Five ways to start copywriting and make a portfolio with zero experience
When you are just getting started, when you are a beginner copywriter, you’re going out there to the marketplace and you’re trying to get gigs, you’re trying to get clients, one of the most common questions you will get is
“Do you have samples of your work “that you can share with me?”
“Do you have a portfolio?”
Now, if you’re brand new, you may be saying,
“Well, I don’t have a portfolio, “I’m brand new, and I’m just getting started.”
And what you’ll hear from your prospects are,
“Well, then we can’t really trust you, “we can’t really hire you.”
Well, how the hell am I going to do a portfolio when I’m brand new? So, I cannot get any gigs because I don’t have a portfolio, but I cannot build a portfolio because I’m not getting any gigs. I understand your frustrations. The question is, are you going to let not having materials, not having a portfolio stop you from pursuing a professional, lucrative career in copywriting? Comment below.
Today, I’m going to share with you five ways you could get started in copywriting. Get your foot in the door. For some, you may have to accept one, or two, or three no-pay or low-pay gigs just to get started.
I’m not asking you to do that forever, what I’m asking you to do is to get two or three samples. That’s all you need. You need to get your feet wet; you need to get your foot in the door, get in the game so you can start getting paid right now, and that’s how you do it.
#1 Non-profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations, they’re always looking for writers to write their newsletters, their press releases, their fundraising campaigns, and emails. I’m talking about your local Parent Teacher Association, I’m talking about animal shelters, I’m talking about environmental groups.
All you need to do is send them an email, and say,
“Hey, you know what? “I am a copywriter; I’m looking to gain some experience.”
You could connect with them on LinkedIn. Yes, on LinkedIn. You just need to approach them. Now, one of these three things will happen after you write to them.
Number one, it shows your future clients that you are a nice person because, within the samples of your work, they can see you write for a non-profit. Chances are, you’re a nice person. I hope that you are, right? You’re a good person.
Number two, that if you actually do very, very good work, they might actually turn into a client, a paying client. They like your work so much; they will hire you for other projects. Number three, there’s a possibility that they might give you a recommendation, a referral, or an endorsement.
However, don’t expect an endorsement or a referral. It’s nice if you get it, but that’s not why you’re doing it. You’re doing it to build your portfolio. Does that make sense?
#2 Approach Community
Way number two, if you belong to a church or any religion, any religious organizations, you could also approach them because they’re always looking for writers to share the message. Especially when you approach them as one of the believers, it’s very easy for them to say yes and give you some gigs, give you some opportunities to practice.
#3 Business Owners
Now, that’s what I did at the beginning of my career. I would approach local business owners, chamber of commerce, just talking to them and say,
“Hey, do you need any kind of brochures? “Maybe your direct mails, maybe your ads? “Anything that I could write? “Now, of course now social media. “Your landing page, your email, right?”
Anything that they might need help with. All I’m asking the business owner is if they like my work, they would give me an endorsement and the right to showcase this work to other future prospects.
That’s it, and most of the time they will say yes because first of all, they would save money, and second of all, they’re always looking for marketing, materials, and literature for their businesses anyway. It’s very easy, and once I’ve done a few of those, boom, I’ve got a portfolio.
#4 Online Course
I teach a seven-week certification program that helps people to become high-income copywriter. How to develop a high-income skill that allows them to earn thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, with nothing more than the power of the keyboard or pen, and combine that with their skillsets.
#5 Create Samples
You go through different landing pages, you go through different funnels and different emails, and you would take their copy and you actually rewrite it, and that becomes your portfolio. Now, don’t lie, you’re not saying that these people are your clients, you’re not saying these businesses are your clients, you’re simply saying to them these are samples of your work, what you could do.
Now they could see, they could get a glimpse of, okay, this is what you could do. These are your skillsets; this is how good your writing is. It’s a very simple thing to do. Now, you don’t need 20, 30 samples of your work in your portfolio. All you need is two or three. A confused mind, a confusing prospect, always says no.
As time goes on and now you have more samples in your portfolio, what you want to do is you want to send them exactly what they are looking for. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say they want to hire you to write emails for them. What do you do? You send them two or three email examples that you’ve done in the past. They’re looking to hire you to write some landing pages.
You show them two or three landing pages examples. You don’t want to show them emails when they’re asking for landing pages. So, as you get gigs, you might have a lot more samples in your portfolio that you could show, but you don’t show them all, you got it?
#6 Bonus Tip
Let me give you one more bonus tip.
When you are talking to a prospect, don’t focus on your background, don’t focus on your experience or lack thereof. At the end of the day, the prospect is not interested in your writing per se. What they’re interested in is what needs to be done, and what can your writing do for their businesses. That’s it, so focus on them.
So, when you are talking to them on the phone, and I recommend you talk to them on the phone, after the initial conversation, after an initial email or social media exchange, you get them on the phone, you ask them good questions. You discover their needs. You discover exactly and precisely what kind of outcome they’re looking for. And then you position your top-rating service as the solution to get them there.
And I’ve made videos on YouTube on freelancers, you could easily go to my playlist and watch those. So, make sure you sharpen your closing skills on the phone before you talk to the prospects.