How to Put Your Freelance Career on the Fast Track!

Yesterday, I asked you to choose your own “Independence Day” …

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s how you can get caught up on what we’ve covered so far this week …

On Monday, you selected your cheering squad. On Tuesday, you declared your Independence Day.

Now what?

Today, I’m going to share with you what I did 16 years ago when I left a well-paying job and hung my freelance copywriting shingle!

And, although January 1st was my Independence Day – the groundwork began many months before!

Here are two strategies I used to launch my freelance copywriting business – and I think these strategies can work for just about any industry!

Strategy #1: Turn old job into first client!

If you plan to stay in your industry, look for opportunities to turn your current job into a freelance assignment! I was working for a health publisher – so, before we parted ways, I pitched them a deal.

I was leaving on good terms. We knew each other well. It just made sense.

So, I proposed working on a small, creative project for them. My fee was MUCH lower than my salary – so my almost ex-boss BIT, and I had a client!

My ZERO-income projection for January 1st now had some numbers BEFORE the decimal!

Strategy #2: Build on your successes – no matter how small!

One of the toughest obstacles to overcome in the freelance copywriting field is delivering writing samples. You don’t have a sample – unless you have a client … and a client won’t hire you – unless you have samples! Oy!

So, what the heck do you do when you don’t have a successful sample – called a “control”?

The best you can – and sometimes that means being a little “creative”!

Find a small client and offer to write a sales letter – for free if necessary. If he tests your copy, and your sales letter outperforms the current letter – congrats! You’ve just got a control!

My first big break came from writing a male potency sales piece. When it became a control, I immediately contacted other companies and said:

“I know you’re busy, so I won’t swamp you with a lot of my work – here’s my newest control your competitor is mailing!”

Hey – don’t judge me.

It was my newest – and also my ONLY – control, but they didn’t need to know that!

This approach now opened the door, and I had something to share with prospective clients. And, that landed me more writing assignments!

So, the lesson is: Build on whatever success you have and push on to the next level!

Before I knew it, my copywriting business was taking off! I was feeling more confident. I had a few successes – but still a lot of openings in my schedule. So, I had to step up my game!


In a very TINY way! I’ll tell you about this secret tomorrow …

Until then – I’d love to hear how YOU overcame a hurdle in your plans to launch your freelance business. It doesn’t have to be a huge obstacle – stumbling stones are good teachers too. Share it with me here.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: August 12, 2015

19 Responses to “How to Put Your Freelance Career on the Fast Track!”

  1. I could not get into the conference call was muted or my central timing was confusing with eastern.I will try to connect with sales people in my area to try get started.

    Top Notcher

  2. My freelance career will consist of more than just copywriting. Copywriting will be the major income though. I am starting small by submitting short stories (I am more of a fiction writer--dreamer!) Every little bit of income helps and also helps boost my courage. Copywriting will be my next challenge. Hope I am up to the task.

    Guest (Wurdbyrd)

  3. My stumbling block is one I am trying to get over now. I am faced with a future of being self motivating. Assembling a cheering team is not working. I simply have no people in my life that support my copy writing efforts.

    Guest (Amy)

  4. Carline Anglade-Cole, are you on my team, or am I on your team. Welcome, I like what you are saying/doing.

    I, like one other have difficulty amassing a "cheering section", but a few are coming around. Need action I guess.

    I have gone through the Research Course, and the Quick Steps course and just yesterday purchased the Newsletter course.

    I feel I need to be more in the support writing arenas verses the Promotions writing arenas.

    Well done, don't get lost, I need friends like you. Dale

    Guest (Dale - NoMoHype)

  5. Carline Anglade-Cole, its me again...

    How does one turn a previous position into a client, when it has been years since I was an employee. Mostly I have been a contractor, now I am retired, starting my next career. I hope to travel more leisurely with this one, with an RV.

    I am looking at some cross marketing, am in the process of setting up a Blogging platform for promotions and samples.


    Guest (Dale - NoMoHype)

  6. When you say "control" what exactly is that? I know it refers to your latest writing but what is a "control"?

    Guest (Bob)

  7. Carline, I just began my trek into copywriting about two weeks ago. I had nothing to show. I took a trip several years ago to Alaska. I decided I would expand on that 38 day journey. It turned out to be 14 pages, 5061 words and I just submitted the copy to AWAI for review. My next venture is for one of many trips to Maui over the past twenty years. Thanks for the great insight. Aloha.

    Guest (Roger Groves)

  8. hello Carline, I'm sorry that you haven't got replies from me yet. I travelled to a part of my country that has very weak Internet network.
    I hope to send in all my replies when I get back to town.
    Your messages will sure be helpful to me and I appreciate your assistance.

    Thank you!


    Guest (Ubong Moses )

  9. To Wyrdbyrd:
    It's not a bad strategy to try different types of writing and see which one starts to bring in the moolah. When you do - you can then hone in on that area and create your niche!

    Guest (Carline)

  10. To Amy:
    Then you better get into the habit of looking yourself in the mirror EVERY day - and giving yourself the kick in the pants you need to get moving! Develop a PROVE THEM WRONG attitude! Success is the best REVENGE! Stick close with the folks at AWAI for even more encouragement. But, you said it yourself - YOU've got to self-motivate!

    Guest (Carline)

  11. To Dale - WOW - you sure have bought a lot of stuff! Now, get your money's worth and put that knowledge you're getting to USE! It's good to be a student - it's even better to be a PAID writer. You'll keep improving as you keep writing. Get going!

    Guest (Carline)

  12. Hey Bob, A control is the current winning package. Everything else will test against the control. So, if a control is coming in at a 1.5% response, a test package will need to be that response rate to become the new control?
    Clear as mud, right?

    Guest (Carline)

  13. Dale - pick up the phone and call or email the last contact you had at your previous job. Revive that relationship and find out who to talk to so you can turn that former job into a client!

    Guest (Carline)

  14. Greetings all,

    WE students at AWAI are your Cheering Squad!
    WE students all have many successes regardless of our biological age.

    For Amy: My stumbling block is one I am trying to get over now. I am faced with a future of being self motivating. Assembling a cheering team is not working. I simply have no people in my life that support my copy writing efforts.
    Guest (Amy) – August 12, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    One of your cheering squad/people IN your life, is I. I will be honored to be part of your cheering squad.

    I am a member of AWAI as well the Accelerated Course 4 Six Figure Copywriting.

    Look me up at AWAI and Groupsite and let's connect. I am also at Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other Social Media sites.

    Thank YOU Carline!

    G Eric Gaither

  15. I enjoyed reading those comments and understand how people have so much trouble getting themselves going on a new project like this. The key everyone is to stay positive. No negative thoughts like: can I do this. Say I can do this ---and more!!!

    Guest (Ronald Burnette)

  16. Hi Carline! So timely--I just "officially" launched my business this week. I've been working with a paying client and two pro bono opportunities over the past year. And now I have more confidence in approaching other potential clients, because I have some work experience under my belt.

    Idea for samples: contact a nonprofit and offer to do a pro bono project for them--you get samples AND cred for volunteering, which u can add to your LinkedIn profile under the section for community service.

    Guest (EllenB)

  17. To EllenB - Great idea!

    Guest (Carline)

  18. I am trying to get started with an idea for blog or article series. Topic is my journey through prep, surgery, and recovery experience of hip replacement scheduled 11/9. Where can I send proposal? Any recommendations welcome.


  19. Am I on somebody's team?
    Please let me know so I can enjoy the rest of the online version of "Boot Camp." Thanks.

    Jane E Tutor 4 U

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