10 Ways to Find Your First Copywriting Clients - Make a Living Writing (2023)

Evan Tice

10 Ways to Find Your First Copywriting Clients - Make a Living Writing (1)

by Carol Tice

I’ve frequently discussed the virtues of adding some copywriting to your freelance-writing mix. But, many writers ask, how do I get started as a copywriter? Most copywriters break in by writing for a small, local business in their town.

The good news: Small businesses that need marketing help are everywhere.

(Video) Finding A Copywriting Client LIVE & Writing A Trial Email

Here are 10 ways to find your first business writing assignments:

1) Friends and family. Tell everyone you know you’re available to write for businesses. Let them know the types of copywriting work that interest you, whether it’s brochures, white papers, direct mail sales letters, or Web content.

2) Businesses you patronize. As you go about your daily life, you interact with many small businesses. You see a chiropractor, shop at a local organic grocer, or take your kids to a gym. These are all natural places for you to connect with business owners. Your secret weapon—you already know and like the business! You could also do a barter deal for writing work since you’re already a customer.

3) Your local downtown. Walk the business district of your neighborhood or visit the local chamber of commerce and pick up all their current brochures or fliers. Call or stop in at the ones that have weak marketing materials, introduce yourself as a copywriter, and ask if they’d like help creating more powerful messages.

4) Your local business park. Companies in industrial parks tend to be medium-sized or bigger, and in fairly low-glamour businesses — meaning they’re prime copywriting targets. They need to get out the word, as they don’t have a shop on Main Street customers can see. Also, they tend to get hit up less, so the competition isn’t as stiff. Before you knock on doors and introduce yourself, drive through once and write down all the company names. Go home and look at their Web sites (or discover they don’t have one), so you have something to talk about when you come back and try to meet the business owners.

(Video) How to land $2,000 copywriting clients (Live Walkthrough)

5) Business networking events. Wherever large groups of business owners gather in your town—the local Chamber luncheon, weekly networking group, LinkedIn meetup, or whatever—you want to be there.

6) Social media. Work your networks and online forums and let them know you’re open for copywriting work. Find prospect companies and follow them — strike up a conversation, study their Web site, maybe provide some useful marketing-article links, then make your pitch. Use your blog to discuss your quest for copywriting work. Try InMail on LinkedIn — LI reports it has an impressive 30 percent response rate.

7) In niche industries you know. This is an easy way to identify prospects, particularly if you’re looking for work blogging or writing other online content. If you have an area of expertise, look at the Web sites of all the local businesses in that niche. Then call the companies with the worst Web sites and mention the most glaring omission in their marketing plan — might they need a blog, a white paper, case studies?

8. Through content-site profiles. While I don’t recommend trying to earn by bidding on projects on content sites such as Elance or Guru.com, it can be worthwhile to leave a profile on these heavily-trafficked sites. Small businesses looking for writers do scan these sites, and may find you and approach you off the site and hire you. I recently went on an interview to ghost a CEO’s book, and the company found me through an old Guru profile I’d forgotten all about!

9) At print publications. Magazines’ article assignments are often the tip of an iceberg at a publisher. There may be opportunities to write advertorial articles for the magazine’s advertisers, or to create special advertising sections. They may put on conferences that need marketing materials, or have a “custom publishing” arm that helps companies create training courses or books that commemorate company milestones.

(Video) 3 EASY Ways To Get Copywriting Clients (No Experience Needed)

10) By creating a sample. If you’re really stuck for a first client, create a marketing piece about your copywriting services. You can then use this as a mailer to send to prospects. Having a sample in front of them should help you sign up that first client. Personally, when I broke into copywriting in 2005, I used a variant of #2. I called on companies I had written about in my staff-writing job at a business journal to let them know I was leaving the paper. (Many folks do this when they leave a company to freelance, by turning around and freelancing for their former employer.) One of them asked me to ghost his blog and write advertorial articles for the company’s Web site. I made several thousand dollars over a few months’ time, and I was on my way.

If you’ve done copywriting, how did you first break in? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

10 Ways to Find Your First Copywriting Clients - Make a Living Writing (2)

This post originally appeared on the WM Freelance Writer’s Connection.

Photo via Flickr user ruthieonart

(Video) How To Land £1,000 Copywriting Clients [LIVE Walkthrough]

(Video) PROOF! How These 9 Beginner Copywriters Found Their FIRST Client


How do you attract copywriting clients? ›

5 proven ways to get copywriting clients on demand.
  1. Send cold pitches. A lot of freelancers balk at the idea of sending cold pitches. ...
  2. Apply on copywriting job boards. ...
  3. Do guest posting. ...
  4. Tie up with agencies or other service providers. ...
  5. Speak at conferences (or at least attend them)

How do you land a copywriting job with no experience? ›

But how do you become a copywriter with no experience? You'll need a knowledgeable mentor, coach, or consultant who is a skilled copywriter. It's important to find someone who has found success in copywriting, to transfer their knowledge and skills to you.

