The ultimate guide to starting a copywriting business (with no experience)

The ultimate guide to starting a copywriting business with no experience.

So you want to be a copywriter?

Start a copywriting business and walk a new path to freelancing freedom; in control of your time and energy and lifting the roof of your personal and income potential.

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Before I talk about your first steps in copywriting, I want to share my own beginning and what becoming a copywriter has made possible for me.

How I got started as a copywriter

I started my working life as a computer programmer. I graduated from uni with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology (IT) and spent nearly 10 years bouncing around different tech roles in major banks and big corporates, like GE, trying to figure out what kind of work I liked and was good at.

Deep down I knew it wasn’t Info Tech.

I bounced from IT roles into the marketing department to help them translate IT-speak into plain language. Well, marketing-speak. I realised it was way more fun and where I wanted to stay! Even though it was my new passion for my work, I still ended up in a rather unsatisfying job with a work environment more toxic than the Springfield dump. 

Can you relate to this? 

Safe corporate route ✅
Toxic workspace ✅
Wondering if this was it career-wise ✅

Then, one day quite unexpectedly I discovered copywriting and there was a new fire in my belly. I KNEW this was it. A career path that excited me (and terrified me in equal measure).

13 years later, I am still writing copy. 

I also coach and mentor copywriters to make copywriting their last career change. One that brings them money, control, freedom and fulfilment. 

Running my own freelance writing business has allowed me to: 

  • Earn more than a marketing or IT career would have ever made possible. 
  • Travel to the UK for a month and be with my husband and his family during their mum’s end of life. We were present and my business covered all our bills at home.
  • Move to the United States (from Australia) and continue earning without bumps. 
  • Be an active part of parent-participating nursery, preschool and elementary school, spending a half day a week in the classroom with my kids. 
  • Explore in-depth personal development and discover potential without limits.
  • Work with some of the best humans I’ve ever met.

My business has grown and contracted and grown according to my available time (thanks to babies #1 and #2). I worked harder than I ever have (and would ever work for someone else) and I 👏🏻 love 👏🏻 it 👏🏻.

Discovering copywriting changed my life. And it can honestly change yours.

This ultimate guide to starting a copywriting business (without any experience) will cover: 

Shall we dig into how to start your copywriting career?

No copywriting experience? No worries.

I am often asked how to start a freelance copywriting business with no experience, and I want to say first up, YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE. 

More often than not, new copywriters already write copy. They just don’t call it that. From the writing you’ve done in the shadows to the life lessons learned in the wild, it’s all gold for a budding copywriter.

Your first task is to look at the work you’re doing right now and have done in the past. Has writing been a part of that? Even if it’s not the official job description.

If it is, you have some experience as a writer.

You might just be new to calling yourself a copywriter. 

Or you might be new to being a freelance copywriter.

At a minimum, you have life experience dealing with humans. Which is important for copywriting.

That said, you’ll need to assess which areas you need more knowledge in.

  • The craft of copywriting?
  • The legal and tax side of running a business?
  • Project and time management? 
  • Marketing? 
  • Sales and lead generation? 
  • Self-motivation?
  • Time management? 

When I worked in corporate jobs, I only had to focus on my job. I didn’t have to worry about billing or sales, or even managing my time really. My boss told me what had to be done and by when. 

Then, I started my own copywriting business and BOOM, I was the sales team and the marketing manager, the tax accountant and the bookkeeper, the project manager and the admin assistant. 

Oh, and the copywriter.

I have to motivate myself to work when I don’t feel like it and make sure I don’t waste my time on unimportant and unnecessary tasks (this last one has taken me a while to learn).

Remember, switching from corporate to captain of your ship is more than just a job swap—it’s a full-on life upgrade.

And your mindset will be key.

The importance of mindset in starting a copywriting business

Launching a successful copywriting business isn’t just about knowing your PASO from your CTA. It’s also about managing that little voice inside your head—yep, the one that’s currently asking, “Can I really do this?”

Your biggest roadblock isn’t your skillset. It’s that sneaky brain gremlin called self-doubt. It’s the mental equivalent of hiking uphill with a backpack full of rocks. 

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” And he was right. Your mindset can be your launchpad or your shackles.

Scarcity vs. Abundance: The Pie is Growing (Yum!)

Ever felt like you’re in a Hunger Games bout for the last piece of pie with your fellow copywriters? That’s the scarcity mindset talking—making you believe that only a few will feast. But here’s the kicker: the client buffet is getting bigger by the minute. There’s enough to go around if you’re willing to craft words that resonate and offer a service that turns first-time clients into raving fans.

