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How do you find copywriting jobs anywhere in the world? How can you broadcast your top notch skills, not just in your city, but globally, so you can find the best fit for your skills, for the most competitive compensation?
You’re here, at this moment in your life because you’ve unshackled yourself from your 9 to 5 job. You can smell the freedom but you find yourself with a new problem. You’re not alone.
According to Forbes, “More than one third (36 percent) of U.S. workers are in the gig economy, which works out to a very large number of approximately 57 million people. And that number is expected to increase.” Click To Tweet
It will mean competition against other freelancers seeking remote writing work. Imagine standing in a crowd of hundreds, yelling to your ideal client, “Pick me!”
How can you make the transition from employee to self employed, and develop the savvy to be the first to find ideal writing gigs, so you can have the lifestyle that you desire? It may seem like an Everest-sized task, but following these strategies and tips will get you to your dream much faster.
Copywriting In The Gig Economy
First, know who you’re up against. Other freelancers may have ended up in the same profession, but they arrived here from different paths:
- Career employees who suffer from professional burnout
- Solopreneurs who work different gigs full time
- Students who need flexible jobs while they study
- Stay at home parents who want to be closer to their kids
A fifth group are people who have talent and are working gigs — project based jobs — to make extra cash.
According to a credit company survey, “The average American household carries about $7,000 in revolving debt—that’s on top of things like mortgages, car payments, and student loans.”
The gig economy is the perfect solution for all these types of freelancers. And you’re one of them. But if freelancing is attracting so many types of workers, what can you do to stand out from the crowd?
To stay competitive, will you have to learn to balance lots of clients and a range of writing skills, like website content, marketing campaigns, ghost writing and journal writing? Will you need to constantly market yourself to find work?
An entrepreneur once said that, ““Contributing to video scripts, to social campaigns, this is the new norm for a writer to be working on ten projects with deadlines at a time.”
If that’s the reality, the future looks grim. You didn’t imagine yourself with eight arms, juggling several tasks and responsibilities at once in the gig economy.
The reality is, transitioning from having a job to freelancing is not an easy feat. You need to be comfortable with change. You have to be a hustler to find work and you have to be resourceful. And you don’t have a boss to blame if something goes wrong.
Does The Market Need Freelancers?
Now, the good news is, even employers are looking for freelancers for three reasons. First, hiring a freelancer saves the employer 25 to 40% in costs. Click To TweetThere is no need to pay the taxes and benefits for an employee. They also save on office space and equipment.
Second, they fill skills gaps in the company so employers don’t need to lose time training staff on a new skill. Third, they can cover seasonal fluctuations. They no longer need to keep employees around when work isn’t as busy.
You can be the hero that jumps in to save the day when they have a need for someone with special skills, such as content marketing or SEO, for example.
Evidence leans toward a future with a steady supply of remote work. “Because more than 90% of remote workers plan to continue working remotely for the rest of their careers, according to a study by Buffer, marketers have access to a vast array of people who take their roles as freelancers quite seriously.”
What Type Of Writers Excel In A Gig Economy?
It’s predicted that by 2020, “43% of the US workforce alone will be made up of freelancers.”
At this point, you know you’re not alone, but you probably wish you could be. There is a lot of competition. What steps should you take next?
First, ignore the majority of the opportunities out there. That might sound counter intuitive if you’re just starting out and you want to cast a wide net.
Next, narrow down your niche by specializing in certain types of writing. Choose a niche that’s deep enough to set you apart from other people, but not so deep that only your neighbor has heard of what you do.
Specialists are paid higher than generalists, and as a specialist, you will spend less time researching the lingo when you get a project. Then start building a portfolio with examples of your work.
As a specialist, it’s also easier for you to ignore lowball clients who offer you low paying gigs, and difficult clients that make unreasonable demands. Ideally, of the four types of clients, these two are the types you want to avoid.
Should You Become An Online Entrepreneur?
If you become an online entrepreneur, or digital nomad, what will you need to do to become the rockstar writer that people want and what kind of income can you expect to have?
No one wants to follow their dream… and wake up to see it blown to pieces.
Here are nine ways that you can cut in front of your competitors and increase your success at freelancing.
- Work on having top notch writing skills.
- Meet the deadlines that you promised your clients.
- Be comfortable with being independent.
