This Builds Freelance Businesses More
Than Anything Else …

As copywriters, we know it’s crucial to find the hidden, deeper benefit in any product or service we promote. In life, I’ve found it’s important to do the same whenever I encounter an obstacle.

If you were with me yesterday, you know I used to view my job as a major barrier to building my freelance business. But, after looking at my situation with fresh eyes, I saw several benefits. One, in particular, was the deeper benefit that many new copywriters crave. In a word, it’s confidence.

Now, if you’re wondering how a job creates confidence, let me explain. Thanks to my job, I didn’t have to be a successful copywriter overnight. The need to earn money quickly was almost non-existent.

Now, some will say this lack of urgency means you’ll never move forward. And they can be right. But it also means you can take the time to try different things and build your confidence at your own pace. And, as most successful freelancers will tell you, confidence is critical when it comes to creating your business. I know it has been for me.

For example, you can try different niches without the pressure to choose one right away. When I first started, I was sure I would be a natural health copywriter. Now, I’ve discovered that I love writing for the business opportunity and financial niches.

The same goes for clients. I now know the type of client I like to work with. Equally important, I know the type of client I’d rather avoid. You, for example, may find that helping small business owners is gratifying. Or, you might prefer interacting with marketing managers in medium-sized companies.

Either way, your job can be a vital tool for creating your version of the writer’s life. It gives you time to try different niches and clients, with less pressure or financial worry. You can take the time to decide what you like best. That’s a sure confidence builder!

And, there’s another benefit. You can also develop the confidence to “fire” clients. Trust me, when you don’t click with a client, there’s nothing more liberating than letting him or her go. Plus, I’ve found it always opens doors to better opportunities.

What about you? Are you balancing your job with your fledgling freelance business? Or, are you wondering whether you can? I’d love to hear how you’re leveraging – or hoping to leverage – your job to create your writer’s life. Share your comments or questions here.

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Published: January 28, 2014

12 Responses to “This Builds Freelance Businesses More Than Anything Else...”

  1. Good ideas Chris. I have held a day job as a corporate communications specialist for the last few years, which keeps me writing every day. It's definitely increased my confidence all while building my freelance business.

    Mike SweeneyJanuary 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

  2. Hi Chris, Doc Boatright again. I got tired of trying to hype other people's supplements through Elance, etc. So I created a "direct-response" web site to sell a booklet with bonuses about unique chiropractic work that I do. I use Constant Contact to send teaser e-mails to an opt-in list of docs to drive them to the site. I'll create future sites for additional written products. My chiropractic "job" makes it possible. It continues to open more doors too.

    Doc BJanuary 28, 2014 at 2:52 pm

  3. You know what builds a business? Actual business that pays the bills, that grows the business, that creates long-term, good-paying jobs. So far, all I have seen from AWAI is spam, in which I am informed I have to pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for courses that may NOT actually get me work.

    Guest (Jim)January 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

  4. Hey Chris, Love the tips in the piece. I have been in my current job for 12 plus years now. I am a Maintenance technician so changing gears to a copywriting career is ,well a struggle. Your postive influence is just what I need to put this puzzle together. Thank You

    Guest (Ken Ule)January 28, 2014 at 6:11 pm

  5. Hey Chris, Thanks for this. It really helps. I'm working full time at a job I don't care for with NO opportunity to write while at work. The little time I have in the mornings and evenings isn't enough to satisfy me in moving forward as quickly as I'd like. But it's true that I don't have the pressure to be a success right away since I have a steady (albeit meager) income.
    Thanks for helping me to see the bright side and stay motivated.

    Guest (Darren Stout)January 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

  6. I agree with this so much. I am brand new to copywriting...I haven't even gotten my first client. I know that if i didn't have a "day job" to pay the bills, I never would have had the courage to start this journey.

    Beth GrossJanuary 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm

  7. Hi Doc and Mike, Thanks for your comments. Doc, I think you're onto something. Copywriting definitely can be used to develop and expand your own business. I suggest that you keep sending useful information (content)to your opt-in list. They will look forward to getting your emails, and you can occasionally use the emails to promote your book or other materials. Bob Bly has built a great business this way. If you're not on his list, you should join and follow his model.

    Guest (Chris Allsop)January 28, 2014 at 8:40 pm

  8. Chris, thank you for sharing this. I'm just getting started with copywriting and I have an excellent 60% job in higher ed that includes flextime. As a mom I totally appreciate the benefits, convenience, security and regular face time that it gives me. The downside is that there's no room for advancement as a part-timer in the position I've held for the last 9 years.

    So, as much as I'm not totally enthralled by the work that I do, I am grateful for all the other things I mentioned and I'm heartened to read your perspective. I've been grappling with setting a timeframe for leaving my position but reading your thoughts helped ease my angst. Thank you!

    Looking forward to your next piece.


    Stephani RobertsJanuary 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  9. Hi Chris,

    Loved this article. Very true.
    Urgency may generate motivation but it also can create desperation.

    Desperation can mean you stop focusing on a niche and start trying to take every project and to do so for the lowest price so you can beat out competition for the project.

    This desperation can eventually lead someone in this copywriting mode to give up on "the writer's life" that was once a dream for them.

    Thanks for the great article!

    Jeff ZJanuary 28, 2014 at 11:58 pm

  10. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm trying to get started in copywriting after 23 years as a criminal prosecutor. I have experience is persuasive legal writing, but it's been hard to unlearn legalese and write like people talk. The stress of the courtroom is driving me to the writer's life. Although I don't yet see how I can use my work to break into copywriting, I continue to be encouraged by articles like yours.

    Guest (Dan F)January 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  11. Chris, I understand that having a job creates the confidence needed to build a successful freelance career in writing. But let's not forget those out there that have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. It's hard to survive on an unemployment check. Some of these folks might be trying to create the writers life while their cash flow has been taken away. It takes real courage and confidence to do that too. Best of luck to all!!

    CarolinaCopywriterJanuary 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm

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