That, my wordy friend, is thinking with abundance.

Growth vs. Fixed: Are your copywriting skills on a growth spurt?

Believing in your capacity for growth is like giving yourself permission to be a work in progress (which, by the way, we all are). It’s the belief that your abilities are like a muscle—flex them with hard work and watch them get stronger. 

On the flip side, a fixed mindset is like wearing blinders that block out your potential, with no capacity to learn new skills, grow or change.

I say BOO to that! 👎🏼

This can be a tough one to remember when you’re in the middle of a challenging moment, but with the right attitude, every challenge is a level-up opportunity for your copywriting business. 

A growth mindset is a muscle. The more you practise it, the easier it becomes.

And when you get your mindset right, and you’re not just starting a copywriting business—you’re growing a living, breathing legacy that can open up the rest of your life. Sounds dramatic? Scroll back up and see what copywriting has made possible for me. 

Once I’d learned about copywriting and knew I wanted to make it “my thing”, I began setting up Copywrite Matters as a legit business entity. This is when sh*t got real as it involved learning about many areas of business I’d never given a second thought to.  

Legal registrations. Tax. Accounting. 


As I still had my full time marketing job, I spent countless lunch hours on government websites about small business and I learned A LOT, for free.

In this section, I’ll cover business registration, basic accounting tips, and contract essentials, to help you build a strong foundation for your copywriting business.

Registering your new copywriting business: The adulting part of copywriting

Before you can start charming clients with your hero statements and your calls to action, you’ve got to make your freelance writing business official. 

Choosing a business structure is like picking out a new outfit: It’s got to fit just right. I rocked the sole proprietorship look for ages, only switching to LLC when the time was right.

Next up, naming your copy biz. This is sometimes where new copywriters get stuck. Whether you’re going with “Jane Doe’s Word Emporium” or “The Pen is Mightier” (or something infinitely better), just make sure your copywriting business name isn’t stepping on any toes. A quick snoop around the trademark registry, domain availability and social media should keep you out of hot water.

The last thing you want to do is build a brand and then find out you can’t use your chosen name. 

Then, grab yourself a tax number so you can start stashing that hard-earned cash legally. ABN, EIN, UTR—whatever the acronym, it’s your golden ticket to the business world.

And don’t forget about those local and state permits. Depending on your services and location, this could range from a general business licence to more specialised permits. 

Not sure what you need? Check out your local government resources for small businesses. They are usually a bonanza of advice for new business owners! 

Accounting: The “not-so-bad-once-you-get-into-it” part of starting a copywriting business

I did accounting in high school, but I wasn’t very good at it. I was actually very, very bad at it, so the thought of having to balance my business books made me feel a little ill. 

You might be telling yourself the story that you’re “not a numbers person”, but that’s simply not true. It’s just another skill to hone. And trust me, getting cosy with numbers is like giving your business superpowers.

Here’s your starter kit for financial fitness:

  • Open a separate business account: Because mixing cocktails is fun; mixing finances is not.
  • Track your expenses: From software subscriptions to office supplies, keep records of all business expenses as they occur
  • Invoice like a boss: Use invoicing software to create professional invoices (if possible) and send them as soon as your contract schedule sets out. 
  • Chase overdue invoices promptly: Be friendly but firm about when invoices are due and follow up with clients when they are +1 day overdue. You can be firm and friendly
  • Tax savings: Set aside a percentage of your income for tax, so a tax bill never blindsides you.

Copywriting contract essentials: Your terms and conditions commandments

Your copywriting contract (or your terms and conditions) is your handshake in writing, so make them clear, concise and client-friendly. Here’s what you need to know on what to include:

  • Scope of work: Be as clear as filtered water about what you’ll deliver and by when.
  • Payment terms: Talk money upfront. Specify your copywriting project fees, how much your commencement fee (sometimes referred to as a deposit but it’s not refundable so it’s more like a down payment) is, and when payments are due in full.
  • Revision policy: Define a ”revision” so you’re not rewriting War and Peace for free. Usually, a revision is a change within the scope of the project. Once there is new idea, new service or new direction, that’s more than a revision and needs an additional invoice.
  • Confidentiality and indemnity: Protect both your business secrets (intellectual property) and those of your clients with a confidentiality clause. Make sure you also have a clause that indemnifies you against any liability, damage, loss, or expense that occurs.
  • Termination clause: Because sometimes you gotta know when to fold ’em, so be clear on the conditions under which either party can terminate the contract and any fees associated with early termination, by you or the client.

