How To Get Your First Copywriting Gig When You're Just Starting Out

How To Get Your First Copywriting Gig When You’re Just Starting Out

Facebook has many groups helping people get jobs – including copywriting jobs (and our sister group Copywriting Jobs is just one of them).

As in every walk of life, there are people willing to work for nothing to either build a reputation, a portfolio, or just get attention.

When people see these offers, they think one of three things: a) that’s so sweet, I really must do something to help them, b) why do these people not learn that nothing in life is free, or c) meh.

The people who post ads saying they’re willing to work for free (or for the lowest cost) usually start by saying something like “I’m a noobie looking for experience…” or “I’ve taken a course and want to learn more…” or “I’ve been writing all my life but am new to copywriting…”.

What they’re really saying is “I lack confidence in my abilities and myself, and am willing to work for nothing to gain that confidence.”.

All of us suffer from this at some point in our lives because we’re frightened of the unknown. It’s not just humans. It’s all animals. It means “Don’t eat me”.

Confidence tricksters don’t suffer from this. They learn the ropes beforehand. They go out and try them. They do it again and again till they become CONFIDENT in their abilities to trick (or counter objections).

If they have a virtue at all, it’s that one thing. Doing. They know the one thing that holds everyone else back is confidence, and they know that doing it is how you get it.

This sounds like I’m advocating trickery. I’m not. Trickery is easy. If you’re a trickster and you want money, you get it. The downside is, you just might lose your freedom getting it (and possibly your life too).

So how does someone new to copywriting go about getting confidence? This is how:

1. Find a local business that obviously needs help (eg. because their site is full of typos and spelling mistakes).

2. Check them out. Are they honest? Would you like to be associated with them? Are they respected in the local community?

3. Write a piece of copy aimed directly at them. Show them you care. Show them you know them. Show them how you can help (give them a real example of how you might change one of their pages).

4. Visit them if they have premises, or call them if not. Ask for an appointment. Write a letter.

5. Show them your copy when you get to meet them (or in your letter).

6. Figure out beforehand whether you’re a) going to charge them for it, or b) do it in exchange for a testimonial and permission to feature them as a customer on your site.

You’ll find this far better than random ads on copywriting jobs groups, and by the time you’ve got a few businesses like this on board (some will want to pay you if they appreciate the quality of your work), your reputation and confidence will be on the up.

About the Author Quentin Pain

I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which showcases copywriting and copywriters to the world.

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