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How to become a freelancer copywriting

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Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

StefanoMacagnino

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I need some tips to start as freelancer copywriting. Which books should I read ? Which qualities are fundamental ? What is the first step to do ?
Write all tips you can give to me
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Write all tips you can give to me

No one is going to hold your hand and give you the exact steps when the pieces of the puzzle are already here.

I would suggest looking up @Lex DeVille and his posts.

There's a ton of info on this forum on the topic, have you not searched for it?
 

Antifragile

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It always puzzles me how one can read any of MJ’s books and determine: “I know what fits CENTS!!!! Freelance copywriting!!!”

Except somehow with impossibly poor grammar.

What are you talking about? This is a billion dollar idea, just need the 10 steps (which are of course a big secret) and you are there. Elon Musk is about to do the same... ;)
 
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Andy Black

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I need some tips to start as freelancer copywriting. Which books should I read ? Which qualities are fundamental ? What is the first step to do ?
Write all tips you can give to me
Look at who you already know first. Maybe some family or friends could do with a little copywriting help?

As MJ already said, check out @lex Deville’s threads about copywriting and freelancing.

Also follow @Bekit.


Tip: when you’re looking for someone to help, don’t just think of helping them with copywriting.

Don’t be a “hammer looking for a nail”.

Maybe you look at an uncle’s website and spot it doesn’t work on a mobile?

Or maybe his Facebook page doesn’t have a great cover image?

Or maybe you decide to knock up a short video to go on his homepage?

Just start helping people and see where it takes you.

Good luck.
 

Devilery

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If you write "how to become a freelance copywriter", more than 3 million results show up on Google. Read all of those first.

On a more serious note, I am a freelance copywriter. The relatively easiest way to start is by signing up on Fiverr and Upwork. It's is incredibly competitive, and you have to be really good to not be bothered by the competition. Purely based on your introduction, you would fail to compete even with $5 gigs, but hey, brute force through and forward can get you there.

Google "what books a new copywriter should read" and read the top 5 of those. Then create a mockup portfolio. Just take some already existing products and write copies for them, emails, product descriptions, ads, whatever. Grind on freelance platforms until you get in the top 5%, or move to an entirely different field if you can't (it's okay, there are many different services you can offer). It's tough, way tougher than you can imagine.

There's not much I can advise you at this point, start working with clients, make $500 a month, and then come back to the forum and ask how to improve. At this stage, SHOW that you're actually willing to do something (instead of asking for the success formula). Write something for someone. Get paid $10. Show initiative. There's no point in giving you direction if you're sitting on a couch, unwilling to get up.

EDIT: Definitely check out @Lex DeVille threads. Immense value and plenty of actionable steps there!
 
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OMJ

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It always puzzles me how one can read any of MJ’s books and determine: “I know what fits CENTS!!!! Freelance copywriting!!!”

Except somehow with impossibly poor grammar.

What are you talking about? This is a billion dollar idea, just need the 10 steps (which are of course a big secret) and you are there. Elon Musk is about to do the same... ;)


They join with dreams of empire then settle for copywriting, web design or flipping on Craigslist.

Check my link out

bottomofthebarrelfastlane.com

I'm so banned for this.

At least I won't have to start my progress thread...

PS to OP, you've been here almost two years, you shouldn't have to ask this question, it shows a distinct lack of initiative.
 
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Andy Black

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Andy Black

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Some forum members are still in school, some have mental health issues, some don’t have English as their mother tongue, some are going through dark times, many are from backgrounds where entrepreneurial thinking was discouraged, and the vast majority are in their own way.

When I was training to be an athletics coach we had one of the top British Athletics coaches do a guest workshop for us.

He asked who we thought the top coaches should spend their time on: the kids new to the sport, or the athletes on the national team.

He argued that the best coaches should be coaching those newest while they were the most scared, impressionable, and the most likely to drop out.

He argued that the top athletes already had the drive and ambition. They could coach themselves at a push.

I personally think threads like this are a good way to exercise our leadership muscle.
 

Madame Peccato

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I need some tips to start as freelancer copywriting. Which books should I read ? Which qualities are fundamental ? What is the first step to do ?
Write all tips you can give to me

Ciao Stefano!

