Maybe you’ve been freelancing for six months or a year. You’ve got some quality blog posts and other content under your belt.
But now, you want to take things to the next step.
For you, and a lot of other people, that’s copywriting.
Becoming a copywriter is a natural option because it’s still writing (duh) but it also combines psychology and sales. It takes a little bit more finesse. And, well, it also pays a lot more, too.
Most people can’t just wave a magic wand and jump directly into copywriting. It takes more skill and practice and there’s also a learning curve. So it takes some time to build up the skillset and understanding of sales and persuasion techniques that make the great copywriters stand out.
In the meantime, you want to get your foot in the door and build a portfolio.
How do you do that?
So if you want to make the jump from freelance writing into copywriting, right now is a perfect time.
And if you’re worried you don’t know where to start how to get copywriting jobs, we’ve got you covered here too.
We’ve got a big list of different approaches you can take to getting copywriting work. A lot of these you can do right now, today. And some are strategies that you’ll focus on for the long term. What you want to do, just like with any freelance writing job, is cast a wide net and have a lot of lines in the water. Is that too many fishing metaphors?
The more you can do right now, even if you know it might not pay off for a few months, the better off you’ll be in your goal of becoming a copywriter.
5 Weird Ways to Land High Paying Copywriting Jobs
And if you’re willing to try some things that are a little more outside the box? Then watch this video for 5 strategies that are a little more advanced and time-intensive, but can pay off in a BIG way:
Alright, got those?
Now let’s get to the rest of the list.
How to Find Copywriting Jobs
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start. Remember, it’s a combination of strategies you can start working on today and see results next week and things that will take some time and energy to nurture — but can pay off.
It’s always good to work a mix into your marketing strategies. And to build a routine that keeps you going, set some goals around doing marketing every week.
Let’s do this.
1). Job Boards
Most of the big-name job boards will have a section highlighting jobs for copywriters. Sometimes, you might have to dig under the more general marketing or writing tags, but a quick scan and search can help.
Here’s a list of a bunch of places you can start exploring for freelance copywriting jobs.
There are also a lot of copywriting specific job boards out there like this one.
Once you get your list of job boards, make sure you sign up for email alerts. That way, you’ll get copy jobs sent directly to your inbox, which can save you a lot of time.
2). Friends and Family
For some reason, a lot of people never think to ask their friends and family if they know anyone hiring. This is just about the easiest thing you can do. Plus, it takes about 30 seconds.
Here’s what you can do:
- Casually mention it to your friends and family
- Send out a mass email or newsletter keeping people up to date and telling them the news
- Post that you’re a copywriter now on your social media channels
- If you’ve got friends or family in a niche you’re interested in, make a direct ask
You really will never know when somebody knows somebody who can help. A lot of people get their foot in their door because they’ve got a connection, so don’t ignore this method!
3). Marketing Agencies
Marketing agencies are a great source of work, especially when you’re starting out and trying to build a portfolio.
Reach out to local marketing agencies with a letter of introduction (LOI). You can learn how to make an LOI in this post.
Introduce yourself and share some of your copy experience (even if it’s minor). If you’re writing in a particular industry search for agencies in that niche too.
A lot of agencies charge by the hour, so you can usually get a pretty good rate, even for small projects. Confused about what you’d charge hourly? Check out this post on setting your rates.
You can also find a list of marketing agencies in this post.
4). Web Design Agencies
While you’re doing your agency outreach, don’t forget to look at web design and related agencies too. After all, if someone is getting a new website created, they probably need some copy on it.
You can provide it.
As usual, start local. Contact agencies and see if they work with copywriters directly on jobs or if they have a sable of copywriters to recommend to clients. You might be able to get on that list.
5). Cold pitches
A lot of people hate sending these, but cold pitches are a way of life for freelancers.
If you haven’t decided on a niche yet, you can cast a wider net. But make sure you keep a list of everywhere you pitch.
If you do have a niche, be selective about who you pitch. You don’t want to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. What you want to make a list of ideal customers and stick with brands inside that zone (i.e. you only want to work with B2B SaaS budgeting tools). Then send the pitch for your copywriting services.
Keep that list around, because it’s going to come in handy in a lot of these next strategies.
6). Social media
Social media is a great tool for finding potential copy clients. You can do a lot more than announce that you’re looking for copy work, you can find tons of connections.
Here’s how to do it:
- Follow and respond to a bunch of brands and editors and try to get on their radar.
- You can also follow key hiring keywords so you’re ready to jump on them.
- Check if you have any mutual connections who might be able to make an introduction for you.
- Follow other copywriters too, especially stand out ones and others in your niche.
One good approach to Twitter, especially, is to create a list that’s all of the potential copy clients you can find on there. Then you can scroll and see what everyone is chatting about and jump in.
7). Guest Post
Making that list for cold pitching comes in handy here too.
Take your list of potential clients and follow all of them (plus editors or other freelancers who work there) on social media. See what content they share, especially if they mention guest posts or featured posts from writers.
Then try to get guest posts on those sites to catch their attention then go and pitch those sites with great guest posts that show off your understanding of things like sales, persuasion, and conversion. That will get them interested.
Here’s a post you can check out on how to pitch a guest post.
8). Create Your Own Content
The great thing about being a freelance writer is you can just write up good stuff that you can use to show off your skills whenever you want. The same goes for your copy chops.