Want to dig a bit deeper? This post is all about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in your terms and conditions.

Getting the legal and business foundation right for your freelance copywriting venture might seem intimidating, but it’s crucial for long-term success. And treat them as a living document. Every time you have a sticky situation, review your process and if your terms need an additional clause to prevent it happening again!  

Learning the craft: your first steps in copywriting

Crafting compelling copy is mostly science with a little art sprinkled in, and it will take time and practice to master. It’s a journey but that’s kinda what I love most about copywriting. 

And you don’t have to be a master to get your first copywriting client! 

I took a copywriting course while I was still working full-time #learnwhileyouearn, and it helped me set a strong foundation in copywriting. Years of writing and ongoing learning have deepened my skill set, but it all started with the basics. 

Think of learning copywriting as building a Lego set. You begin with some simple blocks—headlines, selling propositions, feature lists, social proof and calls to action—and with each piece, your copywriting becomes more effective and persuasive. 

The more you build, the more you learn.

Choosing your learning quest: Time or Treasure?

Every learning resource is a choice between your hours or your wallet. Go cheap, and you’re the Indiana Jones of info, hunting down golden nuggets scattered across the web. Splurge a bit, and you’re on a guided tour, complete with all the ”skip the line” perks.

Free resources for learning copywriting basics

From the wilderness of the web, you’ve got:

  • Online blogs and articles: Copywriting blogs like this one along with CopyBlogger and The Daily Egg (Crazy Egg) offer valuable insights into the world of copywriting, completely free of charge.
  • YouTube Tutorials: Channels like my own, Alex Cattoni’s and more provide free video content that covers copywriting basics.
  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Plenty of experienced copywriters have published free ebooks that offer great tips on starting out. Just Google “free copywriting ebooks” to find them.
  • Social media groups: Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have numerous copywriting groups where you can ask questions, share resources and learn from peers. My own free FB group is For The Love of Copy.
  • Free courses: Websites like Coursera and Udemy sometimes offer free introductory courses on copywriting, which can give you a good grounding in the basics.

Low-cost copywriting resources

If you’ve got a few coins to spare:

  • Affordable online courses: While not free, platforms like Skillshare offer courses for a relatively low monthly fee.
  • Copywriting and marketing books: There are many excellent books on copywriting that cost less than $20. The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly is a highly recommended read.
  • Community college classes: Local community colleges often offer affordable copywriting or marketing courses.

The Copywriting Inkubator coaching program

For those looking for a more structured, comprehensive approach to learning copywriting, consider enrolling in The Copywriting Inkubator coaching program

This is my signature program for aspiring and new copywriters. I have designed this program to set a rock-solid foundation in the writing skills you need to be a professional copywriter. You’ll get one-on-one coaching, group support, and a curriculum that takes you from the basics to advanced techniques.

Learning the craft of copywriting is a journey, and thankfully, there are many paths you can take. Whether you opt for free resources or invest in a coaching program like The Copywriting Inkubator, the important thing is to keep learning, practising and refining your skills.

To niche or not to niche? Making the right choice for your copywriting business

Should you become the Swiss Army knife of copywriting or the laser-focused sniper? It’s a core topic in The Great Copywriting Debate (which also features, Copy or Design: which comes first?)

Let’s unravel the challenges about what it means to be “chooseable” in the land of freelance copywriters, with some pointers for picking a niche that won’t just fill your wallet but also spark joy in your heart.

The scoop on niching down

“You need a niche” is the mantra chanted in copywriting circles, promising the golden trifecta: expertise, authority and a fatter paycheck. But what if your interests span more than one field or you’re just dipping your toes in the copywriting waters?

Choosing a niche can sometimes feel like picking a favourite child on the spot. My advice? Don’t box yourself in too soon. Court many interests and different industries, and see where the spark really ignites.

I was a generalist copywriter in the traditional sense for many years. I took on all kinds of projects and wrote for many different industries. I loved the variety. It was not only interesting, it gave me some critical insight into what I was good at and what I enjoyed. 

Finding your happy (profitable) copywriting place

If you’re leaning towards specialising, here’s how to find that sweet spot:

  • Market research: Look into growing industries with a high demand for specialised copy. 
  • Your interests: Choose a niche that you’re passionate about. It could be the industry or the project types. You’ll produce better copy and enjoy your work (as you’ll write about it A LOT)!
  • Profit margins: Some niches have deeper pockets. You might consider industries willing to pay premium prices for quality copy.
  • Competitive landscape: Evaluate the other copywriters in the niche you’re considering. Can you do that too or—better yet—offer something that sets you apart?
  • Pilot projects: Test the waters with a couple of gigs to see if this niche fits you. And don’t be afraid to pivot if it’s not! #youretheboss

I ended up focusing on writing personality-packed copy with an overlay of Search Engine Optimisation. But until that moment, I was all about making myself irresistible to clients, a.k.a. “chooseable”.

Becoming the copywriter everyone wants to swipe right on

All clients have a wishlist, and you want to tick every box:

  • You can solve the problem they have. You can showcase this by talking about your clients’ pain points and challenges and how your copywriting services solve these.
  • You have solved them for others. Splash your testimonials and portfolio pieces like confetti! You can also show off courses and programs you’ve done and any other certifications.
  • You’re vibing on the same frequency. Let your freak flag fly! Show them the human behind the headline. Clients will want to enjoy the experience of working with you and ultimately choose a copywriter they like or feel aligned with in terms of core values.

Whether you choose to specialise in a niche or adopt a more generalist approach, the key is to offer a copywriting service experience that meets your clients’ needs and makes their lives easier. 

Remember, your niche or lack thereof is as dynamic as the market itself. Stay fluid, stay flexible, and keep your eyes peeled for the niche that fits you like your favourite TV-watching pants. 

Landing your first copywriting clients: The insider’s playbook

Every copywriter starts their business with a first client. But where do they come from? The answer might be closer than you think: your own circle. Yes, that’s right—your quest begins with the familiar.

Network like a pro (even if it’s not your jam)

The word ”networking” might conjure up images of stiff suits and awkward exchanges, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Think of it as your very own business party where everyone you meet could lead to a new client or introduce you to someone who can. So shout it from the rooftops: you’re open for business and ready to write!

  • Start with the who-you-know basics: Friends, family and past colleagues are your first fans. They know your spirit, so let them be your cheerleaders in the business arena.
  • Rub elbows with other freelancers: These are your allies in the freelance realm. From graphic designers to web developers, these pros often need a wordsmith and might just pass you the golden ticket of referral work.
  • Be a familiar face IRL: Workshops, business brunches and local meet-ups are not just about swapping business cards but about swapping stories, dreams and the occasional business pains over a cup of coffee.
  • Dive into digital communities: LinkedIn, Reddit and Facebook groups are the watering holes where potential clients gather. Be a helpful contributor, and your name could be the one they remember when it’s go-time for copy.

Social media marketing: Your digital handshake

Love it or hate it, social media is the new business card and coffee chat rolled into one. It’s where you craft your digital handshake and where your brand voice can truly sing.

Strategies for a social media groove:

  • Profile perfection: Spruce up your social media with crystal-clear info on what you do. Your profile should be a beacon for your copywriting services.
  • Share your smarts: Post nuggets of wisdom, insights and the occasional clever observation to spark engagement and position yourself as the go-to copy guru.
  • Engage genuinely: Make time to comment on posts by potential clients and industry mates. Your thoughtful two cents can make dollars and sense down the line.
  • Strategic hashtags: Think like your client—what words would they use to find you? Use those. Hashtags are the breadcrumbs that lead clients to your doorstep.
  • Direct messages: Slide into DMs with finesse—keep it professional, personalised and never salesy. It’s about starting conversations, not closing sales (yet).

Cold emailing or pitching to work with potential clients

Cold emailing is the modern-day message in a bottle—it’s got to be good to get noticed. But with a sprinkle of charm and a dash of detective work, you can make those emails less cold and more like a warm invite to a fabulous collaboration.

  • Make it about them: Show you understand their challenges and have the perfect quiver of words to hit the bullseye.
  • Personalise your pitch: A generic greeting is the fastest way to the trash bin. Use their name, mention a recent win or challenge they’ve posted about, and watch the magic happen.
  • Persistence pays off: Don’t be disheartened by silence. A friendly follow-up can be the nudge that turns a “maybe” into a “yes, please!”

Mix and match for copywriting victory (and clients)

Combining networking, social media marketing and a little email savvy will create a swag of opportunities for your copywriting business. 

Getting your first clients is like the first domino in a chain reaction of growth. You’re putting your best foot forward, one step at a time, and building not just a client list but a community around your copywriting business.

Turning ”potential” into ”hired”: Crafting a copywriting portfolio that packs a punch

Building your copywriting portfolio is like preparing for an epic show and tell. It’s where you turn the “I can do this” into “I’ve done this and rocked it”. But when you’re just starting, the task can feel as daunting as an empty page staring back at you. 

Here’s how to fill that page—even before you’ve bagged your first paying job.

Leverage your legacy

That blog post you wrote on a lazy Sunday? It counts. The flyer you whipped up for the local bake sale? Gold. Any writing you’ve done is fair game to showcase your real-world abilities.

Provide context and strategy

Every piece in your portfolio should come with a backstory—the strategy, the goals and the audience you’re wooing. It’s like giving your words a stage to perform on.

Spec work: Your imagination’s playground

Spec (or speculative) work is your secret weapon. It’s where you get to play director, actor and screenwriter for a one-person show that demonstrates your copywriting skills.

  • Go with what you know: Whip up copy for niches you adore or have a knack for—it’s like writing with a home-field advantage.
  • Pretend it’s the big leagues: Pick a real company and write copy as if you were hired by them. Write product descriptions, an email campaign, or revamp their existing website copy.
  • Mix it up: Show you’re not a one-trick pony by casting a wide net—blog posts, social blurbs, press splashes, and those persuasive ad scripts.

Feeling stuck? It’s normal. I’ve been there, freezing up over a blank document, unsure where to begin. Trust me, it gets easier once you have a real brief to guide your creative journey. And that’s why you need to…

1. Create your own mock copywriting brief

My copywriting brief is very detailed. I ask clients a lot of questions because buried in the details of their responses is the gold that helps me differentiate their businesses.

Your mock brief should be just as thorough—packed with the who, what, when, where and how of your imaginary client’s needs. That’s your map to treasure in the copywriting quest.

2. Look at examples for inspiration

A healthy swipe file of copywriting examples can kick-start your writing engine. It’s like having cheat codes for creativity. Use it, and let those ideas pour out as you draft your faux masterpieces.

Give clients something else to focus on

A jaw-dropping portfolio is great, but a smooth tango of onboarding and versatile skills can sweep clients off their feet just as well. It’s about showing them you’re not just a writer; you’re the lead on their project.

Copywriters in my coaching group have often won major projects on a streamlined workflow, despite having fewer samples to show.

Remember, the portfolio is just the opening act. Your entire business workflow is the show.

Setting your copywriting rates: Valuing your work

Stepping into the copywriting arena, the question of, “What should I charge?” hovers like a dark cloud. It’s tempting, with an unproven portfolio and a sparse client list, to set your rates in the bargain basement. 

But that’s a spiral staircase leading nowhere fun.

Why stingy copywriting rates are a sting to your career

Your rates are more than a number; they’re a signpost of your professionalism and the calibre of the work you’ll deliver. Your rates are a promise that you’re playing in the big leagues, and you’re not a hobbyist. 

Beyond compensating your time and expertise, your copywriting rates should also cover the unseen costs of the freelancing fiesta—taxes, health care, those sneaky software subs, and the everyday business nitty-gritty.

Lowballing your rates is like quicksand: it may get you work fast, but it’ll pull you down into a cycle of endless work and inevitable burnout.

Here’s how to approach setting your hourly rate as a newcomer to the copywriting industry

Before we dive in, remember, your hourly rate is your secret sauce, not for client consumption. It’s the maths behind the magic, the internal cog that sets the wheels turning towards your final quote.

Sure you can eyeball industry pricing guides, sure. But what I’d bet my last Rolo on instead is calculating your rate based on what your business needs to earn to keep the lights on and the coffee strong.

Think about the true cost of running your show and the life you’re scripting outside the office. Add up the expenses, the dreams, the kids’ future (or present) capers, and your own golden years.

Combine those figures, and you’ve got a baseline for what you need to be pocketing.

Then, how many hours can you dedicate to crafting copy without turning into a zombie? How much of that is billable? Because, let’s face it, you’re not just writing; you’re hustling for gigs, wooing clients, and doing the admin tango—which can be up to 50% of your time when you’re starting out as a copywriter.

Now, do the maths: your earnings goal divided by actual writing time equals your hourly rate. 

Want a hand with that? The “Copy Quotes Made Easy” workshop is your knight in shining armour, complete with a project pricing calculator.

Quoting like a pro

When it’s time to put a price tag on your words, quoting by project is the way to go. It keeps everyone’s cards on the table: no surprises, no haggling mid-project.