First off, you need complete mastery of the language you want to write copy in.

So, if you plan to be an English copywriter, practice writing in it.

There is an abundance of resources all over the web. You can improve by writing and reading in English. This forum is an excellent start. Or any other place is fine, as long as you are comfortable with the topics. For example, I learned English mostly thanks to online gaming.

If you want to be an Italian copywriter, the same principle applies. I don't know your writing level, but...practice practice practice!

With that out of the way, it's time to learn the details of the craft.

Read Lex' topics as suggested by MJ. Then, try selling your copywriting services. Start by helping those closest to you, as Andy pointed out. Offer to write ads/emails for your friends / relatives with a business.

If, like me, you know nobody you could help, then turn to the internet.

Approach people with curiosity. Don't focus on copywriting too hard. You aren't a hammer. You're an entire toolshed. Figure out what issue other people are having. Then, pick the right tool to help them.

Now, do you need to use the tool yourself? Not necessarily, unless you have a genuine interest in it. Point people to the right direction, and they'll remember you when they—or someone they know—need you.

Social media is an excellent starting point. Get in Facebook groups or Twitter threads. Be seen helping people (shoutout @Andy Black for this gem). Remember: you just need to be a little bit more knowledgeable than the person you're helping. You don't need to be the ultimate copywriter.

Also, observe other people who are already doing what you want to do. What are they doing that you could implement in your journey?
 
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Andy Black

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Phew. Copywriting looks like a hard gig to get into.

What about this?
 

Lex DeVille

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I'm back and forth on this one. Freelance copywriting can be good for some people, but those I've seen have any level of success with it usually meet two basic criteria:

1. They are, as @Kak describes, intrinsically motivated.
2. They write well in English.

OP doesn't appear to meet either of those criteria currently, so I would not suggest freelance copywriting as a path to money, because the amount of time he'd invest to get there will be much greater than his post suggests he thinks it will be. That time could be spent on business pursuits that will be far more rewarding for him, and probably more profitable.

I love writing copy. Love that it has put the numbers of celebrities, millionaires, CEO's of international brands, wealthy coaches and more into my phone, and those people respond quickly. Love that they spend hours talking with me privately about how their businesses started, how they operate, and where they are going. It's kind of like getting private Fastlane Forum INSIDERS calls every day.

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a celebrity pianist who's performed 100's of times on the world's biggest stages. Also the head of a food company that owns 20+ brands (some I've been eating for years). Both were excited because they got the chance to pay me to create something for them - a guy who doesn't live in LA or New York, who doesn't spend every waking moment trying to connect with influencers.

But that doesn't happen for most copywriters, because even if you've got the chops for writing, you still have to be a risk-taker, rule-breaker, problem-solver, and you have to be better than everyone around you at what you do (or at least be perceived that way).

I have trouble teaching copywriting, and I'm starting to realize it's because my approach is like a mix of Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. It's one part relentless practice, one part endless creativity, and the process was refined over about 10 years now.

The fundamentals of copywriting can be learned, but the part where you step away from the crowd of wannabes to the point where others start to define you as "one of the greats" - I don't think that part can be taught, and most people aren't looking for that anyway. But if you don't intend to become one of the best copywriters in the world, then what's the point?

Would you pursue a career in music to play for pennies on the street? That's essentially what people are asking when they approach copywriting like this, and it doesn't make sense to me.
 

Andy Black

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I'm back and forth on this one. Freelance copywriting can be good for some people, but those I've seen have any level of success with it usually meet two basic criteria:

1. They are, as @Kak describes, intrinsically motivated.
2. They write well in English.

OP doesn't appear to meet either of those criteria currently, so I would not suggest freelance copywriting as a path to money, because the amount of time he'd invest to get there will be much greater than his post suggests he thinks it will be. That time could be spent on business pursuits that will be far more rewarding for him, and probably more profitable.

I love writing copy. Love that it has put the numbers of celebrities, millionaires, CEO's of international brands, wealthy coaches and more into my phone, and those people respond quickly. Love that they spend hours talking with me privately about how their businesses started, how they operate, and where they are going. It's kind of like getting private Fastlane Forum INSIDERS calls every day.