How can a beginner start copywriting? ›

18 Ultimate Copywriting Tips for Beginners
  1. Keep Writing.
  2. Focus on Benefits, Not Features.
  3. Maintain Conversational Copy.
  4. Use Hemingway's Help.
  5. Tell Stories Whenever Possible.
  6. Do Competitor Research.
  7. Master Subject Matter.
  8. Know Your Value.
Oct 29, 2022

How do I get clients for no experience? ›

5 Strategies to Score Paying Clients When You Have No Experience
  1. Establish Yourself as the Go-To Expert. ...
  2. Network to Give Not Get. ...
  3. Mix Passive and Active Marketing Daily. ...
  4. Join Industry Facebook Groups and Forums. ...
  5. Create a Services Page ASAP.

Where can I get my first freelance client? ›

LinkedIn is a prime location to pick up your first client as a solopreneur, so the kind of content you need to post is that which accentuates your best skills and lets people know what you're up to work-wise. Twitter - More conversational than LinkedIn but definitely professional.

What are the 6 core copywriting skills? ›

6 Copywriting Skills You Need To Succeed, by Elisabeth Strasser
  • Research Skills. ...
  • Staying Up To Date. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Knowing Your Audience. ...
  • Awareness Of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ...
  • Ability To Hook The Reader.

What is the 6 core of copywriting? ›

Anytime you have a topic or assignment, start asking the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. You can trick yourself into being curious by answering those six essentials.

What are the best niches for copywriting? ›

What Kinds of Copywriting Niches Are Out There?
  • SEO Copywriting. ...
  • Digital Marketing Copywriting. ...
  • Ghostwriting. ...
  • Blog and Article Copywriting. ...
  • Advertising Copywriter. ...
  • UX Copywriter. ...
  • Digital Copywriter. ...
  • E-Commerce Copywriters.

Can I get a copywriter job with no experience? ›

If you have a knack for writing, you can become a copywriter even without any formal education or qualifications. However, copywriting is a competitive field, and you may have to develop specialised knowledge to ensure continued success.

What copywriting niches are profitable? ›

Medical copywriting, finance copywriting, legal copywriting, and tech copywriting aren't the only high paying copywriting niches out there, but in 2022, they're some of the most lucrative.

Is copywriting a rare skill? ›

Great copywriters are rare. They know how to use their writing skills to make people do what they want. So what skills do you need to become a great copywriter?

How much do beginner copywriters make? ›

How much does a Entry Level Copywriter make in the United States? The average Entry Level Copywriter salary in the United States is $54,501 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $49,201 and $61,301.

How do I sell myself as a copywriter? ›

How to Successfully Market Yourself as a Freelance Copywriter
  1. Start With Your Mindset.
  2. Create Marketing Assets.
  3. Find Marketing Channels.
  4. Build Your Network.
  5. Focus on a Niche.
  6. Don't Ignore Local Markets.
  7. Focus on Existing Clients, Too.
  8. Successfully Marketing Your Freelance Writing Business.
Apr 22, 2022

How much should a beginner copywriter charge per hour? ›

As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't charge less than $50 per hour when starting out. And don't bill by the half-hour. Set project minimums. So if your client asks for just one hour of your time, then charge her for two (or three…or four).

How do I get my first 10 clients? ›

How To Get Your First 10 Customers Onboard?
  1. Identify the need. ...
  2. Identify your market. ...
  3. Position your Product as the Answer. ...
  4. Identify your first customers. ...
  5. Use your Network for Acquiring First Customers. ...
  6. Founders do the marketing. ...
  7. Acquiring your first 10 customers through a Private Mailing List.
Feb 1, 2021

How do you attract clients quickly? ›

10 Ways to Get New Customers
  1. Ask for referrals. ...
  2. Network. ...
  3. Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
  4. Re-contact old customers. ...
  5. Improve your website. ...
  6. Partner with complementary businesses. ...
  7. Promote your expertise. ...
  8. Use online reviews to your advantage.
Apr 6, 2017

How do beginners get clients? ›

How to Find Your First Client: A Guide
  1. Educate yourself. The first key in getting clients is to know your market. ...
  2. Get an online presence. ...
  3. Leverage social media. ...
  4. Network. ...
  5. Use inbound marketing. ...
  6. Pet personal. ...
  7. Demonstrate value. ...
  8. Be consultative in your approach.
May 18, 2022

What are the 9 Steps to Start freelance? ›

How To Start Freelancing (Complete Beginner's Guide)
  1. Step 1: Get The Right Equipment. ...
  2. Step 2: Find A Marketable Skill. ...
  3. Step 3: Polish Up Your Skills. ...
  4. Step 4: Build Your Reputation. ...
  5. Step 5: Create A Portfolio. ...
  6. Step 6: Try Freelancing Part-Time. ...
  7. Step 7: Find The Right Freelance Platform. ...
  8. Step 8: Charge The Right Price.

