How To Get A “Date” For Your Copywriting Business

Cindy Cyr here with one thing you can do today to start implementing the single most powerful way to get a new client.

Recently, my 11-year-old son has been into watching Happy Days, the TV show set in the 1950s with the Fonz, Richie, Potsie, Ralph, and the Cunninghams.

The other day, we watched an episode with a classic high school dance scene.

Everyone was dancing, except for a boy and a girl sitting on chairs up against the back wall, watching everyone else.

Throughout the entire prom, they showed these two exchanging glances and looking longingly at all the people dancing. Yet they remained seated, firmly planted in their chairs. Not talking. Not dancing. Just wishing.

Finally, at the end of the show, the boy asks the girl to dance. She says "yes" and they dance to what turned out to be the last song of the evening. If only he’d asked her to dance sooner!

That is a lesson many of us have learned — that you have to ASK to get what you want. However, it’s something many freelancers forget to apply to their own businesses.

What should you ask for?


Requesting referrals is the single most powerful thing you can do to get a client. They give you a one-two punch. Not only can referrals result in more business and money flowing into your business, they also provide proof that you are good at what you do.

The problem is, oftentimes freelancers wait for clients to give them referrals. But more often than not, it doesn't happen.

Just because you’re doing a great job for a client, doesn’t mean they will automatically refer you. They may not even know you're interested in getting more clients. A better way is to take control and ASK for a referral. Here are three "referral-getting" tips:

  • Ask for a referral when things are going really well. An especially good time to ask is right after you’ve completed a successful campaign or after your client compliments your work.
  • Make it easy for your clients to refer you. Do your homework before you ask for the referral. Who does your client know or do business with that would be a good prospect for you? Find out the names of businesses and people you’d like to meet so you can hand your client a list of who you are looking to be introduced to. Offer to write a referral letter for your client to approve and/or pre-write a short telephone script for your client so he won’t have to think about what to say. Do all the work for your client, so all he has to do is say “yes.”
  • Be specific about what you want. If you know your client is connected to someone you’d like to do business with, ask your client if he or she would mind introducing and recommending you. If you’ve done a good job for your client, they will usually be happy to refer you. (To build the ultimate referral partnership, check out my article How To Get Referrals That Impact Your Prospect’s Buying Decision.”)

Ask for the referral the first time, and oftentimes it becomes more natural for your client to refer new business to you, without you having to ask.

So, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

It’ll help you get up off the sidelines and into the game of copywriting by creating a flood of prospects that constantly feed and grow your business.

Do you have a good referral system in place? Share it with your fellow readers in the comments below.

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Published: November 17, 2011

4 Responses to “How to Get A “Date” For Your Copywriting Business”

  1. Solid advice as always, Cindy.

    Sean McCool

  2. Cindy-

    In a prior career I did high end furniture and kitchens. I found out vendors are key to a referral network too.

    I made it a point to visit the local wood supply stores, got to know the owners/employees, even volunteered to do some classes. As customers realized their projects were just to big, I was the person the vendors referred... (in return I would buy vendors products for the new client).

    I have found clients this way in doing copy. One just needs to look outside the box.

    David McCauley

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