- Accept criticism about your work and find ways to improve.
- Market yourself so people know about your service.
- Be a self starter. You’re now your own boss.
- Learn to handle rejection when prospective clients don’t want to work with you.
- Stay on the cutting edge and always be learning.
- Prepare to juggle work with finding work and administrative tasks.
What Can You Expect As A Full Time Freelancer?
“Turning words into money. I’ve always loved writing, but having an impact on people is the best reward.”
“The freedom and flexibility of freelancing. I have great regular clients and a comfortable financial situation (which is why I don’t stress about increasing my freelancing income).”
Those are just some of the opinions of freelance copywriters who were asked about what they do. In a few years time, will you be loving your work as much as they do?
If you’re undecided, consider these aspects of the freelancing lifestyle.
1. Source of work.
When you have a project or two under your belt, referrals from other clients will bring you more work. Third party job websites and networking come in second as sources for new business.
2. What you could write about.
Website, content, and email writing are the majority of the writing projects that copywriters take on.
3. Years of writing experience you need.
Most have 3 to 5 years of copywriting experience. People with 6 to 10 years of experience is the next most common. People who are new to copywriting are the least common. If you’re just starting to look for writing gigs, you’re better off having some experience under your belt first.
4. What can you expect to earn?
At the time of the survey, $50,000 was the average income of most copywriters. However, if you have strong business acumen and an above average dose of tenacity, you can make over $100,000, even $200,000 a year.
The stronger your business know-how, the higher the likelihood that you’ll succeed at freelancing. For example, a freelance writer shared a story about how he left a 9 to 5 job in advertising to become a remote writer. He found success as a six figure earner after much trial and error, and now he’s created a start up.
Where To Find Remote Copywriting Jobs
What if you’re just getting started and you don’t have any prospective clients? How can you start to find remote copywriting jobs?
That’s a tough place to start. Maybe you used for work for a marketing company but when you left, you couldn’t take their clients with you. Maybe you’ve got some business savvy and a little bit of writing experience.
You’re like a worker who’s invested in all these tools… and you have nothing to make. All you need is that first client to come along, believe in you, and give you your first project.
All you need is that first big break.
- You could start by searching third party websites and job boards for job listings. There are plenty of resources for freelance jobs on those sites. The pay for projects can vary a great deal, so it’s buyer beware.
Hidden Gems For Finding Work
Instead of passively searching ads, you can take a more aggressive approach. Remember that you can get a lot of business through client referrals, so cultivating relationships is very important when you have your own business.
- Network with friends, family, and your ex-coworkers. Tell them about what you do. They might have your first writing gig and provide a testimonial.
- Network with other professional writers from other niches. Maybe they can recommend clients to you, or you can recommend clients to them.
- Join groups on social media where your ideal client would be. Ask a question to start a discussion, or join in an existing discussion. Offer value and build relationships. Show them your expertise. Tell your new connections about what you do.
- Create your own website and use it to showcase your work. Write guest posts on other people’s websites, especially if they have more followers and subscribers than you.
- Ask for referrals from past clients.
Some of these tips will get you possible clients quickly, others take longer. But the greatest advantage of connecting online is your massive reach. You might be living in the US, but you can find writing work in Asia, Europe, Or Australia.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can find work anywhere.
The B2B Resource For Finding Work
There is one more resource for finding work, the secret weapon for many businesses.
It’s so effective that studies show “79℅ of B2B marketers view LinkedIn as the most effective avenue for generating leads, which is why 90℅ of B2B marketers are taking advantage of the professional social media site to grow their businesses.”
Exactly how effective is LinkedIn for generating business?
- Yuwanda Black of InkWell Editorial earns over $10,000 per month from her freelance writing business
- Ari Rule of HustlePineapple wins $5000 a month from freelance writing
- Jawad Khan of Writing My Destiny makes over $10,000 each month from freelance writing jobs
- Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing is making $5000 each month from her freelance writing business
What can you do to create a LinkedIn profile that will have connections messaging you for your writing services?
- Optimize your profile with a professional photo, detailed description, and connection to your website.
- Network online and in person at events. Connect with client’s connections as well as: business leaders, B2B marketers, business and organization managers, magazine and web content editors, content managers, other freelance writers, bloggers, brand managers, website owners, and marketing directors.
