One More Reason Why
B2B Copywriting Is So Lucrative

One of the many reasons why I love to write B2B copy is the opportunity to work for long-term clients – clients who stick with you for one year or longer.

Long-term clients are great to have for many reasons. The longer you work for them, the more types of projects you get to write, and the better you’ll learn their businesses and their markets … which makes you a more valuable resource for them.

Plus, the longer you work for clients, the more efficient you become doing work for them, which helps drive up your profitability on each new project.

Fortunately, landing long-term clients in the B2B market is relatively easy. Easier, in fact, than in most consumer sectors. And it’s one of the best and most reliable ways to catapult your earnings into the six-figure range.

Why B2B Provides a Better Shot at Longer-Term Clients

To explain why long-term clients are more common in the B2B world, you need to understand the nature of your typical contacts with B2B clients: marketing managers.

Marketing managers in B2B companies are responsible for the marketing activities surrounding one or more products or services. Although content generation is a key responsibility for them, it’s just one aspect of their jobs.

The typical manager is often responsible for (or directly involved in) product launches, lead generation, telemarketing, marketing research and analysis, messaging, and media relations, among other things.

In each of these areas, she’s constantly trying to coordinate the efforts of writers, designers, web developers, and other internal and external resources.

She is often overworked and understaffed. And the tight economy has only made her job – and those of her peers – more difficult. Internal resources have been slashed. Yet the amount of work that needs to be created has not necessarily diminished.

Which means the amount of content she needs to generate, in many cases, far outpaces the number of people she has available to write it.

That’s where you, as a B2B copywriter, come in.

What They’re Looking for …

What do B2B marketing managers typically look for in a freelance copywriter?

  1. Sharp Thinking. More than ever, marketing managers need copywriters who can grasp their business, products, and target markets. They want to work with professionals who “get it” – and who do so quickly, because there’s little time for training.
  2. Quality Work. They’re also looking for copywriters who always deliver quality work. They need professionals who write solid, clear, and compelling copy … with minimal or no hand-holding.
  3. Dependability. Additionally, they need freelance professionals who are dependable, always meet deadlines, and do what they say they’re going to do. This may sound like common sense, but I’m continually amazed at how many copywriters fail to meet deadlines.
  4. Flexibility and Reasonableness. Finally, marketing managers want to work with writers who are flexible, fair, and easy to work with, and who charge reasonable fees. (Notice I didn’t say “cheap.” Most marketing managers know how “cheap” can quickly turn into expensive.)

Finding a copywriter who can meet these requirements is not always easy. Not because they’re not out there. But because few copywriters ever approach these companies.

Also, marketing professionals are often unsure where to find reliable outside resources. So once they find one or two good copywriters they can count on, they tend to want to keep them for as long as they can rather than continually look for new writers.

Out of all my active clients, only one has been with me for less than one year. The longest has been with me for four years. Another one is a three-year client. And two others just hit the two-year mark.

The Opportunity for Hungry B2B Copywriters

How can you launch and grow your own lucrative B2B copywriting career?

First, look for clients that seem to have (or could potentially have) a steady stream of work. Clients that have only a one-time need or too sporadic a need can help pay the bills. Nothing wrong with that. But they won’t provide you with the steady work and momentum you need to create a comfortable six-figure income.

So, as you approach prospective clients, ask them about their needs. Ask them how often they use freelance copywriters. Get a feel for what types of projects they outsource – and how often they do so.

Also, ask them about both their short- and long-term marketing plans. And try to determine if they’re looking to develop a long-term working relationship or simply to fill an immediate need.

Once you land the client, invest the time and effort to get to know their products or services intimately. Sure, you’ll have to invest more time up front. That will cut into your profit.

But if you’ve qualified the client properly and you’re trying to develop a long-term relationship, this will be time well spent. As you learn more, they’ll trust you with more and larger projects. The more projects you work on for them, the less time the jobs will take you to complete. And because you can usually charge the same fees, your effective hourly income will grow … quickly!

Final Advice

I love writing B2B copy. I enjoy learning about different businesses and the products and services they market.

Most of all, I love the fact that I can continually earn a healthy six-figure income in this business without having to be a control-beating superstar.

Yes, I write excellent, results-driven copy. But I’ve also cracked the code of high earnings in this market. And it all starts with landing loyal, long-term clients who appreciate you for making their jobs easier.

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: March 23, 2009

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