You can write out sample sales pages or email autoresponder series to show your skills. Or take to your blog (or guest post) and create awesome well-researched and keyword-optimized blog posts. These can cover general copy topics, but it’s even better to come up with stuff that covers your niche or gets specific on the type of work you want to do.
You don’t need a million posts. One killer post a month can drive traffic to your site. That will get people coming to you. Plus, it’s something you can do now that will pay off later.
9). Go to Events
With this one there are a couple of approaches you can take.
An easy way to start is to look locally. Go to any local meetup, entrepreneurial group, or chamber of commerce type event. Most places have some sort of event once a month or even once a week. Introduce yourself and build your network. Even if these don’t directly turn into jobs, it’s always good to expand your network and be known as a willing an able copywriter in your area.
You can also think a bit more strategically. If you have a targeted niche, then focus on going to events in that particular niche. For example, a big national or smaller regional conference. There you can really stand out as one of a handful of copywriters and find potential clients.
10). Make Friends with Other Copywriters
Too many writers think other writers are their competition. The reality is the exact opposite is true far more often.
Fellow copywriters can be your best source of friendship, support, and yes, clients in the business.
Copywriters (and the same is true with freelance writers) refer other copywriters they know for jobs all the time. Plus, they can pass along the contact information for potential clients and info about rates. And they give a heads up when a position might be opening.
Another secret? Writers are happy to share tips and red flags on bad clients.
This is a long term play. But, getting active in some copywriting groups can help you build goodwill over time and help you get better clients down the road.
11). Team Up with People in Complementary Industries
Take a second and think about it.
Who probably gets asked if they know copywriters often? Tech people. Web designers, people who set up email and other sales funnels, etc. Anyone who is involved with the consumer-facing side of setting up a website or anything marketing related is in contact with brands who need writers all the time.
That means these are great people to team up with and offer packages where a whole service is provided. They do the tech, you do the copy.
So when you encounter someone who is great at website design or something like that, don’t ignore the business potential. Talk to them about potentially teaming up.
12). Build a Referral System
This is similar to the last step but maybe a little less in-depth. So let’s say you chat with your web designer friend but they don’t want to create anything official on the books.
What you can do is take half a step back and build a referral network. That means if they get asked do you know someone who does copy, they come to you and vice versa for their skillset.
With this sort of set up, people can make a more formalized incentive agreement. For example, a 20% referral fee for compelled deals. That means if someone hires the web designer for a project and they recommend you and the client hires you based off that recommendation, you give your friend a 20% tip. While it may seem like a lot of money to fork over to your friend, also realize they are saving you a ton of time marketing, they’re delivering clients right to your doorstep. And that’s worth something.
The goal of a referral network is everyone feels like they are getting something out of it. But you can start fee-free if you want to as you get into it.
13). Local Businesses You Use
Do you love a local business but see their site or emails need a bit of work? Why not reach out and offer your services.
This could be a great way, especially as a newbie, to get your foot in the door and start building some portfolio samples.
It’s perfectly fine as you start and move into new niches or areas of focus to try out these one-off smaller jobs. At this stage, it’s all about building experience and skills. A small job writing emails for your local accountant can translate into much bigger higher-paying jobs as an email copywriter in the accounting niche.
So think about strategy and the long term. The more you pay attention to copywriting everywhere, all sorts of stuff will start coming to your attention.
14). Spec Work
This is when you write something and then offer it to a potential client before they hired you. It can be a risky proposition since you’re using time without knowing if you’ll get paid.
However, it can catch a potential client’s attention and then get you some paid work. Plus, many great copywriters will tell you that lots of writing practice is key to success.
Remember, as a writer you can always create spec work and samples. And, if you aren’t accepted in the gig, add what you wrote to your freelance portfolio (just note it’s a sample and not something you’ve written for the client).
15). Copywriter Websites
You can also find potential clients by doing a little bit of sneaky spying.
Check out the websites of other copywriters and see where they’ve done some work. It’s even better if the copywriters are in your niche. But it’s fine if they aren’t too. Do this and you’ll probably find dozens of new brands you haven’t come across before.
You can add those brands to your list of places to pitch since you know they’ve worked with freelancers in the past.
16). Your Current Clients
Without a doubt, the easiest way to get more work is to look at your current clients.
If you’re worried that you can’t do that because you’ve just been blogging and not doing copy, that’s ok. Capitalize on your good work and relationship. Send them a note and ask them about doing copy work. You can start small, say you’re happy to do an email campaign or a short landing page.
You never know if they might need someone but have just been feeling overwhelmed on their end about starting a search. Since you already work together, you can have a leg up and they might be willing to give you a shot, even with limited experience.
This might be a case where doing some spec work could help you stand out.
17). Self Promotion
Don’t forget to act as your own biggest cheerleader.
If you want people to know you, then you’ve got to put yourself out there. The easy way is to announce it to people and post it on social media.
But you can take it a step further.
Do a self-promotion tour, see if you can get on podcasts in your niche, or even speak at events or conferences showing off your knowledge of sales and copy. Plus, this type of promotion is a great way to build up how people see your expertise. And looks good on your website.
Ready to dive in?
Ok, if you’ve been on the fence about jumping into copywriting, it’s time.
You can use all of these tips and strategies to help you get started right now. Remember, just like everything else, building a freelance copywriting career is a long-term play. So keep chugging away.
The more you commit and market yourself the better off you’re going to be. You can do it!