If you’re making the jump to becoming a freelance writer, one of the decisions you have to make is what kind of writing you want to focus on. While some writers may be able and willing to pick up any kind of work they can, from blogs to proofreading to business plans, others will find it necessary to focus in on one type of writing. If being a freelance copywriter is a path you are looking to or have already chosen, read on for tips on where to find work, make your pitch, and deliver quality work.
What Makes a Freelance Copywriter Different from a Freelance Writer?
Many people who call themselves freelance writers could also be considered freelance copywriters, but for those who are specifically copywriters, their emphasis is on writing materials for media markets.
In the modern world, this of course includes internet content, but also includes product taglines, book jacket content, content for printed brochures, and any number of other content for advertising purposes. A freelance writer, on the other hand, will certainly take on some of these projects but might also be researching magazine articles, working on a novel, or writing e-books for clients.
Where Can a Freelance Copywriter Find Work?
Freelance copywriters can find work in the same way generalized freelance writers can - online, and by using their personal networks to find opportunities. Upwork.com regularly lists copywriting opportunities that you can apply for and then complete from the comfort of your own home. You can use sites like Flexjobs.com to find longer term opportunities with companies, and individual companies may also have opportunities for freelance copywriters listed on their websites. However, not all of these may allow you to always work from home. Sometimes, freelance copywriters will be expected to work with a company’s creative team in order to complete assignments. If you’ve come from a full-time position as a copywriter within a large business, freelancing even if it means going into meetings once in a while is likely still more flexible than your previous position, though.
Don’t be afraid to scan Craig’s List for work, either. You never know if a local business or independent proprietor is looking for someone to brainstorm a tagline or write up a quick paragraph for a brochure. If you can find a client like that and impress them with one short assignment, they’ll likely keep coming back to you instead of continuing to post ads online.
How Can I Convince People to Hire Me as a Freelance Copywriter?
If you’re the aforementioned person who has left a full-time copywriting gig in search of more flexibility, you can just tout your years of experience. However, if you’re heading into freelance copywriting from home as a way to make ends meet in between other jobs, as a way to earn some side money, or as a new business venture you might need to dig a little deeper to convince clients. If you’re coming from an office job, you’ve probably had to write persuasive material of some sort - letters, emails, website content - use your experience with this work to show your writing chops, using samples when they are available and/or appropriate. If you’ve got your own blog, you’ve got part of a freelance copywriting portfolio all ready to go (just make sure to go through and clean it up before sending the link off to potential clients). The same can be said of Twitter - if you’re looking to earn some money writing taglines or jingles, Twitter can be a great way to show off your cleverness (same advice with the cleanup, though).
Get creative, and don’t think you don’t have a future as a freelance copywriter just because you don’t have a past as one.
In making your pitches, creating your website, and writing your blog, though, you can never forget that every word you are writing is viewed by potential clients as a job application. Be aware of typos, word choice, and the very public nature of the internet. Establish your style, but remember you need clients of all types if you’re going to make it as a freelance copywriter.
For the creative person looking for more flexibility than a traditional agency job might offer, freelance copywriting is a viable option. You’ll have to build a client base, prove your skills, and keep writing, but you’ll be using the side of your brain you enjoy using and get to be a little whimsical if you want. Freelance copywriting covers a wide variety of opportunities, and if you’re willing to do the legwork and produce quality content, you’ll be able to earn money from home.