Find a Void in the Marketplace and Fill It
We've been talking all week about getting inspired by big ideas, taking advantage of the new model of working, and adopting a "youthful" outlook on your future.
I've given you evidence for why this is a good time to embrace the freelance lifestyle.
The fact is, there's a ton of work out there for freelance copywriters.
You don't have to be an expert to grab your share. And you don't need years of experience to get started.
The challenge for new writers is that it's wide open.
When I first started, I knew without doubt that I wanted to become a copywriter.
I was completely indecisive, however, about what direction I wanted to go in.
B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business)? Get a staff position with a publisher, like some copywriters I knew, or go freelance? Specialize in long-form sales letters or short web copy? Within B2B or B2C … what area?
Too many decisions. I was overwhelmed because everyone was telling me I had to pick a niche right away.
If you're feeling the same concerns, let me offer you a few suggestions:
You don't have to settle on a niche immediately. If you can, great, but it's not imperative to start getting work. As you get more established and discover what area you like most, then pick your niche.
Look for voids in the marketplace. Don't follow the crowds. There's a lot of demand in niches like financial, alternative health, and self-help, but they also tend to be very competitive.
What I did instead was look at the world I knew from past experiences, business and personal acquaintances, and subjects I was familiar with.
As a result, I got projects early on with a sales training business, a fundraising company, an executive life coach, and a real estate broker. I didn't have writing experience in those areas, and they didn't care. They just wanted someone to help them grow their business.
Help those businesses find a "slight edge." You don't have to create a complete new idea or strategy from scratch. That can be a daunting task when you're new.
An easier approach is to improve upon what your client is already doing. For example, I worked with a company that sold Pilates videos online. They were having some success with online video marketing. Instead of trying a new approach, I simply rewrote their video script using direct-response techniques, and their response went up by almost 50%.
Another example is a life coach who had a decent website but wasn't getting any organic search engine traffic. Easy solution. Through a one-hour consultation, I discovered that she had a unique specialty within the vast area of "life coaching." I rewrote her website content using targeted keywords, and she started getting traffic and leads.
The bottom line? You don't have to know everything to get started. Just slightly more than your potential clients.
Read my article "Light a Fire, Take Action, and Chart Your Own Course" to find out three ways to take advantage of this new economy now. I'll also tell you about the single key factor that helped me transition into the writer's life.