy dose of insecurity and a zillion Q’s with no idea where to go for answers.
As you continue on your journey, you find things out, discover better ways of doing things, and uncover information you never even knew was out there.
But what if DIYing it wasn’t the only way to start out?
Good news: IT ISN’T!
I spent the first 2 years of my freelance career DIYing everything, gathered resources and information from a variety of sources, and putting together systems and processes that worked for me.
Now, I want to give that to you.
Enter: The First-Time Freelancer Bundle!
Landed a client but don’t have a clue what goes into the contract? I got you.
Unsure of how to handle tax season as a self-employed freelancer? I got you.
Know you need to post content on social but not sure how to keep your ideas organized? I got you.
Clueless about tools and apps that help with invoicing, scheduling calls, and time management? I got you.
You get the resources I’ve gathered throughout my time as a freelancer all bundled nicely into a neat lil package that makes taking the leap into freelancing a breeze.
Interested? Here’s the link to purchase the bundle for only $350.
You’ll spend years trying to find this information on your own (I know because that’s how long it took me)! So, give yourself a head start and get yourself this bundle.
You’ll thank me later.
By Erin Cafferty