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INTRO+ 24 y/o Copywriter, Lost AF

Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by JFCopy, Oct 28, 2018.

What would you recommend a new-ish copywriter to do?

  1. Try to get acquired

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  2. Make your own platform and business

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  3. Stick to freelance websites that pay jack

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  1. JFCopy
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    JFCopy Contributor

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    Hey there,

    Found this forum after a very discouraging day digging through all the BS people market towards copywriters who don't know any better (yours truly, 4 hours ago).

    My name's Miranda. After graduating summa cum laude from a lib arts college, I realized I only gave a damn about copywriting.

    In less than 7 months, I rose to front-page prominence on a very popular freelancing website I shall not name. Hundreds of projects completed, all with a perfect star rating.

    But the clients on that website? They're entrepreneurs in the LOOSEST sense of the word.
    I've watched one business scheme after another crash and burn, while averting my eyes and taking my paltry pennies straight to the bank.

    But still...

    With plenty of clients being spoonfed to me and a full-time WFH job with better rates than many writers who have been doing this for years, I should be happy. After all, I've hit five figures my first year freelancing, with minimal effort put into building my own platform. I'm in almost constant demand.

    I should be happy...but I'm not.

    I don't care about being a millionaire myself. Inventing a product. Drop-shipping. Curing cancer.

    I just want to copywrite. And that's it.

    And I have no idea how to find REAL clients...how to make a real business...and how to distinguish myself from an unwashed mass of "barefoot writers."

    I want to write for people who know what they're doing.

    Why? Because I'm tired of nutjob clients. One guy dumped 50k into a motorcycle clothing website, then turned around to become a "GURU" for his brother's MLM. He gave up on marketing that 50k website after a week.

    Another tried to bestow her marketing firm on me, then ghosted me when I said no.

    Yet another sent me pictures of his baby momma's new kid, claiming we were friends forever, and I haven't heard from him in months...

    If you've read this far, thanks for letting me b*tch.
    And despite my world weary, millennial attitude, I promise I'm nice.
    If you've got any advice -- even if I've heard it before -- I'm all ears.

    Cheers,
    JFCopy / Miranda
     
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  2. Jeff Noel
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    Jeff Noel Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hi Miranda (@JFCopy ),

    May I suggest to take a look at your local businesses that could already have a somewhat decent online presence ? I'm talking about SMBs that have a few thousand likes on Facebook, a small (or even big) website and the need of better landing pages, better blog posts, better content overall.

    You could cold contact these businesses and, with your copywriting curriculum, suggest your services to them. Even better, you could find businesses in an industry you've already copywrited for. The cold calls could quickly become burning hot if they realize you have experience in copywriting and in their niche.

    Welcome to the forums!
     
  3. JFCopy
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    Hey (on phone so sorry for no tag), great idea! Thank you for the advice on an off-platform start! I really appreciate it!
     
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  4. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    So what's the problem? You're writing copy, generating income. What are you asking for advice on? Pay any debt down and cover your monthly expenses, there's no reason you can't write copy if that's what you want to do. Clearly people will pay.

    If you want to scale you might need to change how you charge. Switch to fixed-rates if you're hourly. Switch to packages if you're selling one-off stuff. If you're really brave, go for commissions or a percentage of business profits in exchange for your services. Startups in particular are usually open to this.

    If the problem is getting better clients, then it's time to move off Upwork (or niche down on the platform). Only talk to clients who meet your exact criteria. If you add enough value around here people will reach out to work with you. Some of them know what they're doing in business (your criteria), some don't.
     
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  5. JFCopy
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    Hey Lex, thanks for reaching out -- I think I was groaning via text more than asking for specific advice. Now that you mention it, it's client quality I'm after. Thanks for the tips on finding better clients!
     
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  6. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Serious question. How many Gary Halbert letters did you hand copy before you got your first copywriting clients?
     
  7. JFCopy
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    None, to my knowledge! I'm a bigger fan of Ray Edwards ;)
     
  8. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Repped.
     
