There is no downside of being a copywriter at first glance.
For many people, it is a glamorous job many writers would like to do.
Besides, a copywriter is the creative person business and clients want to have on their side when it comes to launching a campaign.
But before taking the plunge, be prepared for what lies ahead.
Despite appearances, a copywriter’s life is not as creative and rewarding as it may sound.
And don’t expect to rate right up there overnight.
This is more of a long and winding road…
Getting Your First Client
You have decided to become a copywriter…
… but you don’t have any client.
This is the biggest challenge for many people starting out a career: how to land your first job and get your first client.
Many gurus online pretend that you can make a 6-figure income – in one year – as a junior copywriter. Wishful thinking.
Before you get paid well, you have to prove yourself: network with business owners you patronize, write copies for them.
And if they still aren’t convinced, you can still provide them with the best stuff you crafted, such as a portfolio.
Okay, but how do you get a portfolio if you don’t have any client?
Well, don’t hesitate to do small gigs for different people and specialize in a niche or two you’re interested in.
Believe me: you will be more trustworthy if you are able to write copies for specific sectors.
Business doesn’t like Jack-of-all-trades.
Research, research and … research
When you land your first job, you may be hired to write copy for a product or a company.
Well, first things first, ask your client to share everything he knows.
After all, he knows his product, his company, his competitors and his clients better than anyone else.
When it comes to writing about a product or a service, you need to know everything right down to the very last detail.
So you will have to spend hours researching and reading anything about your client. You will also find the information in ads, brochures, newsletters, press reviews, or campaigns that have been run in the past.
That’s the way it is. The creative part comes once you have gathered enough (and relevant) info.
Your Opinion May Not Count
But there is worse.
Let’s imagine that you must prepare a campaign for a brand new product.
You come up with great ideas, produce well-crafted copy and kick-ass headlines that result in high conversion rates for your client.
But don’t be surprised if the client completely rewrites your masterpiece.
Your client hired you because you could pull off a job he could not get by himself. As he couldn’t write the copy from scratch, your client can still edit it…
… out of pride.
Prepare To Be Edited
If I could sum up in one sentence my first experience, I would say: everyone is a copywriter, especially your client.
As I previously said, your client knows his company, his client and his product(s) better than anyone else.
And you are not an exception either. So your words are very easy to change or delete.
I remember all the content my first client edited or deleted before publishing “my” copy online.
Not less than 60% of the copy I had spent hours on was replaced with “better words or turns of phrases”.
As a copywriter, be prepared to have your words changed. Swallow your pride and do not argue the point. Otherwise, clients may label you as being “difficult”.
Be careful with bad client…
If you’re just starting out, don’t set the bar too high…
but don’t sell yourself too short.
No matter who you are, you’re worth being paid. And at your rates.
There are still a lot of clients out there looking for cheap writers. Sites like Upwork are on top of the list.
You’ll see job ads where you’re hired to provide a 2000-word copy for … just 15 dollars.
Do you really think that they have any idea the blood, sweat, and tears it takes a copywriter to come up with a killer copy? My tip: just avoid them.
Don’t get me wrong though: you can easily get small gigs and learn the tricks of the trade with those sites.
But if you want to make a living out of copywriting, don’t spend too much time on it. You’d better find another way to land a job.
…and bad payers!
Last but not least, some clients are very late in paying your invoices.
In that case, make sure that:
- you set up a contract with him
- you get a deposit in advance
- and encourage credit card payment
You can never predict if your next client is a fast payer or not, but if you stick to these rules, it will speed up the payment process for sure.
And if you still can’t see the color of your money, try this. Those tips will get your clients to pay their bills on time.
As you can see, there is more than one downside to being a copywriter.
You may come up with great ideas or bring the touch your client needs.
But in the end, you’re never on the spotlights, your opinion may be ignored.
You’re just the idea machine people need. And this is good news.