I’m opening up the mailbox and answering YOUR questions!

Do you make this mistake in chasing clients?

This week, I opened my mailbox to find yet another question about getting clients as a newer copywriter.

But I’m not going to answer that directly.  Because I’ve answered the how to get started as a copywriter and get copywriting clients questions so many times already in recent weeks.

Instead, I’m going to focus in on a mindset mistake I see inside this question.

It’s common among newer copywriters.  And it could be holding you back from your biggest opportunities for success.

So I’ll tackle the mindset head-on.  And refer you to any of the links above for even more insight into how to get started and get your first copywriting clients.

And remember: today is Mailbox Monday.  That’s the day I open my mailbox and answer your questions.  About marketing, copywriting, selling, business-building, career-building, and more.

Want your question answered?  Ask here.

Here’s today’s question…

Hey Roy,

I’m starting out as a copywriter specialized in helping coaches and consultants.  I used to be a coach myself. I’ve gone through a number of different copywriting trainings.

What is the best way for me to get started effectively to get clients?

I want to concentrate on something I love and that would be probably Landing Pages, Email, FB Ads, Squeeze Pages or VSLs…

My most pressing question is: WHO in the coaching industry would hire me as a starting-out copywriter for good money while STILL being “not too big for me” so I get ignored?

From my understanding, my best clients would be already successful coaches who advertise etc.

How to best approach them, especially without a track record yet?

BIG BIG THANKS IN ADVANCE!

T

Can YOU spot the client-chasing mistake here?

I’ll tell you this…

It’s super common.

And it leads to many newer copywriters working with BAD clients — ESPECIALLY for their skill level.

HINT: There’s a big flawed assumption about the kind of clients that are best for newer copywriters.

Get it yet?

Okay, here it is…

“Too big for me” is NOT a great way to screen clients…

…  Especially if you’re a newer copywriter.

Because if you’re a newer copywriter, I can bet that you would benefit from working with a better, more-experienced marketer.

Someone to teach you the ropes.  Someone to catch your mistakes BEFORE the market hands your head to you.

You’d benefit from having other copywriters to bounce ideas off of, and participate in copy review sessions with.

Here’s the thing: copy reviews tend to have a strong “reversion to the mean” effect.  Which means, when your copy is reviewed by others, the suggestions will lead your copy to come out at about the average skill of the copywriters in the review.

So if you’re a C copywriter in a group full of B+ and A- copywriters, you’ll probably end up writing B or B+ copy by following the peer review advice.

That’s GREAT for a newer copywriter.  And that opportunity only exists in bigger businesses.

You really want to work with marketers who are big enough to help you grow AND have room in their marketing operations for a newer copywriter to contribute.

Contrast these big clients with smaller businesses…

And let’s go with the slightly-above-average coach you might try to get clients from.

They have the coach.  Maybe they have an assistant.  And they have a handful of freelancers or outside helpers they’ve worked with from time to time.

Their operations are less organized.  Their marketing knowledge is less sophisticated.  They have less ability to use what you write for them.

In terms of mere additions to your portfolio, you could work with these businesses a few times to get some experience.

And you might enjoy some decent wins.

But it’s going to be a pain getting them to do what they need to do.  And pretty much all the success or failure of your marketing will fall on your shoulders.

This doesn’t hurt if you’re an agency.  If you create the marketing, build the websites, and buy the traffic so all they have to do is show up for the appointments you book for them, maybe…

But if you’re simply aiming to write copy that will be utilized to its fullest, you’ll struggle.

Flip your assumption on its head…

You’d be far better off finding an established company that you can contribute marketing help to.

And being flexible in helping them solve marketing problems, using your copy skills as an asset.

It will tend to be a bigger company.

And using something in line with Jake Hoffberg’s approach of getting Agora copywriting gigs would be a smart way to approach it.

Think about it as a long play.

Approach them to write emails or Facebook ads.

Or something.

Tell them you’re newer, but can tackle some of their overflow short copy.  The kind of copy they really should be writing, but that their lead copywriters are too busy to do.

Because they’re a bigger company, they’ll tend to have more of this type of work.  And it will be worth more, so they’ll be able to pay more.

And along the way, you’ll have access to better resources to create a better-finished product.

So, yeah.  Good all around.

Not only that, the bigger companies will look better on your client list, because they’re better-known.

My experience…

Is that bigger companies really have far better opportunities for copywriters.

Not like Proctor & Gamble big, or something like that.

But bigger direct response companies that are usually still founder-run.

And if they have a bunch of copywriters already, that’s actually a good thing.

The best direct response marketing companies I know are constantly growing copywriters from inside their ranks.

They’re hiring rookies.  Giving them small work to develop their skills.  Then giving them more opportunities and responsibilities as they are ready for it.

I guess this turned into a more-or-less direct answer to the WHO question.

But the important part is that you MUST drop the idea of some companies being “too big for you.”  Rather, “too small for you” is probably the bigger risk.

Because a too-small company won’t give you the same level of opportunity or help in seizing it.

Hope this is a helpful reset.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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