Copywriting Basics: Building Your Client Base, Writing for TV and Radio, Recruitment Writing, Writing for Nonprofits
In this article, we look at ways you can build your copywriting business and increase the amount you get paid.
We start by looking at methods for broadening your client base, thus ensuring you are never short of work (or income), and we reveal ways of getting better-paid work including by specialization.
The article discusses three niches or specialties that copywriters often overlook:
1. Copywriting for TV and radio - generally, the highest paid of all copywriting work.
2. Recruitment copywriting
3. Writing for charities and other nonprofit organizations.
We go on to discuss the value of networking—both online and off-line—and reveal ways you can put this powerful technique to good use.
Building Your Client Base
To establish yourself as a successful freelance copywriter, you will need a range of clients. If you only work for one or two businesses, in the event that one stops using your services, your income will be seriously affected.
Most freelance copywriters, therefore, have a number of clients. A typical, established freelance may have three or four 'regulars' he works for most months, and a similar number of occasional clients who call upon him from time to time when they need his services. Along with a few 'one-offs', this is normally sufficient to generate a steady stream of work. Most freelancers do, however, continue to promote themselves as well, to ensure that new clients are always coming along to replace any who may go out of business, cease advertising, or simply stop using their services.
So how do you build up your client base? In Copywriting Basics: Marketing Your Copywriting Services, we suggested a range of methods for getting clients when you are starting out, and these are all well worth trying for expanding your range of clients as well. In addition, here are a few more methods to consider:
1. Ask Existing Clients for Referrals
If you have been working for a client for a while—and he seems happy with your services—ask if he has any colleagues who might also need copywriting help.
If you can get a name and email address, you could then send a short message in which you introduce yourself, explain that your client recommended you to write, and offer to provide more information about your service or arrange to meet. Because you have been referred by a colleague, your chances of getting work in this way should be much better than if you simply wrote out of the blue.
This method can work particularly well when your client works in a large organization. It's worth trying even with small businesses, though. Many such businesses have other companies they work closely with (clients, suppliers or providers of related services) and they may well know of people in these businesses who might need help from a copywriter as well.
2. Create a Local Blog
Here's a method that has been used successfully by a number of freelancers. It involves creating a blog to help promote your services.
Many copywriters, if they decide to try blogging, understandably choose to write about copywriting. This is not necessarily the best way of attracting new clients, however. While it might be of interest to other copywriters, potential clients in your local area are unlikely to discover you in this way, as they will probably not be searching for terms related to copywriting.
Here's our suggestion, therefore: start a business blog for your local area. So the title of your blog might be something like ‘Bangalore Business News' (changing 'Bangalore' to the name of your home town, of course). Write about local businesses, startups and news of interest to them (you can find plenty of stories in your local paper, along with a bit of your own research). These businesses will inevitably be checking up on what's happening in their local area, and sooner or later they're bound to come across your blog.
Make sure to mention the names of local businesses in your blog, especially those you would like to work for. This will provide an extra opportunity for these companies to find you via search engines. Businesses want to see their names online with a positive reflection, and you make their ego surf.
So your local businesses can easily find your blog and will discover there that you work as a copywriter. When they need a copywriter, your name will hopefully spring to mind.
You could also publish case studies on your blog about your existing clients. People love to read inspirational stories about successful businesses, and they will also serve as powerful testimonials for you as well as for your service. Many times, you won't have the opportunity to write a case study about a client because your work with them needs to stay confidential. On the other hand, many clients will readily accept your request to write up what you did for them in a case study, as it will be free publicity of their business. Just remember to ask them first!
Finally, in case you're worried about blogging eating up too much of your valuable time, running a local business blog may easily fit itself into the time you have available. Blog when you have a moment, or when you're in the mood. A couple of posts a month is all that is required. As the content on your blog increases, more people will find you. A little investment of your time will pay off handsomely in new clients for your copywriting service for years to come.
3. Arrange Joint Ventures
This is another powerful method for building your client base, especially once you already have your first few clients. The idea is to form mutually beneficial partnerships with other, non-competing businesses.
This can work in all sorts of ways. You could partner up with a local printer to become their copywriter of choice when their clients need one, and in exchange refer your clients to them for their printing needs.
You could also form a partnership with a local web designer. You would pass on any jobs that involve web design to him, in exchange for being his top recommendation when his clients need a copywriter. You could even go a step further and negotiate to offer clients an all-in-one package that includes web design and copywriting. For the client, it's one price, one service. But for you, the web design work is done by your partner and you write the copy - and, of course, you split the fees/profits.
