You have a flair with words. You enjoy writing and marketing. You’re interested in psychology, and read junk mail with interest. If this sounds like you, you may be ready for a copywriting career.
Copywriting is lucrative, because it’s salesmanship in words. If you can sell therefore, you can make a great deal of money as a copywriter.
Your new business is easy to set up: get a couple of clients, and get paid, and your business is launched.
You don’t need an office, and there are no specific requirements for this kind of home-based, creative business that I’m aware of, anywhere in the world. However, you do need to pay taxes, no matter where you live. So keep good records of your income and expenses, and see an accountant as soon as you can.
Beginning copywriters have many questions. The most popular question is: “how long until I make money?”
How Long Does It Take to Build a Copywriting Business?
I started writing copy by accident, in the early 1980s. At the time, I considered myself a romance novelist, and wrote magazine articles. I wrote copy purely as a favor for business colleagues.
My name got passed around. My income from copywriting grew. This woke me up to the potential of this new avocation, so I took courses in marketing and public relations. Then I had a new career.
Although it took me years, it won’t take you nearly as long to set up your business. I started writing copy way before the Web; communications was via phone, fax and postal mail. Those of my students who have marketing and writing experience have set up their business and have money coming in within a month.
Here are some tips if you want to set up your business, and start making money quickly.
* Everything you do for your copywriting business is cumulative. Tell as many people as you can about your new business. The more people who know what you do, the more clients you will get.
* Promote your new business: write press releases, call prospective clients, and most importantly, set up a website.
* Network. By all means use social networking sites like Twitter. However, you also need to network in person. Find out where and when your local chamber of commerce has its meetings, and attend. You’re a business person. In addition to making contacts, you’ll learn a lot at these events.
* Join Google+. Because — Google. When a local business is looking for a copywriter, and types your name into Google, they should be able to find you.
* Write anything and everything you’re asked to write. Get testimonials by asking for them. Ask intelligently, with leading questions.
Here’s what I mean by “leading questions”. If you wait for a client to send you a testimonial, you’ll wait forever. Get on the phone and tell your client that you’re chatting with him so he can give you a testimonial. Ask things like: “Would you say I did a good job on the project? Did you enjoy working with me? Would you work with me again?”
Your flair with words can take you a long way. If it takes you in the direction of a copywriting career, welcome to the fold. You’ll work hard, but you’ll meet interesting people. And you’ll make a great income from your writing too.
* Remember the numbers. When you’re starting out, you’re starting from zero. It’s hard to get something moving initially. Your activities take time to pay off. And the more active you are, the bigger the pay off. Remember — every copywriter who’s making six figures a year started out where you are. We all started from zero. Here’s all you need to do to be successful — keep going.
Updated: June 16, 2014
I updated the post to mention additional tips, including social media networking.
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