A Post-Bootcamp Breakthrough … and More Wins in the Works for this Circle of Success Member

The transition from day job to freelance writing is the dream of many AWAI members. It can be intimidating to make the leap. But for Circle of Success member Mike Sweeney it was the push he needed to really make things happen with his writing business.

“I started freelancing on a very part time basis in 2009 while continuing my day job at a commercial bank as their corporate-communications person,” explains Mike, a former journalist. “I completed small copywriting jobs here and there until eventually I left the bank in March 2014. That's when I began pushing ahead to make my business become full-time work. It has made a huge difference to keep my goals in front of me and to have that time to put toward building my business … instead of using it up on my day job.”

Right after Bootcamp this past October, Mike hit a major milestone. He landed a project worth $2,500. He specializes in B2B (he likes the short, no-hype projects). The client, which makes automated sales tax calculation and filing software, fits that profile.

“I'm writing a series of twelve articles around the idea of ‘sales-tax school’ for business owners, CPAs, and bookkeepers. My client has already talked about more work after this assignment is completed, so I'm looking forward to a long partnership helping his company grow,” says Mike. “Getting this assignment is also a big confidence builder for me personally. I came to Bootcamp desperately wanting to see if this whole writer's life thing is real … and I am convinced it is! Everyone encouraged me to just go for it … write every day, put up the best website you can, contact those potential clients, put yourself out there. Just ‘do something’ to get yourself moving. It's wonderful to be validated as someone whose skills are really valued and needed.”

Mike said while it was somewhat of a “mental hurdle” to adjust to being a freelancer, he wouldn’t trade it. He says that previously he was working hard at low-paying jobs to make somebody else’s dreams come true. And now he has the ability to provide a better life for his family … and plenty of freedom, too. Educational trips across country or to Europe for his homeschooled kids are now a possibility. And Mike hopes to buy a new home, too, as his writing business takes off.

This latest project is just the beginning.

“It's almost like a gate has opened since returning from Bootcamp. All of a sudden in the last two weeks I have three more solid-looking clients in the pipeline,” says Mike. “As an example, one of them just contacted me this morning through a standard LinkedIn connection request — not even a customized message.

“I accepted her request and wrote a brief email saying, ‘Thank you for asking to connect today. Seeing you are in B2B sales, I wonder if I could ask a question … does your company ever use outside copywriters to help produce your marketing collateral? I ask because I specialize in … ’

“She wrote back a couple of hours later, ‘Yes! I would absolutely like to chat with you and learn more about how we might collaborate … ’ Cool!”

Great work, Mike! Your self-marketing is paying off.

You can check out Mike Sweeney’s freelance website here: http://sweeneycopywriting.com.

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Published: December 19, 2014

2 Responses to “A Post-Bootcamp Breakthrough … and More Wins in the Works for this Circle of Success Member”

  1. Nice write-up.
    As an aspiring copywriter, wondering if $2,500 is a major breakthrough, what is the typical ramp up time till one can expect to make 6-figure as a freelance copywriter.

    Guest (Chinmaya)December 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

  2. Hello Chinmaya, the "typical ramp up time" is a pretty broad question. It depends on several factors, such as the niche you write for (some are more lucrative than others). However it mostly depends on YOU and how much you put into it! I know of copywriters who made more than $100k in their first year and others who made $25k their first year. So get started completing your AWAI programs and start marketing yourself. Don't be "aspiring" any more... decide you will be successful this year and go for it.

    Mike SweeneyJanuary 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm


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