Here’s How I Seized the Day to Move My Writing Career Forward … And How You Can Too

Carpe diem! A message board saying Seize the Day with a woman holding a coffee mug next to it.

When I was starting out, I was looking for opportunities to get my foot in the door anywhere. I just wanted clients, income, and experience. My motto was carpe diem … seize the day.

I was listening to a podcast one afternoon when the guest — an author I admired and whose book I'd read — said he really struggled to find good copywriters.

He said he didn't care how much experience they had, because the ones with more experience don't tend to be available when you need them.

He said for "anyone" to email him if they thought they could write for him.

So … I did. And … he responded.

Yes, I Can Do That …

His assistant reviewed the project with me. I sent a proposal. He accepted, and the three of us got on the phone to talk about it. It was more money than all the projects I'd done thus far, combined.

I was ecstatic … and scared to death.

There were several pieces to the project that I'd never written before.

Luckily, a few months before that podcast, I'd signed up for Circle of Success, so I asked for about a week longer than I thought I'd need to do the project, studied the programs I needed to close my knowledge gaps, and got to work on the project.

Though I had written long-form sales letters, I’d never done Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Facebook Ads nor the landing page those ads led to …

So I turned to Nick Usborne’s Web Copywriting 2.0 (now updated to the Digital Copywriter’s Handbook) and How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert.

A few hours of studying those courses, as well as past promotions from my client, and I had a good handle on what I needed to do.

I turned in my campaign on time, confident I had delivered everything the client needed. And I had my first four-figure project under my belt.

It gave me the courage to continue reaching out to new clients. I was no longer worried about failing when I didn’t have experience doing everything a client might need.

When you're starting out, it can be really scary to tell a prospect … yes, I can help you.

But if you never take the first step, you'll find yourself stuck in the same spot, unable to achieve your goals.

Yes, You Can

You may not want to take such a big leap yet (or maybe you do — go for it). That’s okay. Then how about a baby step?

Like … choose a project or writing type and start learning it. Want to be a B2B copywriter? Take a B2B course like Steve Slaunwhite’s Modern B2B Copywriting to make sure it’s for you and start building your services portfolio.

Prefer to focus on just emails? Try the new program, How to Write High Impact Emails.

Think you’ve got the copywriting basics down, but now you’re stuck on choosing your niche? Listen to Inside AWAI’s The #1 Easiest Way to Choose a Copywriting Niche.

Maybe you’ve got some skills under your belt, and you’ve chosen a niche, and now you’re ready to start going after clients. But where to find them? An easy place to find companies who value your AWAI training is on www.DirectResponseJobs.com.

Or maybe you still need to put together some of your marketing assets, like your website, LinkedIn profile, or marketing message. Focus on one of those at a time. Do the easiest one first to prove to yourself you can.

If you’re intimidated by creating a website, work on your LinkedIn profile first. Then check out Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days.

Not sure which marketing method(s) are best for your target market or your personality type?

One of my favorite resources is AWAI’s Your No Stress Method for Getting Clients. It gives you 26 different ideas for how to get the word out that you’re open for business, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or something in-between.

You don’t have to know everything about everything to start going after clients. To get started, you just need to know enough to deliver on the projects you’re hired to write. And build from there.

Of course, access to the resources you need makes a big difference. (It did for me!) You can be prepared to help with whatever projects your clients need done when you’re an Infinity member (you’ll have access to all the skill-building and business-building resources you’ll need).

There’s no question the best way to evolve your copywriting business is to write for clients ─ the more successful projects you complete, the better your self-confidence, the bigger your bank account, and the easier it gets to bring on more and bigger clients.

But it all starts with those baby steps. Like Kris Kringle in one of my favorite Christmas specials sings …

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking 'cross the floor
You put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door

You never will get where you're going
If ya never get up on your feet
Come on, there's a good tail wind blowin'
A fast walking man is hard to beat

What Will You See When You Look Back?

I recently attended a three-day virtual conference, and one of the cool things the conference host did was send everyone in attendance an age-progressed image of themselves in the year 2040 …

The message was — what actions should you be taking now to honor that future self?

If there are things you want to do, but you keep putting them off or delaying starting them, how much progress will you have made by 2040?

Think about your next steps — BUT, don't let anything become an obstacle … because as I shared in my story about my first “big” client, you move forward just by taking an action, any action … Carpe Diem.

As long as you keep moving forward, taking those baby steps, before long you’ll find yourself looking back fondly on your current self, grateful, because you’ve helped your future self achieve your dreams.

Do you have any questions about getting started as a copywriter? Share with us in the comments.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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 »


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Published: September 8, 2021

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