If You’re a Copywriter Looking for Clients … Follow Your Heart, Go Where the Growth Is, or Listen for the Sound of Heavy Machinery

Female writer on business online chat with male client

When you start out as a copywriter, it’s only natural to feel a little anxious about where you’re going to find new clients.

You’re not alone!

It’s the same for all of us. We all need a strategy for finding new clients. Even after we’ve been in the business for years.

I’m going to share three different approaches with you today.

I’d encourage you to keep reading to the end. You may love the idea of the first or second approach, but it could be that you’ll end up going for a blend of approaches, including the third one.

Let’s get started.

Approach #1: Follow Your Heart

This may sound a little woo-woo. “Follow your heart and all will be well!”

But there’s a heavy dose of logic and reason to this approach.

When you love the work you do, you’re more likely to do really GOOD work. I’ve made the mistake of saying yes to work that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy. Sure, I did professional work. But it was never my best work, and I never enjoyed the experience.

Let’s say you have a passion for wine, and love to spend a few weekends a year on tours in wine country. You know and love the industry.

This means it would be an ideal niche for you as a copywriter. You’d be blending your personal passions with your work as a professional copywriter.

Your clients would immediately sense your genuine interest in their business. And you would always enjoy your work.

And like I said, when you follow your heart, you’re more likely to do your very best work.

So … grab a pad or a sheet of paper and write out a list of the kinds of businesses you’d really enjoy working with.

Approach #2: Go Where the Growth Is

When you set up business as a freelance copywriter, you’re essentially launching a small business.

This means you need to think like a businessperson when evaluating the best ways forward.

And one of the things you’ll want to ask is, “Where is the growth right now?”

Where there’s growth, there’s opportunity.

Fortunately for you, the online copywriting business is awash with opportunity.

Some of it is to do with the pandemic. Millions of offline businesses have been forced to move online, in a hurry. They need help with all of their digital marketing efforts — from building websites, writing email sequences and newsletters, creating Facebook Ads, and so much more.

Separate from the pandemic, we’re seeing another force at play. And it’s all about the devices people are using.

More and more, people are accessing the Web through their smartphones and not their computers. This has meant a growing emphasis on social media and chatbot marketing through text.

The growing dominance of smartphones has also stimulated a big growth in video marketing … whether those videos are playing on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or even in Messenger apps.

And think of all the ads you see on your phone. Someone has to write them too!

Again, grab that notepad and jot down some thoughts on whether these growth areas might be a good fit for you.

Can you see yourself jumping in and helping small companies make the move from offline to online marketing?

Or are you the kind of writer who would love to work on the cutting-edge of what’s new, particularly with marketing through smartphones?

There’s plenty of opportunity in both of those areas.

Approach #3: Follow the Sound of Heavy Machinery

This is the least glamorous approach, and I love it!

There is a temptation for copywriters to act like moths, all being drawn towards the brightest lights.

A particular niche might be “hot” right now … like financial copywriting, or wellness copywriting, or travel copywriting.

These are all good niches. But … they attract an awful lot of copywriters. And that means a ton of competition.

For example, if I go to Google and do a search for “wellness copywriter,” I see over 14,000 results. True, not every result is for a freelance copywriter, but a lot of them are. That’s a lot of competitors!

Now let’s do a search for “mining industry copywriters.”

Ha … just ONE result! It’s really hard to find a search term that delivers only one result! And in this case, it isn’t even for a freelance copywriter.

So it looks like there’s ZERO competition in that space.

“Duh, Nick. Maybe that’s because there is no opportunity in the mining industry.”

You think?

Here is some information for The World’s Premier Mineral Exploration & Mining Convention, 2021.

“In addition to meeting over 1,100 exhibitors, 2,500 investors, and 25,800 attendees from 132 countries, you can also attend technical sessions, short courses, and networking events.”

Look at those numbers and think about it for a minute. Over 25,000 attendees! And over 1,100 exhibitors.

Still think there’s no opportunity?

Maybe the mining industry isn’t for you. But … like I said … think about the place where you hear the sound of heavy machinery.

Agriculture, construction, general aviation, forestry, fisheries … and so on.

A lot of the companies in these industries have big marketing budgets.

But, they’re not “hot” … so they don’t attract the attention of a lot of copywriters.

That’s why I love this approach.

You can clean up big-time while everyone else is fighting over the “hot” clients.

Wrapping it up …

We’re all different. When you look at these three approaches, there’s no right answer.

And you may want to mix things up a bit.

For example, I have a bit of a passion for the mushroom business.

That could be a niche for me that hits the spot for “where my heart is.”

I could help a lot of small mushroom farmers build better websites and start marketing more successfully with short videos through social media on smartphones.

And mushrooms definitely fall under the heading of “not hot.”

Grab that notebook again. Play around.

Sooner or later, you’ll find a niche that hits the spot for you.

And there’s never been a better time to get started …

Businesses small and large need more help than ever with their websites … emails … landing pages … product pages … and so much more. There is no end to the demand for people who can write copy and content for businesses.

You just need the right training …

And I put everything you need to know in one convenient (and continuously updated!) place. Click here to check it out for yourself.

If you have any questions about getting started as a web writer, please ask in the comments.

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

Learn how to become an in-demand online copywriter for companies big and small. Online copywriting expert Nick Usborne shows you how to write web copy that converts. Learn More »

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Published: May 13, 2021

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