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a celebrity pianist who's performed 100's of times on the world's biggest stages. Also the head of a food company that owns 20+ brands (some I've been eating for years). Both were excited because they got the chance to pay me to create something for them - a guy who doesn't live in LA or New York, who doesn't spend every waking moment trying to connect with influencers.

But that doesn't happen for most copywriters, because even if you've got the chops for writing, you still have to be a risk-taker, rule-breaker, problem-solver, and you have to be better than everyone around you at what you do (or at least be perceived that way).

I have trouble teaching copywriting, and I'm starting to realize it's because my approach is like a mix of Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. It's one part relentless practice, one part endless creativity, and the process was refined over about 10 years now.

The fundamentals of copywriting can be learned, but the part where you step away from the crowd of wannabes to the point where others start to define you as "one of the greats" - I don't think that part can be taught, and most people aren't looking for that anyway. But if you don't intend to become one of the best copywriters in the world, then what's the point?

Would you pursue a career in music to play for pennies on the street? That's essentially what people are asking when they approach copywriting like this, and it doesn't make sense to me.
I'm glad you wrote this @Lex DeVille.

As an outsider looking into the world of copywriting I can't help but feel there's simpler ways to get a start freelancing, that don't require good written skills or good sales skills.

That thread I linked to earlier... I can't think of anything simpler than finding a website, grabbing a few images and some of the copy already on the site, creating a simple 30 second promo video for them, and sending them the complimentary video as a foot in the door.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Geez, some people should cut the man some slack...

I'm 100% sure he is not from the US and is in a country where entrepreneurship/business has a high entry barrier. Throw in that English is his second (or third) language and you get a post like this. I'm 100% positive if I posted on a non-English website in any language, I'd come across poorly.

The Millionaire Fastlane is new in some countries due to recent translations, but ten years old in North America... so these types of posts might seem more frequent.

It is important to note that the ease to get a business license and whip together a legal operation in some countries is a lot more difficult than you know in your North American bubble.

For example, if a government business license costs 5000 EU and you're broke, can you guys just understand a little smidgen of why someone would post, "How do I start making money freelancing?" If you don't have 5000 EU much less 500 EU for business registrations, I'm not sure how you guys can stand there and laughably chastise someone for getting started.

Peek outside of your bubble for just a few seconds and realize that life and business in Dallas Texas might not be the same in Naples Italy or Mumbai India.

When I lose patience on some posts that are clearly non-CENTS or non-Fastlanesque, I try to remember the above and that not everyone is operating on the same playing field, or starting at the same place.
 

Kak

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Geez, some people should cut the man some slack...

I'm 100% sure he is not from the US and is in a country where entrepreneurship/business has a high entry barrier. Throw in that English is his second (or third) language and you get a post like this. I'm 100% positive if I posted on a non-English website in any language, I'd come across poorly.

The Millionaire Fastlane is new in some countries due to recent translations, but ten years old in North America... so these types of posts might seem more frequent.

It is important to note that the ease to get a business license and whip together a legal operation in some countries is a lot more difficult than you know in your North American bubble.

For example, if a government business license costs 5000 EU and you're broke, can you guys just understand a little smidgen of why someone would post, "How do I start making money freelancing?" If you don't have 5000 EU much less 500 EU for business registrations, I'm not sure how you guys can stand there and laughably chastise someone for getting started.

Peek outside of your bubble for just a few seconds and realize that life and business in Dallas Texas might not be the same in Naples Italy or Mumbai India.

When I lose patience on some posts that are clearly non-CENTS or non-Fastlanesque, I try to remember the above and that not everyone is operating on the same playing field, or starting at the same place.
I do this with love...

My post was absolutely pointed. I almost didn't post, but decided that would be doing the OP a disservice. I want to open people's eyes to possibilities way beyond their comfort zone. It sucks to get tough love, but it comes from a place of helpfulness.

