How To Get Copywriting Clients in 30 Days or Less
Freelance copywriting can be hard when you are just starting out.
I have been copywriting for almost 4 years now but I can remember what it was like to just be starting out like it was yesterday.
I remember sitting down at my local coffee shop, ready to work, with absolutely no clue on where to start.
- Where do I find new clients?
- How do I follow up with them?
- Would someone really hire me?
Don’t worry. After being in the trenches for years, I have learned the ropes to land more clients.
I am now in a place where I get messaged for copywriting work and I have to turn down clients because I have too much work on my plate. I want to pass along some of the knowledge I learned to help people who are looking to grow their copywriting business.
I am not going to sugar coat it.
Landing new clients is hard work.
You really have to go after it.
But if you are ready to move, I can give you some actionable tips to make it easier. Follow my advice and I would not be surprised if you landed a client within the next 30 days.
So, pull up chair and chime in.
And without further ado…
Step 1: Update Your LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business oriented social media platform that has helped me land my first client when I was starting out. LinkedIn is a great place to build a professional presence/brand that showcases your work to the people you are connected with.
When I was traveling through Bangkok, Thailand, I met this entrepreneur named Marcell. He told me Agoda, a huge travel company in Asia, had reached out to him on LinkedIn and flew him out from the United States to Bangkok multiple times for a work opportunity. I was astonished.
He asked to add me on LinkedIn and I gave him my “I don’t’ really use LinkedIn that much” spiel. He warned that I was missing out on a lot of business opportunities by not being on LinkedIn and he gave me some tips to improve.
He advised to treat my profile page as a “sales landing page”. Here are some quick tips he gave me to give my LinkedIn profile a face lift:
Get over 500 connections: There are a few perks to hitting that golden number of 500 connections on LinkedIn. First, you will appear in more searches when companies look for people in your profession. If you have common connections, you will appear higher up in the search engine results. Second, it gives you credibility. You will be seen as an expert in your field if you have over 500 connections on your LinkedIn profile. Doesn’t it give you more credibility when someone sees that you have 500+ connections rather than 45 connections? Start adding everyone you know!
Get testimonials: You can ask for past clients or people you have worked with to endorse you for some skills (100 endorsements for a skill is the magic number), and write or record you some testimonials. If you do not had any past clients, ask your friends to endorse you. There is a section where you can add media and video testimonials are really powerful.
Profile Summary: Write a clear profile summary.
Answer and write three main sections:
- Who you are:
- What you do:
- How you can help:
Make a Good First Impression: Write an enticing headline. This section reflects your personal brand. Tell people what you do in your unique way. The headline, along with your profile photo, is the first impression people will get when they view your profile. It is imperative to get some professional headshots done and use them as your profile picture.
Action steps: All you need to do is spend a couple of hours a day updating your LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn gives you an online presence and some credibility to your clients who have probably never met you before. Get going. You will thank me later.
Step 2: Tell Everybody
Grab the low-hanging fruit by leveraging your personal network.
Tell EVERYBODY what you do.
Maybe one of your family members or friends needs some copywriting services done.
Or maybe, someone you know, knows somebody that needs some copywriting done.
Get out there and let people know what you do!
How are people going to know that you offer copywriting services if you do not let people know??
Simply, they would not know.
Advertise your services to all your family and friends and see if you can get connected with someone who will need your services. This may require you to step out of your comfort zone. Selling my services made me feel uncomfortable at first. I did not want to feel like I was bothering my friends and family by selling what I did to them.
I overcame that by reframing how I viewed my “selling”. Instead of thinking of it in terms of selling my services, I thought of it as helping someone who needs my services. People need great written content to accomplish their goals and you can help them accomplish their goals with your services.
It is a win/win.
Action steps: Let people know what you are doing. Talk to your family and friends and ask for any referrals. You can start by posting on all your social media channels.
