Success Story:
Janna Legg Lands Her First Job

AWAIer Janna Legg recently landed her first client … shortly after turning in her restaurant assignment. We thought you would like to hear how she was able to get her first paying gig as a copywriter so quickly, so we interviewed her at her home in Virginia to get the full story.

TGT: Congratulations on getting your first client so quickly, Janna. Can you start by telling us what you did before becoming a copywriter?

JANNA: I used to run a business in the music industry that helped artists and music businesses build their success. My business did well, but the industry hit one of its inevitable, long downturns. I decided it was time to look for a more stable career. My lawyer suggested I look into advertising, so I turned to the Internet. A Google search brought me to AWAI. I liked what I saw and enrolled in the Accelerated Copywriting program.

TGT: Tell us about your good news … and how it happened.

JANNA: I was at the very beginning of the program. When I got the restaurant assignment, I was determined to do my very best work on it. I was encouraged by the review, so I decided to start looking for a client while still doing the program work.

I wanted to work with a foundation or nonprofit. I did extensive research – much of it on the Internet – and came up with a long list of potential clients.

I like speaking on the phone and having person-to-person contact, so I started making calls. I was playing to my strengths by doing this. After a few calls, I caught the interest of a nonprofit whose work I believe in – Help U.S. Troops ( They offer Active Duty military personnel and their families a way to relieve the impact of unexpected financial crises.

TGT: What did you do for them … and how did you approach the contract?

JANNA: They wanted me to do an appeal letter to boost donations. I researched the company and their work thoroughly. I researched the type of people who would donate to them … starting with myself. I researched everything I could.

I went beyond what they asked me to do initially, because I wanted to make sure this first client was satisfied. I also charged less than I normally would, because I know how important these first few contracts are in building later success. And I applied all the skills I learned in the program.

I ended up writing the appeal letter, a thank-you note for donors, the reply letters and envelopes, copy for direct email campaigns, and the text of public service announcements. I even arranged for radio interviews for my client.

I’m excited that my first project will be mailed to 300,000 recipients. Plus, I feel I’ve had the opportunity to help a cause I truly believe in … and get paid for it. It feels good to succeed. I am so glad I found AWAI!

TGT: What’s next for you?

JANNA: I’m currently looking for my second client while still working with this first one.

TGT: Finally, do you have any "words of wisdom" for our readers?

JANNA: First, I urge all AWAIers to study the program materials thoroughly. The skills you learn there are the foundation for your success.

Second, successful marketing is all about research. Do thorough research … for everything you write.

Third, do it right. The restaurant assignment. The live assignments. Your first paying assignment. DO … IT … RIGHT.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: July 11, 2005

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