A Brand Spanking New Way for Freelancers Fed Up with Client Work to Build a Clientless Copywriting Business
If you are interested in having a copywriting business that does not rely on clients (where you are your own “client” instead) … then this article can give you one option you probably have not heard anywhere else.
Here’s the story:
Recently I was talking to a customer who has some decent copywriting skills, loves the idea of having a clientless copywriting business, but does not have the patience to build his own offers. He just wants to write the ads and emails, do the marketing side of things, get paid, and not have to do much else.
“Is this possible?” he asked.
If he’d asked me this a couple of years ago, I’d have laughed in his face and told him to take his lazy self somewhere else.
Building a clientless copywriting business is not meant to be easy.
If it was, everyone would be doing it.
But timing, as they say, is everything. And in his case, he asked me at a time where I have three additional clientless copywriting businesses as of about a year and a half ago.
I won’t say the following is “for” everyone.
But if you identify with the guy above, it’s worth knowing.
The way I am talking about can be summed up in one word:
And even more specifically: subscription-based software.
Since I am the proverbial “caveman” when it comes to technology, I am equally loathe and excited to admit that over the past couple of years, I’ve become absolutely convinced software has replaced info-publishing as the best kind of continuity/subscription-type offer to sell for copywriters wanting a clientless copywriting business. Even to the point where I have put over half a million dollars of my hard-earned money where my mouth is by investing in three software platforms so far — with more on the way.
The answer is simple:
I have seen over this time — with raw data and stats — that software has the highest retention rates of any other kind of subscription offer I’ve ever sold, seen, or even heard of. And I have also seen over this time how, if you decide to “stack” (i.e., combine) your subscription software offers with other types of subscription offers … the sky truly is the limit for how big you can grow your own clientless copywriting business empire.
And if you think you can't do software because you aren’t a "tech" person, then think again. If a technophobe like me can own multiple subscription software businesses, then you can, too.
And no, you don’t have to learn to code.
(Bill Gates used to mock Steve Jobs for not being a programmer, if that tells you something.)
You can do one or both of two things:
- Pay for a development team to build your software and maintain it, keep it updated, etc.
- Find a developer to team up with, like I did, to build, maintain, and keep it updated. No coding or developing experience necessary. I simply do all the marketing and copywriting work, and leave the rest to my business partner.
Now, let’s talk more about “stacking” information-based subscription offers on top of software-based subscription offers (or vice versa).
This idea of stacking is not technically “new.”
In fact, the late billionaire newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst was the master at stacking — where he had all his businesses “feeding” each other, growing each other, and promoting each other. And the way I am suggesting you stack subscription-based offers is almost identical.
What you do is, you start with one subscription-based offer, then stack another on top of that one, and then stack another on top of that one … over and over and over … as high and as deep as you want, with them all interconnected and helping to grow each other.
In my own clientless copywriting business, I don't "just" sell a subscription print newsletter. I stack subscription software, coaching, and membership site offers on top of that newsletter — each feeding and building upon the others in a way where they all enrich each other, and where if one goes down, the rest of my business still stands strong.
This is not nearly as complicated as it might sound.
But it does take some thinking and strategizing. There is no checklist for this, unfortunately. But if you are going to have a clientless copywriting business, you might as well get used to the fact that there is no “checklist” for business building. And if you require one, you should probably just stick with doing client work.
But just because there is no checklist does not mean there aren’t some proven steps you can take.
In this case, the first step is to find a proven structure for selling a subscription/continuity-based business from scratch to build upon. Our 10-Minute Workday can show you that structure if you don’t have one already. NOTE: It does not talk at all about software. But that does not matter. It’s the structure that matters, not the type of offer, since you can simply outsource or joint venture the software building and maintenance side.
Your second step is to get your first offer up.
It can be software, information (membership site, newsletter, etc.), coaching, or anything you want.
Then, when that first offer is up, you add/stack another on top of that first offer in the way explained above, where the offers help each other grow.
Then add another.
Then another … and another … until you have the solid, secure business you want.
This article is not meant as the end-all-be-all on this subject.
It is your introduction into what I hope is a whole new world of opportunity you may have never considered before. And it is also how I would have approached building my own clientless copywriting business if I was to do it over starting from scratch.
Do you have any questions about how to get started with a clientless business? Share with us in the comments.
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 »