3 Simple Steps to Set Yourself Apart

Steve Roller here, back with day two of The Writer's Life. Yesterday we talked about staking your claim in the copywriting world. Much like the U.S. frontier in the mid-1800s, there are lots of opportunities. Only, with the already huge and still-growing world of marketing and e-commerce, this virtual "land grab" is limitless. And that means you have to approach it with the right mindset.

Next, you have to develop the skills and knowledge to write good copy, and you should have a freelance website.

Then comes the challenging part. How do you get clients to notice you? How do you set yourself apart?

I'm going to assume that you've chosen an in-demand niche — like natural health, finance, B2B, or self-help — that you enjoy. If you haven't yet, Nick Usborne covered it well in this article.

Once you've done that, you have to let the world know.

The famous 19th-Century showman, P.T. Barnum, said, "Without promotion something terrible happens — nothing!"

I believe promotion starts with three simple action steps:

1. Choose the right name for your business.

A few things to consider:

  • Do you like telling people your business name?
  • Does it clearly present what you do?
  • Do people "get it" without explanation?
  • Does it have a positive ring to it?
  • Does it attract the kind of clients you want?

The three business names I use are Web Content Copywriting, Big Ideas Publishing, LLC, and simply, steveroller.com. All you need is one to get started.

2. Give yourself a good title.

Here's another benefit of running your own show. You don't have to wait for a boss to give you new business cards with "Associate Vice President" on them.

I'd stay away from "CEO" or "President." You don't want to sound like you're trying too hard to sound bigger than you are. On the other hand, try to get more creative than "copywriter" or "content marketer." Have some fun, and if you're feeling confident, work in the word "expert" or "specialist."

You could use something like "Video Marketing Maven," "Adventure Travel Copywriting Specialist," or a title one copywriter I know uses, "The Foremost Expert on Telling Business Stories." Bam. Who's going to challenge you? As long as you can back it up with good work, go for it.

3. Show what you can do.

It's the classic Catch-22. "I don't have samples, but people want to see what I can do before they hire me." Even before you have a base of clients or a portfolio, your website or blog are a perfect place to demonstrate your writing skills. Make them shine, and you'll stand out from the majority of copywriters.

The copywriting world is wide open and ready for new trailblazers like you all the time. You don't have to wait your turn, pay your dues, or hope somebody gives you a chance. Stake your claim, promote yourself, and plunge forward.

Check back tomorrow when I show you my two-year plan for lifestyle freedom. It may be easier than you think.

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Published: October 29, 2013

8 Responses to “3 Simple Steps to Set Yourself Apart”

  1. Great advice Steve. It's given me the motivation to stop procrastinating and just get on with it!

    SarahOctober 29, 2013 at 8:18 am

  2. Fantastic advice Steve, as always! I've been struggling to find a way to stand out from the crowd, so this has come at the perfect time! Thanks!

    Hazel HardieOctober 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

  3. I have been calling myself the "Entrepreneur's Entrepreneur" for the longest time. LOL They like it!

    Guest (Ty)October 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm

  4. Steve, I'm just starting out as a health niche copywriter and starting to put together a website to show samples of my writing to show potential clients. What types of samples do you recommend I put on the site? Do I make up a topic and research it as it were a real assignment? How long should it be? Does it matter what type of website? I tried WordPress and can't figure it out! I know these are very basic questions but I'm starting from zero and I'm not sure which way to go!

    Guest (Norma B)October 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

  5. I'm just starting out with a niche in dog training and rescues. I have the name "Copywriting for Dog Trainers and Rescues" which I know let's people know what I do, but it isn't very catchy. I'm not sure how important "catchy" is though. Any thoughts?

    Laurie LOctober 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm


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