How to Get Started in Copywriting (Selling Words For Profit)
Late in the evening of November 4, 2010, I was stressed out and looking for ways to make extra money. I glanced around the internet and landed on Elance.com. I found a posting made by a gentleman who wanted a writer for his website. I sent him a message and explained why I was the guy for the job. He interviewed me and agreed to hire me to write for him.
That was the beginning.
Later I learned the big money was found in copywriting. What is copywriting? Good question. Copywriting is putting salesmanship in print. You write words that sell.
We’ll get more into the weeds of being a copywriter but for now let’s fast forward to…
How to get clients to hire you
The first sale you need to make is to sell your services to the client with the words you write.
Here’s an easy formula when writing to a client:
- The First sentence should state the reason WHY they should give you the time of day.
- Second sentence should mention WHAT you have to offer. Give them something for free (Example: sample of your writing).
- Third sentence should state your level of experience.
- Fourth sentence should state HOW to proceed with working with you.
- Fifth sentence should state a guarantee showing you are willing to put YOUR money where your mouth is.
Play around with the above structure until clients start hiring you. Eventually you’ll find a formula that works for you. When I started I sent 100 proposals out on a monthly basis until I found a formula that got response from clients. Test what works for you.
How to increase your fees
Negotiate the price. Before I knew any better I used to write for any amount named by the client. Believe it or not I wrote for as low as $50. That was painful. The work was laborious and the client didn’t seem focused on the project. Finally one day a client saw some of my samples and suggested I work on a different project other than the one he posted.
He asked how much it would be for me to write a letter similar to my samples. I told him I was going to charge him $3,700 to do the project he originally posted but for this new project I could do it for $2,700.
Now mind you at this point in my career I never got paid more than $75 for a project.
The client paused for a moment. He came back and asked if I would be willing to do the project for $1,000. I almost fell out my chair. I would have done the project for $100. But by this time in my writing career so many people complemented me on my work that I figured I was charging too low, which was true.
I put my acting voice on trying not to sound too eager and said, “You know what…do you have other projects available in the future as well?” He respond, “Yes, I have some projects you can work on in the future in addition to this one.”
“Well in that case, I’ll do this one for $1,000”
And that’s how I increased my fees.
You can do the same.