How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter in 2021
- 30 June, 2021
Can you sell a pen to a total stranger? If yes, then you can be a great copywriter.
Copywriting has a tremendous scope in both digital and offline marketing. The socio-cultural to totally menacing ads that you see while watching your favorite soap is ad-copywriting.
Similarly, the wholesome product descriptions that you see on an e-commerce store that lures you into getting one product less from their virtual shelf is product copywriting.
Copywriting requires a certain level of skills in the art of persuasion as well as the understanding of human behavior. If you possess all those skills, you can do perfectly fine as a freelance copywriter.
Read on this guide to learn more about what freelance copywriters do, how much they make, and how they can be successful in the freelance industry.
Who is a Freelance Copywriter?
As the name suggests, a freelance copywriter is a self-employed individual who writes marketing collateral and other sales content for brands.
As a freelancer, the individual develops a stellar portfolio gradually by going from small businesses to prominent companies, developing human-centric product copies for their brand.
They may form a short-term contract with a client or work with some clients frequently. But a freelance copywriter never forms a long-term contract with any client that would bind them and restrict them from exploring more industries.
As someone who has worked with dozens of clients and served a plethora of industries, a freelance copywriter may offer a higher level of creativity and understanding of the art of copywriting than an in-house employee.
What Does a Freelance Copywriter Do?
A freelance copywriter contributes to a company's marketing efforts by creating promotional material for use on websites, emails, catalogs, advertisements, etc.
They devise a method of producing material that motivates individuals to take action (usually buy, but also sign up for something or click a link too).
Most people consider freelance copywriting to be similar to a long-form sales page.
But, copywriting isn't just limited to that. There are a variety of copywriting forms, including:
Video sales scripts
Social media ads
Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.)
Basically, the job of a professional copywriter is to use their persuasive skill to craft the message of a product or service in a way that hits some emotional triggers of the readers. More importantly, their ultimate role is to persuade the reader into making a given action, such as buying a product, subscribing to a service, or leaving their email address.
The 6 Types of Modern Copywriting You Must Know
SEO copywriting is about writing sales copies for a product or landing page while keeping in mind the best practices of ranking on search engines. As an SEO copywriter, you are required to have a good understanding of keywords. Moreover, you have to have a good knowledge of natural keyword placements.
When a company is established and aims to boost sales, in the long run, creative or brand copywriting comes in handy. It helps to get the brand remembered by connecting powerful emotions with it.
Brand Copywriting may be in the form of:
Commercial jingles (e.g., McDonald's "I'm lovin' it")
A brand’s story on About page
Social Media Copywriting
The goal of social media copywriting is to engage the audience with amusing or useful content so that they remember the brand!
In contrast to creative copywriting, it focuses on the propagation of content rather than the content itself.
In a nutshell, social media copywriters create the messages that businesses publish on social media. They spend their days converting marketing concepts into hashtags, phrases, or long posts for a variety of social media platforms.
Marketing copywriters convert a product’s features into easy-to-understand benefits that connect with the target audience.
This kind of copywriting has the broadest range of applications.
It may take the shape of content marketing, with the goal of establishing trust through educating the audience (though not to the extent of technical copywriting).
It may be articles or advertorials published on websites for the same goal.
It may also be website copywriting, which uses carefully chosen appeals and perfect tone, language, and spelling to create a trustworthy, professional image.
However, its role is to effectively transform the audience's awareness into interest!
When a brand’s audience is dealing with an issue, providing them with useful information increases their confidence in that brand. As a result, they'll be more receptive to their offerings!
Technical copywriting does this by going into great detail. It provides a guide from novices to amateurs, and amateurs to experts, without overloading them with facts and jargon.
It may be in the form of
In-depth blog posts, articles
Direct-response copywriters bring all of the brand’s previous marketing efforts to completion.
People are instinctively wary about money. They may see the advantages of a business’s goods or services and comprehend how they may meet their requirements, but they are still reluctant to take the plunge.
Direct-response content uses logical and emotional triggers to help people overcome their anxiety and take action.
It does this by having:
Powerful headlines to capture the attention
Benefit-driven copy to build desire
Enticing offer prospects can’t refuse
Clear, compelling Call-To-Action (CTA)
How to Become a Freelance Copywriter in 5 Steps?
