You have a passion for words and understand the power of copy to engage with the right audience. You want to be your own boss and set your own hours. You believe in the value of continual learning and want to become the best possible copywriter you can be. You want to write about what you know and believe in and want to help businesses grow using the same methods you used to grow yourself.
If this sounds like you, you have found a career you can definitely call your own. You can start your own copywriting business and carve out a niche in a crowded field. You will be able to provide value to companies big and small, and be able to put your skills to work as soon as you join the ranks of the freelance copywriters.
What follows is an overview of how to start a copywriting business and some of the things you will need to consider.
Set Your Budget
One of the first things you will need to do is set your budget. You will not be able to succeed in this field if you are compromising your values just to make a living. You will have to determine how much you are willing to spend on advertising, how many words you can afford to invest in creating high-quality content, and how much you can afford to lose on any one project. It is crucial you consider how effective your chosen marketing channels will be for your particular niche and the level of effort you are willing to expend on average to generate the most leads and sales.
Choose The Right Location
Another important consideration is choosing the right location for your business. You can still operate from your home, but if you are looking to grow your business you will need to look for a storefront. While the convenience of home-based business is appealing, you are better off seeking out a professional office space. There is no point in wasting your time and effort if you do not have the fundamentals for effective operation.
Determine Your Niche
Determining your niche is an important factor in choosing a career in copywriting. You have the ability to define yourself as an expert in your chosen subject matter, and the more you know the more you can offer. Knowing when to specialize and when to generalize is a key to becoming the best possible copywriter you can be. Make a list of the various niches you know you have experience in, and narrow it down to a smaller list. From there, you can determine your specific areas of expertise and the corresponding value you can bring to the table. You can begin to establish your authority by publishing articles on your chosen topic and building up a portfolio.
Choose An Legal Structure
One of the things you will have to do to start a business is register your business name with the appropriate government agency. There are different types of legal structures for small businesses, each with its pluses and minuses. It is important you choose the right one for your personal, financial, and legal situation. At this point, you do not have to decide on a particular structure, but you should make a note of each one so you can compare and contrast their merits when you are at a later date. What is most important is that you choose one that allows you to operate your business effectively and legally. Most entrepreneurs choose the simplest form of legal entity they can find, because it is easy to set up and takes minimal legal knowledge to navigate. This is called an “S-Corp” (an S-corporation).
Get A Business License
Once you have registered your business name you will need to apply for a business license. This is an important document that gives you the right to operate your business. You will need to provide a physical address for the location of your business. You will also need to consider whether you want to be open to the general public or limit yourself to a select group of clients. While it is appealing to offer your services to the general public, you might find that you have more success with a smaller group of clients. The main point here is that you have to pick a number and stick with it. There is no point in having a fancy business if you are not going to operate it effectively.
Decide On Your Salutation
The salutation on your business card is important. You want to find a way to make your cards and letters more personal and relevant. For example, if you are writing to potential clients make sure you personalize each letter. Instead of just “Dear Sir or Madam,” you can write “Dear Mr. (or Mrs.) Smith” or “Dear Dr. Jones.” You can also include a handwritten signature at the end of the letter to make it more authentic. This is a simple way to add a personal touch to your correspondence and make it more likely that the recipient will value your advice or project.
Establish Professional Relationships
It is important you develop professional relationships with other copywriters, publicists, and media buyers. These are the people you will most likely be spending your time with, and it is vital you find a way to build trust and credibility with them. Make sure you establish a professional tone from the get-go and develop a reputation for being someone they can trust. By establishing these relationships you will be able to get your assignments quicker and more cost-efficiently. You will also be able to gain access to exclusive deals and promotions.
Create An Office Space
To operate a successful business you will need a place to work. This could be a room in your house, a coworking space, or a remote office. To create the perfect office environment for your needs, you will first need to determine how much space you need. There are a few things you will want to keep in mind: 1) Put a sign on the door that says ‘copywriting’; 2) Make sure the area is completely separated from the rest of the house to create a ‘quiet zone’; 3) Choose furniture that is easy to move around if you have to work remotely from another location; and 4) Add additional furniture and devices as required for effective communication.
Choose A Name For Your Business
There are several things you will need to do to give your business a name. The first thing you should do is register your business name with the government. Next, you need to choose a business name that is easy to pronounce and remember. You should also consider selecting a name that is short and catchy, but not so generic that you cannot carry it out. For example, if your name is Michael, you might want to consider going with ‘michaelwright.com’ instead of ‘michaelwright’ as your domain name. You can also do ‘michaelwright.net’ or ‘michaelwright.co.uk’ so long as you include ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ at the end. All of these domains point to the same site and may be used to drive traffic to your site. It is also important to consider the legal aspects of this decision. If you are worried about someone ripping you off or stealing your idea, you can get a trademark for the name or combine multiple words into a single name.
Decide On Your Approach
The term ‘approach’ can be used to describe the methods you will use to market your business. There are several basic approaches you can use, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click), and affiliate marketing. You will have to consider which one is most appropriate for your business. If you establish strong SEO practices from the beginning, you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns through the use of keywords and keyphrase research. PPC is great for gaining quick SEO results without having to build up a portfolio of high-quality content. Affiliate marketing involves earning a commission from sales made by someone else, usually a retailer or an online merchant. You will have to consider whether you want to focus on one channel or spread yourself too thin by trying to take on multiple platforms at once.
Determine Your Pricing Structure
You have two options here: you can either decide on a fixed rate or decide on a per-project basis. If you choose the former, make sure to put a note on your business card or in your email that states what your hourly rate is and doesn’t deviate from it. This will make things easier for potential clients who are seeking your services. Some entrepreneurs prefer to work on a ‘per-project’ basis. They will quote a fixed price up-front, but will not feel bound to deliver a certain amount of content, or abide by any other terms and conditions of the contract. This can be a little more complicated to calculate, but can be an advantage if you want to keep your pricing flexible.