As I mentioned in my email on Sunday, I'm doing a feature this week called "Santa's Mailbag".
And I'm taking some time out from my backed-up client projects and never-ending holiday "to do" list to answer your most burning questions or share your feedback and insights.
So let's get rolling, shall we? Let me dig into my mailbag and see what I come up with...
Oh, look-ee there...here's a question that came in from Ali F.
Ali wrote to ask me, "Hey Kim, What's the best advice you would give a 'newbie' struggling to master the reins of copywriting, about what to expect when it comes to getting clients and making money?" Ahhhh, that is the million-dollar question, isn't it? I've seen it time and again...someone gets exited about learning copywriting--in part because they're intrigued by the earning potential, and in part because they love the idea of writing (or view themselves as good at it). What I tell "newbie" copywriters is before they start taking on clients, they need to make sure they know what the heck they are doing. After all, would you want a surgeon to operate on you if he or she had only completed their first year of undergraduate studies? Heck,no! So before you hang up your "shingle", it's important to know you're able to deliver. That doesn't mean you need to achieve "expert level" status before taking on clients. Just make sure you've nailed down the basics and put in your practice "reps". You WILL learn by doing...and if you can get paid for it, all the better. But you also have a responsibility to potential clients to provide them a quality service that they are paying you for. In the short and long run, it's going to do you a WORLD of good if you can deliver good copy that they can use, without all the headaches of editing the most basic typos or English mistakes. That's because if you do a decent job, they'll actually use your copy and you'll get a sample (even if it didn't end up working)...which can lead you to more clients. You'll get repeat business (again, even if your initial effort didn't work--if you did a good job and you're good to work with, they'll give you another shot...and remember, copy/creative is only 20% of the 40/40/20 rule...the others are 40% offer--which includes the product, and 40% is the list your promotion went to). And you'll start to develop a good reputation...instead of a bad one (yes, clients do talk to each other and word can spread quickly if you aren't able to deliver the goods). So don't risk shooting yourself in the foot if you are more eager to start making money than actually learning and mastering your craft first. (I know it sounds like Santa's being mean, but it's a good way to end up on your clients' "naughty list" if you fail to follow through with a solid effort on your copy.) Here are my top tips for getting better at copywriting if you're just starting out:
Keep reading and learning everything you can about copywriting
Study successful promotions, i.e., read or, better yet, hand copy one each day
Write every day, even if you’re making up practice projects and get whatever initial clients you can so you can get better
Stay tuned to my emails, lots of opportunities to learn from them...as well as some things I’ll be offering or steering you to that can help!
Alright, that's it for today's Santa's Mailbag. As I peek inside it, it's looking a bit empty in there...so send over your questions and comments to me at Kim@kimschwalm.com, and you've got a good shot of having me address them in a future issue. Now, be good boys and girls so you end up on Santa's "nice" list, okay? Yours for smarter marketing, Kim
P.S. In case you missed it, my friend Kevin Rogers is offering his popular Escape Velocity program starting on January 4th. It's a 10-week program that's ideal if you're just getting started with your freelance copywriting career. It's designed to "fast track" your progress on everything from figuring out which niche or specialty you want to focus on to finding quality clients to developing a pricing/fee structure (and closing deals) and everything else in-between. At least two of my copywriting mentees from this year's "Fast Track to A-List" program did Kevin's program (Alex Ko and Brian Czekanski), and it definitely gave them a big edge in fast-tracking their progress. And some of the top copywriters and experts I know like Chris Orzechowski, Abbey Woodcock, Allison Carpio, Rachel Mazza, April Dykman, and others got their start by working with Kevin. Important: There are two options offered, and I'm sure both will give you the tools and training you need to soar. But the one you'll want to go with if you can get in is the Live Coaching option with Kevin Rogers. That's because it's the last time Kevin's going to be doing the Live Coaching option...and I can attest he's a fantastic person for you to learn from and be mentored by (based on his many success stories). And he's a lot of fun, too! You can get all the details here...