On the other side of your scenario... Imagine for a second that the OP is from Chicago. Imagine English is his first and only language. Imagine if there isn't a $5000 barrier just to start a business. Imagine his grammar is just that impossibly bad. Imagine he is thinking freelancing is his ticket to riches. Imagine the best effort he can think of is asking for his hand held, not his own research. Then, would you be just as OK with that question? Probably not, because you flat out define a Fastlane business as one that meets CENTS.

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to see an American behind that post. Of course, they could be from Serbia or Kyrgyzstan. We would know if he finished his profile.

So, while I accept the reprimand and see your point completely... I also hope, for the OP's sake, that he and others like him seriously consider a business more congruent with your books that they claim to have read. Because you tell them exactly how “it” works.

download.jpg
 
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Antifragile

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Geez, some people should cut the man some slack...

I'm 100% sure he is not from the US and is in a country where entrepreneurship/business has a high entry barrier. Throw in that English is his second (or third) language and you get a post like this. I'm 100% positive if I posted on a non-English website in any language, I'd come across poorly.

The Millionaire Fastlane is new in some countries due to recent translations, but ten years old in North America... so these types of posts might seem more frequent.

It is important to note that the ease to get a business license and whip together a legal operation in some countries is a lot more difficult than you know in your North American bubble.

For example, if a government business license costs 5000 EU and you're broke, can you guys just understand a little smidgen of why someone would post, "How do I start making money freelancing?" If you don't have 5000 EU much less 500 EU for business registrations, I'm not sure how you guys can stand there and laughably chastise someone for getting started.

Peek outside of your bubble for just a few seconds and realize that life and business in Dallas Texas might not be the same in Naples Italy or Mumbai India.

When I lose patience on some posts that are clearly non-CENTS or non-Fastlanesque, I try to remember the above and that not everyone is operating on the same playing field, or starting at the same place.

MJ,

As somewhere who was there (make minimum wage, move countries, learn new language, have f*ck all to start etc.) I appreciate it when people stand up for the "little guy".

The OP may be all those things.

And yet the OP started a thread with "Hey, tell me what I need to do to become a freelance copywriter" - a lazy post. Do you want to encourage creation of threads like this? It provides no context, no backstory, no list of challenges, does not show any work done prior asking to help - nothing! Even with Google translate and broken English you could do a hell of a lot better.
What's the appropriate level of response to this? Mockery, of course! :)
 

KingWing26

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I need some tips to start as freelancer copywriting. Which books should I read ? Which qualities are fundamental ? What is the first step to do ?
Write all tips you can give to me

I dabbled in copywriting over the summer and hit 30 five-star reviews on Fiverr pretty quickly and found good success on UpWork and a few other platforms.

Just a few things to consider:

RESEARCH

Absorb all the knowledge you can via this forum, YouTube videos, affordable online courses, books, etc. The number of resources available is limitless.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE


I can't stress practice enough. You will not get hired unless you have proof of experience available. And this starts with practice. You don't need to have prior paid experience, it can be something you wrote up as a sample.

So...write every week. Heck, write every day. Just make sure you are writing, writing, writing. Take your best work and put it in a Portfolio to share with prospective clients.

You NEED to be prepared for Client #1.

OPTIMIZE FREELANCE PLATFORMS


Fiverr, UpWork, Freelancer are all amazing resources that hand-deliver clients to you.

It's your job to look professional, capable and different from the THOUSANDS of other accounts on these platforms.

1. Find Your Niche (for instance, I wrote YouTube Scripts for Sports Channels and Real Estate Channels)
2. Get Professional Photos (you can hire someone on Fiverr for $5 to do this for you)
3. Use Proper SEO and Keywords in your Titles and Descriptions


COMMITMENT

The copywriting business (as it relates to using Freelance Platforms), is CRAZY.

Competition is FIERCE.

Prices at the beginning are CHEAP.

Turnaround time is LIGHTNING FAST.

Clients are a PAIN IN THE A**.

It takes a long time to land your first client. It takes a longer time to make real money. And it takes an even longer time to master your craft.

Make sure you know what's ahead for you and COMMIT LIKE CRAZY.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions shoot me a message :)


P.S. Once you develop your skills and build up a good rep, you can leave these Freelance platforms and start contacting clients directly. This is where the REAL money begins.
 
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