Colorado Copywriter Approaches Six Figures – at 25
In May of 2012, nearly 5,000 graduates walked the stage at Colorado State University. Some planned to go back to school, others had already secured employment, and many were still hunting for jobs.
But one, Rae Robinson, had other plans. For two years, she had been juggling a growing career as a freelance copywriter on top of completing her bachelor’s degree in English. Now, she was poised to take her business full time.
But what freshly minted college graduate, at 21, expects to make it as a freelancer – without waiting tables on the side? And shouldn’t she gain some experience in a job before going out on her own?
Family, friends, and professors may have asked these questions, but not Rae. Driven and determined, she knew she had what it takes. Fast-forward to today and Rae is on her way to pulling in six figures this year – at age 25.
College Student – and Business Owner
Rae began writing fiction at age 13. When she entered college, the choice was clear: she’d pursue a degree in English with a creative writing concentration.
Yet her career options as a writer were disheartening. “I wanted to be an author, but I also had aspirations to pay bills and eat on occasion,” she says.
Her college jobs looked like those of most students’: she whipped up Blizzards at Dairy Queen, bussed tables at Macaroni Grill, managed a small software office, taught preschool dance classes, and organized ladies’ shoes at Macy’s.
Then came her break into professional writing. After lying about her age, she landed work writing 300-500-word articles for a content mill – at $3 an article! That’s why, when she first received an email from AWAI promoting its Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, she dismissed it as impossibleto make that kind of income.
While taking a year off of college to attend Bible school, Rae again received the same email from AWAI. This time, she took it seriously. She had recently started writing for the owner of a whole leaf tea company, based in Bogota, Columbia. Maybe it was possible to earn a living as a copywriter.
At once, copywriting offered the chance to do what she loves most and to be a business owner. She was the neighborhood kid always finding ways to make a buck: selling lemonade, candy, and handmade jewelry.
“I was 20,” she says. “I didn’t have the money for the Accelerated Program, but I bought it anyway.”
While still halfway through Bible school, she dove into the materials. “I inhaled the Accelerated Program,” she says. “I would stay up until 2-3 a.m. doing the exercises. I don’t think I learned a thing about the Bible from January to May!”
Rae returned to CSU to complete her degree, while her results-oriented copy led to more projects. The tea client introduced her to a Colombian plastic surgeon who wanted to educate others about his unique surgical technique. Twice, she traveled to Bogota to work and experience the city – even scrubbing in to watch the surgeon work. (The same client also graciously allowed Rae and her fiancé to stay in his million-dollar condo for their vacation in Miami … and toured them around the city in his Ferrari.)
But live copywriting events were Rae’s biggest career accelerants. There, she met potential clients and leaders in her field – face to face.
“All my major breakthroughs have come from in-person events,” she says. “That’s where I’ve seen my major step-ups in income and the caliber of my clients. In fact, I’ve never walked away from an AWAI event without a new client.”
At her first event, the 2012 Web Copywriting Intensive, Rae took part in the Copy Challenges, and took on private trial assignments from some of the companies there – helping her land work with big names such as Newsmax Health.
At the 2013 AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp & Job Fair, Rae was one of just five members awarded $2000 worth of work for her efforts on a Copy Challenge.
In total, Rae has attended four Web Copywriting Intensive events and three Bootcamps – knowing that going will pay back the investment many times over. At events and through connections formed, she’s built an impressive client roster, including Beach Body, Dr. Al Sears, Natural Health Sherpa, and Boardroom Inc. And she’s on retainer with AWAI for regular copywriting.
“Go Anywhere and Do Anything”
This year, Rae is on her way to a six-figure income, and may be the youngest AWAI member to ever reach this mark. She’s worked hard to grow her business and now plans to make the most of the flexibility of the writer’s life.
“When my fiancé graduates with a PhD, we can go wherever he gets a job, or travel the world for a few years,” Rae says. “We can go anywhere and do anything, and I love that.”
Rae is also pursuing certificates in personal training and nutrition coaching, giving her a second career for the afternoons, when she’s less productive as a writer. Or, she may start her own info-product business. Whatever she does, she’s taking along the confidence she’s gained from making it as a freelance copywriter.
“I have a career that I’ve literally built for myself, with the help of a lot of wonderful people,” Rae says. “I love what I do and I love life. Let’s keep going.”
Rae’s Tips For Copywriters
- Find your focus – Rae initially struggled with staying focused, but has found indispensable tools to assist: a standing desk, and online apps called Focusatwill.com and Trello.
- Don’t agonize over your niche – Try a niche, and if it doesn’t work out, try another one. Rae got her start in health copywriting and now is expanding into financial.
- Have faith – “If you’re new to copywriting, I encourage you not to be too anxious or feel like it’s overwhelming,” she says. “Take a breath and know that if you can talk, you can write copy.”
Ready to pursue the writer’s life?
Ready to pursue the writer’s life? Learn more about the program that launched Rae’s career, FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.
“All my major breakthroughs have come from in-person events. That’s where I’ve seen my major step-ups in income and the caliber of my clients. In fact, I’ve never walked away from an AWAI event without a new client.”
Fort Collins, CO
Dairy Queen, Macy's
Through Craigslist, she connected with the owner of a whole leaf tea company who needed marketing materials.
- FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair
- The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
- Web Copywriting Intensive