You could set up similar partnerships with typesetters, mailing houses, graphic artists, video producers, marketing companies, exhibition designers, and so on.
The possibilities for joint ventures are limited only by your imagination. For example, one copywriter we know has an arrangement with a conference room rental company. She offers free seminars on copywriting and marketing at their locations. At the seminars she promotes her own services, while at the same time bringing traffic to the conference rooms, thus giving visitors a taste of what her commercial partners have to offer.
The result: more clients for her, and more business for the conference room company.
If you can think of a similar win-win partnership with another local business, it's well worth proposing it. The benefits for you and your business can be considerable.
Copywriting for TV and Radio
In this section, we are looking at broadcast advertising, and specifically advertising for TV and radio.
As a new copywriter, you are unlikely to be commissioned to write a TV commercial, as such advertising is very expensive and few businesses would trust a writer with no track record to script one for them. It is, however, quite possible that you may be asked to write a script for a local radio commercial. We will look at the radio first, therefore, followed by TV which, with luck, you may find yourself writing for once you have been in business for a little while.
Radio commercials are usually short (between 30 seconds and a minute) and, unlike TV and print advertising, you don't have any visual elements to assist you. Therefore there is seldom time to develop an elaborate message.
The number one necessity for writing a radio commercial is conciseness. You must focus on packing much impact and effective information into your script as possible.
It's also important to ensure that your message is clear and straightforward. People generally listen to the radio while doing their work or spending time with their friends or family, and they may well be in an environment (e.g. a factory) with lots of noise and other distractions. So there is no point trying to be too subtle.
Here are some effective hints and tips for writing a radio commercial:
- Listen to the ads on the radio station your commercial will be running on, especially those ads that are repeated a lot (because they must be working!) Tailor your writing to fit the delivery method and language you hear from other commercials and the DJs or program hosts.
- If your target market speaks technical jargon, use it early. They will tune in, and everyone else will tune out.
- Don't use lots of empty adjectives and adverbs. When writing radio commercials, your main aim is to visualize the brand in your listeners' minds. Stick with concrete nouns and verbs, as listeners can 'see' them. Show, don't tell, in other words!
- Just like any other advertising technique, make sure you use a tone that your target audience can relate to and find appropriate to hear. Don't expect teenagers and business executives to respond to the same voices or vocabulary.
- Include a clear call to action that gives listeners a way to call your clients or visit the website. Since you have a limited time to advertise on air, build the strategy in such a manner that you can provide contact details in the middle of the commercial as well as at the end of it. It will give people more chance to note it down.
- Don't try too hard in your ad. Be enthusiastic, but don't try to shove your message down people's ears. They will simply tune you out.
- Remember that phone numbers give a much better result in radio commercials than website URLs or anything else. So, if your client has not already done this, it is worth suggesting that they obtain a phone number that is easy to remember for the ad campaign. For example, "0801 901 901" is easier to remember rather than random mix of digits. And of course, your client will need to ensure there are people available to take calls any time the ad is run.
- A good technique is to use noticeable sound effects to build a setting for your ad. If a commercial is meant to be set in a home environment, for example, you could specify sounds, such as that of a TV, vacuum cleaner, laugh, gossiping, kids playing around and anything that makes you feel at home, in the background
- Humour can work well in radio advertising, but ensure that listeners are laughing with you, not at you.
- Read out your ad as you envisage it being performed and time how long it takes. Make sure it will fit into the designated time slot.
- Jingles deliver a constant brand message over a number of ads and whole campaigns. If your script includes a jingle, be sure to practice it out loud. A line on paper will not always sound as good when it is spoken.
There is no universally approved style for writing radio commercials. The main requirement is clarity. In particular, you should aim to make it quite clear which parts of your script are dialogue, which are character names or titles, and which are sound effects (including music). One widely used approach is to have names and titles in all caps in the left-hand column. Sound effects are on the right in all caps, while dialogue is on the right in the standard mix of the upper and lower case. Here is an example:
Kids Zone After-School Clubs Radio Commercial
CAN BEING OPENED BY ELECTRONIC CAN OPENER
Today, we're going to be doing a simple taste test. (SFX: DOG FOOD BEING PUT INTO A BOWL.) Meaty Delight brand dog food versus the leading brand. Meaty Delight has a thick, hearty gravy. Let's see how it tastes. Mmm! Not bad. A bit of an after-taste, but not bad.
Things can get pretty ugly when you're bored after school.
Eww! The after-burps are most unpleasant.
In a Kids Zone After-School Club, you can find far better things to do.
INSTRUMENTAL, UP-TEMPO AND ENERGETIC.
Like soccer, table tennis, painting, computers, even field trips. To find your nearest club, check out www.kidszone.com. It's a lot more fun than sampling dog food!
In this sample script, SFX is (of course) short for sound effects. Where they occur in mid-speech, they can go in brackets within the dialogue, as in the first paragraph above.
The style shown here is not the only one you will see used for radio commercials, but we recommend it unless you are asked by your client to use a different one.
Copywriting for television is among the best paid—and most prestigious—of all copywriting work. It also requires special skills, as your script is not only a sales tool but a creative guide to the director, who will turn your words into images and sounds. Here are some tips for writing successful TV commercials:
- Thoroughly research the product or service your ad is meant to sell. Choose the main customer benefit and angle your commercial around that.
- Remember that TV commercials must entertain as well as persuade. Humour can work well, but (as with radio commercials) you should ensure that your audience is laughing with you, not at you.
- Watch other commercials, especially those on the TV station where yours will be broadcast. For added inspiration, you can also view the latest and best TV commercials worldwide at www.adforum.com. The professionalism of adverts varies from the main channels to the small daytime digital/cable channels. So make sure you know where your ad will be aired.
- Use short, punchy sentences that grab viewers' attention. You have a very limited time frame to capture your audience in a TV commercial, and you need to get your message across quickly.
- Put people in your commercial. People relate to other people. Having people in your commercial—as opposed to pictures of your client's business premises, product, and so on—will help draw viewers in.
- Celebrities attract attention and add a touch of glamour, but you need to make sure they do not overshadow the product or service. Celebrities in TV commercials are guest stars; your client's product (or service) must always be the real star.
- Think about using animation to add interest to your commercial. Animation doesn't just have to mean cartoons. For example, you could show a plug-hole widening into a smile when your client's cleaning fluid is poured down it.
- Story-based commercials can work well in building viewer interest, especially where the story runs over a series of 'episodes'. The 'Oxo family' was an early example of this. BT is another company that has used soap-opera style commercials on various occasions, including its 'Beattie' commercials featuring Maureen Lipman.
- Jingles can help brand a product and make it memorable. They should convey a strong sales message, though, and not merely signify that the commercial is over. The 'Martians' adverts for Cadbury's Smash (an instant mashed potato product) are often cited as the best TV ads of all time, but apart from the originality and the humor of the sniggering Martians, they also had a memorable jingle that provided a strong call to action: 'For mash, get Smash'.
- Ensure that both audio and video communicate your sales message. Ideally, your commercial should still work if the prospect is in another room and can't see the TV, or if he is watching in a noisy pub (say) and can't hear it.
- Create a clear and memorable link in viewers' minds to your client's product or service. One (surprisingly common) mistake is leaving viewers thinking, 'I enjoyed that ad, but I've no idea what it's trying to sell.'
- Again, don’t just go for art or beauty. Sometimes it’s the crass that people remember.
- Check that your script times out to 30 seconds (or however long the slot you are writing for). If your script runs over this, even by a second or two, it will have to be cut.
As with radio ads, there is no universally 'correct' format for TV commercials. One popular approach, however, is to present the script in two columns, the one on the left headed VIDEO and the one on the right AUDIO. Here's an example:
Acme Shipping Tv Commercial
Interior, night, in an executive office. The EXECUTIVE is talking on the phone with calm confidence. A smallish brown-wrapped box is on his desk. His power-suited SECRETARY stands on alert in the background.
EXECUTIVE: Yes sir, the package will absolutely, definitely be on your desk tomorrow. And I say that with total confidence. I will take care of it. [HANGS UP PHONE AND IS LOST IN DISMAY.] How will I take care of it? I don't know how I'm going to take care of it. If I knew how to take care of it...
SECRETARY gently helps EXECUTIVE up, and picks up the package.
NARRATOR: When it comes to sending a packet somewhere overnight, even the most dynamic executive can become as helpless as a two-year-old.
View from hall: EXECUTIVE walking in a daze. He has his overcoat on and carries his briefcase. SECRETARY has her arm around him, gently helping him down the hall. She holds the package in her free hand.
EXECUTIVE: You'll...take care of it?
NARRATOR: And as his secretary, you have to take care of him.
EXECUTIVE: [DAZED] How will you take care of it? How do you -
SECRETARY: I'll just call Acme Shipping.
