When you’re starting out, even if you already feel competent with your copy and writing in general, your top priority is to find and take on your first client. Why is that so hard?
As copywriters, our job is to convert people, and that includes our own prospects. So what do we need to do to achieve that objective?
Exactly the same thing we’d do to achieve the objective of our clients.
The thing is, if we don’t have clients, then we have no right to claim anything. So the absolute first rule of anyone in business (not just us copywriters) is to prove to ourselves that we can get our first client. Only then can we have any legitimate claim to be able to help our clients get more clients (and make more sales).
There is one caveat. If we’ve come from a copywriting sales background and got results BUT did it working for someone else, then any claim we make that we are professionals is valid. And that means we can blast that message loud and clear. It also means that even though we did it working for someone else, we still used our skill to make sales, and the company we worked for used their skills to get new clients. So all we need to do is figure that out and copy it (more on that in a second).
If you’ve not sold a thing for anyone using your copywriting skills now or in the past, then you need to win the trust of someone willing to let you have a go.
To do that you have only one choice. You need to get yourself in front of anyone willing to listen, tell them the truth, and make them an offer they’ll find hard to resist.
The alternative is to fake it before you make it, and whilst that does work, I can tell you it rarely brings satisfaction.
To be a salesperson, you first need to BE a salesperson (and that means selling). It’s the same with copywriting. To be a copywriter, you first need to BE a copywriter (and that means writing copy).
So if you’re stuck trying to get your first client, do this one thing. Find local businesses, call them, visit them, send them a letter in the post, send them an email or two, but above all, never give up. And I guarantee that at some point, someone will take you up.
PS. The BIG IDEA with this post is this: “If we’re so good at converting people into buyers with our copy, there’s no reason on this planet why we shouldn’t also be able to get clients.”.
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 helps copywriters learn more about copywriting and the copywriting industry around the world.
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