Want to start your very own copywriting business? Well, look no further because this article will break it down for you step-by-step so you can get right to it. Plus, I’ll be giving you some refreshing advice you might not find elsewhere so stay tuned!
When looking to start a copywriting business, you might have a lot of questions. From how much to charge for your services, to what niche you should be in. Well, this article will take you through all that and help you start your journey into becoming a successful copywriter this year and beyond.
How to start a copywriting business
First, let’s outline what a copywriter is, so we’re all on the same page.
What is a copywriter?
A copywriter produces written work in the form of persuasive marketing and promotional material. The aim of this writing is to persuade someone to take some sort of action. This action could be purchasing a product, signing up to an email list, or filling out a form.
That’s the broad description of what a copywriter does, but this can spread across many different forms. So let’s address your copywriting niche or speciality next.
Deciding on your copywriting niche or speciality
Before you even think about setting up your website (I just know you’re itching to!), the first thing you’ll need to do is to pick your copywriting niche or speciality.
This is important because, in order to figure out who your ideal client is, first, you’re going to need to decide on what you do.
The area of expertise or niche you go into will be determined by your experience, interests and/or what you want to learn. For example, you could be a copywriter who offers any of the following types of copywriting:
- Website copy
- Blog posts or articles
- Sales page copy
- Email marketing
- Product descriptions
- White papers
- Press releases
- Social media copy
- And more
This step shouldn’t be rushed. It’s more important than you think to really make sure your chosen area of expertise is going to work hard for you.
In fact, as a copywriter, it’s even more important that you pick one of these areas to be your niche and specialise in it. It will help you gain new clients when you have a speciality, instead of being a jack of all trades.
Services to offer as a copywriter
Now you’ve decided your niche or specialism, you’ll then want to decide what services you’re going to offer as a copywriter.
This entirely depends on the niche you’re in, but I’d recommend starting with just one service. This will be your signature or flagship service that’s very specific and tailored to your ideal client. Trust me when I say, it’s easier to perfect one service than have three services that don’t work so well.
You’ll want to make sure the service you offer is something that will either save your potential client time, or make your potential client money.
These two things are the key to any successful service. Clients want you to achieve one, or both of these things for them so make sure your service delivers.
Your freelance copywriter rates
Let’s move onto pricing.
How much you charge clients for the work you do depends on the value you provide within your service.
Here’s an example. If you were a copywriter offering email marketing copy for online course creators, you could word your service in one of two ways.
- I offer email marketing copy for busy course creators. I create custom email funnels that are designed to convert readers into sales.
- I help online course creators reach their next level of income with optimised email funnels designed to convert on the fence readers into motivated and inspired students.
I hope you can see the difference here. The first talks about the basic features of the service, the second talks about the benefits it will bring. Which of the above would you pay more for?
The second right?
Of course, you can compare your rates to others in your niche and industry. But in reality, what you charge is reflected in the value you provide. Have that in mind when deciding your prices.
Setting up your copywriter website
This is perhaps one of the least important steps on this list (even though I know you’re excited to get it done).
Believe it or not but you don’t need a fancy website with tons of blog posts and content to be successful as a copywriter.
In fact, all you need is a simple website which ticks a few boxes.
Rather than go into this in detail now, bookmark this post to read once you’ve finished this one.
That post talks about the 5 things your business website needs to turn visitors into customers. Those 5 things are simple and you don’t need a designer or developer to help you do them. In fact, as a copywriter, you should have a leg up on everyone else.
How to find clients as a copywriter
You have everything set up, now it’s time to find clients to pitch your services to.
Here’s where my advice might differ from other people’s:
- I don’t think you should set up any social media accounts (unless you’re offering social media services)
- I don’t think you should build an email list
- I don’t even think you should be blogging to get new clients (unless you’re offering that as a service and even then, keep it to a minimum)
The fastest way to get yourself up and running (whether you’re just starting, or as you go) is to invest your time in cold emailing potential clients.
Social media is saturated, takes years to see results and a massive time-investment for you and your business. When you’re struggling to find new clients, you need something quicker, far more reliable and that you can control. Cold emailing is that thing.
How to start a copywriting business with no experience
If you’re just starting out, you might not have all that much experience. If that’s the case, here are some things you can do:
- Create made-up examples:
- As a copywriter, you have the ability to create copywriting examples and showcase them with relative ease. So start creating case studies based on made-up clients. Make sure they relate to the clients you actually want and take it from there. This is how I started copywriting.
- Ask your existing network:
- You have a network whether you realise it or not. It probably consists of your friends, family, maybe people you currently work with. Ask around, is there anybody you can help in the short term for less money, that will give you an example to add to your portfolio?
Believe it or not, but you don’t need a huge number of portfolio examples for potential clients to work with you. You just need a few as proof that what you do works.
So don’t get hung up on creating examples and experience and instead, get to work finding those clients.
Don’t forget the important stuff
Setting up your copywriting business should be enjoyable, but you mustn’t forget about the important stuff.
Making sure you have a contract to send clients once they agree to work with you is vitally important and making sure you manage your incomings and outgoings is too.
So if you need some extra assistance, here are some more resources to get you going:
- How to Build Money Confidence as a Service-based Business Owner
- Why the Term ‘Dream Client’ is Damaging Your Business
- 3 Types of Blog Posts You Should be Writing for Your Service-based Business
So, are you going to start a copywriting business this year? Leave me a comment below because I’d love to hear from you!