EXECUTIVE: Oh .
Exterior, early morning. Long shot of Acme Shipping aircraft on airport tarmac, with an Acme Shipping van waiting by it. White text superimposed in centre of screen under plane and truck: 'When it absolutely, definitely has to be there overnight.'
NARRATOR: Acme Shipping - when it absolutely, definitely has to be there overnight.
This style has the advantage that it immediately makes clear to the reader what viewers will be seeing and what they will be hearing throughout the ad. Notice, also, how initial caps are used to indicate character names and titles and to distinguish instructions to the actors in the right-hand column. One other point to note is the way, at the end of the sample commercial, the Acme Shipping slogan is communicated both visually and aurally (as recommended in our list of tips earlier).
With some scripts that consist mainly of two or three characters talking to one another, a traditional, linear layout, where you simply describe the setting and characters at the start, may work better. In general, however, we recommend sticking to the two-column layout above unless you have a good reason not to. Most TV commercial scripts nowadays are written in this style.
2. Recruitment Copywriting
Recruitment copywriting is undoubtedly one of the less glamorous areas of copywriting, and yet for many copywriters, it is a regular, reliable source of work.
At first glance, you might assume that job ads are so straightforward that copywriters are hardly needed for them. But job ads are far more than announcements of vacancies. A well-written advertisement will ensure that the company gets a good response from qualified candidates, thus helping it select the people it needs to expand and prosper.
In addition, job ads provide a public expression of how a company is succeeding in its field, how it is investing for the future, and how it is helping the local community by providing employment opportunities. Recruitment advertising therefore also has a very important PR role. Recognizing the importance of good recruitment advertising, many companies nowadays use the services of copywriters to help create their job ads, either directly or via an agency.
As a copywriter, by far the most common type of job ad you will be asked to write is a display advertisement. The main components of such an ad will normally include the following:
- The job title.
- An introductory paragraph about the business: what it does, why it's so good at it, its caring attitude to its employees, and so on.
- What the job's key tasks involve.
- What key skills and attributes are needed to perform these tasks.
- The educational qualifications and/or prior experience required.
- The wage or salary, including any extra benefits such as company pension scheme, employee car park, free health insurance, etc.
- Instructions on how to apply (e.g. CV and letter of application, or apply via the company website).
- Contact address details.
- Closing date for applications.
In practice, the order of items may vary a little from this, and one or more may be omitted. However, the list should provide a good starting point when you are drafting a job ad and a checklist for everything the ad needs to cover.
Here is an example job ad which demonstrates the general style we’ve just shown you:
An Example of Recruitment Copywriting
World Superbooks, an award-winning international publisher in print and electronic formats for academic, professional and trade markets, requires an additional editorial assistant to join the busy team at our beautiful, historic headquarters in rural Middleton.
Responsibilities will include maintaining in-house data systems, stock management and selection of reviewers and manuscript assessment. In addition, the successful candidate will prepare cover copy and proofread the material, working to strict deadlines. Good communication and literacy skills are essential, as is the ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
Applicants should be educated to at least first-degree level. Some knowledge of French, German or Spanish would be desirable, as would previous publishing industry experience.
Salary will be in the region of $20,000-$24,000. World Superbooks offers a friendly, fast-paced working environment, with good opportunities for career development. Other benefits include 32 days paid holidays a year (plus public holidays), a subsidized staff restaurant, and car parking facilities.
Apply online at www.worldsuperbooks.com with CV and covering letter, stating your current salary and quoting reference TM09/10. Alternatively, apply here: HR Department, World Superbooks, 245 East Lane Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 99909. Closing date for applications: 16 July 20xx
Additional Tips for Successful Recruitment Copywriting:
- It's normally best to start with the job title, as this is the first thing people scanning the ads will be looking for.
- Set out the facts in a concise but informative way. Unless your ad is trying to attract 'creative' types, avoid the temptation to be witty.
- Many advertisers prefer not to quote specific salaries in their ads, preferring to negotiate this with the person they appoint. However, if you do not include this information, some well-qualified people may be deterred from applying through uncertainty, and your client is also likely to receive more applications from people who are under- or over-qualified. A possible compromise—as illustrated in our example—is to quote a salary range, so that people can see the kind of money the company anticipates paying, and so judge whether it would be worth their while applying. This is obviously something you will need to discuss with your client.
- Aim to make your copy sound appealing to potential candidates. In the example above, notice the reference to the company's 'beautiful, historic' headquarters, and the friendly, fast-paced working environment.
