Yesterday I wrote about how to get your first copywriting client. In that note, I shared the exact formula I used to land my first freelance gig with a respected marketing expert.
But a little more than a year before that, I’d actually landed a full-time marketing gig…
If you’re an aspiring copywriter or marketer with zero experience in marketing…
I can’t recommend this strongly enough!
I don’t know how many times it’s come in handy that I have real, in-the-trenches marketing experience ON TOP OF pretty good copywriting skills…
But I can tell you this…
I don’t know a single highly-successful copywriter today who doesn’t understand the intricacies of the ENTIRE marketing department…
Even if all they do 99.9% of the time is hole themselves up in their basement office and crank out high-octane sales copy.
Sales copy doesn’t exist in a vacuum!
It’s certainly important.
It can make or break a campaign.
But there are MANY moving pieces in an effective marketing campaign. And if you get ONE wrong, your response can go KAPUT!
And so, as a copywriter, your services, insight, and contributions can MULTIPLY in VALUE (along with your fees) if you understand the big picture of marketing.
And that’s why I absolutely, positively recommend without reservation…
You should “quit” your dream of The Writer’s Life…
… And get a REAL JOB!
Listen, I appreciate that you want all the perks of being a freelance copywriter…
- Working from home, or anywhere!
- Control of your schedule, and no boss to get all bossy on you!
- And near-unlimited earning potential!
And yet, it may pay — in the long-run — to get a “real” 9-to-5 marketing job that puts you in the trenches in an established company, responsible for MANY aspects of marketing.
Getting leads. Converting leads. Managing email marketing programs. Digging into your database and uncovering additional profit opportunities. Driving referrals. Keeping a website up. And so on.
If it’s NOT a direct response company, but you can use ROI-minded marketing to help them grow, that’s great. (This is what I did, more than doubling the company in under 5 years, and earning them a spot on Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Businesses.)
If you can get an in-house gig at an established direct marketing company, that’s great, too. If you’ve got ambition, there will most likely be at least one (if not many) key players in the company who are willing to feed your ambition and success through mentorship… Knowing you’re helping their company grow.
Either way, you’ll be growing hugely valuable skills!
The better you understand every aspect of marketing, the better you can help all your future clients develop effective marketing strategies and systems.
And you will have intimate knowledge of all those pieces and parts…
Which means you’ll know exactly what every piece of sales copy needs to do…
And the best way to do it!
PLUS you’ll be getting paid to learn!
So let’s say you have ZERO experience but you want to land an awesome marketing job…
How do you do it?
The exact same way I did!
One look at my resume in the mid-2000s would have said I was severely under-qualified to take over a marketing department.
But I couldn’t respond to a “help wanted” ad without sending my resume…
So I hid it beneath a cover letter that essentially said…
(And I’m sorry I can’t dig up the original right now — it’s at least two computers ago, and perhaps lost to the ages…)
I’m writing in response to your ad for a Marketing Manager position.
If you take a moment to look at my resume, you’ll think — no doubt — that I’m not qualified for the job at all.
I’d like the opportunity to prove that assumption wrong.
First, I’d like to highlight my experience at XXX. While this wasn’t a marketing job, it gave me XXX skills that are directly relevant because XXX.
Also my experience at YYY will help me achieve success with your company because YYY.
[Fill in more experience here.]
Not only that, you’ll find that I’ll work both harder and smarter than any other candidate for the position, simply because I want it more.
While I may not have much direct marketing experience on my resume, I’ve become an avid student of effective and proven marketing strategies, and would like the opportunity to work with you to apply them in your business.
Let’s talk. You can get a hold of me at ### or by email at [email protected].
You may be starting to recognize a theme…
It’s another irresistible offer!
There are very few job candidates who will ever send a letter like this. It shows at least some marketing chops. And they’ll absolutely want to speak with you.
You’ll still have to prove yourself in the interview, and on the job.
But this letter is a HUGE first step to getting in the door. Don’t swipe it word-for-word. Capture the idea in your own voice. Make it relevant to your potential employer.
My old boss repeatedly told me that he never would have considered me on my resume alone. But with that cover letter, I got through the golden gates, and became a member of the company’s “brain trust.”
It was also a huge training ground where I was able to develop many of the proven marketing skills I have today.
And a success story — as we more than doubled their business in my time there.
If you’re looking to get good at marketing or copywriting, you should not write off getting a “real” job for a while.
I promise, it’ll be worth it.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets