6 freelance copywriting success tips

Why settle for anything less than success?

Are you feeling “stuck” in your copywriting career?

Maybe you’ve been in business for awhile, but you can’t seem to find high-paying, quality clients. Maybe you’ve gotten burned by a bad contract that meant you had to revise a page six times before the client finally signed off.

Or maybe, you’re wanting to make the jump into the freelance writer’s life…but you’ve been afraid to start.

Here are six tips the experts in my Turn Content Into Cash Copywriting Business Bootcamp recommend. Implementing just one of them can launch (or turn around) your business in no time.

- Figure out your niche. Pam Foster from PetCopywriter.com is a fantastic “niche” copywriter example. Pet-related site owners consider Pam the Web-writing go-to expert. That status allows her to hand-pick her clients, opens her up to new opportunities (such as writing a book) and she can charge more for her expertise. Plus, it makes her marketing much easier. Instead of marketing to “everyone,” she can focus her efforts on her target market. (This is such an important strategy that Pam and Bob Bly discuss it during my Copywriting Business Bootcamp training.) Don’t forget to dovetail your niche with something you love to do. There’s no reason to specialize in, say, blog post writing if you really, really don’t like to do it.

- Quit relying on low-value referral sources.  Almost every day, I receive an email from someone who complains that Elance doesn’t have any good paying writing gigs. My question to them is always, “So, if the gigs aren’t good, why aren’t you marketing yourself somewhere else? If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it. Fix it. But don’t keep doing it. Otherwise, you’ll be writing a lot of copy for low pay – and you won’t make a livable wage without putting in 100 hours a week.

- Develop a plan of attack.  Do you know what makes you (or your services) unique?  Have you developed a kick-butt marketing strategy? What about your business Website – what should you say and how should you say it? Successful six-figure copywriters aren’t just good writers – they know how to market themselves, too. And they do it well. During the training, Sean D’Souza and Art Remnet both discuss the importance of finding your uniqueness – and promoting that uniqueness in your marketing plan.

- Take care of your business. I know many fantastic writers who are so-so business people. They don’t set aside money for taxes. They’re afraid a contact or asking for a retainer would “make a client feel uncomfortable.” They don’t incorporate when they should, leaving their personal assets at risk. If this sounds like you, you need to get over this. :) The only person who cares about your “business baby” is you. That means that you have to do what it takes to maximize your income and protect  your investment. For instance, Steve Wilkinghoff, author of Found Money, discusses strategies about when to fire a client and how raising your rates can actually be a good thing. Sure, it’s scary. But your business will be on much more solid ground if you learn how to do it right.

Take care of yourself. I’ve written many times before how crucial it is to slay the overwhelm monster and keep your business and work life in balance. It’s not easy. But it’s worth trying out strategies like the Pomodoro Technique and taking breaks to see how that helps fuel your creativity. Rest, rejuvenation and balance are good things. Embrace them. You aren’t being lazy if you don’t work an 8-hour day. But you are working stupid if it takes you 10 hours to do something a more rested mind could crank out in four.

- Develop a “whatever it takes” attitude.  If you want to make the big bucks, that means making yourself competitive. That means reading everything you can, taking classes and putting in the extra time. Yes, this will cost you some time and money. At the same time, this is an investment in your future success. The more you know, the better quality client you can work with – and the more you can earn. If you refuse to invest in yourself, your clients won’t invest in your skills – and you won’t be able to build the business you want.

What tips would you add to this list?

Hurry! There’s just a few days left to apply for the Copywriting Business Bootcamp that starts on July 16th. Sure, it’s an investment – but if you follow the program, you’ll be able to make your investment back in three months or less. Here’s how to get started…