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  9. rpeck90
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    Welcome to the forum Miranda! I'm not a copywriter, but I know copy.

    Going to be honest, I've been writing a huge (15k+ word) post which details exactly what you need...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    -
    [​IMG]

    Kind of spammy but I said I knew copy, right? :)

    The crux is to reverse the process; grow inward - rather than outward.

    In your case (I found your LinkedIn but not your freelancing profile) - I would focus on building up a website/presence beyond your freelancing stuff. The site should be focused purely on dishing out as much juicy goodness you can from your business. I can't say specifically what this for you, but if your niche is copywriting, you'd aim for something similar to copyblogger.

    How you do this will determine the type of people who'll seek you out (eventually). It needs to be done intrinsically, which (I suppose as a female) would be a more natural for you anyway. Only write about what you have done and the progress you have made (either as an individual or a company). Tubik studio good example.

    I have a specific way I set up sites for SEO purposes. You basically use a "3 tier" content strategy, which I explain the post I've written. Either way, if you send me your freelancing profile I'd be in a much better position to be more specific.

    Also, and this is actually super important - you should never write off growing a company. If you can do it properly, think about the impact you could have if you were able to hire 4 or 5 staffers. Think of the families you'd be able to support and the excellent, enjoyable and purposeful work you'd be able to perform as a company. Not every business has to be shitty. You're in the US - your opportunities are basically infinite.

    --
    Tej Dosa (@ComedicBizman) | Twitter would be a great person to seek advice from. Natural copywriter who's making good money managing people's FB ads for them. Class act.

    --
    @Damian Pros would also be someone to ask about this, but you'll likely get some really snarky reply (he pretends to be tough online to get people to follow his Twitter) -- he has a website at Dare and Conquer: Blazing Your Own Path In Life (Homepage) where he has some nuggets after creating the "SPXMAC" copywriting business on Fiverr... which has mysteriously disappeared from Fiverr.

    --
    Further, there's a guy I would DEFINITELY try and talk to - Craig Clemens.

    Only spoken to him like 3 times but damn he is good. He's also a MASSIVE proponent of Halbert, John Carlton and a bunch of other old school direct response guys.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  10. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Welcome aboard Miranda. Not a copywriter so I can't help, but I see Lex has you covered :p
     
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  11. JFCopy
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    Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out! That long post looks super informative -- if you remember, please hit me up when it's done. I appreciate the tips on who to look for / look out for as well!

    I'm gonna be 100% honest. I have done absolutely nothing about establishing a platform for myself -- I turned to Fiverr out of desperation and a need to keep my fiancee fed. You can see my (pretty pathetic) profile on Fiverr under the name "JFCopy"

    Thank you for reaffirming that I need to work on my own platform and make my own message. :)
     
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  12. Rawseed
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    Rawseed Legendary Lurker Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey @JFCopy! Welcome! I'm relatively new here too.

    I'm not a copywriter and don't play one on the internet. And you've gotten great advice in this post so far. But, also consider reaching out to @Neville Medhora. I don't know him, but he's a well known copywriter. Or kopywriter.

    Also, check out the work of Andre Chaperone at: Tiny Little Businesses (TLB) - Education For Creators | by André & Anita Chaperon. 'Autoresponder Madness' and 'Sphere of Influence' are great frameworks.

    Also, check out Don Miller's work at: StoryBrand – Clarify Your Message. He's affiliated with Ray Edwards.

    I know you just want to write copy, but you could get great practice by becoming an affiliate for a product that you believe in. Then write copy for your self.

    The only way to get better is to execute and get real feedback. Starting your own affiliate business would help you do that.

    Also, as an affiliate, your copy becomes an asset that could potentially make money for you in perpetuity.

    Good luck!
     
  13. JFCopy
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    Hey! Thanks for the additional tips -- more of just what I'm looking for and proving that signing up for Fastlane was more than worth my time. Good to know that there are more established copywriters (kopywriters?) around here too.

    Best of luck!
     
