How To Start A Copywriting Business (11 Easy Steps)

How To Start A Copywriting Business
How To Start A Copywriting Business (11 Easy Steps)

If you have a way with words, then you can use that to get established as a freelance copywriter. One of the great things about being a copywriter is that you don’t need a lot to get started at all.

You just need a laptop, a Word document, and an internet connection. Plus, you’ll soon see that every business needs copywriting services, so there’s plenty of demand.

11 Steps to Starting A Copywriting Business

Here’s how you can get started as a copywriter and become successful in your own business:

1. Get A Qualification

Now, you don’t technically need a qualification to get started as a copywriter. Many jobs out there won’t require you to have anything before you apply to them.

However, having a related qualification on your resume is going to help so much when it comes to landing those initial writing gigs.

When you have a qualification, you’ll be showing the potential client that you already have experience in writing, and know how to write copy that sells. That makes them more likely to take you on, and ensure that you can start earning.

If you already have a related qualification, such as a university degree, then you’re already ahead. A degree in English, journalism, or creative writing will go a long way here. If you don’t have a degree, you can search for copywriting courses online.

Look for a course from a reputable institution, as that will give your applications more weight when you get started.

2. Gather Your Tools

Once you have the qualifications, you’ll need the tools to get started as a copywriter. The great thing is that you don’t need an awful lot.

You’ll need a PC or laptop with an internet connection, as well as a program that allows you to create Word or Word-compatible documents.

Most likely, you’ll have all these things already. If you’re buying tools to start your business, ensure that you keep the receipts, as you’ll need them when you start doing your taxes.

At this point, you’ll want to also register your business with the appropriate authorities, so you’re ready once tax season comes around.

3. Decide On The Services That You’ll Be Selling

‘Copywriting’ is a very broad term, and you’ll need to narrow down just what kind of copywriting you’ll be focusing on. For example, you could be creating advertising copy, social media posts, website content, email marketing, and so on.

Consider where your strengths lie, as you’ll want to be focusing on the work that you can do to the best possible level.

As you get started, pick a niche that you can offer at first. This will help you get your business off the ground, as you’ll be able to reliably offer these services to new clients.

As time goes on, you’ll be able to add more strings to your bow and grow your business. For right now though, pick that niche and work in it so you can get started.

4. Decide Who Your Audience Is

The next step after deciding what you’ll be writing is deciding who you’ll be writing it for. When you first get started as a copywriter, it’s very easy to decide that you’ll simply create work for any client that will hire you.

It makes sense at first, as you need to start making money, so why would you turn a client down?

However, you do need to consider what you can create an excellent copy in. For example, you really love pets. You have years of experience in keeping and taking care of pets and can easily talk or write about the subject.

As such, you could use that experience in your copywriting. If you look for clients that are looking for writers to cover pet care, then you can show them the experience you have and channel that into the work that you create for them.

If you take the first client that comes along, you could find yourself writing copy that you don’t have experience in, or that you’re not interested in. As such, you’ll find it harder to write good copy and keep getting those clients.

It’s better to nail down who you want your client to be now, so you can get the work that suits you.

5. Create A Sales Pitch

With these last two steps out of the way, you’re now ready to create a sales pitch for your business. It may feel rather strange to write about yourself in this way, but remember that you’re offering your services as your business.

If you’re not able to pitch your own business, then how can you do that for anyone else? The best way to write a sales pitch is, to be honest about who you are and what you do. It’s like any other sales transaction.

You want to be honest as you want the customer to get what they were expecting when they hire you. If you’re honest and tell them exactly what you can do, then that’s going to go a long way toward getting you some happy clients.

You don’t even need to worry if you’re brand new at what you’re doing. If you want to create a long-term relationship with a business, then you’ll see a lot of them are looking for clients who are much newer to the business.

That’s because these writers can be trained to write in a style that’s ideal for the business, so you’re actually the perfect writer for them. Don’t be afraid to show that you’ve not been in the copywriting business long, as often it’s not a detriment.

6. Create Some Sample Pieces

When reaching out to potential clients, the vast majority of them will want to see samples of what you’ve done in the past. If you’re experienced, then you can just send over work that you’ve done in the past.

If you’re new though, it’s not a problem. After all, you’re a copywriter. You can simply write up some samples to show what you can do.

