The fastest way to build your copywriting business

So you want to find a copywriting client? It’s easier than you think. My advice? Find a client first, and then find out how to write copy. It truly is the fastest way to build your copywriting business.

How do you find a client? Tell everyone you know you’re a copywriter! Yes, I know, it’s scary. That you feel like a fraud. That you’re never written copy before. But here’s the thing – if you don’t start telling people you’re a copywriter, you’ll never even get the chance to find out if you can do it or not.

Here’s a true story about how I found a new client recently, and this happens to me ALL THE TIME. You, too can find new clients if you just have the confidence to say, “I’m a copywriter”.

I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight home from Sydney. A chap next to me was on the phone. After he hung up, he saw that I had a mountain of luggage and said: “That’s a lot of luggage for one person.” I said, “Actually, it’s for three people, not just me,” and we started chatting. It was the usual banal airport chit chat, but we struck up a rapport.  

I asked him what he did for a living, and he said he was in real estate. He asked me what I did, and I said: “I’m a copywriter.”

“Ahh,” he said. “That’s interesting. We need to talk,” and we swapped cards. That was it. Normally I need to explain what a copywriter does, but not this time. He knew exactly what a copywriter did.

A few weeks later, he briefed me to write copy for a series of websites – one for his real estate business and one for his international franchising business. Who’d have thought that an innocent chat at the airport could turn into such a lucrative copywriting job?

Please note that he did not ask for my credentials or to see any work I had created. He hired me sight unseen. Unbelievable, I know, but it happens all the time. But you see, that’s exactly how copywriting works. You don’t have to sell yourself. You don’t even have to sell your work. All you must do is let people know you’re a copywriter, that you’re interested in them and what they do, and the rest will take care of itself.

My students often ask me, “But what do I do if I say I’m a copywriter and I get a job! I won’t know where to start?” That’s when you call me and set up your coaching call! You’ll work it out. You really will because now you have something pulling you forward, motivating you to take action.  

Should you still build a portfolio of work? Of course, By all means, but don’t let the lack of a portfolio stop you from getting started or putting yourself out there as a copywriter. They are buying you, not your work. If you were working for an advertising agency, it would be a different story. They really want to see your work. But SMEs? Not so much. They just want a problem solved.

What are you waiting for? Get your business cards printed, tell everyone you know you’re a copywriter and see what happens. Try it. Even just for fun. What have you got to lose?