Freelance Copywriting: 12 Tips To Help You Build Your Freelance Copywriting Services Business

Copyright (c) 2006 by Angela Booth

Summary: Freelance copywriting is a services business, and like every other business person, you need to build your business. These 12 tips show you how to build your business, and become a better copywriter too.

Freelance copywriting is a services business, and like every other business person, you need to build your business.

Here are 12 tips to help you:

1. Know how business works
The more you know about how business works, the better you'll be at writing copy.

Every area has a community college. Take some evening classes in small business development and marketing. Not only will you learn how to run your own small business, but you'll also get an insight into the way your clients think.

Read a couple of books on psychology. As a copywriter (or any kind of writer for that matter) your education never ends.

2. Get passionate about reading copy as well as writing copy
Read magazine advertising with the same interest you read the articles. Read your junk mail.

Your own energy and drive, or the lack of it, will come through in whatever you write, so it's vital that you're enthusiastic about what you do.

3. Write copy for free, as practice for your portfolio, and for promotion, but NEVER give it away
Your motto should be: "if it's free, it's for me". Put your good work into your portfolio.

The only time you should write for "free" is for self-promotion. In that case it's hardly for free, since it's advertising for your business.

4. Write other stuff as well
Get comfortable with other forms of writing. Every other kind of writing you do, whether it's short stories, novels, or magazine articles, will inform your copywriting skills.

5. Market your copywriting services
Marketing never ends, and it doesn't matter what kind of marketing you do, as long as you do it consistently.

6. Get on the books of advertising and PR agencies
Advertising and other agencies get busy, and out-source work. Some agencies are good, and others are pathetic, but it's worth getting on the books of as many as you hear about. Even if an agency only gets you one job a year, being on their books is useful for the number of contacts you can make.

7. Be prepared to write lots of proposals
Learn how to write proposals, and write them for the companies you're interested in working for. Writing proposals isn't difficult, and it's much more effective than sending out your CV.

8. Get a Web site
You need a Web site. It's much easier (and cheaper) to refer someone to your Web site than it is to send out bulky folders of material.

As you market, you'll contact many people who'll say: "Send me a brochure". Nine out of ten of these people just want to get you off the phone. Refer them to your Web site.

9. Browse the Internet
Don't surf aimlessly. Be critical. Look at a company's Web site and ask yourself whether you could help the company to do more business. Then email them a proposal.

10. Browse your local papers
When you're starting out as a copywriter, read your local papers and get to know the companies in your local area.

Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Meet other business people. Scan their marketing material. Make friends. Remember that people prefer to do business with people they know, so get known.

11. Know it's a numbers game
All marketing is a numbers game. Marketing is a vital part of your copywriting business. If you don't market, just like any other business, you won't have a business.

12. Be confidently casual: if you can write a coherent letter, you can write copy
As you work to develop your skills, and as you market, have confidence in yourself. Copywriting is a skill, and few people have that skill. Be proud of yourself and what you do.

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Angela Booth is a veteran freelance writer and copywriter. She also teaches writing. Visit her blogs - Angela Booth's Writing Blog at
http://// and Fab Freelance Writing at for daily writing inspiration and motivation. Her new ebook, Writing For The Web at http://www.//Web_Write/Web_write.html shows you that you CAN write for the Web, the new unlimited marketplace for writers.