How do I start freelance writing with no experience? ›

The best entry-level freelance writing jobs for beginners
  1. Rewrite local small-business websites. ...
  2. Find abandoned business blogs. ...
  3. Write business emails. ...
  4. Create a newsletter or brochure. ...
  5. Report articles for local news media. ...
  6. Write for local magazines. ...
  7. Turn your former employer into a client. ...
  8. Write for local marketing agencies.

How do I find the right clients? ›

  1. Look At Your Current Client Base. Rather than take a wild guess, take some time to work out the people you currently work with. ...
  2. Consider Their Current Habits. ...
  3. Identify Their Goals. ...
  4. Identify Their Fears. ...
  5. Identify How They Make Their Buying Decisions. ...
  6. Ask Yourself Who Would You Like To Work With. ...
  7. What Do They Need.
Apr 17, 2020

What are the four P's of copywriting? ›

The 4 Ps structure consists of promise, picture, proof, and push in place of the four elements of attention, interest, desire, and action. The 4 Ps provide more expansive elements than AIDA, which is why it's a favorite of many top copywriters, notably John Forde.

What are the hard skills of copywriter? ›

6 Important Skills For a Copywriter
  • Writing. Writing skills are specific abilities that help writers express their thoughts in words and make it easy for the reader to mentally relate to the message. ...
  • Reading comprehension. ...
  • Research. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Technical expertise.
Jul 1, 2022

What are the best copywriting skills? ›

To recap, the essential copywriting skills are:
  • Writing skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Creativity.
  • Communication skills.
  • Research abilities.
  • Empathy.
  • SEO awareness.
  • User experience.
Apr 25, 2022

Is copywriting a hard or soft skill? ›

What are copywriting skills? Copywriting skills are hard and soft skills that writers who create advertisements and other written content possess to be successful at their jobs.

Which type of copywriting is easiest? ›

Because B2B writers are in such high demand, B2B copywriting can be one of the easiest areas to break into as a new copywriter.

What industry hires the most copywriters? ›

That's because certain industries are simply growing faster for many job opportunities.
4 Hot Industries for Copywriters
  1. Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals. ...
  2. Technology. ...
  3. Finance/FinTech. ...
  4. Startups.
Dec 8, 2022

Why do copywriters fail? ›

Usually copywriters who “fail” fall into one of two camps: they don't have training or a system for landing clients, or they have training, but are afraid of failure. If you fall into the first camp, you'll want to first get training. If you fall into the second camp, you'll want to listen to today's episode.

Can an introvert be a copywriter? ›

Can introverts be successful as copywriters? Absolutely. A lot of a copywriter's job involves crafting copy by oneself. You just can't write good copy without spending at least some time holed up, by yourself, with just a computer as your companion.

Is copywriting a good side hustle? ›

Copywriting can be an ideal side hustle. You can pick up clients anywhere and work with them from anywhere, on your own schedule. It's flexible, it's creative and it's fun.

How do I find copywriting clients online? ›

How to Find Copywriting Clients
  1. Post on blogs your ideal clients are reading.
  2. Attend virtual or in-person events targeted at your most ideal clients.
  3. Network with freelancers – 81% of freelancers refer clients to each other.
  4. Ask for referrals – don't let pre-qualified leads slip away.

How do I get my first freelance copywriting job? ›

The best entry-level freelance writing jobs for beginners
  1. Rewrite local small-business websites. ...
  2. Find abandoned business blogs. ...
  3. Write business emails. ...
  4. Create a newsletter or brochure. ...
  5. Report articles for local news media. ...
  6. Write for local magazines. ...
  7. Turn your former employer into a client. ...
  8. Write for local marketing agencies.

Where can I market myself as a copywriter? ›

Marketing tactics for freelance copywriters
  • Website or online portfolio.
  • Social media.
  • Search engine optimisation.
  • Networking.
  • Peer networking.
  • Job sites.
  • Freelance marketplaces.
  • Cold calling.


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