Making money from copywriting might be your first gateway to building an online creator business.
Which is exactly what I did…
You’ll need to understand the importance of copywriting.
So why not make other people pay you to learn the skill?
Common questions you might be thinking of:
- “Sounds cool. But isn’t copywriting hard these days!”
- “Who would hire me if AI Copywriters are taking over?”
- “Every client only wants the cheapest copywriter.”
- “Hiring copywriters over AI is no longer practical, right?”
Copywriting clients will ALWAYS be there. In fact, more and more businesses are looking for talented copywriters.
You’re probably just looking at the “wrong pond.”
Think of JK Molina. The man makes closing clients on Twitter look so easy.
Although I can’t guarantee you’ll be like him right after reading this blog post…
I can confidently say you’ll have everything you’ll need to know how to find Copywriting clients.
Still with me?
Let’s jump in.
Who Are the Best Clients for Copywriting?
The term “best” copywriting client is subjective.
But in this section, I’ll make it simple…
I’ll be talking about the best copywriting clients in terms of pay and accessibility.
- Who are the highest-paying clients?
- Who are the most accessible clients?
These two don’t always go hand in hand.
Clients with bigger budgets are not always the most accessible.
I’d recommend you focus on who’s the most accessible if you’re starting.
Then target the big shots as you gain experience and improve your writing portfolio.
With that said, let’s discuss which clients are willing to pay you handsomely.
High-Paying Copywriting Clients
The highest-paying copywriting clients are usually big corporations. The “whales.”
But not just some random huge corporations. If you want to make the most money, focus on specific industries.
Here’s a list (but not limited to) of some industries that pay their writers well:
- Tech Companies: SaaS, Computer manufacturers, mobile phone brands.
- Financial Institutions: Banks, investment firms, insurance companies.
- Health and Fitness brands: Health publications, personal trainers, online doctors.
These companies hire copywriters to write landing pages, email sequences, and social media campaigns.
They have the largest budgets and are willing to pay loads of money for the best talents in the world.
Most Accessible Copywriting Clients
On the other hand, the most accessible copywriting clients often don’t have the budget of the big players.
Easier to land clients include:
- Smaller businesses
- Other creators
But the most accessible ones are your family and friends.
All you need to do is to message your friends and family that you’re offering copywriting services.
If they don’t need it…
They might know someone who does.
We tend to underestimate the value of our warm network. But they are often the best clients you’ll ever work with.
If you REALLY can’t land clients with your warm network, local businesses are also one of the most accessible clients for you.
Walk around the town. Join online communities.
Are there any coffee shops in your area that would benefit from a copywriter?
Or maybe you’ll find struggling affiliate marketers in a Facebook group that needs their blog posts updated.
Copywriters focus on looking for the most glamorous gigs online. But some of the best is right in front of them.
So open your eyes.
How To Pitch to Copywriting Clients?
I have already given you a comprehensive rundown of the top copywriting clients most suitable for your current stage.
Now it’s time to choose clients in an industry that best matches your interest, expertise or background.
Do not overthink it. Just pick one industry and stick with it.
You can always pivot to other industries further down the line. What’s more important is you start somewhere.
Have a client in mind?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you should pitch them.
1. Study Your Ideal Clients
It’s critical to know what would resonate with your ideal clients. Otherwise, you’ll increase your chances of never hearing a response.
Whether you pitch your services in online job marketplaces or through cold pitching doesn’t matter.
You have to know their background. Do some research about them.
And as you would’ve guessed. NO generic templates. Please…
Generic templates scream unprofessionalism and laziness.
And guess who would hire someone unprofessional and lazy?
So secure those opportunities and write a customized and personal pitch.
But how can I personalize my pitch to clients?
Glad you asked. Before you write a single word, ask yourself these questions:
- What are the pain points of my clients?
- What are their desires?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What solutions have they tried in the past?
- Why it didn’t work out for them?
- How is your solution different from their past experiences?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- Which online platform are they spending the most time in? (especially if you’re cold pitching)
It may look like it’s a lot of upfront labor. But trust me on this one.
The more time you spend analyzing your clients, the easier you can develop a great pitch.
And your response and conversion rates will thank you for it.
If you love reading…
My article on the best copywriting books has killer recommendations to tackle customer research.
2. Write a Curiosity-Provoking Headline
Your pitch headline is the single most crucial part of your pitch.
It’s crucial to grab the attention of potential clients and make them curious about your services.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect way of writing your pitch headline.