The key to writing good samples is to look at the content that the business has already put out there. For example, if they run a blog on their site, you can read through them and see what kind of things they want. You can then write how-to pieces, listicles, or instructional-type pieces for them.

Doing this will show a potential client that you’ve paid attention to who they are and what they do, and that you’re not sending out emails blindly. They’ll get a good view of how you write, and you’ll be able to show off your talents.

7. Create An Online Portfolio

You’re going to need somewhere online to show off your business and what you can do, so you can show it to any potential clients. Remember, if you get in touch with any clients then they’re going to Google your name to see who you are and what you do.

If you have a profile online they’ll find that first, and see the work that you do. As such, it’s a very good idea to set up social media profiles for your business. That includes sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on.

You’ll also want to create profiles on sites like Upwork, where clients often go looking for copywriters that could help them. As well as this, you can create your own website to host your portfolio.

That acts as a hub site for all the other links that you’ll have online and will look professional to those that search for you. When you create a site, you’ll want to have some good branding in place.

Simply having a logo, a good color palette, and the right fonts will go a long way. The better your branding, the more professional you’ll look.

You don’t have to be an expert to create a website, either. There are lots of services, such as Squarespace, that will have templates to help you build your site and make it better.

8. Work Out Your Rates

This is potentially the hardest part of setting up your own copywriting business. When you set up your website and accounts, you’ll need to be able to post your rates.

However, search for what copywriters charge online and you’ll see a huge array of prices. Where should you set yours?

Firstly, you should consider how you’ll charge your clients. Typically, most copywriters will charge by the word. Some though will charge by post, by the hour, and so on. What would be best for the kind of work that you’ll do?

Now, you need to work out what that charge will be. It’s very tempting to set it low, so you’ll make yourself more attractive as a new copywriter. This is a strategy that will shoot you in the foot, though.

Many clients will see those low rates and actually find it suspicious. It’s like buying anything online, if it’s so cheap, what’s the catch? Plus, those low rates may not cover all your costs.

When considering your rates, you need to take things like your rent, utilities, living expenses, and so on into consideration. How much do you need to make in order to live comfortably? Create a realistic rate for your writing, so you’ll get paid what you’re worth.

9. Create A Contract And Invoicing Template

This is something you’ll want to have in place before you get started, especially if you’re going to be interacting with businesses directly. Having these templates allows you to quickly put these documents together, as and when needed.

Having a contract is vital, as it lays out the expectations for both parties involved. That way, each side should know just what is needed from them to make the relationship between them work.

There are lots of guides as to how to create a contract online, so you can draw up something that gives you what you need.

The same goes for invoices, too. You’ll typically be sending a lot of invoices, so having a template to hand is always helpful. Again, you can find templates online and amend them to suit your specific needs.

10. Set Up An Accounting System

One of the last steps you’ll need to take is setting up an accounting system before you can get started. Once money starts coming in from your work, you’ll need a way of monitoring all your incoming money as well as any related outgoings.

That way, you’ll find it easier to complete your taxes every year. You can hire an accountant to help you with this if you choose to.

If you’re looking to reduce costs then you can handle the bookkeeping yourself. Again, there are lots of guides online, so this won’t be too difficult.

11. Start Finding Clients

You’ve done all the groundwork, so you’re ready to get out there and start finding some clients. This is the most daunting prospect, but once you’ve managed to get a client or two you’ll see it gets a lot easier.

Many new copywriters choose to use online freelancer sites, such as UpWork, to get started. These have a lot of benefits, as you can search for jobs directly through the site, and all contracting and invoicing are handled by the site itself.

They will take a cut of your earnings for doing so, so make sure you’re aware of this when you’re discussing pricing with a potential client.

You’ll also be able to start looking for clients directly. There are plenty of ways you can do this. Having that website set up will direct clients to you, so they’ll contact you in the first instance.

You can also attend networking events, or send marketing pitches to businesses you think would be interested in your services.

While there are a few steps involved before you can actually start writing, you’ll see that it’s easier than you’d think to get set up as a copywriter. If you understand your own strengths and market yourself correctly, you can find real success.

Author Bio
Jenny Han is a writer for Essay Writing Service. She writes about strategies for new and established copywriters.

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