The post can be as simple as:
“Hi everyone, I am doing some freelance copywriting (writing articles, direct response copywriting, writing website content, etc). If you, or anyone you know, needs some copywriting services, feel free to DM me and we can chat :-)”
Step 3: Go to Local Marketing Events
I actually landed my first client while attending a digital marketing event in my city.
As I mingled, I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of people’s eye lit up when I told them I was a copywriter. This really eased my nerves and it made me realize that my skills were in demand. Digital marketing companies and start-ups always need great content written for their clients or for themselves.
To be honest, I didn’t even attend the event with the sole intention of finding a new client… I was scared to attend the event by myself, but I went anyways just to check it out.
I was just offered work when I told people I was a copywriter!
You might also want to read “How to write a Series of Blog Posts“.
A quick tip: I would advise you to NOT just use business cards. I would recommend asking to connect on LinkedIn on the spot instead (it’s a good thing your LinkedIn will look really nice!). After connecting on LinkedIn, you can follow up with them and send them your work samples through that platform. By connecting on LinkedIn, the people you meet will see your face, remember who you are, and what you do. This will make it a lot easier for you to follow up!
Action steps: Research local marketing meetups and events in your city and start attending them. In my experience, the events where I captured the most leads were the events where local digital marketing companies attended. It was a different kind of crowd than the big “world renown company” events. You can still test it out, but I just personally had more luck attending events hosted by local digital marketing companies.
Step 4: Reach out to Digital Marketing Companies
As I stated earlier, a lot of digital marketing companies need great content written.
Look up digital marketing companies and do some cold emails.
Here is a process I use:
1. Start with a Google search. Search up terms like: best digital marketing company san diego, web design company san diego, startups in san diego, etc.
2. Start building a list of prospects. I would advise you to use Google sheets or Microsoft excel to keep track of potential prospects and their status. Build a big list of potential clients.
3. Create an email template: Write an email template that quickly introduces yourself and your services. You want your emails to come off as authentic and not like some template!
4. Pitch away!: pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch. It really is a numbers game. The more people you send emails to, the more chances you will have of landing a client.
Some quick tips:
- I like to target internet marketing companies that use Google AdWords to advertise. It tells me that they invest in their own advertising and that they must be doing pretty well to afford advertising.
- I would try to find out the person’s first name before I send a cold email. I do NOT want the email to start off with just “Hi,”. Instead it will be “Hi George,” The person is more likely to open and read your email if there is a name.
Action steps: Try to hold yourself accountable to send 20 emails a day for the next 30 days. That would be 600 emails in the next 30 days and if only 5% of them respond that will be 30 clients. I am pretty sure you will be able to close one of those 30 clients, even if you do not have any sales experience.
Step 5: Apply on Job Boards
Find clients by looking out for advertisements with people who are already searching for copywriters! Look up job boards such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com.
I actually have a copywriter friend that does really well by using Upwork. He told me it was a lot of work to gain some traction initially. He had to fight tooth and nail for good reviews. Now, he has so many people reaching out to him, that he is not even able to open up their emails.
A quick tip: A lot of these websites require you to apply to be a freelancer on the platform. I know I had a hard time getting my profile up. A little trick you can do is to create a profile optimized for a less competitive freelance service like “customer service”. After you are given a profile, switch back to a copywriter profile.
Action Steps: Sign up for a profile and start pitching your services to potential clients. Again, try to find the potential client’s first name in the pitch. You can potentially find this out by looking through their project history. Some freelancers will write in their review of their client: “Nancy was great to work with!” Badabing badaboom. There you have it.
Here are my tips to landing a copywriting client within the next 30 days. Some final words of advice: If you do not have samples starting out, you might have to write a high quality article for free to use as a sample. Cold email and pitch people to work for free just to get you started.
After finishing up with a client, ask for referrals. They will be more than willing to give you some referrals if they are happy with your work.
Best of luck as you commence through your freelance journey. Stay positive, keep pushing through, and I promise you will start landing some clients 🙂