- Likewise, if space allows it is good to mention the long-term career and financial benefits the person appointed will enjoy: promotion prospects, on-the-job training, pension scheme, and so on. This all helps paint a picture of a caring employer whom it would be a pleasure to work for.
- If your advertisement is to use graphics or photos, avoid simply showing pictures of people at work. It is obvious that people work in any organization. Instead, why not use this opportunity to illustrate some of the fringe benefits of working for your clients? If they really do have beautiful premises, a picture of the exterior might fit the bill. Or, for something like an airline steward or stewardess, show them using their free time to live it up in some exotic foreign destination.
This is another key requirement for recruitment copywriting. When writing your ad, you must avoid discriminating, intentionally or otherwise, on any grounds, but especially regarding race, religion, sex or age, as there are strict laws in place to guard against this.
This is a sensitive area, and getting it wrong could result in a fine for your client and some very bad publicity for them. And, of course, your chances of ever working for that client again would be zero. So, it's best to err on the side of caution.
Thus, an advertisement for a 'salesman' is nowadays likely to viewed as discriminatory. You could either amend this to 'salesperson' or put in brackets after the job title 'male/female' to indicate that women are equally welcome to apply.
Quite apart from any legal issues, advertisements that discriminate create a poor impression with many people who see them, and may deter someone who would be ideal for the job from applying. Even if an ad does not discriminate directly, indirect discrimination can occur when, for instance, you specify that an applicant should come from a particular geographical area. This may be viewed as discrimination if the area in question is inhabited primarily by people from one particular ethnic group, especially if other neighboring areas have a different ethnic composition.
Finally, before venturing into the world of recruitment copywriting, we highly recommend that you spend some time studying job ads in a range of media and saving any examples you particularly like in your Swipe File. This should give you a flavor of the preferred style for job ads today, and should also give you some ideas you may be able to borrow and adapt for your clients.
3. Writing for Charities and Other Nonprofit Organisations
This is another of those lesser-known markets for copywriters that can nonetheless be well worth investigating. Nonprofits include charities and also a huge range of community organizations, clubs and societies, pressure groups, sports clubs, educational organizations, political parties, religious organizations, and so on.
Many copywriters assume that there is no point in applying to this type of organization, as they won't have any money. This is not necessarily the case, however.
Large national and multi-national charities often have multi-million-pound budgets, a proportion of which will inevitably be spent on promotional, educational and fundraising materials. Even smaller charities, in these cash-strapped times, need to present their message clearly and persuasively, and they will often engage copywriters to help them do so. The present author worked for a number of years in the voluntary sector and continued to work in this field after he became a full-time copywriter. Here are just some of the jobs that have come his way over the years:
- preparing publicity materials for display boards
- researching and writing information sheets
- writing and editing newsletters
- preparing publicity brochures
- reviewing and polishing a charity's promotional materials
- writing fundraising letters
- writing grant applications
- ghost-writing articles on behalf of senior staff members
- training staff in publicity and copywriting skills
- writing photo captions
- writing and submitting press releases
- and many more!
Obviously, if you want to write for this market, it helps if you have some relevant work experience, but this is by no means essential. Strong writing skills are more important, together with an understanding of—and sympathy for—the organization's goals. If you can demonstrate these things in your applications, there is every chance you will be offered work.
Many aspects of copywriting for charities and nonprofit organizations are similar to writing for commercial clients, and the general principles of persuasive writing. Here are some additional tips, however, that should help you when writing for this market.
- Understand whom you are writing for. In general, your copy will be read by people who are at least mildly sympathetic to your client's cause. Your task is to show them how they can offer practical support, and provide them with a compelling reason for doing so now.
- Avoid the 'shock, horror' approach. Many novices in this field think they can shock readers into donating by telling them a horror story complete with shocking visuals, but this is not necessarily the case. Overtly shocking copy and images have been found to generate negative reactions even from committed givers.
- Likewise, you should avoid any hint of emotional blackmail or 'hard selling', as this causes resentment. Treat your readers as intelligent, caring individuals, and show them how they really can make a difference to the lives of children, refugees, the homeless, animals, or whatever.
- Case studies can make a charity's case much more compelling. To some extent, we have all been desensitized by the endless stream of news items documenting famines, wars and so on, but a story of someone suffering through no fault of their own is something we can all relate to.
- Case studies need to present an emotive dimension (children are particularly good for this). They should illustrate how the services of the charity, aided by previous donations, have helped transform a particular individual's life.