Learn the Basics of Persuasive Writing
Copywriting is, at its most basic level, persuasive writing.
You're using words to persuade your readers to take certain actions.
This is why freelance copywriting is such a useful skill to have. Learning the fundamentals of persuasive writing is the first step toward becoming a freelance copywriter, and there are a plethora of sources to assist you.
Learn The 6 Essential Copywriting Skills
If you want to earn money, you'll need to be able to use your persuasive writing skills to create high-demand content.
Let’s list down the six copywriting skills that are constantly in demand and can be considered "core competencies" in the copywriting industry.
You may base your whole career on any two or three of these skills, so don't feel obligated to master all six. However, practicing all of them won't hurt.
Learn how to write a headline
Learn how to write a value proposition
Learn how to write a landing page
Learn how to write an advertisement
Learn how to write a sales email
Learn how to write a video script
Choose a Niche
When you're just starting out, it's good to start as a generalist by writing for anybody who will pay you for your services.
This not only helps you make money when you don't have a lot of customers, but it also offers you a wide range of writing experiences.
Writing in diverse niches allows you to see what you're excellent at, the projects you like working on, and the kinds of businesses or departments with whom you enjoy collaborating.
However, you shouldn't be a generalist forever. Specialization brings in greater income and allows you to better market yourself. The riches, as the adage goes, are in the niches.
So, narrow down your niche to either SEO writing, Digital marketing copywriting, Ghostwriting, technical writing, and so on.
Craft A Copywriting Portfolio
You can build your own freelance copywriter website to display the work you’ve done so far.
One thing to keep in mind regarding your freelance copywriter website is that it will be the first place where you would display your work.
So, you’d need to show something engaging that boasts your copywriting skills, on each page of the website, whether it be the welcome page or the about page. All of this will be counted in your portfolio.
Therefore, when you get started, the most important thing to consider is not how sleek and stylish your website appears, but how excellent the words on it are. Because that is what will be noticed.
At first, you may use your practice pieces if you don't have any of those paid samples, and then replace them with fresh samples as you gain more expertise.
Sign Up to Freelancing Platforms
Starting with a freelance platform is the easiest way to get your freelance copywriting career off the ground. It's especially stress-free to find freelance copywriting jobs on these sites, which you can use to build your portfolio without delay.
As a beginner freelance copywriter, even an engaging profile may also not help you land a perfect copywriting job.
For example, you may want to specialize in writing blog posts but may end up doing story writing in your first few projects.
In any case, this is possibly the greatest method to acquire work and make some money while you're taking the first steps to become a freelance copywriter.
Bonus Tips for Starting & Growing as a Freelance Copywriter
Know Your Value: If your SEO copywriting services can help a company make $1,000 in the first year, you shouldn't charge $25 per hour for 4 hours of work. Others will undervalue you if you undervalue yourself.
Do Not Demand Too Much: In the early stages of your career, don't ask for more than your worth unless you have some sick data to show how great you are, such as the results of split-tests. Allow yourself to learn, and then charge more once you've mastered the skill.
Use Your Existing Network: Use your personal contacts to build an initial client base. Your first client may pop up via your friends or family. Make your services available to them at reasonable rates to build a portfolio.
Prefer to Charge for Brainstorming and Meetings: It’s good to charge for time and meetings to bring your worth to the table. Every minute you spend thinking about your customer is a minute you can charge for.
Freelance Copywriter Salary
A freelance copywriter’s salary depends on many factors such as project type, expertise level, and years of experience. The better you become, the more money you'll make.
According to Glassdoor, freelance copywriters with 1-3 years of experience make nearly $67,000 on average.
While there are incredible examples of individuals earning $60K+ in their first year of freelancing, it's fair to say that freelance copywriting is a get-rich-quick plan. However, developing your skills and customer base takes time.
Take the Leap
Freelance copywriting, like most things, may seem daunting. It seems like there's a lot to process.
However, after working as a freelance copywriter for some time, you'll see that even the greatest freelance copywriters are still learning as they go.
If you are confident that you have the skills and expertise to be a successful copywriter, then create your Offer and start selling now.