This is a broadview list. I’ll be breaking each item down with greater detail over the next few weeks, but this is the overview of what you need to do to build a successful freelance copywriting business.
1. Know what a copywriter is. This is not an article about how to become a freelance journalist! A commercial copywriter writes the content for individuals, businesses and companies to support their marketing, advertising and/or promotional needs including: websites, blogs, ads, brochures, marketing packages, annual reports, speeches and on and on.
2. Figure out your niche. Everyone will ask you what it is, so have an answer – even if it’s that you’re a generalist. However, niches can be quite powerful in this business. What are your strengths, where is your expertise?
3. Get the tools you need. Critically, you need a computer, a phone, email and an internet connection amongst other things.
4. Create a portfolio. You will need to showcase your work, your skills and your style. This can be print or electronic (I’d have both…and I do.)
5. Develop marketing materials. You absolutely need a website and a business card. You just do, and I already wrote a bit about this topic.
6. Let the people know you exist. When I started out, I used a highly targeted direct mail campaign and had a 13% return rate (2% is the average). There are several ways to accomplish this and other self-promotion feats.
7. Start somewhere. Even if it’s volunteering your services. Get writing, build a reputation, do good work.
8. Keep learning. If I hadn’t been hungry for new information and allowed my business to grow…who knows where I’d be right now. My openness to expansion (of skills, mind and company) has been key to my success. Read everything you can, follow the advice that resonates with you.