I’m in full-on myth-busting mode today, and let’s say the spice level is high.
As a copywriter, you might have once held or still be holding onto misconceptions that are stalling your progress.
“You need innate writing talent to succeed…”
“The market’s too crowded to find work…”
“AI has driven down what clients will pay…”
But let me set the record straight—these are all falsehoods. Yes! LIES!
Don’t get me wrong, becoming a copywriter does pose real challenges:
👉🏻 Mastering your writing craft.
👉🏻 Navigating the complexities of business ownership. #adultingishard
👉🏻 Marketing yourself consistently. Or at all.
👉🏻 Pricing your services without having a breakdown.
👉🏻 Slaying deadlines in the never-ending onslaught of admin.
Sounds daunting? You bet.
But these obstacles aren’t unique to you. Many have mastered them with no more skills, tools or opportunities than you have right now. The doors to copywriting are wide open.
So the questions become, how much do you want to walk through them and what are you doing to make it happen?
I’m going debunk a few of the myths I see floating around and hopefully, you’ll feel a little less daunted. Some are tales as old as time, and some are new kids on the block.
Natural talent required? Nope. Copywriting is a learned skill, honed with time and effort. What looks like talent in me is simply 13 years of practice.
Oversaturated market? Sure, it’s competitive, but while there is a growing number of copywriters there’s also a growing number of businesses needing copywriters. Every copywriter you see killing it is a signal that you can too. Their high rates mean there are clients who will pay. Yah!
AI devaluing copywriting? Only if you let it. The wrong kind of clients are always looking for ways to pay less. AI is just the latest excuse. Discerning clients still value and pay for quality human insight and a stress-free service experience.
Future-proof your career by expanding your skillset beyond word-churner.
Low rates a must? Starting low is a choice, not a prison sentence. Charging more as you gain skills and experience is your right and within your control. The only barriers to higher pricing are your courage and confidence.
Need a packed portfolio? A portfolio can be valuable, yes, but it not the end-all. Sure, some clients do have very specific requirements in terms of experience and if you don’t have that experience, you’re not the copywriter for that job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get other clients.
Clients are often more impressed by an effective onboarding process, a versatile skill set and rapport you build on the discovery call. Copywriters in my group have often won major projects on a streamlined workflow despite having fewer (or no) samples to show.
Need a niche? While niching to a specific project type or industry will give your messaging a laser focus and allow you to charge more as a specialist, it can take some time to figure out what you like writing and who you like writing it for. I say, don’t rush it!
Explore various copy types and clients to discover the work (and clients) you love as diverse experiences can lead to richer expertise and more passionate work.
Costly learning? Not necessarily. There is always an investment required and while structured copywriting courses will fast-track your learning journey, they are not the only way. If you’re prepared to invest the time, there are plenty of free resources (like this blog!).
Sales aversion? To be a successful copywriter, you’ll want to build your muscles for sales and marketing. But you don’t have to love it. If you do “hate sales and marketing”, I’m respectfully suggesting you rewrite that story you’re telling yourself or maybe find another career as at the heart of it, that’s copywriting baby. And it doesn’t have to be ick.
With that off my chest
I don’t know about you, but I feel better now.
Let’s not kid ourselves; the path of a copywriter isn’t all smooth sailing. But it’s important not to glamorise tall tales of doom and gloom either.
The challenges are just speed bumps on the road to the business you’re dreaming of.
Sure, you might start with rates that would make a barista wince, but that’s just the first rung on the ladder. Your value isn’t static—it grows with every keystroke and every successfully landed project.
And that portfolio of yours? Think of it as your ever-evolving showcase, not just of your past work but of your brilliant process and chameleon-like adaptability.
Dive into the diversity of copywriting opportunities rather than stall over a niche. It’s like a buffet, and who doesn’t love the chance to try a little bit of everything before going back for seconds of the roast beef?
And as for the cash you splash on learning? Investing in yourself will definitely speed up your ascent, but there’s a treasure trove of wisdom out there that doesn’t cost a dime—just your time and your tenacity.
Now, for the love-hate relationship with sales, let’s just agree to swipe right for now. Sales is not the enemy—it’s the charismatic friend who helps you communicate your value.
They’re just speed bumps on the road to the business you’re dreaming of. Those dreams are important but they won’t make themselves true.
Whatever that version of your business is, never stop taking action to write your own success saga.