How to Land Your First Copywriting Job
Breaking into the copywriting industry can be challenging for beginners, but we’ve gathered valuable insights from top professionals to help you succeed. From networking and building relationships to embracing persistence and patience, here are nine expert tips shared by CEOs, editors, and marketing leaders on how to land your first copywriting job.
- Network and Build Relationships
- Educate Yourself and Stay Informed
- Master Cold Emailing
- Create a Strong Online Presence
- Personalize Your Application
- Align with Business Needs
- Choose a Niche and Build Expertise
- Create a Strong, Diverse Portfolio
- Embrace Persistence and Patience
Network and Build Relationships
As a beginner, the best advice for landing a copywriting job is to build relationships. Look at what major publications in your desired field are publishing, who wrote them, and find ways to connect with those writers on social media.
A common example of this would be to reach out to potential mentors through podcasting. Not only does it show initiative, but it can give writers an opportunity to showcase their voice and expertise in front of preferable audiences and experts within the industry.
Networking in such an active way builds relationships by showing that you already understand how writing works, increasing your chances of being hired.
Educate Yourself and Stay Informed
Before you start applying for copywriting jobs, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the profession.
Take courses in writing, marketing, and advertising so that you have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be successful in copywriting. It is also important to stay up-to-date on industry trends, so read as many books and articles as you can about copywriting.
Master Cold Emailing
My top advice is to hone your skills, build a solid portfolio, and do cold emailing. Speaking from personal experience, I started by reaching out to 100 businesses daily with personalized, well-crafted emails showcasing my writing skills and the value I could bring.
The response rate was a humble 2-3%, but that meant 2 to 3 opportunities each day. This strategy landed me my first gig within just two weeks! Therefore, never underestimate the power of a well-crafted cold email; it can open many doors for you.
Create a Strong Online Presence
Establish an online presence by creating a professional website or blog where you can showcase your work, share industry insights, and demonstrate your expertise. Having an online portfolio and a well-crafted LinkedIn profile can help potential employers or clients discover you rather than having to apply to positions all the time.
Personalize Your Application
When applying for copywriting positions, tailor your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to the position’s specific requirements. I would recommend highlighting pertinent experience, showcasing relevant writing samples, and demonstrating knowledge of the company’s brand and target audience.
Personalizing your application informs employers that you’ve done your homework and understand their requirements.
Align with Business Needs
Entering the copywriting field as a beginner, it’s essential to understand what businesses need—affordable results. Smaller enterprises lean towards cost-effectiveness, while larger ones prioritize quality and delivery speed.
As an untested talent, strategically align yourself to these needs for optimal success. Initially, consider lower pricing, gradually increasing as you gain a reputation. Demonstrating your abilities independently is critical, whether through free interning or creating a blog showcasing your copywriting skills.
Finally, innovate in client acquisition. Traditional full-time job applications work but consider platforms like Upwork and Fiverr for gaining early experience and landing your first clients.
Choose a Niche and Build Expertise
To increase your chances of finding work, even as a newbie copywriter, consider specializing in a specific field. This calculated approach not only helps you demonstrate your expertise in a particular niche but also helps you stand out from the competition with more generic portfolios.
Use your experience and expertise to choose the right field. If you have prior experience in travel, you could showcase your expertise in the travel and hotel copywriting industry.
Specializing also enables you to quickly build a network with people from the same industry, which increases your job prospects. B2B or B2C copywriting, SEO copywriting, email marketing, brand copywriting, technical copywriting, and marketing copywriting remain some of the most prevalent fields, so make your choice and confidently build a lucrative copywriting career.
Create a Strong, Diverse Portfolio
One key piece of advice for beginners looking to land a copywriting job is to build a strong, diverse portfolio. If you’re starting from scratch, this might mean doing some work pro bono, like writing copy for a local charity, a small business, or creating sample pieces for hypothetical products or services.
Your portfolio should showcase your versatility and ability to write compelling copy for a variety of industries and formats, like emails, blog posts, social media posts, or website copy. This will help potential employers see your skill level and how your writing style might fit with their needs.
Also, constantly hone your skills through continuous learning, reading widely, and practicing your craft.
Embrace Persistence and Patience
Entry-level copywriters have a bitter pill to swallow: the competition in this profession has grown dramatically in the last few years. But the good news is that the demand for quality content has grown with the omnipresence of social media, email marketing, and e-commerce.
To stand out from the crowd of more experienced candidates, you need to show a lot of persistence, if not to say stubbornness.
For now, your portfolio is everything you have, so use it properly. And that means that you must consistently send it to various outlets and agencies.
Be prepared to face many rejections. Patience is your biggest ally, so don’t fall into the trap of paralysis caused by temporary disappointment. Trust the process, and sooner or later, the momentum will come.
Make sure to expand beyond the institutions currently looking for copywriters. There is a big chance they will need someone later. And that’s when you will gather the fruits of your efforts.
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