Knowing how to get copywriting clients.
It’s one of the biggest struggles when starting out as a copywriter.
And based on the number of emails I’ve been getting on this topic lately…
Finding clients is something a LOT of copywriters are struggling with right now.
The two main options many new starters pursue are:
- Competing for sweatshop wages on Upwork (Full disclosure – Lots of copywriters, myself included, started off on Upwork. And many people earn a stable income there. But for most, it’s a tough place to make many greenbacks)..
- Send endless cold emails in the hopes of snagging a client before Google dials down your deliverability to zero…
So, neither option is ideal.
Which is why it’s important to always be prospecting for a few hours a week…
And having a strategy in place for reaching out to clients in a way that puts you in a position of power…
Rather than cap in hand and with a raised begging bowl.
4 Step Process for Getting Copywriting Clients
1. Create a spreadsheet of 50 potential copywriting clients
If you’ve no idea who to approach…
Start by searching in Google for “[niche] company”…
Then try to track down the name of their copy chief or marketing manager.
There are services that claim to find contact email addresses for you. But I haven’t had much success with those.
Instead, your best bet is to hunt around Facebook and LinkedIn.
Then if you are able to identify a key contact…
Warm up the relationship first by following them and commenting on their social media posts.
This means that they’ll be far more likely to respond to your email, when it pops up in their inbox.
2. Find a problem you can solve that positions you as an expert
These days, clients face a daily avalanche of cold emails from copywriters looking for work.
So just offering them “copy” isn’t going to cut it.
You’ve got to find a way to stand out…
To position yourself as a problem solver…
And to offer unique expertise that will boost the client’s bottom line.
So the first step is to find a problem you can solve for clients.
You could try:
- Subscribing to their email list and identifying gaps in their email strategy. Even better, buy one of their products and see if you could improve their post purchase email sequence. High risk, for sure. But also high reward.
- Check out their sales pages, landing pages and ads on Facebook. Could they be improved? Are they missing a vital technique that could boost conversions? Note it down.
You don’t need to go too overboard with this stage yet.
Just make sure you’ve got enough ideas jotted on a notepad to turn into a 5 minute video later on.
Now it’s time to take a big gulp and start emailing.
Ideally, you’ve already been commenting on your target client’s social media posts, to take your email from ice cold to lukewarm.
Now, what most copywriters typically do in their email is bombard clients with huge claims about their track record, dump a bunch of samples and ask for work straight off the bat.
Don’t do that.
Instead, use your first email to do one thing: To build CURIOSITY.
Keep your email short – About 50 words will do nicely.
And focus on writing emails as a way of starting a conversation, rather than delivering a full pitch.
You could say something like:
I’m a direct response copywriter who’s written for X and Y.
I saw your Blood Sugar Annihilator sales letter. And I have ideas that could boost response. Shall I send them over?
Then sit back and wait patiently for a reply.
4. Deliver the goods
If you get a positive response, feel free to do a little victory jig.
Then get back down to business.
Because you now need to turn your ideas from step 2 into a short Loom video.
In the video:
- Say who you are and how you came across their site
- Say how much you love how they structured their page/email
- Share what others are doing in their industry and what they’re missing out on
- Give 1-3 actionable tips they can implement to boost response
- Invite them to jump on call to discuss having you implement these tips
Then below the video, share a Calendly link to book a strategy call.
Fingers crossed, after sending, say, 20 emails, getting 5 positive responses and submitting 5 Loom videos…
You should get at least one booked call…
And the chance to turn that call into a $1-5k project.
If you’d like to see this strategy in action, check out this video in which copywriter Robert Allen implements something similar:
Is this strategy time consuming?
But the time invested will lead to a higher response rate and a better relationship with clients…
And it can potentially lead to ongoing work that will keep your funnel topped up for the next few months.
You may also be wondering, “What if I’m a total, total newbie? And have no clue on what ideas I can offer clients?”
If you’re struggling to find ways to improve a clients’ emails or sales pages, you either need to find a less sophisticated client or brush up on your copy skills.
Because the first step, before you should even be reaching out to clients, is having good enough copywriting skills clients will want to pay for.
The good news is that it’s never been easier to become a copywriter starting from zero.
There’s tons of copywriting books on Amazon, training videos on YouTube and low cost copywriting courses you can take on sites like Udemy.
Here are a few of my past posts you may find helpful:
And here are paid training resources and books for becoming a highly skilled, in demand copywriter:
Stefan Georgi’s RMBC Method – Learn “billion dollar” copywriter’s step-by-step process for writing high converting sales letters in as little as 3 days.
80/20 Email Copywriting – Ian Stanley’s popular course on writing high converting emails
Copyhour – A daily email course on studying and writing great copy
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz (very advanced)
How to Write a Great Advertisement by Victor Schwab
The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III – Bond Halbert
Copy Accelerator – Stefan Georgi and Justin Goff’s coaching group in which you can get feedback on your copy, weekly calls with Stefan and Justin and potentially get some work from the jobs board.
David Deutsch’s Inner Circle – For just $90 per month you gain access to two coaching calls a month in which he’ll provide feedback on your copy.
Here’s another video in which Stefan Georgi of Copy Accelerator fame shares his tips on how to get copywriting clients: