How to Get Clients as a Copywriter Without Having to Hustle 24/7
1. Charge more
In Episode #182 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast, Joe Kashurba talks about building his online business. Joe’s story is an interesting one. His business took off when he started raising prices dramatically. I want to repeat that for you to fully understand what I mean:
He made more money after he raised prices than he did before that.
Did he lose some clients by doing that? Who cares? The bottom line is he makes much more with adjusted prices. $500-$1.000 to $1.500-$2.000 to $5.000–$40.000. That’s breathtaking. Through higher prices, Joe attracted new clients with new problems – and deeper pockets.
If you’re a freelancer or you’re trying to build an agency, keep in mind that communicating with clients and managing lots of projects at once takes a lot of time. A few high-priced clients are much easier to manage than lots of small clients. Although bigger clients can be demanding from time to time, they often require less micromanagement.
Now, we could take about what aspect of the human brain responds to premium prices that make people gladly pay more but that would take hours. Of course, if you want me to write about this topic, just leave a comment.
You don’t want everybody as a client. David Allen and John McIntyre talk about this often on the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast. Moreover, you shouldn’t target everybody. Because if you do, you actually don’t target anybody. You have to niche down and create an offer that’s targeted at a specific group.
Lots of people sell products on how to get clients on LinkedIn. But I see very few who actually do it successfully. One of those people is Neil Hughes, a tech blogger from the UK, who managed to create a very successful career through LinkedIn. I heard about him in Episode #231 of the ProBlogger podcast.
Neil had an IT job and wanted to be self-employed. He started posting tech-related articles on LinkedIn, which gained some traction after a while. Ultimately, this would lead him to raving fans, an expert status, and many opportunities, among which is writing for some of the world’s largest tech publications.
It’s much easier to get clients after you have built a following on LinkedIn and are respected as an expert and thought leader.
Furthermore, starting LinkedIn groups can be an interesting strategy to position yourself as an authority. These groups can be your platform for regularly publishing case studies, blog posts or projects you’re working on. Don’t overdo the self-promotion but since you control the group, use it to your favor.
3. Google AdWords
Here, we’ll mention Joe Kashurba again. He got AdWords working for him a couple years ago but then had to stop after 4 months because his ads generated TOO many clients. Who else wants these kinds of problems?
One of the key things he talks about in an interview with David Allen is keeping the wrong people out. He would put in certain keywords and filters into his ads – similar to putting prices into ads. This kept the wrong prospects out.
In fact, his goal was to keep people away from clicking on his ads, as every click was costing him money.
The concept of making prospects qualify first before you start a business relationship with them is something Matt Furey does for his coaching, as well. You have to apply for his coaching with an online formula.
It’s really tough to get jobs as a freelancer on portals like Upwork. What Joe Kashurba did is apply classic direct marketing principles to the process of applying for jobs. He went a step further and documented every change he did in his approach.
He found out what works through trial and error. However, he did it with a systematized approach, not through guessing. It’s why he was successful.
I myself have noticed how unprepared most freelancers on Upwork are during hiring. 90% of them don’t personalize the email they send you. 90% of them don’t specifically apply for your job but use the same proposal for every single new client. You can do better than that.
5. List Building
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times: you need a list. The reason for this is simple: it’s true. You can’t build an online business focused on selling information without a list. It’s very helpful for offering services like copywriting, as well.
In fact, building your own list of prospects is the best client-getting tool you can have. A variation of it is a membership program. Lots of guys like Dan Kennedy, Ben Settle, and Jeff Beale do it. Listen to Episode #146 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast to learn more about it. It’s worth it.
Your best clients will come from people who have already bought from you. A great lesson about clients: they keep coming back if satisfied.
Offer existing clients a share when they refer new clients to you. This way, you let your customers do the selling. Just make sure they are really satisfied with your services. Help others make money and grow their business.
The great thing about it: you stay in touch with former clients. Who knows when they might be ready for your services again, so make sure you stay on their radar.
Gaurav Duggal talks about these tactics in Episode no #115 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast. If you want great ideas on how to get clients and automate a large part of the process through a sales funnel, listen to this interview.
Use testimonials to show what you’re able to do. If you can provide real sales numbers, that’s fantastic. For most of you, this may not be the case though. In fact, most customers won’t ever track the results of your copywriting.
Many won’t use the copy they paid you for. Accept it, get paid, and move on. Just remember to do one thing before saying goodbye: ask them for a testimonial.
It’s best if you can already use a line they wrote in your Upwork feedback or an email where they said something positive about you, e.g. that you’re easy to communicate with or deliver excellent work on time.
Stay away from canned testimonials. Keep it short and natural. If possible, always include a link to their homepage or main projects (if it looks professional).
8. Create a funnel
When you’re offering your services as a copywriter, you need to promote yourself – always stay selling. Others have an information product they get leads for, build opt-in forms, and create free reports.
You should do the same for your services as a writer. Make it absolutely clear what happens to new visitors on your blog or website. Everything has to be directed to getting them on your list and converting them into paying customers.
But, apart from having a list, there’s much more to building a sales funnel. Just copy the strategies of the great marketers out there – Dan Kennedy, Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern, etc. For example, you might write a printed book (which is easier to do than you think).
Don’t you think this would set you apart from other freelancers who write copy instantly? You bet it would. In addition, your sales funnel helps you automate a lot of the work when it comes to acquiring new clients.
Finding new clients in the offline world still works. While everybody else is focused on online, this can deliver excellent results. I personally know founders who have built multi-million dollar agencies by using a call center to call prospects and ask for an appointment. Armed with a solid concept from their crew, the founders would then do the selling in person in the next step.
You can also implement this by building your own call center, as Sean Mysel describes it in Episode #187 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast. Direct response marketing works – if you do, too. Don’t expect any magic bullets (although for me personally, the world of direct response is as close as you can get to a magic bullet).
If you’ve already gained some momentum in your freelance career, giving interviews is the perfect way to get more clients. You instantly receive an authority boost when someone publishes an interview with you.
Try approaching guys who do podcasts. They’re always looking for new, interesting guests. This tactic works best if you already have clients, a compelling story or are successful in a certain niche.
Contact agencies and offer your services. Most agencies will be open to a good freelancer if they don’t have the skills in their company. It benefits them if they’re able to showcase a broader portfolio to their clients. It’s very common in the industry. Of course, they will sell your services as their own so you won’t receive any reputation boost.
Still, the pros outweigh the cons. Agencies do the client acquisition for you and you have nothing to lose. The easiest way to approach agencies is by email or phone. More than often, it’s quite easy to get the contact details of the owners and talk to them directly. Just try it!
Hope you enjoyed this article on how to get clients as a copywriter.
This is a guest post by Haris Halkic. If you enjoy his writing, get on his email marketing list. He talks about copywriting, building your information business online, and the most important secret to making a difference in your marketing.