To be honest, I feel like copywriting found me, not the other way around! I’ve always loved writing and incorporated it into my life in one way or another, but I never thought I’d be a full-time copywriter. Yet here I am, 1.5 years in and loving it! As I’ve journeyed deeper into this career, people have asked me how I got started and how they too can get started in copywriting. And while I’m not an expert or a career coach, I do have a few tips/thoughts on the matter to share with you today:
When I was first starting out, I wrote my website and my parent’s company website to practice, well, writing websites. Gotta start somewhere, right?! I also did service trades with a few other service providers who were just starting out and needed copy. I wrote a photographer’s website in exchange for some brand photos, and a brand designer’s website in exchange for a logo (the very same logo I have today!). Just write, write, write and don’t worry about getting paid the big bucks at the start, if you can swing it. Those will follow naturally as your skills and reputation develop.
After every project, no matter how small or how little you were paid ($0.00 projects included), ALWAYS ask for a testimonial from the client. You can display and share those testimonials as a way to build genuine credibility and start attracting higher paying clients. I think my first testimonial was from my friend, whose website I wrote for like $50! But it gets that proverbial ball rolling while building your confidence.
I know how weird it feels to start posting about your business on personal social media accounts that currently only your aunt and friends from high school follow. But you never know who needs your services or knows someone who does! Aunt Sue might have a friend with a big business who is willing to pay you for your skills. Whats more, the longer you post about business-related content on, say, Instagram, the more you will attract an audience who is interested in learning about and buying your services.
It can also feel odd to build a website when you don’t feel like you have a real business yet. But it’s a crucial part in attracting clients and convincing them you know your stuff—and you take yourself seriously! So go ahead and build that site (and get a real domain while you’re at it) and be sure to include a portfolio page. Add any projects you’ve done for others, and make up projects for yourself to add as well! This is totally normal and ethical, as long as you label the made up ones as ‘Spec’ Projects so people know you didn’t get paid to do it for the company. This is a great way to demonstrate your skill and versatility as a writer!
What do you think? Feeling a bitter better about getting started? I know it’s scary, but just do one thing per day and trust me, it will snowball. And if you’d like a more in-depth explanation of my journey into copywriting, check out the IG Live on it I did here!