How to build your profile as a copywriter

by Gill Fernley

No matter how long you’ve been a copywriter, one of the main things you can do to ensure success is to build up your copywriter profile. This, in turn, will help you become known in your field as having a great reputation for reliability and excellent work.

If you’re new and wondering how on earth you do that when you’ve only just started, don’t worry. Your copywriter profile is something you continuously build and improve over time, and the good news is that you can start now.

1. Your writer website

Your writer website, just like with any other business, is your home on the web. It’s where you’ll want to drive traffic to and where you’ll point people back to from social media and guest blogging.

While potential clients are more interested in how good your writing is and whether you deliver on what you’ve promised, they do take note of the look and feel of your website when hiring you, so you need to make it professional and attractive, preferably with a huge dose of your personality so people know who they are going to be working with.

You don’t need to panic about everything being perfect, though. This is another thing that will change and develop over time as you grow as a writer. You’ll add new skills and update your pages, and you may even decide to do a full re-brand if you change direction in your writing career.

If you don’t yet have a website, start now. It’s one of the best ways for clients to find you.

For a detailed and really helpful post on building your site, try Jorden Roper’s The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Freelance Writer Website (in One Day or Less). And if you’re new and thinking ‘What can I put on a site when I have no clients yet?’, Carol Tice’s What to Put On Your Writer Website if You’re a Newbie is excellent.

2. Your portfolio

Many copywriters start out with no clips at all, but that’s not a problem. See our previous blog on how to create your portfolio for ideas on getting around that.

As you gain experience, add to your portfolio with the latest clips you have that best show off what you can do.

If you work mainly in a particular niche, start to tailor your portfolio with the best examples of your work in that niche.

You might start off with only a couple of clips from a local newspaper and your own blog as samples, but if you take the time to keep updating your portfolio and think about the impression you want to give your clients, you’ll build something really impressive that will grow your reputation.

3. Testimonials

Over time, you’ll collect testimonials from clients, and as with your portfolio, choose the very best ones that establish your quality, your results and your expertise to display on your website.

Keep adding new testimonials to show you are still working with clients, and look at adding a photograph of the client or even better, a video testimonial as they are more eye-catching and give even more social proof.

Follow Copyblogger’s guidelines for how to get testimonials that really are powerful convincers for potential clients.

4. Guest posts

Guest posting is a brilliant way to drive traffic to your website and into your sales funnel, but it can also build your reach and establish your reputation as an expert in your field.

What is guest posting? Simply getting the opportunity to post on other established and relevant blogs.

How do you do that? Do a search for Your Niche + Guest Post or Your Keyword + Guest Post Guidelines and you should get a whole list of websites that you could write for.

However, don’t just accept the first one that will take your post. Look for relevancy, look at their audience and reputation, and check if you can have a link back to your site in your writer bio at the end of your post.

While you might not immediately get a guest spot on one of the bigger sites, you can always work your way up, and then you can add ‘As seen on X site’ to your website for social proof and increased reputation.

Kissmetrics has a brilliant and thorough post on how to guest blog.

5. Post on LinkedIn

If you’re blogging anyway – and why wouldn’t you? It’s excellent for search engine optimisation and for impressing potential clients with your knowledge – then why not share your posts on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a networking/social site that’s specifically aimed at businesses, so unlike Facebook, where you can get lost in cat videos and reality TV posts, what you find on LinkedIn is mostly posts on business topics, so yours will fit right in.

Add some keywords so people searching can find your content and you’ve got another avenue for bringing in traffic to your site, and a place where people can follow you even when they aren’t in your network (i.e. expanded reach!).

Posting consistently on LinkedIn will also potentially reach thousands of people who could turn into clients, and establish your expertise.

Extra note on LinkedIn: Join groups in your niche, answer questions, give advice and be really helpful. It’s another way to show your knowledge and establish a great reputation.

6. Post on Medium

I’m just going to link to CopyHacker’s amazing article on why you should post on Medium and how to make the most of it. They really have covered everything.

However, if you’d like an idea of what Medium can do before you dive into that article, they have a huge audience that you can potentially reach, and people follow the subjects they are interested in so you can focus on your area of expertise and build followers.

People can also recommend your posts to others and if you write one that really goes viral, you could find yourself covered in clients and earning big money!

7. Build a network and be ultra-helpful

If you follow the above steps, you’ll naturally start to build a growing network of people who know what you can do and see you as an expert.

Encourage that by being genuinely helpful and approachable, and yes, that includes with other copywriters and freelance writers. Your success doesn’t take anything away from any other writer and vice versa. There’s a whole world out there with billions of potential clients and there’s enough success to go around.

Other writers can be really powerful allies, giving you advice when you’re stuck, being a great sounding board for ideas and reassurance if you’re worried about something. And once they trust you and know you can deliver, they may even pass on work if it’s not their field or if they’re too busy to take it themselves.

A great network can get you to the point where you always have work queueing and you never hit the feast or famine cycle that can be common to freelancers.

8. Deliver absolutely amazing work on time

Your reputation hangs on delivering exactly what you say you will deliver, when you say you will do it, so put out the best work you possibly can and keep learning to improve your writing over time.

The better your work, and your reputation, the more likely you are to have a thriving business that does far more than just feed you and pay your bills. You’ll have a freelance lifestyle where you call the shots, do work you love and get paid very well for it.

It all starts with taking the time to build your copywriter profile as you go and polishing it until it gleams!

Main image credit: Tranmautritam
Image credits: Stokpicrawpixelrawpixel

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Gill Fernley

Gill Fernley

The director of her own copywriting firm, Gill writes B2B and B2C content for SMEs and digital marketing agencies. She has a background in performing arts and writes conversational, direct sales copy for businesses on a range of topics. She’s also a keen writer of chick lit.