- Endorsements by well-regarded celebrities not only increase awareness of the charity but can add to the credibility of the cause. The choice of celebrity is very important here, as they will be seen as the 'public face' of the charity.
- If asking for donations, a good technique can be to set out at the end of your advertisement or letter a list of suggested amounts, accompanied by what each one will achieve in specific terms. Start with the largest sum, but don't make it unrealistically high. For example: '$25 will feed a family of four for two weeks. $15 will clothe a refugee for the winter. $10 will immunize three children against typhoid. I would like to donate...'
- Wherever possible, angle your copy towards helping people, not situations. By all means, use facts and figures to show the scale of the problem, but focus your copy on individual cases. For example: 'Becky is 15 years old and homeless—$10 could prevent her meeting men who are only too willing to part with $10.'
- Use deadlines to make action urgent: otherwise, it's only too easy for the recipient to put your appeal to one side to deal with later (or, more likely, not). Where there is an ongoing problem, try to find a reason why it must be addressed right now. For example: 'In an Afghan winter, night-time temperatures drop as low as minus 40. Without action NOW, many Afghan children will not survive until next spring. Donate to the Afghan Disaster Appeal TODAY.'
- Avoid making a request that makes a problem sound so vast that any donation will be a drop in the ocean. This is the sort of thing to avoid: 'Every year it costs over $30 million to provide food and shelter for the homeless. Can you help?'
- Finally, be aware that everyone working in this field is expected to 'do their bit'. Don't be surprised if you get asked to sponsor someone from the charity on their marathon walk or help out with a fundraising event. You don't have to do everything you are asked, but it's obviously good for client relations if you can help out now and then by donating time or a modest amount of money.
Five Final Words of Advice
Finally, here are five words of advice, listed below:
There's an old music hall joke that goes something like this. A New Yorker is approached in the street by a tourist and asked, 'Pardon me, sir, how do I get to Carnegie Hall?' He replies, 'Practice, practice, practice.'
What is true for musicians is true for copywriters as well. Nobody is born a brilliant copywriter. First, you have to learn the skills. Then you have to practice them. And the more you practice, the more your skills will improve.
Even experienced copywriters don't simply sit down and write brilliant copy. They start by writing a first draft, which they then revise and polish until eventually, it is as good as they can possibly make it. There is a lot of truth in the old maxim that good writing - and certainly good copywriting - is all about rewriting.
In many respects - and we can hear a few poets gasping as we say this - copywriting is like writing poetry. The best copy, like good poetry, has a compelling, almost hypnotic, rhythm. Good copy leads readers effortlessly from the first line to the last, playing like an expert musician on their emotions, and bringing them to a state where buying becomes almost an inevitability.
One well-known definition of poetry is that it comprises 'the best words in the best order'. With tongues only slightly in our cheeks, we would say the same of good copywriting, with one further addition. Good copywriting is, 'the best words in the best order to create the best possible outcome for your client.'
And you need to have just the same respect for words as a poet, and the same willingness to revise and polish your work, in order to achieve this.
You can be the best copywriter in the world, but unless you promote yourself, at least in the early days, no client is ever going to beat a path to your door.
We have provided you with a host of tools and techniques for promoting your copywriting service. Don't be shy about using them. There are off-line methods such as mailshots and joint ventures you can use, and a host of online techniques, including blogging and social networking. Even when you are very busy, never stop promoting yourself - you will always need a flow of new clients to replace those who move on.
Getting established as a copywriter is likely to require patience and persistence at first, but once you have received your first few commissions and make a good job of them, others will surely follow.
Don't get discouraged if you find the going hard at first. Use all the promotional techniques referred to above to find work, and keep on using them until you succeed. Don't let anything—or anyone—deflect you from achieving your goals.
And if, for a while, you still don't have enough work to keep you going, rewrite other people's advertisements or create your own to add to your portfolio. Spend time building your business blog and/or website and promoting them. You could also try writing for profit-sharing article websites to build your online profile and earn yourself a few pounds (or dollars). You probably won't earn a fortune this way, but it may well pave the way to better things!
5. Continue to Study and Learn
OK, we know this last one is five words—and not one of them begins with a 'P' either—but it's still very important. Copywriting is a huge and ever-changing field, and there is always more to learn. You should, therefore, regard continuing professional development as an essential aspect of your copywriting career.
There are lots of ways of doing this. We recommend joining Internet forums devoted to writing and copywriting, networking with other people in the business, and reading any books about copywriting you can lay your hands on (even the not-so-good ones usually have a few valuable nuggets of advice you can apply).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.