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  14. rpeck90
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    No problem at all; regarding the post, yes once I finish it and (if MJ gives permission), I'll send a message.

    In terms of your Fiverr profile, it's basically what I suspected; you really need a niche (although that's just my opinion).

    Here's a profile I set up for my friend a year ago:

    [​IMG]

    The crypto gig was killing it until he got a full time job and put the price up.

    The point I wanted to make was that your "online" life gets 1000x simpler once you develop an "expertise" through which you're able to provide a scope of value. I got involved with software development... my friend was involved with financial trading and got "mentored" (for lack of a better term) by this hotshot in London.

    When selling on Fiverr, it wasn't copywriting that he was selling, but his underlying expertise & insights. That's what people were/are buying.

    With your profile, it seems very generic. This is probably why you're attracting a lot of people who don't really give a shit about their projects; they need someone who's relatively inexpensive, expendable and not going to charge too much. One of the big opportunities you have is to try and consider who "you" are (in terms of professional expertise) and then that's what you'll lead with in terms of your site/platform/message.

    Doing this (properly at least) will give you the ability to leverage that expertise with a much larger audience - be it locally, through the likes of YouTube/Twitter/LinkedIn etc, or just on your site. Even if your "niche" is copywriting (are you an ad writer, blog post writer, Amazon product listings writer, sales letter writer...?), it's still one of the most important things to try and narrow down your prospects to people who are involved with a market.
     
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  15. JFCopy
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    Crazy how you know things...but need someone else to point them out. You are 100% correct -- so far I've been fitting my profile into "Fiverr's standards" instead of mine. (And let's be honest...even with Pro and Learn and all that crap, Fiverr is best known for being able to cast a wide net and reel in cheap 'talent' (of variable quality)).

    Crypto's a great niche to be in and I can definitely see how he's found success.

    I'm going to take a long hard look at what I actually want to do (and what I do well), and start focusing my gigs from there. Setting a goal for myself to try casting my net this weekend.

    I hope you're able to send that message my way! If you need me to do anything to help get MJ's permission, let me know. And if anything else springs to mind.

    I seriously do appreciate the time you've taken. (It's my first entrepreneurial forum, so I had no idea what to expect).
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  16. Jeff InfoPreneur
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    Jeff InfoPreneur Contributor

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    Definitely on the right track now Miranda - start to wean off of the freelance boards and begin to develop your own profile/branding, become active on social network groups, forums, offline events once you decide your target market(s) - guarantee you there are MANY legit businesses out there desperately seeking better conversion rates. One question...along your path of crazy, mundane and fly-by-night business owners, have you gotten at least a few champions who can attest to improved performance as a result of your copy? For now, focus on finding some reviewers/testimonials so you can increase your prices and reel in some top-notch business owners as you begin your networking.
     
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  17. Jeff Noel
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    I'm jumping back in this thread again to suggest a few tips for scanning your own interests. It might be possible that in retrospect, you simply love writing. That's perfectly fine, and if you decide to start doing copy for yourself like some people mentioned above, you could definitely start publishing content about copy or about writing. That's a niche in itself, and some kind of blog talking about copy will definitely bring other copywriters and entrepreneurs around.

    If you don't feel like having a website, try to find platforms like medium.com, where there's an "about me" section at the end of each article. You could put a link to your fiverr profile there. I haven't taken a look at your Fiverr profile, but simply adjusting titles a little bit towards that new crowd of people with different interests that those already browsing Fiverr could convert (I'm speculating).

    Whatever you do, if you want, I would suggest you document your journey somehow. This could become useful later on for you or for others if you publish it !

    This forum is pure gold, it's also my first serious community. I've learnt more about my niches and entrepreneurship in 2 days browsing the free sections than I did in 2 years listening to all the gurus. Do-ers not only execute, but give back to us when we post threads !
     
  18. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Checked out your fiverr profile, here are my comments:
    Your package are too "you" focused. "I will do X". Since you have so few words, I would spend them describing the benefit the customer gets from your service.

