A guest blog by Alex Clifford, copywriter and marketing executive
Copywriting is an incredible skill. You can carve out an awesome career for yourself if you know how to write well. However, you’re limiting yourself if you can only write copy. As a wordsmith you can get more work and charge more, if you learn some extra marketing skills and know the current state of online marketing. Here’s 4 tips to get you started.
Many small businesses don’t use email marketing but it’s one of the most cost-effective ways of making more sales. According to the Direct Marketing association, email marketing has a return on investment of 40:1. If you can hone your zazzy copywriting skills to create great emails, and get people to buy – you can build up some excellent extra customers.
Explain the benefits of email marketing when you pitch to a client. You can sell it to them as an add-on. You can charge for a few hours a week to manage, research and write their email newsletters. It’s a fantastic way of earning yourself regular work and more retainers.
If you want to learn how to write fantastic emails: download Fruitbowl Media’s 10 and half tips for email marketing.
A lot of companies in the past will have used an SEO agency to magic themselves to the top of Google. Many of these may have used underhand tactics like keyword stuffing, using invisible text and buying links from spammy websites. Since Google made updates (known as Panda and Penguin), producing content is the only way to rise through the rankings.
You might want to pitch your services to local SEO and web design agencies. These guys need more and more copywriters like you to make refreshing content for their clients. And many of them will be producing crap, as this presentation will show you.
One of my contacts’ businesses specialises in copywriting for construction and demolition companies. He knew that industry out and had a near-monopoly on its copywriting. It provided him with plenty of work over the years, because companies were recommending him among themselves.
If you’re a generic copywriter you’re likely to become a jack-of-all-tricks but a master of none. If you learn about an industry inside out – your work can stand out against other people’s. You’ll get loads of extra business through word of mouth.
There is one reason why companies will hire you. Because they believe your words will make them more money than you cost.
The more accurately you can measure the impact of what you’re doing, the more you can justify yourself. If you learn to use measuring tools like Google Analytics you can show a direct ROI (return on investment) of your online marketing. How much new traffic have you won for the business? How many leads (email addresses) have you captured? How many of them became customers?
Once you know how much your work is earning your clients, you can charge more. (If it’s positive of course). You can prove your value and raise your rates.
Copywriting is an amazing skill and it’s a fantastic career once you’re in it. The problem is that nowadays companies aren’t just looking for copywriters. They’re looking for marketers. They need proof that you can add value to their business. Acquire some extra skills, and you can build yourself an ultra-lucrative copywriting business. Then who knows, you’ll probably grow and take on other copywriters as well?
Alex Clifford came into copywriting by creating a school newspaper, writing for local magazines and then getting a copywriting & marketing job after finishing his A-Levels. Alex is now Marketing Executive at Virally – a software platform which helps you track and amplify your content marketing.