Get Hired! How To Find And Get Good Clients For Your Web Copywriting Biz

There are tons of companies out there who need your skills. More than you could ever imagine. New companies are created every day, and these new companies need your skills, too.

So, the work is available for you. All you have to do is go out there and get it.

Today I'm going to show you a simple 5-step process for finding and getting good clients for your web copywriting business. Follow this 5-step process any time you want or need a new project, and you could literally have a new gig in a few days or even hours.

(Pretty soon it becomes automatic, so you go from "I should get another client" to negotiating a project before you even think about it.)

What are you waiting for? Let's dive in!

STEP 1: Know your niche

I have an embarrassing story about taking a project in the wrong niche. A long-time associate of mine referred a client to me (later I learned he referred it to me because he was too smart to take the project). The client? A company that sold male enhancement supplements.

Some people may have a passion for this niche. Not I. Yet, the money tempted me so I took the gig. I struggled for too long to write the copy on the project, and my final result was mediocre at best. It was all because it was the wrong niche for me, and a product I didn't love (and didn't really have much faith in, either).

The right niche is critical. Once you're in the right niche, your writing comes easier, you build a reputation (you'll learn everyone talks to everyone), and getting and completing projects becomes much simpler.

Here's how to pick your niche:

  • Start with what you know. What are you interested in? What types of products do you buy and what types of websites do you visit?
  • Decide if you could write for each niche. Are the products in the niche something you like, are interested in, and feel benefit the lives of the people who buy them?
  • Identify the demand for writers. Are there companies in the niche putting out a lot of content — in the form of marketing materials or editorial? Is there a heavy need for copywriters?

Use these three steps to narrow down your areas of interest into potential niches for your copywriting services. From here, focus on one or two primary niches for approaching clients.

STEP 2: Learn who the companies are within your niche

You can't know what companies you'd like to work with until you know who they are. So spend time researching your niche thoroughly. Learn all the major companies and as many minors as you can find. This takes some legwork, though if you picked the right niche for you it's fun to do.

Browse websites, blogs, review sites, and forums in your niche to put together a thorough list of as many companies as possible.

STEP 3: Watch what companies in your niche are doing

About five years ago, I set up a special free email box with Gmail that I've used to subscribe to as many free e-newsletters, email courses, and other "opt-in" opportunities as possible. I get thousands of emails a month of content I know I asked for. But, it's not in my main email, so I don't have to wade through it to read my personal email.

What I do is occasionally browse these emails for interesting content, offers, or marketing examples. I don't pressure myself to read them all. Yet, by doing this — and having all these emails at my disposal — I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of niches I'm interested in.

I recommend you do this as well — and start subscribing to as much as you can from every potential client in your niche. You'll learn their different "voices" as well as marketing strategies. You'll learn how often they communicate with their subscribers. And, you'll prepare yourself to take the next step …

STEP 4: Look for opportunity

I like "incremental improvement" opportunities when I'm looking for a client to work with. I've learned the hard way that if a client I like is doing marketing completely different than I think is right, it's an uphill battle to convert them to my approach. Though if I find a company that's doing a lot of what I'd do, but I could help them do more or do it better, that's an easy sell. And, this "match" predisposes the client and myself for success.

So, as you keep your eye on what the companies in your niche are doing, look for opportunities where they're doing something that interests you, where you may be able to help them do more of it, or do it better.

Say, for example, you subscribe to a company's email list and discover that every month or so they offer another opt-in for a series of autoresponders on a topic around one of their products. So, they're regularly doing autoresponders. That's encouraging. They'd be worth approaching to say, "Hey, I'm an autoresponder copywriter, and I like how you're using autoresponder offers to educate customers on your products and drive them to make a purchase. Do you have any opportunities coming up where you could use a hand with another autoresponder sequence? I'd love to see if we're a fit."

Or, if you find a company through an AdWords ad, yet you can't find them at all in the regular search engine results, you know they're interested in getting more traffic to their website, and are paying to do so right now. Well, there's an opportunity for an SEO copywriter. So, you approach them and say, "Hey, I see you're doing a lot of AdWords advertising, but I couldn't find you in the organic search results. I'm an SEO copywriter who specializes in writing content to put you higher in the organic search results and attract free, targeted traffic to your website. Would you be interested in attracting free, targeted traffic to your website instead of paying for every visitor?"

It just takes a little observation to see where you may be able to help out a company with their online marketing. And really, you're just looking for a "foot in the door" opportunity because most clients are happy to bring you back over and over again if you do something small with them that gets good results.

STEP 5: Do a personal introduction

Just about a month ago, I got one of the biggest clients in the personal development industry. (You'd definitely recognize their name.) How did I get them? I asked around, figured out who hires copywriters, and sent a personal introduction saying, "I think we should work together."

I've done it too many times to count, and my client list is starting to read like a "Who's Who" in direct marketing, because when I decide I want a client, I simply ask.

Remember what I said at the very beginning of this article? “There are tons of companies out there who need your skills.” I didn't say "want." I didn't say "will hire you if you twist their arm hard enough." I said "need."

I’ll say it again. There are tons of companies out there who need your skills. You're doing them a service when you personally introduce yourself to them and offer the benefits you provide. Sure, some companies may not be in a position to hire you right now, and some may not ever.

Yet, if you follow the steps above, identify an area where you can help a company increase revenues and profits through more effective web copy, and let them know you're there to do it for them, you're writing your ticket my friend.

Try it today, and let me know how it goes!

[Ed. Note: Want to take the fastest, most direct way to freelance web-writing success? Click here.]

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: May 12, 2010

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