    "Web copy that drives sales"
    "Content that builds a loyal audience"

    You have lots of good reviews, so you're apparently good at what you do. Branch out onto your own website and build your own brand, but don't abandon the other platforms. Just command higher prices. You have the reviews to back it up.

    I'd raise the starting prices on all the packages by $25 right away.
     
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  19. JFCopy
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    Hey, Jeff! Thank you so much for reaching out as well! This is one of the biggest things I struggle with -- while I have great testimonials because the clients are satisfied with my product (even if I know it doesn't fit in with effective copy standards, conversion, or even readability), I have yet to see a place where my copy made a difference. So I honestly have no idea if I can even write effective sales copy, because in most cases, my Fiverr clients wouldn't know good sales copy if it bit them on the butt. (Mine wouldn't, anyway! "No shade" to people who use Fiverr's services at all).

    I've thought about extending into other (sales-based) forums and offering my services for free if people could provide feedback on conversion rates, but I have yet to take the step. The enemy of innovation is comfort (or in my case, paralyzed indecision).

    BTW, I see your title "Infopreneur" - late last night I was wondering if it'd be possible to become a copywriter based around info products. I would love to do email sequences / squeeze pages for seminars and eBooks. I hate to ask even more, but if you have any experience in this arena, or recommended reading, I'd love to have it.

    I know I sound ALL OVER the place right now (and I kinda am), but this has been a really amazing experience already.

    Thanks again!
     
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  20. JFCopy
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    That's a really good point. Another factor that had me in paralysis mode is setting up my website (I did buy the domain jfcopy.co but haven't done anything with it); it's heartening to hear that there might be other alternatives, so I really appreciate it!

    And if I do make it off of Fiverr and can cut ties, this forum will be among the first to know how I did so. I actually don't see many resources geared towards people like me -- successful on a platform, but also tied solely to that platform. That might be a niche in itself when I make it.

    And I totally agree! I was honestly expecting really cold responses or a negative dogpile when I signed up. So pleased to see that isn't the case.
     
  21. JFCopy
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    Thank you for the comments! I hate Fiverr's "I will" structure, but you're right -- they are very "me-centric" and need edited.

    Also re: prices...Well, Fiverr's really been jerking around on their algorithms, and while I originally graced their front page for web copy, I don't know how far I've fallen. I panicked and cut my prices down by $15 in response, to no avail.

    I'm definitely going to take the $25 price point under advisement (thank you for providing an actual figure!), and probably raise my prices later this week.

    Thanks again for the added contribution!
     
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  22. Jeff Noel
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    Did you only purchase the domain name, or also hosting ? I'm using NameCheap (for both domain and hosting) and I also used HostGator and GoDaddy in the past. They all offer domain AND hosting... but also 1-click-install WordPress !

    If you are not sure how to proceed, I would encourage you to contact their chat support to ask them about hosting and easy wordpress install options, they might even have documentation about it already. It's a great way to start and there's a lot of decent, cheap wordpress themes that can set you apart from others (I've have great success with ThemeForest/Envato).

    Once it's all setup (later), you can probably search these forums about SEO and stuff like that to optimize the website.
     
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  23. JFCopy
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    I think I only purchased the domain name, and used SquareSpace to do so on the advice of client even though I'm much more familiar with WordPress (duh on my part). When I figure out a plan, I'm definitely going to contact their chat support. (As a note, I know enough HTML and CSS to kinda get by, but I'm definitely not going to call myself technologically advanced).

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  24. MJ DeMarco
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    Welcome to the forum, great to have ya!

    I'm confused. You make nearly six-figures copywriting. But aren't happy. But then say all you're doing is copywriting.

    Is there disgruntlement because you DON'T OWN the platform and want control over your clients and your brand? Because that makes total sense -- one is a business, the other is a churn and burn.
     
  25. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I’m curious... Who do like helping? What do you like helping them with?

    What red and green flags do you now have when it comes to engaging and working with business owners?
     
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