But these are some of the best practices I tend to follow.
- The more concise, the better: Punchy headlines are often shorter. That’s because it conveys the message right off the bat. Keep it under nine words. (especially if you’re pitching via emails)
- Avoid generic phrases: Stay away from vague or generic statements. No one will open your message if you look like the spammy senders your prospects are getting daily. Instead of saying “Copywriter Application,” use something like “Brendan, in need of a new writer?”
- Personalize your headlines: The difference between “Copywriter application” and “Brendan, in need of a new writer?” is personalization. One is sent to hundreds of applications, while the other shows you’ve done your research. You know who you’re talking to. And the problems they’re facing. Or at least it makes them think so.
3. Start With a Rapport-Building Lead
You should clearly state what your message is about in your lead.
So what is a lead, you ask?
A lead is the first few sentences of your pitch.
Got it, and why is it important to write a rapport-building lead?
Glad you asked.
It’s because no clients want to be sold by a stranger.
Plus, it shows you’ve done your research.
This sets you apart from the thousands of applicants they get every day.
These applicants say, “I love your blog. Would you hire me as your writer?”
If you do that, it shows that you’re disingenuous and lazy. And why would they bother wasting their time on a Copywriter like that?
Now you’ve seen the wrong way of building rapport.
Here are a couple of ways to do it the right way.
- Do your research: Know a brand like yours before pitching them. Whether you apply via an online job board or a cold pitch doesn’t matter. This is a non-negotiable step.
- Find something that interests you: Find something that’s genuinely interesting. Maybe after reading their About page, you found a common interest. Or maybe their blog post resonated with you.
4. Fluff-Free Body Copy
Your pitch is not your autobiography.
You may see an underlying theme in writing your pitch. That is to be as concise as possible.
Because highly-successful businesses don’t have time to read a 500-word cold email from a stranger.
So be respectful of their time.
High-quality clients don’t have time to read your autobiography.
I suggest you create an outline or follow the best copywriting frameworks.
That way, you won’t go off on a tangent.
Go straight to the point with your intent of why you’re pitching your services.
They’ll appreciate it.
Here’s an example of someone reaching out to me, and I hired him.
Here are a few more copywriting tips that you’ll find useful.
5. End With an Action-Oriented CTA
So you’ve caught their attention. Piqued their curiosity. Transformed that curiosity into interest.
Now is the perfect time to drop that call to action (CTA)
Call to action prompt your potential clients to take your desired action.
How do I write a compelling CTA?
It’s simple. Just ask them to do the next step.
If you’re pitching your services online, asking for the close during the first contact is tempting.
But it’s not a very effective tactic to use.
It’s like you’re expecting them to hire you without even assessing your writing skills.
So instead of trying to close the deal from the get-go.
Just ask them to proceed to the next step.
And that “next step” is typically responding to you. That’s it.
Instead of saying, “What topic would you like me to write for you?”
Go with something like, “I would love to hear your thoughts on this offer.”
Although it’s less aggressive, it’s also less salesy.
That’s the way to go if you’re goal is to close the deal.
A non-needy approach always works best.
Where To Find Copywriting Clients?
Now we will learn how to get clients as a freelance copywriter…
Here are my top 10 hotspots.
- Warm Network
- Local Businesses
- Cold Outreach
- In-person Networking Meetings
- Marketing Agencies
1. Warm Network
This is probably the most underrated way of finding copywriting clients.
But what is a warm network in the first place?
A warm network is a group of people who know you in person.
These can be your family, friends, colleagues, mentors, etc.
Why is this my highest recommendation for landing copywriting clients?
Because this is where you should be starting your client acquisition process.
And it has the greatest potential to convert. I’ll tell you why.
First, because there’s ZERO competition. But the best reason is that…
Your friends and family already know and trust you.
Not only it’s difficult to build those relationships, but doing it online is a million times harder.
By doing this, you can bypass that rapport-building phase.
Which will make these networks more likely to want to work with you. Or give you a referral.
Your next question might be, “How can I pitch my services to my warm network?”
It’s simple. Just put yourself out there.
- College professors
Basically, anyone you know personally and who knows you well.
“Brendan, these people don’t even have their businesses. Why would they hire me as their copywriter?”
If they don’t own a business, they probably know someone looking for a copywriter.
And that’s YOU.
And if you let everybody know you’re starting this copywriting thing, guess who will be the first person they’ll refer?
