Achieving a successful career in copywriting does not have to be as difficult as you think. You don’t need to waste your money on courses; you need to apply the skills and knowledge you already have. Getting started and taking that first step can be difficult. However, once you have started moving and found your place and your pace, you will question why you did not start pursuing this career before. Getting to grips with what a copywriting career holds is essential.
Knowing Your Niche
There are lots of copywriters out there, and quite often, you can find that they are targeting the same area or niche market. Differentiating yourself from the competition and really getting to know your niche is essential. If you do not know your niche inside out, then how can you expect to land a role, and how can you expect to demonstrate your expertise? So, what niche are you going to pursue? Are you going to focus on working with larger, more well-known corporations, or are you going to focus on reaching smaller businesses – perhaps those that require a more informal and laid-back approach and style?
Growing Your Skillset
Your skillset is important if you are looking for a successful career as a copywriter. You need to have a variety of soft skills, such as excellent communication skills, and hard skills, such as your qualifications, to ensure that you constantly win over new clients. You will always have competition with those you are up against, and it is important that you focus on enhancing your skillset as much as possible. Start by looking at your skills at this moment. What have you got to offer prospective clients? How can you win them over, and most importantly, what do you need to brush up on?
As a freelancer, you have to expect that sometimes opportunities are there, and sometimes they are harder to come by. Building up available opportunities is possible when you utilize your networks and your communications. Building up strong connections will help you to ensure that you have a steady flow of work at all times. If connections and networking are not giving you the opportunities that you need, then you need to focus on building a social media presence and approaching agencies directly.
Experience is, of course, built and gained over time. You cannot rush a role or speed through a position just to write it on your resume. Gaining experience (even in voluntary roles) will help you to see what you want from future roles and what you can expect in terms of pay and workload. To gain experience, you have to be prepared to put yourself out there and actively market yourself.
Valuing Your Time and Effort
You are worth more than you know. The rates that you set out for your work, time, and effort are crucial to your success. You do not want to pitch yourself too cheaply because this may put people off you. Similarly, you do not want to overprice because this will lead to potential clients simply avoiding you. When you create a rate, it is important that you think about how much your time and effort is worth on a job. When you really get a feel for what is involved, you will then be able to create a rate that is fair for a hirer and, of course, great for you too.
Seeing Yourself as a Business
As a freelancer, it can be hard to see yourself as anything other than a one-person show. You may find it beneficial to start thinking of yourself as a business. Thinking about how you would act in a business and thinking about who you would hire and, of course, what role you would have is crucial. For example, when you are writing, you want to be focusing on the task at hand. You do not want to be worrying about IT technicalities or systems; you want to reach out to an IT services provider for that. Similarly, when you are handling your freelancing finances, you want to reach out to an accountant or other financial provider to ensure you are keeping on top of everything.
Building a Portfolio
When you get started with your career, it is important to begin working on a portfolio as soon as possible. A portfolio will help you display your talent and your work experience. It will also give you the opportunity to further sell yourself. When it comes to building a portfolio, it is important that you focus on quality over quantity. A lot of potential employers will want to see information quickly and clearly. They will not want to have to trawl through lots of information and fluff just to get to the contents of your portfolio. So, focus on clarity, and focus on providing the best examples that you can.
Image Is Important for a Successful Career in Copywriting
The image that you hold and portray is important when building a career. Your image covers how you are at work, how you deal with people, and how you fit into an existing team. A positive, friendly, and approachable image is surely going to help you win more work as opposed to a potentially negative and downcast image. Your image needs working on from the moment that you start pursuing a freelance career. Always think about what you are saying and what you are doing, and think about how it will affect your image.
Networking and Building the Right Connections
Who you know can sometimes count for more than you realize. Having the right connections and building the right networks will help you establish yourself as a freelance copywriter. Remember that when it comes to networking, it is important to establish your goals and aims prior to attending an event. When you are walking into a room full of new faces, it can be difficult to remember what you were aiming to do and, of course, what you need to do. Setting yourself prompts when you are networking and targeting your efforts onto beneficial connections and relationships will ensure that your career as a freelancer copyrighter looks healthy.
Continue Reading: The 10 advantages of a specialised freelance copywriter
About the Author
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.