A Secret Way of Starting a Clientless Copywriting Business from Scratch

Puzzle with business person's hand holding magnifying glass over the words Email Marketing

If you want to see a real-life “case study” of how to put together your own clientless copywriting business, then this article will show you how.

Here’s the story:

Recently, I started helping a friend build her clientless copywriting business. And, to demonstrate how simple, profitable, and fun it can be, I’m going to detail below exactly what I taught her to do.

First, some background info on my friend:

  • She is a coach (branding, content-creation, etc.), has never had any formal copywriting training, and is just now starting to learn email … i.e., she doesn’t have (or need) a whole lot of experience to do the following, which should give even a brand-spanking-newbie the confidence to do this.
  • She grew up helping in her mom’s Manhattan thrift store. So one skill she brings to the table is merchandising, and buying (and finding) merchandise like clothing, shoes, jackets, jewelry, and other related products.
  • She enjoys video marketing, and has created many video trainings in her coaching business.
  • She’s got a love for buying and re-selling clothing on eBay and other auction sites. During slower times in her business, she has relied on this skill to help her pay the bills, and understands it better than most.

Her background is important because it shows her assets and strengths. This matters because the worst thing you can do when building a clientless copywriting business is try to sell things you hate selling, to people you hate selling to, using a media you hate selling with.

In her case, she loves buying and re-selling clothing (and has much experience doing it) and she loves using video to market with.

With that in mind, here is the game plan I created for her:

  1. Start building a list of people who want to buy high-end clothing at discount prices. She can do this primarily via content marketing like articles, social media posts, getting herself interviewed on podcasts her market listens to and, later on as her list grows, email swaps with other people who have lists of people who would want what she sells. (You find people with lists of similar types of customers, you write an email to your list selling your list on opting in to their site, and they do the same for you. It’s one of the fastest ways to build a list I’ve ever used. And it’s free.)
  2. The opt-in bribe/premium to entice people on her list should be a video. Specifically, it could detail something like 10 ways to get high-end clothing, shoes, jackets, and outfits at bargain basement prices. One of the ways, of course, would be to buy her offer in the next point.
  3. Create a monthly continuity video program showing people how to do what she is already doing. In other words, once per month, she would make a video (using her phone, it doesn’t have to be fancy with professional photo shoots) of her “doing” the things she’s teaching. For example, if she is walking around New York where she lives, she can stop in a thrift shop, film herself finding clothing, shoes, jackets, etc., what she looks for, red flags to avoid, and anything else that is relevant. She could also do it online via screen recording (Apple’s free QuickTime software does this, again, you don’t need anything fancy or to spend a lot of money). Basically, she shows herself buying expensive things at a discount, the exact sites she uses, places she goes, the whole thing.
  4. She can price it however she wants. But, since she is essentially “selling money at a discount.” (i.e., showing people how to save a lot of money) she could test higher prices — as much as $100 or $200 per month. And remember, she is essentially charging people to show them what she is already doing. This isn’t going to take a lot of time out of her life. She’s already doing the work, she is simply recording it now.
  5. She should create a sales page. It can be either a text sales letter or Video Sales Letter (I would test both, ideally). It doesn’t have to be fancy or long. It just has to outline what they get when they subscribe. The emails will do the bulk of the work.
  6. She will email her list daily to sell them on subscribing to her continuity videos. Every email will have a call-to-action to join her program. And when people buy, they will be removed from the daily email list and put on her buyers list.
  7. On the back-end, she can sell consulting and coaching for people who want personal help. I suggest she charge a lot for this. At least $10K per month. She can give them 24/7 access to her via software like Voxer if she chooses, can look at deals on the fly for them (they could, for example, use a program like Marco Polo, which is basically just like Snapchat, except unlimited video length, to do this), and she is essentially their “silent business partner.” (And could position it that way in her advertising.) She only needs a few of these clients, especially when combined with her monthly continuity buyers to make a very nice living, and having a lot of fun doing it. In fact, she could even offer to show her buyers who want to save money, how to do what she does to resell the same items at a big markup, if she chose.

Not a bad little gig, is it?

This is one of probably tens of thousands of clientless copywriting business ideas. The key is to analyze your natural talents and assets and build it around those. Personally, I would hate doing a business like I advised her to do because I hate doing video, and have zero desire to do coaching or consulting.

Always remember the Dan Kennedy adage:

“Build your business to suit your preferences.”

Do that, and making a nice income doesn’t have to be hard.

In fact, it can be quite simple and easy.

You just have to do the work, and follow a proven plan.

Do you have any questions about getting a clientless copywriting business started? Share with us in the comments below.

10-Minute Workday

10-Minute Workday

If you want to be a well-paid writer without having to land clients or spend hours every day working on your business — Ben Settle’s 10-Minute Workday shows you how to create an easy email business. Learn More »


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Published: August 14, 2018

2 Responses to “A Secret Way of Starting a Clientless Copywriting Business from Scratch”

  1. High Ben ,I am a relatively new copywriter,and need help with getting the right message out in the right way.I have solved 4 major air,water and soil food scrap pollution problem 's all at once,with one simple maneuver.It's tried-and-scientifically proven.I now want to take this message around the world.I need help.THANKS.

    The Royal Red Wiggler Worm WranglerpAugust 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

  2. Hello Ben. I am new to copy writing. I love all things children. I have worked with preschool children in school and daycare settings. I love to read to children. I love children's music. I have taught preschool gymnastics. I love promoting the wellbeing of children, encouraging them, their health and happiness. I write different types of poetry, of which children's poetry is one. How could I tie this into a successful clientless copy writing business from scratch, and make it global? Thanks

    Guest (Andrea)August 16, 2018 at 7:42 am


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