Why I Fought the Copywriting Experts
Steve Roller here, your guest editor of The Writer's Life this week.
For two years I fought a battle, and I finally conceded.
I'll explain in a minute, but first …
If you remember, a month ago, I wrote to you from Quito, Ecuador, where I was on a mini-sabbatical. The plan was to change course in my copywriting career by developing a niche and reinventing myself.
I'm happy to report that it worked.
AWAI’s Niche Yourself and Thrive! and Profitable Freelancing programs were invaluable resources that helped me boil my decision down to three broad choices: self-improvement, men's fitness, and travel.
In the end, I chose to focus on direct-response web copy for high-end and romantic travel companies because of my passion for that area and the potential to make good money.
Making that decision has given me a newfound energy that I haven't had since I first made the leap to full-time freelance copywriter in 2009. I no longer have to think about whom I'm going to market to. Becoming a specialist has also given me a sense of direction and purpose.
This turnaround came because I stopped fighting the niche experts (who am I to question people like Nick Usborne, Pam Foster, and Rebecca Matter?).
See, I had all kinds of excuses why focusing on a niche might be good for others but not for me:
"I don't want to limit myself to one area. I have lots of interests, and I'd get bored just writing in one niche."
"I'm a beginning copywriter. I need to take any work I can get! I'm not going to cut off 97% of the potential projects I could do."
"What if the niche I choose is already saturated? Then I'll have to start all over."
"How can I say I'm a specialist in one area when I've been a generalist up until now? I won't have any credibility."
The truth? I really couldn't decide on a niche. Every time I heard about a new program from AWAI, it sounded interesting!
The other reason: I was keeping busy with projects in different areas that kind of fell into my lap without having to market my services. I was getting by, but not getting rich.
Have you ever gotten to the point where you actually got mad at yourself for being mediocre? That's where I was. And why I finally took steps to change the direction of my career.
I don't know where you are on your journey to the writer's life, but this week I want to give you action steps that I took recently to move my business forward.
Phase One, which I told you about in August, was reinventing myself.
Phase Two – this week – is about re-launching. I'll give you tips for developing a new strategy and marketing plan and bringing in new clients.
And during Phase Three in October, we'll talk about how to become an authority in 60 days.
Follow this plan over the next three months, and don't wait until January 1, 2012, to turn the ignition on your "resolutions" to improve your freelance career. If you start now, you'll soon have shifted into overdrive and be running on cruise control!
I'll share with you what's working for me and what isn't. And show you how to apply the lessons I've learned to your own experience.
One of the biggest questions I hear from beginning copywriters is, "How do I get enough clients consistently to keep busy and eventually do this full time?" Read my article, Reap What You Sow: How to Increase Your Harvest of New Clients, for ideas on keeping your pipeline full by planting "seeds" now.
If you haven't found a niche yet, consider an area that is begging for copywriters. Million-dollar copywriter Dan Kennedy has spent most of his career in this niche (he practically created it), and now he wants to give you the pass key to some of the same riches he's enjoyed. Find out more here.
Stay tuned this week for more on taking your business to the next level, no matter where you are now.
How to Choose Your Writing Niche – Your step-by-step blueprint for finding a niche that’s right for you
Need to pick a niche for your freelance business? Learn how to do it once and for all, and watch your business grow. Learn More »