Harnessing “Love-Based Solutions” for Freelance Copywriting Success
Yesterday, we got to hear from John Brewer about his wife Jean’s first steps toward living the writer's life.
Today, we hear from another copywriter who’s also well on her way to achieving the writer's life. Amanda Foxcroft Taylor is farther along than John's wife right now. But she's also been at it a little bit longer.
So, I hope you’ll join me for this interview Amanda did with AWAI a short while ago.
AWAI: What led you to freelance copywriting?
Amanda: I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with an English/Creative Writing degree, and I always liked writing essays and nonfiction.
After graduation, I drifted away from daily writing, but stayed close to other people’s writing. I worked in editing and publishing for 10 years. Then I discovered AWAI and found I could make a living writing and that it didn’t require literary agents or being on The New York Times Best Seller List to make money.
I’ve now been freelance copywriter for two years … and I love it.
How did you land your first client?
I got my first client through the AWAI Direct Response Jobs Board, writing blogs and web pages about cars.
Where do you focus your writing efforts?
I focus on the natural health market as well as cruelty-free, sustainable companies. I like empowering people to take back their energy and well-being without synthetic drugs whenever possible.
And I’m very careful about the kinds of foods, cosmetics, and products I buy, always checking for cruelty-free labels and natural ingredients.
I like to write for the kinds of products I use and believe in.
Your copywriter’s website says you focus “on love-based solutions.” How did you develop that unique approach?
In a lot of markets, including natural health, fear often is used as the dominant emotion to compel prospects to take action.
I get it. People are more motivated psychologically to move away from unpleasant emotions than they are to move toward positive ones. However, I’m personally repulsed by the unbridled amount of fear I see in a lot of health copy.
Don’t get me wrong … the danger is real: Cancer, chronic illnesses, depression, anxiety, a for-profit healthcare system. But the overuse of fear in copy is a real problem, as well. It increases anxiety and, ironically, increases complacency because people become desensitized.
Prospects see enough fear-based headlines like, “Watch this video to discover the #1 sign you’ll die early!” Eventually they look at it, shrug, and think, “Yeah, cancer’s in the cheese … we’re doomed. Should we order Chinese for dinner?”
That’s not the reaction I want to inspire in people!
In a world beset by fear, division, insecurity, anger, I don’t want to add to that witch’s brew.
So, I choose a more positive angle in copy I write. I still have to poke the problem, make prospects feel their pain. But then I move quickly to a vision of a better way.
I offer hope and positive change rather than terrifying them. Some copywriters would disagree with my methods, but I feel good about the kind of copy I write. And that makes me happy.
If you had your pick of copy projects and lifestyle setups, what would you do?
I’d write for cruelty-free, natural products and companies that improve people’s lives with positivity and love.
I’d also love to have a home base in Wisconsin, near my family, but spend most of the year traveling with my husband. As poet Wallace Stevens said, “The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”
What’s your top advice for fellow freelance writers in search of copywriting success?
When you’re starting out, it can feel like you’ll always be struggling. But the longer you stick with it, the more it all starts to click and snap into place.
Have faith in your own journey and don’t compare yourself or your business to others. Run your own race.
Be sure to return tomorrow. We’ll check in with another AWAI member who’s well on her way to the writer's life … but coming from an entirely different direction. And take a few minutes to explore the different niche programs offered by AWAI. Amanda has found success writing in the natural health niche because she believes in it. That's made it easier for her to market her services, land clients, and have greater success. You might find the same thing happens when you pick a niche that aligns with your values. It's worth pursuing. And if you go here, you'll see the many niche programs available that could be the starting point of your new writing career. (Now’s the time to set yourself up for a breakthrough year. Click through to see why … )
Until then, comment below to let us know how you are planning your next steps toward the writer's life.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »