A "Beginner's Paradise" for
Imagine a middle-aged guy trying to surf for the first time. What an entertaining sight for those watching from the beach!
Well, that guy was me last week. While vacationing in Australia, I signed up for a lesson, grabbed a surf board, and jogged — a little hesitantly, I admit — out into the ocean to see if I could catch a wave.
Before I went out, my instructor reassured me, "Don't worry, mate. This beach is a beginner's paradise. The waves are low, smooth and predictable. You'll do great."
Sure enough, after just the second try, I managed to ride a four-foot curve of water for about fifteen feet or so. What a thrill!
That got me thinking. Is there a similar kind of "beginner's paradise" for newly-trained copywriters?
In my opinion, there is: the business-to-business market.
Business-to-business, or "B2B" as it's more commonly called, may just be the best opportunity these days (especially these days) for beginning copywriters to:
- launch their business,
- get clients fairly quickly, and
- earn an executive-class income within a reasonable period of time.
There are many reasons for this.
First of all, B2B is a big honkin' market. According to InfoUSA.com, there are more than 8 million business-to-business companies throughout North America. And the majority of them, in my estimation, need copywriting help — at least occasionally.
That means, if you promote yourself effectively and are a good B2B writer, you're bound to find some great clients. At the very least, you'll never run out of prospects!
Secondly, business-to-business companies produce a lot of marketing stuff to help sell their products and services, everything from brochures, white papers and ads to websites, emails and even Twitter posts.
There's a ton of work available. And, remarkably, a shortage of writers available who know how to craft effective B2B marketing materials. I get calls every week from marketing managers of business-to-business companies asking for help in finding a good B2B writer.
If you become a good B2B writer, chances are, you'll find yourself in demand.
And here's another reason why business-to-business is such a paradise for beginners.
You can get started with minimal writing samples.
You see, unlike clients in most other copywriting markets, B2B marketing managers don't hire freelancers based solely on an impressive portfolio. (Although it's certainly an advantage if you have one.) They look at other credentials as well, such as job experience, education, professional courses taken, etc.
So if your portfolio is light on samples, you can still get B2B clients interested in your services by highlighting the other things you bring to the table.
I recently coached a new copywriter who had very few writing samples. Yet she was able to land a great B2B client within the first few weeks of starting her business. How? She had an event planning background in the seminar industry and approached those types of companies for freelance work. She didn't have a strong portfolio to show off, but one company hired her as a writer anyway because she demonstrated how much she understood their business.
Years ago, I launched my B2B copywriting business with no portfolio at all. It was my background in sales and the pitch letter I wrote to promote my services that convinced by first client, Triangle Marketing Group, to hire me.
Now I'm not saying that appropriate writing samples don't matter to B2B clients. They do matter. But, in the B2B market, you can still break in if your portfolio is light or even non-existent.
Finally, compared to other copywriting markets, there's a lot less competition in B2B. (At least for the time being.)
You don't have to submit a gazillion spec pieces or struggle to get noticed amongst a hundred other copywriters vying for a marketing manager's attention. That means, even if you're a beginner, you have a much greater chance of landing a few good clients fairly quickly. And that's all you need to fill your schedule with well-paying projects.
So there's no doubt about it. If you're just starting out as a new copywriter, the B2B market is one that you should seriously consider.