Is Copywriting Oversaturated?

I hear it quite often from copywriters: "Is there really enough business out there? I mean, AWAI produces a lot of copywriters every year. How is everyone supposed to keep busy?"

In other words, "Copywriting is getting oversaturated, right?"

Well, in a word: "No."

First of all, if you've had that thought, you're not alone. But here's the fallacy with that line of thinking.

It presumes that there are a limited number of copywriting positions out there, kind of like public school teachers. And when they're filled up, they're done interviewing and hiring because, well, you only need a certain number of teachers (or copywriters).

The good news is, copywriting is not a "zero-sum game." If copywriter A gets X amount of business, it doesn't pull X dollars out of the copywriting economy, leaving less for everyone else. Not at all.

It's like saying there are too many salespeople out there. I remember hearing Zig Ziglar talk about this many years ago during a recession. He said the best thing that could happen to the economy would be to put 100,000 more salespeople out there.

In 2011, that same idea could apply to copywriters.

Think about it.

100,000 more copywriters, improving the sales messages of businesses everywhere. Improving advertising everywhere, turning boring, "ho-hum" copy into powerhouse, direct-response copy that gets people to ACT!

I really believe that more (good) copywriters can only be a good thing for our economy. And the more, the better. Let's start an economic revival! Who's with me?

Seriously. More products and services get sold when good copywriters are involved. We're the catalysts of capitalism!

To answer the initial question: copywriting is most definitely not oversaturated.

Today, I want to shift gears a bit. We've been talking all week about the mental side of things. Overcoming fears, dealing with rejection, building your confidence, developing the proper copywriter's mindset, using self-talk for success, and developing passion.

Very important stuff. You need that solid inner game foundation to move forward.

But you're probably also thinking, "I need to find clients, and once I find them, I need to keep them." Right?

There are entire programs and classes on how to find clients, so I won't presume to give you detailed answers here. And as I've mentioned before, the article archives at awaionline.com are a gold mine of information on any topic you need help with.

But I've done a pretty good job of getting clients over the last two years as a full-time freelancer. I've done it without a marketing system, without a budget to speak of, and without any self-promotional materials except a basic website.

The clients I've gotten have mostly come from three sources:

  1. The web. Every website trying to sell a product or service is a potential client. Most of them could stand to have their website copy vastly improved. There's no end to your prospect list!
  2. Finding clients others aren't going after. I refer to this as the "hit 'em where they ain't" strategy. In other words, when you're first starting out, don't flock to the big financial newsletter publishers or the big alternative health publishers where you're competing with lots of other very talented copywriters. Find a narrower niche, preferably one that's a little more obscure but still has need for good copy. I've worked in the "online fitness information products for triathletes" area. Not much competition, and yes, they do need copywriters!
  3. Social media. I got my first two big web copywriting projects because people saw on my Facebook profile that I'm a web copywriter. I'm not, however, an expert on using social media, and I want to be able to help my clients in this area. So I'm currently going through Nick Usborne's How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert. Great stuff that I'll be able to apply to both my own social media marketing and helping my clients with theirs.

Again, we could talk all day about getting clients. But once you do get a client, how do you make yourself invaluable to them? How do you get them to hire you again and again?

I don't have thirty or forty clients, but the clients I do have I tend to hang on to. And they keep coming back for more. Check out my article, for some "How to Become a Valuable Asset and Go-To Writer" specific things you can do to ensure ongoing work (even in a recession or really oversaturated market!).

This is the second half of that "magic pill" I talked about on Monday.

If you have a unique strategy you've used to get a client, or an offbeat story, I'd love to hear about it. And if you have some specific things you do to retain clients and create extra value, let me know. You can share with me in the comments below.

Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert

How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert

Everything you need to know to become a social media marketing expert, as well as four different ways to make money using that expertise. Learn More »


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Published: June 9, 2011

4 Responses to “Is Copywriting Oversaturated?”

  1. One way that I've been able to stay in front of clients and get them to hire me again is to send out a monthly e-newsletter. I include snippets from my blog which focuses on SEO and social media tips, as well as speaking events and webinars I'm doing. I'm now managing the Facebook page for a client that I've done copywriting work for in the past because he's been keeping up with all that I've been doing.

    GloriaRJune 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  2. I've even gotten new business from the e-newsletter too. A subscriber referred her sister to me! Social media is great, but email marketing is still extremely effective!

    GloriaRJune 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm


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