- Publish examples of your work on LinkedIn publisher.
- Join client-focused groups where your target clients could be members.
- Cold pitch high paying gigs where appropriate.
The Path to Successful Freelancing
Imagine working from home, no commute to the office, and working when you’re most creative, even if it’s late at night. You’ve got your work life balance because you have more flexibility and control over your schedule.
It’s the reason why you chose to quit your job.
The lifestyle does have some drawbacks. You don’t always know when you’ll be paid. There are no medical or dental benefits. You’re always looking for your next gig and there’s little to no job security.
And here’s the tough part. You quit your job to be with family and work from home, but sometimes, they can be your distraction. They want your attention, so you take more breaks than you expected, and your work day stretches out.
You realize you’ve got to work smarter, not harder. Otherwise, you become a hamster trapped in a hamster wheel, working longer days.
First, you need to make a mindset shift. Wouldn’t it be easier to make more money if you believe you deserved it? Instead of thinking that you’re new to freelancing, so you should charge less, believe that you have the skills to offer more and charge more.
When you charge more, you won’t need as many projects.
Join professional associations where you could meet ideal clients and swim in a smaller pool where there is less competition. Look for established companies and avoid start ups. They’re struggling to make money, just like you are.
Learn to pitch companies.
For your pitch, plan out what you would say for each of these stages:
- Introduction: who you are, what you do
- Proof: prepare testimonials, proof of social media following and shares of your work. Mention work that has created a buzz, especially anything that has gone viral.
- Action plan: describe your action plan to help the client generate sales
- Questions: be prepared to ask questions, especially goal-oriented ones, such as how they want to drive traffic
- CTA: state a clear call to action, such as booking a time for a more detailed discussion.
Who do you pitch to?
- Do your research on the company.
- The companies that pay the best have annual revenues of $10 million or more. Look for Fortune 500 companies that hire freelancers.
- Look for companies that sell products and services. Don’t pitch to companies that only have online ads and posts.
- Check their history. If they’ve been around five years or more, they’re likely profitable, and serious about marketing.
A quick tip: set your rates when you first start working with a client. It’s much harder to raise your rates later. Your client will be much happier with your old prices and won’t be open to change.
How much to charge.
When you’re just starting your freelancing business, you might not know what to charge. One question to ask is, what number would make you happy?
What number do you think is fair for the value that you deliver to your clients?
The amount you choose will depend on your experience and location. Data from Payscale and Salary.com imply that “The median annual copywriter salary is $47,838, with 80% of copywriters earning between $35k – $65k per year.”
A junior copywriter in Medford, Oregon, can make $42,000 per year. A senior copywriter in New York City will make an average of $93k per year.
High Income Copywriters
Let’s say you want to make $10,000 or more a month as a high income copywriter. Is it possible to make a six figure income, and how could you find gigs that will get you to this goal?
Jacob McMillen believes you can easily make $100,000 to $300,000 as a freelance copywriter by your third year in the business. Copywriting is in high demand, and it’s a skill that you can learn on your own and refine with practice.
He shares his step by step process for developing his writing skill and reaching a high income goal as a freelancer in his story.
Chris Worth, Ex-big-agency creative with over 200 campaigns in his portfolio, recommends copywriting for big agencies or direct-response copywriting as ways to make the big bucks. He also recommends “clientless” copywriting, where people develop and market their own product.
A clientless copywriter is Dan Kennedy who earns a 7-figure income from freelance copywriting and writing. He’s written video sales letters and direct mail.
In his case, he writes part-time, without advertising his services or giving free consultations or meetings, and he’s been making that 6 to 7 figure income for more than 20 years.
Is it possible to have a successful career in a gig economy? More and more people are choosing to freelance. If you hone your skills and charge higher rates, it’s possible to make a six figure income.
You have the flexibility of choosing your own schedule and working remotely. But the set up also means you no longer have job security.
Searching for work as a freelancer requires more skill. The quick way to find work is to search job sites. Joining social media groups, networking, and pitching, require more skill and long-term effort through relationship building.
But as a freelancer, you can work anywhere in the world, or acquire work from anyplace in the world that needs a writer with your skill set.
Charging the rates you deserve can be an intimidating task when you first start a writing business. You have to be able to market and sell your skills. To learn how you can close clients on the projects you want at the rates you want, watch this video.