Starting out in any new field of work inspires FEAR in almost anyone.
First of all, you are changing from what you know to something wholly new. In most cases anyway.
I was pretty concerned I wouldn’t be able to hack it… but I wanted it. Wanted the ability to work from anywhere in the world, on my terms. So even with the prevailing fear of failure, I decided to put the work in.
MY first instinct was to read and learn as much as possible. About EVERY aspect of copywriting.
This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it needs to be done.
But you don’t want to get caught up on spending months and months learning before you start doing!
The learning bit is going to be a career-long habit, well… It will be if you want to be a GREAT copywriter.
So before I get preachy…
I better get to the part where I tell you how I got my very first paid copywriting work.
It might have been luck, but while I was zealously reading any and all copywriting books…
I came to what I think is THE BEST advice.
It was: That I needed to just start writing.
Well, I don’t know if you have already come to this conclusion for yourself, but it’s pretty hard to just start writing with no rhyme or reason. (Besides the need to gain experience)
So I sat there, wondering how on earth to go about JUST starting. I thought, ‘Ok this isn’t working, I need to write FOR someone’.
Then the answer came to me…
Did I have any connections, family, friends, or any small businesses that would be HAPPY to have ANY writing done for free? Could I offer them 3 pieces of work, in return for experience and their consent to add it to my writing portfolio?
A no-brainer offer: If they liked the pieces and they performed well for them I would do more for payment.
Even if they didn’t like the work, I would gain valuable experience and feedback to improve.
So after some thought, I approached the owner of a small business. I had spoken to Steven only a handful of times in the past. I knew he was interested in starting a blog which sparked my idea.
I made the offer to write him 3 blog posts for FREE. If he thought they were valuable we could discuss payment for future blogs.
Steve was keen on this idea. So I wrote those 3 blogs. He loved them.
At this point, I had noticed he had no email marketing going on at all!
So did some research and I asked him to hop on a call with me, and said, ‘Look, I can help you get more sales. Interested?’
He’d read my blogs, he’d seen the value and he knew I could deliver.
We then moved on to discussing the payment.
So let me break it down for you…
- Have confidence
- Read and learn
- START writing immediately
- Use what you already have
- Look for opportunities
This is just MY success story, but it worked so it could work for you.
Continue Reading: 10 Must-reads for copywriters
About the author
Amanda Dexter is a copywriter and content creator who spends her life travelling the world. You can usually find her on a laptop in a quirky little coffee shop, sipping a latte macchiato by morning… or high up in the mountains riding a bike come late afternoon.