The worst case scenario is you’ll receive “Nos”.
The best-case scenario is your inbox will be flooded with inbound copywriting projects.
Many copywriters underestimate the value of their warm network and go straight to finding work online.
So don’t make the same mistake.
2. Local Businesses
Another underrated method of closing copywriting clients is scouting local businesses.
It’s an opportunity most copywriters neglect, yet it’s right under their noses.
Working with local businesses have lots of benefits.
You can work with different industries and build relationships with real people in your area.
And if everything goes well, you might also seal a long-term copywriting project.
These businesses want to make money.
And if you can help them achieve that goal using your words, they are more than willing to pay you a portion of that profit.
Pitching your services is easier because you already have connections with these people.
You can message them on their social media account or talk to them in person.
I recommend doing the second option.
I know it can be daunting at first.
Unlike online job applications, you’re putting yourself on the chopping block in person.
But that’s what is going to increase your chances of conversion.
It is also a great opportunity for new copywriters.
Because small businesses are a good way to practice your copywriting skills without the pressure of massive conversions.
3. Cold Outreach
Cold emailing business owners work best if you have a niche.
Because it’s way easier for you to secure cold clients with some specialized experience.
“This is an ineffective numbers game, Brendan. Why bother emailing people who don’t even know I exist?”
You are probably right. If you’re creating a generic-ass script and clicking that “send to all” button.
But if you’re gonna do this the right way, you won’t have to hurt clients anymore.
Why do I love this method for getting copywriting clients?
It’s a great channel to position yourself as an expert in the industry. And yes, no need for thousands of 5-star reviews from your “happy clients.”
Another thing is that because you’re not competing with everybody, you can charge premium rates.
If this method is really good, why aren’t many people doing this?
The truth is many people are sending cold emails to different companies.
But only a few of them succeed in this client acquisition method.
Because it’s hard.
You need the skills and the perseverance to send personalized but tons of cold emails before you see results.
In short, it takes time. And a lot of it.
But if you make this part of your schedule, granted you know what you’re doing and how to sell it…
You won’t have to squabble for the scraps of the big fish on online job boards.
Twitter is also one of my favorite ways of getting copywriting clients.
Because it’s easy to engage with industry influencers.
You can do that by liking, retweeting, and commenting thoughtfully.
How does this relate to you getting copywriting clients?
This can help you establish connections with industry leaders and potential clients who interact with them.
You can also participate in relevant niche threads to show your expertise.
It’s also a great place to connect with other copywriters.
And yes, don’t be afraid to connect with them. They’re not your rivals.
By building relationships with your peers, you may come across collaboration opportunities or referrals for potential clients.
Lastly, you can directly reach out to your ideal clients.
Once you identify your clients, visit their profiles, learn about their business, and engage with their content.
Then send them a direct message (DM) to introduce yourself.
Like Twitter, LinkedIn is also a social media platform for finding copywriting opportunities.
It’s where business people and startups hang out. So if you know how to use LinkedIn, finding copywriting clients shouldn’t be an issue.
Here’s how you can maximize the power of this platform.
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile: Use the summary feature to state what you do and who’s your prospects clearly. Use relevant keywords to rank higher when your market is searching for a copywriter.
- Share engaging content: Start showcasing your expertise by posting relevant and valuable content regularly. Use this strategy to build authority and gain your client’s trust. This is also a perfect way to grow your audience and inbound leads.
- Interact with creators in your industry: Send reactions, provide insights and repost content of people in your niche.
- Send personalized connection requests: LinkedIn is a place to grow a high-quality network. So when reaching out to potential clients, avoid generic connection requests. Personalize each message by mentioning something specific about their company or recent post.
6. In-person Networking Meetings
Local networking events are goldmines for new freelance writers.
Attend industry conferences, seminars, and networking events in your area.
It’s an excellent place to connect with professionals who may need copywriting services or can refer you to potential clients.
7. Marketing Agencies
Many copywriters despise working in an agency.
But if you’re planning to go full-time on your copywriting career, there’s one thing you need to avoid the feast-and-famine nature of this work.
That thing is a steady stream of copywriting projects. And digital marketing agencies provide you with just that.
These agencies have a lot of clients. That means they pump countless writing pieces regularly.
That’s where you come in.
You’ll not spend as much time outreaching them because they have plenty of projects for you to work on
The catch is you’ll earn less than if you’re working with the client directly.
