Do you dream of words every night? Do phrases and slogans ‘pop’ into your mind as your zipping down the highway? You’re fascinated with words and love writing; you can start your own copywriting business. With time and perseverance, you could have a lucrative career as a freelance copywriter.
How to start your own copywriting business?
Understand that copywriting is a business. You must be comfortable with being your own boss and sales and marketing. You must be comfortable with speaking to clients and meeting new prospects through networking events. If you always wanted to be your own boss then begin your own copywriting business.
Take copywriting courses. You can enroll in classes at your local community college or adult education center. You can also take courses from AWAI.
Save your ‘junk’ mail. Don’t throw out the weekly flyers and direct mail magazines you receive. Use them to get an idea of how to write catchy headlines and taglines. Start a file and keep them as a reference.
Purchase books on copywriting. Build a copywriting reference library. Purchase books on copywriting and writing in general. Include The Chicago Manual of Style and AP books in your library.
Select a ‘niche’ market. Are you passionate about animals? Do you love hair salons and spas? Are you a health nut? Are you technology junkie? Do you love PR firms? Some people believe it’s best to choose a ‘niche’ because it’s easier to become an expert in your chosen area. Think about your life and products and services you purchase. If you’re constantly working out then you may want to be an exclusive copywriter for fitness and health centers along with health food stores. Once you get your foot in the door, you can expand to other niche markets. If you have enough copywriting business to sustain you every month, you won’t have to seek out other markets.
Create an inviting home office. Make sure you like your home office because you’ll be spending a lot of time in it. You may consider consulting a Feng Shui expert to achieve the ‘perfect’ chi or energy for your office. Paint the wall a serene color and add accents like artwork, an overstuffed chair, a couch, table, and other accessories.
Determine your rates. What are you worth? Try not to create your rates based on the rates of another copywriter. You can use another writer’s rate sheet as a guide but skills vary from person from person. For example, you may have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. which means you have more education and experience. Only you can determine your worth. Also, you must determine if you’ll charge by the word, hour, or project. Sometimes it’s better to quote based on the project. Use your judgment.
Create a website and online portfolio. Of course, you’ll need a website to attract clients and to showcase your copywriting samples. Most clients will request samples of your work. You can direct them to your websites’ portfolio page.
Sales and Marketing. Social media is an economical way to market your copywriting business. Promote your work through Facebook and Twitter. Use LinkedIn to build your network and connect with other copywriters, PR people, advertising executives, and others who may need your copywriting services.
You may want to hold onto your day job because it will take time to build your copywriting business. It’s good to start your copywriting business on the side. Make sure you keep it to yourself because some employers ‘frown’ upon moonlighting employees. However, with steady perseverance and a positive attitude, you’ll have a successful copywriting business and will be able to quit your day job in no time.
What’s holding you back from starting your own copywriting business? Share.