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How to get your first copywriting client

by Alice Starkie on

If you are just starting out on your copywriting career journey, you may be wondering how to get your first copywriting client. Copywriting is a rewarding yet challenging career and it can be difficult for freelance writers to establish themselves and source clients. Below we outline effective tips to help you land your first client.

1. Fine tune your services

While it is tempting to not limit the sort of work you offer, if you contact a potential client and your services seem too general and broad, you may be rejected for appearing to lack specialist knowledge.

Spend some time thinking about your interests and develop a copywriting niche. Developing a niche and fine-tuning the services you offer will enable you to focus exclusively on a certain market and position yourself as a specialist, rather than a writer lacking experience. For example, if you have a background in finance, consider marketing yourself as a financial copywriter. Focusing on a specific industry will help you offer your services in the most appealing way, helping you to secure your first client.

2. Dedicate time to research

After deciding on a niche, spend time researching into that specific market and create a list of companies you would like to work with. Remember to think realistically about your own earning goals and target those businesses who have the budget for your services.

Also, it is not simply enough to collect basic information on a company, try to really understand and engage with how the company currently creates and distributes content. Follow the company on social media and try to identify where their content comes from, is it from one particular employee or does the company use freelance writers? Identifying these trends will help you find companies that may require your services and will mean you can tailor your pitch to focus on the benefits and how your service overcomes their pain points.

Most brands will proudly advertise their values and make their company voice evident. Determine what these are for each company and try to emulate them in any communication you have with the company.

3. Get yourself noticed with social media

As we are living in an increasingly digital age, having an active and engaging online presence can be a great way to find and connect with potential copywriting clients. Social media accounts, like LinkedIn, can be used to source job opportunities and put forward your skills as a freelance writer.

A top tip for using social media to secure your first client is to direct message an individual or brand when you see a job opportunity advertised, rather than commenting or replying to the post which may get lost amongst other replies. When direct messaging a client, however, it is important to remember to begin to build a relationship with them, not just bluntly offer your services.

4. Make connections and network

As above, social media is a great way to build relationships with fellow industry professionals who can open up new opportunities for finding your first client.

But you should also think about attending industry events, whether in person or online, to meet other copywriters and companies requiring copywriting services. Engaging yourself in the copywriting world will help you source client leads and help your name to become more recognisable and trusted in the industry.

Finding conferences or exhibitions relevant to your niche can be a great way to meet and network with potential clients. For example, if you have decided to focus on eCommerce copywriting, attend marketing or eCommerce events to build relationships with companies and discuss potential work opportunities. You may also find local business events fruitful, such as Chamber of Commerce networking events.

5. Showcase your expertise with a blog

While social media is a great platform for engaging with brands, it is fairly limiting in terms of showcasing your writing capabilities. Creating and running your own blog based on the industry you are hoping to secure a client in not only showcases your writing abilities but your industry expertise.

As a starting point, see what similar blog posts are already available on the internet and try to produce better content. Establish what keywords you want to target and try to optimise your blog posts to these keywords so potential clients can find you; this should never be at the detriment of the content you are producing, however.

There have been many success stories involving bloggers such as Pete Cashmore who was the sole author of the blog Mashable which he began in 2005. Mashable started as a blog where Cashmore shared news but was later sold for $50 million in 2017 as a leading digital media and news website.

On blogging, Cashmore said, “the idea that you could change the world from your bedroom was pretty compelling to me.”

This proves that something as simple as a blog created in your bedroom has the power to take your career to new heights.

6. Chase leads and reach out to clients

Based on your social media activity and any networking you have been able to do, finalise a list of the top companies who you feel would require your writing services.

Don’t just send a boilerplate message out to each name on your list, carefully craft a unique message for each company and explain why you believe you would be well suited to work with them. Where possible send the message to the individual or department involved in hiring writers as this prevents your message from getting lost with general enquiries. And don’t forget to chase it up!

7. Apply to a copywriting service

While you wait to secure your first client independently, applying to a quality copywriting service, such as Copify, will give you access to multiple writing opportunities. As Copify delivers professional writing services for a broad spectrum of businesses, applying to be a writer can help build your portfolio and prove your copywriting skills while you wait for the right independent client.

8. Don’t give up!

If a potential client doesn’t instantly reply and your blog isn’t getting a high amount of traffic, don’t despair and most importantly, don’t give up. It can take time to build your reputation as a copywriter and you should always have faith in your writing capabilities. Take the time while you wait to perfect your portfolio and continue building your blog and social media presence. For more information on how to build a killer portfolio, read our blog post here.

Still unsure on how to get your first copywriting client?

If you don’t feel ready to follow any of the above tips, it may be that you need to take a step back and practise your copywriting skills. We outline eight easy steps to becoming a writer in our blog post here. Ensure you are confident in your writing abilities and personal branding before you contact any businesses and you should soon find you have secured your first client!

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