How to Become a Copywriter with No Experience
Becoming a copywriter with no experience is 100% doable.
You need great energy, drive and a winning attitude to start.
But to set you on the path to success, you need:
- Good spelling / grammar skills
- Time management skills
- Some experience of writing.
Assuming you have these, let’s discuss the 10 fundamentals to becoming a copywriter with no experience.
1. Understand What Copywriting is
Before making a commitment to becoming a copywriter, you need to understand what copywriting is at the core.
Because copywriting is not just writing!
Copywriting goes beyond writing, and requires an understanding of the human psychology behind purchase decisions.
And that involves getting in the ‘heads’ of your customers, to understand how they think, before crafting copy that is complimented with great visuals, to maximise sales.
Don’t be phased if you don’t have this ‘understanding’ now, but rather understand that copywriting is 80% art and 20% science.
Anyone can learn the ‘science’ of working with words, but it’s the ‘art’ that’s fundamental to successful copywriting, and that’s:
- Persuasive copy.
2. Embrace a Total Commitment to Learning Copywriting
A ‘total commitment’ to learning copywriting is the only way you can go from a no experienced copywriter to a highly experienced and successful one.
And that’s a commitment to learning:
- The 80% art and 20% science of copywriting (explained here)
- Customer psychological triggers (explained here by Neil Patel)
- The 3 golden keys to success in copywriting (explained here).
But that’s just your starting point.
Because it’s only through 100% commitment to learning, you can:
- Achieve excellence
- Change your life.
According to Lifehack (here), it’s not good enough to be ‘involved’, because that means you’re not committed enough, and therefore won’t achieve the results you desire.
Takeaway: Be sure to invest ‘everything’ into learning copywriting, or you won’t succeed.
3. Understand Why People Hire Copywriters
Think of the millions of brands out there.
Any size (small / medium / large).
They all need to communicate ‘effectively’ with their customers, using ‘words’, that give a clear message and inspire action.
Whether it be:
The list is endless.
And this endless brand ‘word’ need, can result in great financial compensation.
But firstly, you must be prepared to build relationships with these brands.
And secondly, master the ‘art’ of changing a customer’s perspective, by choosing how to:
- Talk about
- Frame something.
Because by doing this (according to Scientific American), you are:
Cuing others to think about it in a specific way.
4. Use Free Resources, Tools and Exercises
To master the fundamentals of copywriting, don’t invest in a ‘course’ or buy ‘books’, before checking out free resources, tools and exercises.
- Copyblogger – Great tips and advice for anyone that writes content online.
- Copyhackers – The home of conversion copywriting.
- Unbounce – The landing page copywriting blueprint.
- Jon Morrow Redux – Headline hacks.
- ConversionXL – Quick course on effective website copywriting.
For practice on improving your copywriting skills, work on these copywriting exercises.
5. Read and Then Write
If you don’t like reading, then copywriting is not the career for you!
Because research is fundamental to winning copy, and so be prepared to invest ‘hours’ reading, before crafting copy.
Lifehacker reports repetition is best to absorb information while reading, and Lifehack gives some great secrets to reading faster / absorbing information here.
But, when it comes to reading, the human brain can only absorb so much.
So absorb as much as possible, but then pull out a pen, and take notes by hand.
Because according to the BBC (reported here) taking notes by hand is a:
- Key learning
- Study tool (that can begin as early as grades 3 or 4).
And this makes taking notes by hand a sure-fire way to master copywriting quicker than other methods.
6. Stick to These Fundamentals of Success
6.1 Only focus on you
- Avoid distractions and stay focused
- Position yourself as an expert in your niche
- Excel in the types of copywriting you’re best at.
6.2 Establish a niche for yourself
- Choose a niche your passionate about and knowledgeable in
- Pitch your services to potential clients
- Excel as you know your target market better than the competition.
6.3 Always give value
- Give more value than you take
- Excel in winning new clients because of the value you offer.
6.4 Work hard in the beginning and be prepared to aim low
- Be realistic at first because big money projects are unlikely
- Use freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr to gain valuable experience
- Excel in unlocking higher paid opportunities.
6.5 Make a copywriting portfolio
- Create a strong portfolio of writing examples
- Build your portfolio with more experience
- Excel in winning new business with a comprehensive / relevant portfolio.
7. Get Clients as a Freelance Copywriter
‘Consistency’ is the key to winning clients as a freelance copywriter.
Because for every low paid job in the beginning, there will be another lucrative job around the corner.
In the beginning always focus on: Client satisfaction with results and a superior service offering value (mentioned in 6.3 earlier).
Creating value = client satisfaction = more clients.
And creating value = standing out from the competition = more clients.
By doing this ‘daily’, momentum will grow (like your portfolio), with more clients finding your services too good to refuse.
Takeaway: Believe in your skills and be willing to prove yourself (and the clients will come!).
8. Reach Out to Potential Clients
Being proactive is essential to securing copywriting work.
- Do your research
- Approach clients you would like to write for
- Offer them your work.
While nerve wracking at first, results will come with practice and perseverance.
5 great tips for approaching clients are:
- Know who you’re pitching
- Consider how you’re presenting yourself (not simply your idea)
- Tell a story
- Cover the details
- Show the roadmap.
And you can read in-depth about these 5 tips here.
Because as time goes on, the more:
- Comprehensive your work examples become.
And this increases the chances of you securing work through pitches!
9. Building Your Freelance Writing Business
The only way to build your freelancing writing business is from the ground up.
- Hard work
- Exposure (will get you there).
Bigger jobs is your goal with a:
3 great strategies for getting better clients are:
- Establish credibility beyond copywriting – by gaining experience outside the marketing and copywriting field, you gain credibility, and a competitive edge.
- Establish yourself in a niche – rather than being a copywriter that can write about everything, stick to an area of expertise, to maximise results.
- Establish credibility with big companies – niche experience can open doors, and build better project management skills, leading to more opportunities.
10. Network with Other Writers
Networking with other writers is obvious to enhance your learning, skills and gain valuable tips.
But networking groups with complimentary businesses to copywriting offers the most benefit.
For example, a:
- Web developer
- Graphic designer
- Business coach.
Networking (in this instance) goes to another level, where you can discuss:
- Ways you can help each other
- How you can work on joint projects
- How to best approach potential clients.
According to Forbes, networking is essential for your career, because it is a collective effort that achieves professional success.
Never networked before?
Think again, because remember the saying ‘no man is an island’, and no, it’s not about networking with everyone!
Because what matters more (as Forbes summarises) is:
- Who you network with
- Relevance to your career.
As Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho once said: “People never learn anything by being told, they have to find it for themselves.”
And that should be your exact approach now for becoming a copywriter with no experience.
So start with the basics of:
Before gaining the best experience, by having a ‘go’ and being prepared to fail (as many times as it takes), before you succeed as a copywriter!
Over to You…
Do you agree with How to Become a Copywriter with No Experience? Or is there something missing, or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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