But if you’d consider the time you’d spend not having to worry about:
- Doing client outreach
- Closing deals via sales calls
- Client onboarding
I’d say it’s a pretty fair trade.
Plus, they also have various clients, which will expose you to different techniques. Meaning you’ll improve your copywriting skills faster.
I’d recommend the ProBlogger job board over Upwork and Fiverr.
Because if an employer wants to hire a blogger, they’ll need to pay $80 per job post. And that post will last for 15 days.
This means you’ll see higher-quality clients compared to other online job marketplaces.
It filters out the spammers and clients not looking for quality work.
But this is a double-edged sword.
Although you’ll only be left with high-quality clients, one major con is significantly fewer daily job postings. Especially when you’re gonna compare it to Upwork and Fiverr.
So subscribe to their job alerts to be one of the first people to apply.
Upwork is a go-to place for copywriters to find work.
Especially during the pandemic, lots of people hopped onto Upwork.
That’s also the reason why I ranked it lower on my list.
“Isn’t a rapid increase in popularity a good thing?”
Well, not really.
Yes, there are lots of job opportunities on Upwork.
But those job posts are severely OUTNUMBERED by copywriters, making it very difficult to stand out.
Especially when you’re starting out.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to land your first copywriting client in Upwork.
It’s just WAY harder to land higher-quality clients than it is before.
But if you’ve optimized your profile and you are sending personalized pitches…
You can definitely use it to find projects that are portfolio-worthy.
When finding freelance writing gigs, Fiverr is definitely one of the first sites that come to mind.
It’s a little different from Upwork, though.
In Upwork, employers will post a job listing, and freelancers will apply for the position.
In Fiverr, you create your store, a.k.a. your gig, and people will come to your store if they’re interested in your services.
But there is a ton of competition on this platform, just like Upwork.
I’m not against competition. Neither should you.
Competition is a good indicator of a thriving market.
But more often than not, the competition on these platforms is a little too much for beginner copywriters to stand a chance.
You shouldn’t ditch this platform completely. Nonetheless, Fiverr is still a great resource for paying copywriting clients.
My goal is to simply set your expectations so you don’t end up quitting too soon because no one wants to hire you from this platform.
How To Get High-Paying Copywriting Clients?
When starting out, it’s very tempting to accept every writing opportunity that comes your way.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But as you get better at copywriting, try to find higher-paying copywriting clients.
You can earn the same or more while working less.
And here are a few tips to land those well-paying copywriting clients.
Build a Strong Portfolio
If you’re looking for someone to pay you the big bucks, you gotta prove you’re worthy of the big bucks.
Create your portfolio to showcase your best copywriting work.
I would say the more samples you can show, the better.
But don’t add weak samples to show you’ve done something.
Highlight ONLY the projects that are relevant to your target high-paying clients.
Since we’re on the topic of proving your worth, you should never forget your testimonials.
High-paying clients want the best players.
And one of the easiest ways to demonstrate your skills is to show your accomplishments in your previous projects.
I strongly recommend using Senja for this. Starting collecting them NOW.
Literally from anyone you have worked with.
It’s as simple as creating a form. Sending them the link. Filling it up.
Specialize In A Niche
Should you focus on a copywriting niche?
In my opinion, it might be easier to land clients if you’re a generalist.
But if we’re discussing securing a higher caliber client, specializing in their industry is more effective.
Clients with big budgets don’t care much about how much you charge.
What they’re after is the quality of your output.
Hence, it’s a no-brainer for them to hire you if you’re the expert in their niche.
But if you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself…
You can always specialize in a specific type of copywriting and offer your services to various industries.
Cultivate Long-Term Relationships
Repeat business and client referrals often lead to lucrative job opportunities.
So focus on building long-term relationships with your clients. Under-promise and over-deliver.
Offer ongoing support and suggest new opportunities.
If you did a good job, they’d be more than willing to pay you to stay.
And that’s a pretty neat way to catch a big fish without throwing your fishing net.
Raise Your Prices
If you want to earn more while working the same amount of hours. There’s no other way around it but to charge more.
Research industry standards and set your rates accordingly.
Better yet, price your services based on the value you bring.
In other words, charge proportionately to how much you earn for them.
Avoid undervaluing your services, as it may send the wrong message about the quality of your work.
How To Get Email Copywriting Clients?
Emails have the HIGHEST ROI among any other digital marketing channels.
That’s why huge companies also invest loads of money in their email marketing strategy.
This means they have more money to spend on skilled email copywriters.
Hence, this attracted the attention of a lot of people. Now it seems like everybody wants to write 200-word emails and get paid $2,000.
Yes, there’s a lot of competition. But the thing is, very few of them are your competitors.
“What do you by that, Brendan?”
I mean, there’s a lot of supply for email copywriters. But there’s very little supply for people that actually know email copywriting.
And even fewer people know email copywriting and can prove it.
So in this section, I’ll show you how you can communicate your email copywriting expertise to employers.
So you can start knocking down email copywriting clients left and right.
Create Your Email Copy Portfolio
The best way to showcase your email copywriting skills is through an email copy portfolio.
But the question is, how can you write a portfolio without landing a client?
The answer is spec pieces.
Speculation pieces or spec pieces are copies that no one paid you to do so.
But don’t think this is a waste of time.
Contrary, it’ll save you a lot of time because a well-crafted portfolio might do the client-closing for you.
Potential clients want to see how you can add value to them.
You want to make it as easy for them to visualize your contributions.
So start compiling your best email campaigns to showcase your email copywriting skills.
But I got a killer tip for you.
If you’re going out of your way to make an email portfolio. Why not start a newsletter?
Use THAT, and phew…
They’ll be blown away. Assuming it’s good, of course.
Show Your Results-driven Approach
Email marketing providers give you more data analytics features than Gmail.
It’s easier to track the performance of your email copy this way.
And you need these metrics when pitching to clients.
These outcomes can be an increase in:
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Or decrease in bounce rates
If you have some client testimonials, it’s also a fantastic idea to slap them in there.
Craft Compelling Email Pitches
If you want to offer your email copywriting services, you gotta know how to pitch your service via email.
That’s basically what you’ll be doing when writing email copies.
You want to write persuasive and personalized email pitches. Again, this is a no general-template zone.
Clearly communicate the value you can bring to their email marketing efforts. Address their pain points and offer your unique solutions.
Network With Email Marketing Professionals
This is how you increase your chances of rubbing elbows with big-time clients.
We’re talking about the big-time clients that wouldn’t even blink an eye for paying thousands of dollars for an email copy.
But truth be told, they aren’t as accessible as you think.
So you need a little helping hand with people that have been in the business for years.
Network and engage with email marketing professionals.
Chances are these professionals have been working for years and have worked with multiple clients over their careers.
So contribute valuable insights and build connections with them.
Who knows? They might be able to refer you to their email copywriting clients.
How To Find Copywriting Clients (FAQs)
What Copywriting Skills Should I Learn Before I Approach Clients?
Before you start approaching clients, you should know the basics of copywriting.
That being said, you don’t need to be a copywriting prodigy to land your first copywriting client.
All you need is to have more knowledge than your potential client.
What Is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Copywriting Leads?
The main difference between an inbound and an outbound copywriting lead is who initiated the contact.
If your copywriting client contacted you, that is an inbound lead.
They may contact you because they saw your post ranking in search or when someone referred you to them.
However, if you’re reaching out to a potential copywriting client, that is an example of an outbound lead.
You can generate outbound leads through cold emails, networking events, and DMing industry experts.
How Can I Build Long-Term Relationships With My Copywriting Clients?
Cultivating a loyal client base will help you tremendously as a copywriter.
I’ll list out the keys to working long-term with your copywriting client.
• Consistently deliver exceptional work
• Maintain a healthy line of communication
• Never miss a deadline
• Always offer additional projects
• Be proactive. Don’t expect that your clients will spoon-feed you.
How Long Does It Typically Take To Start Acquiring Copywriting Clients?
Some genius or lucky copywriters took them a week to land their first copywriting client.
While for others, it could take several months. That variability highly depends on your skills, network, industry and market demand.
But I can assure you that the first copywriting client will always take the longest time to find. After that, it’ll snowball your copywriting career.
Of course, you have to stay consistent in marketing yourself and outreaching your clients.
To Sum Up
Now you know how to get your first client as a copywriter to progress your copywriting side hustle.
Here’s a recap.
- Start by finding copywriting clients who are accessible and work your way up to high-payers.
- Study your ideal clients to craft a perfect pitch by using powerful headlines, rapport-building and fluff-free body copy.
- A top 10 client hotspot list.
- Steps to getting the highest-paying clients, a.k.a. The whales
- Finding email copywriting clients
Start pitching and become a copywriter to be desired.
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