Copywriting is a very viable and interesting career, especially if you embark upon the route of freelance copywriting.
Being a freelance copywriter means that you will be able to write different types of copy and content for a variety of clients, as well as adapting your writing skills according to the brief you’re given. It’s a fantastic career choice for those who love to write and those who love to use words creatively. It’s a great career option for those such as graduates with essay-based degrees – e.g. English, History, Sociology, Politics, Public Relations, etc – or those who come from a marketing, advertising and digital media background.
However, in order to succeed as a copywriter, you must have a portfolio. You need this in order to be able to showcase your work, skills and talents in order to convince potential clients to work with you. After all, as stated by Bubble Jobs, copywriting is “one area where employers like to see a sample of the candidate’s work before they invite them in for an interview.”
That rule generally applies to roles across the digital sector. A portfolio is “your shop window, the place where you showcase your writing and highlight your talents. It’s especially useful if you’re just starting out, because people need to be able to see what you can do,” says John Mello, of LetterPile.
To put it simply, your portfolio is the best way to market yourself and your services to clients.
Here are our top tips on creating a killer copywriting portfolio that will not just make you attractive to clients, but will make them keep on hiring you over and over again!
1. Add writing pieces
Of course, this is the number one tip: showcase your work on your portfolio. Clients want to see the kind of work you’ve done previously, so add this to your portfolio. If you don’t have any work to showcase or you are just starting out as a copywriter, then don’t fret! You can create pieces to add to your portfolio by guest posting for other websites or starting your own blog.
2. Introduce yourself
Clients want to know about you because they want to get a rough idea of who they’ll be working with. After all, you’re not just a copywriter, you’re a person with an identity too. You don’t have to give away personal details but at least state your home town/city, your educational background, career highlights to date and your hobbies and interests. Add a bit of extra information by stating an interesting fact about yourself!
3. Outline your niche
While copywriters typically write for a variety of clients, it’s also important to have a speciality. What’s your focus? What’s your area of interest? Where does your high level of expertise lie? Figure out your niche area. It could be in SEO copywriting, or writing beauty content, or writing IT/technical support guides, or fashion blogging, or writing reports and case studies for charities, or writing travel brochures – anything! Once you’ve worked out your niche area, establish yourself within it. You can do this by setting up a blog or business website advertising your expertise and marketing your services. Crucially, state it in your portfolio.
4. Use a reputable platform
There are plenty of platforms available that will allow you to create a killer portfolio, such as Squarespace, Wix and WordPress. Nicki Krawczyk, of Filthy Rich Writer, explains the importance of setting up a standalone online portfolio site.
5. Add testimonials
Before hiring a copywriter, clients always like to hear fellow clients’ experiences of working with you. Even though we now live in the digital world, traditional marketing methods such as word of mouth reviews, positive feedback and personal recommendations are still powerful and significant ways to drum up business for yourself. If you’ve got experience, then get in touch with the people that you’ve worked with and ask if they could give your services positive feedback. A testimonial doesn’t need to be long – it just needs to be two sentences describing how great your work was and how great it was to work with you.
6. Make sure your design is on point
A copywriting portfolio needs to look professional at all times. If the design isn’t right – i.e. the page is hard to navigate – then the person viewing it could lose interest and that could cost you a potential client. You don’t need to be a graphic design expert and your portfolio doesn’t need to be spectacular – but be creative and make sure it stands out! Your portfolio needs to be clear and concise and designed in a way that it catches the eye of the viewer and tells the potential clients who you are and what you do in 15 seconds. There are many portfolio templates online – WordPress has plenty of these – but if you’d prefer, then outsource the design aspect to a graphic designer.
7. Make sure it is SEO-optimised
You’d obviously want to ensure your clients can find you easily, so make sure it’s SEO optimised. Aim to rank for your chosen niche/expertise and add relevant keywords when building your portfolio site so that you can attract relevant clients. For example, if you are a B2B technology copywriter, then make sure you use keywords such as ‘B2B technology writer,’ ‘tech’, ‘technology’, ‘B2B,’ ‘B2B writer’, etc.
8. Contact details
This seems like such an obvious aspect to add to your killer copywriting portfolio, but it’s very surprising how many people forget this vital piece of information, which is bizarre because potential clients need to get in touch with you in some way. You can add your email address and mobile number, or you can add a contact form. Also, add links to your social media channels.
By following these tips, you will be able to create a killer portfolio in no time, and by doing that you can be sure to attract some amazing clients and kick-start your copywriting portfolio sooner rather than later.