On the Copify blog, we have oodles of great advice on how to start your writing career and find the best courses on writing. We’ve gone into the finer details of writing, like how to set up your portfolio and how to create a copywriting contract.
So what can we possibly add to all that great knowledge and advice that’s already on the Copify blog?
Well, there’s getting started as a content writer and then there’s how to be a content writer that wows their clients and brings home far more than just a living wage.
When you’re just starting out as a content writer, getting to that point can seem far out of reach, but it is possible and here’s how to get yourself moving towards that goal:
Attitude, confidence and mindset
The more writing you do for clients and the more feedback and constructive criticism you get, the more confident you’ll become and the greater your knowledge and experience. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But here’s why that matters:
If you don’t believe in you and the huge value you provide to your clients, neither will they. And that means they won’t pay you the great rates you deserve. In fact, they might not even hire you. Clients can sense desperation and they can tell when you really don’t believe what you’re selling, so you’ve got to get your mindset and your attitude right first.
Here’s the thing – excellent content writing can be the difference for your clients between disappearing into the black hole at the bottom of the search engine results or heading for page one and having their customers find them. It’s how buyers work their way through a company’s sales funnel to learn to trust them and make the decision to buy; it’s how companies establish their expertise in their field and build communities of raving fans. And it literally can be what takes a company from hardly any sales to more sales than they know what to do with.
“Marketing is telling the world that you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.” – Robert Rose, Chief Strategist, Content Marketing Institute
That’s powerful stuff and it has massive value. That’s what you do! And you should be paid accordingly.
Here’s a bit more on getting the right mindset:
You need to develop what’s called a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset think that their talents and what they can learn are set and there’s nothing they can do about it. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that they can continue to learn and grow, and develop their talents and abilities endlessly.
Hopefully, you can see how much difference that can make when aiming to be the best content writer you can be.
Here’s an article from Forbes on boosting your mindset for success.
Learn from your mistakes
In fact, let’s change that to ‘just keep learning’ full stop!
Successful content writers focus on what works and do more of it, whether it’s getting better at writing or finding ways to pitch more clients successfully. They look at their mistakes, learn the most they can from them and move on. They also never ever stop learning and refining everything they do to continually get better and better outcomes.
Set yourself some huge goals
If you don’t have goals that stretch you, you’ll fail to reach very far at all. What do you really want to earn each month? And no, the correct answer is not ‘just a bit more than enough to pay the bills every month.’ You deserve to live and to thrive, not just to exist. Or why do this at all? You might as well have a J.O.B (Just Over Broke) because at least you’ll know it’s 9–5 and get a regular paycheck.
Here’s a brilliant article by Brennan Dunn on setting your rates. You’ll notice there’s not a word in there about pricing according to what you think your potential client can afford, or about simply sticking with the rate you were earning in your old job. It’s all about pricing for your value.
If your money goal doesn’t scare you even a little bit, it’s simply not big enough!
Then you need to think about how you’re going to get there, and swapping time for money is not it. If you’re charging by the hour, it’s time to look at charging per project, including how much value you bring to the table, as well as the time it takes to complete your work.
If you also work towards long-term contracts with a regular monthly payment and retainers, you’ll find that freelance content writing doesn’t have to be feast or famine.
Get some help
One of the biggest things that can make a difference to your business is outsourcing. If you’re trying to do everything from ordering the stationery and doing the accounts to managing your own helpdesk and setting up your own marketing automation, when and how are you going to have the time or the energy to focus on growing your business and meeting those ambitious goals you’ve got?
Here’s a clue: You’re not!
Yes, it can be hard to let go of doing everything personally, after all, your business is your baby. You built it and, of course, you’re attached to it. But if you keep doing everything yourself, you’ll never have the time or the space to grow and reach the next level of freelancing income. Nor will you be able to work on your craft and learn the techniques and skills that give your writing the wow factor.
Get over your fear of sales and marketing
No sales, no clients, no business. Simple as that.
If you’re stuck on pitching and how to get the attention of potential clients, then Jenny Beres’ article on How to Pitch Like a BOSS is a must-read.
Notice the attitude, the massive personality and the language in that article. There’s no shrinking violet who thinks she should take the scraps because she doesn’t provide value. That’s a woman who completely believes in herself and she really does make the big bucks.
Basically, when you pitch and when you talk to potential clients on the phone, you need to go in with massive enthusiasm, self-belief and passion for what you do. You need to know without a doubt that you really can help your clients get massive results for your business and that you’re not their employee, you’re someone who they are partnering with because they need what you can offer.
That’s a position of strength. That’s not going into a call, cap in hand, and hoping you might get at least the minimum wage. That’s a rock star mindset!