Many copywriters today choose to freelance rather than work from nine-to-five in advertising companies. Added push for this comes from the many convenient digital applications that are now available to individuals. In addition, because of the internet, online consultations have become commonplace so coming to an agreement with a client can be conveniently done without the bother of commuting.
Building a career in freelance copywriting means going through a process which may not seem easy at first but the steps involved are steps that cannot be skipped. They are also steps that have been undertaken with success. If you want to make a career shift and go freelance, take a look at how others have established their own copywriting business.
Put your plan together. Include your long term goals, your objectives for the first twelve months, the activities you will conduct to meet your objectives and put all these within a realistic time table. Your plan should include an ad campaign for yourself and a sales plan and a list of your business prospects.
Prepare to market your skills. Create your own webpage (or several), make your own logo, and get your business cards, letterhead, supplies and basic equipment ready. Tell your friends and relatives about your plans and ask them for referrals.
Network with other copywriters who might need someone to make up a group or who may have some extra work. Remember you are still starting so don’t look down on small projects. They could lead to bigger ones in the future.
Take on some nonrevenue projects for parishes, nonprofits and civic organizations. These will become part of your portfolio.
Prepare a list of all the services you will offer and then prepare writing samples for each. Be clear about the types of copy you will make available. Create an advertisement, a jingle, letters for a mail campaign and brochures, newsletters, flyers. Write sample content copy that is both SMO and SEO.
Prepare your portfolio and get it all done before you need to see a client. Having your portfolio ready way ahead of time means you can revise parts of it to respond to what a prospective client may need.
Do thorough research on what the industry rates are for the jobs you will be accepting. Remember that rates vary according to location and the credentials of applicants. Determine what your fees will be then set your rate for all the products you are offering.
Draft your contracts ahead of time. This is the professional way to work and your clients will get the message that they are dealing with someone who runs his or her business well. This is for the protection of both parties so prepare your contracts carefully.
Start selling. Send your materials to institutions, stores and nonprofits. Offer to run an ARS for a website. Go online, announce your services in your website. Blog and tweet about your work. Make sales calls and visit small businesses after you have seen their websites. Offer your services to small businesses. Don’t give up on advertising agencies yet. Many of them want someone who will do copywriting for them but they don’t want to hire someone full time.
Remember to edit your work carefully. Spell check is not enough when you are striving for submitting work that will create a prospective client’s first impression of you. Read your work aloud. This way you will be able to correct errors in grammar and you will also see if any of your sentences is too long.
Take good care of your clients, even the non-revenue ones. The best advertisement you can ever have is when your clients speak well of you and recommend you to others. Personal endorsements can do much for a new freelance copywriting business.
Study, study, study. Keep abreast of market trends, changes in technology and all developments that are relevant to your craft. Successful freelance copywriting means you are able to use the latest techniques and you are updated.
Take on some nonrevenue projects for parishes, nonprofits and civic organizations.