Factor in the creative brainstorm, the research, the actual writing, and yes, the inevitable tweaks and fine-tuning (because perfection is a journey, right?). And don’t forget the proofreading and admin time.

I generally estimate 60% of the project time is spent on writing the first draft, 25% is spent on revisions and proofreading and the rest is spent on project admin (from taking the brief to sending the final invoice).

For an example of how this breaks down in real time, check out the “Copy Quotes Made Easy Calculator” or head over to my blog for some insider timing tips.

The art of talking money without looking squeamish

It’s the moment that gets many a copywriter’s palms sweaty: telling your client your project fees. But here’s where you shine, explaining with clarity and confidence what those dollars bring to their business: a smooth process, top-notch copy, and the peace of mind that they’re in expert hands.

And if they ask for a discounted rate, guide them gently to the idea of a reduced scope that matches their budget or staged payments that ease their cash flow worries without devaluing your work.

Why your copywriting rates should grow with you

Your rates aren’t carved in stone. They’re as alive as your career, shifting with each new trick you tuck up your sleeve, each new testimonial you tuck into your belt. Review them, tweak them, and don’t be shy about it. Twice a year is a good rhythm—it keeps the dance fresh.

Even as a new copywriter, charge like you mean to go on, with the confidence of someone who knows the worth of their words (even if you have to borrow a little of that confidence from your future self). 

Crafting your first copywriting proposal

The leap from chat to contract is thrilling, isn’t it? Once you’ve snagged a client’s interest and settled on your worth (hooray for you!), it’s time to write up a proposal! 

A copywriting proposal is more than just a summary of your services; it’s a document that can win or lose a potential client. 

Think of it as the cover letter for your career. It’s not a cold, hard summary, but a vibrant vision of what your words will wield. It’s your chance to show the client a sneak preview of the masterpieces you’ll craft, imbued with the understanding and value only you can offer.

Here’s how to create a proposal that stands out and wins clients.

Understand what the client needs

Before you begin crafting your proposal, make sure you deeply understand what the client is looking for: Deadlines, do’s and don’ts, must-haves and must-nots.

Copywriting proposal structure

Structure your copywriting proposal in a way that guides the client through your thought process and to a positive conclusion. Pepper it with credibility boosters, such as testimonials, to ensure when the client sees your project total, they understand it’s a valuable investment.

Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and your understanding of the client’s needs.

Objectives and goals: Replay your conversations with the client, summarising what they want to achieve with their copywriting project.

Your approach: Describe your project workflow and how you plan to meet their objectives with your services.

For each service you’re discussing, include

Benefits and features: Sell the dream, the vision, the “after” snapshot of their business with your copy in neon lights, along with the specific inclusions.

Deliverables: Detail what you will deliver, including the scope of the work and timelines.

Investment: Clearly lay out your pricing and the terms of payment.

Next Steps: Provide clear instructions on how they can proceed if they decide to accept your proposal. 

Presenting your copywriting proposal

While you can use paid contract software to present your copywriting and get it approved by your client, you don’t need bells and whistles to make your proposal pop.

That said, a touch of pizzazz never hurt anyone.

  • Whipping up a PDF with your logo and colour theme can look as sharp as a three-piece suit.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, take Canva out for a spin and bedazzle your proposal with a bit of graphic glam.
  • If you’re up for it, go for gold with a video walk-through. Show them how you shine as you guide them through your grand plan.

Tips on sending your copywriting proposal

Timing: Send your proposal promptly while the discussion remains fresh in the client’s mind.

Follow-up: State when you will follow up and make sure you do it.

Flexibility: Indicate your willingness to adjust any part of the proposal to fit their needs better.

A proposal isn’t just paperwork; it’s a handshake, a smile and a preview of the experience of working with you. Tailor each proposal to the specific client to show that you’re not just looking for any work—you’re looking for the right work with the right clients.

Want a proven template you can use straight away? Grab mine here!

Getting testimonials and reviews for your copywriting work

Nothing sings praises louder than a chorus of happy clients, right? Testimonials are like the copywriter’s Grammy—they prove your hits are, indeed, chart-toppers. 

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why these golden nuggets of feedback are must-haves and how to reel them in without breaking a sweat.

Cialdini wasn’t kidding when he talked about the power of social proof in “Influence”. We’re herd creatures after all, and if the pack’s heading your way, you must be doing something stellar. So, testimonials? They’re your five-star ratings, your client-crafted love letters that say, “This writer? They’ve got the goods.”

But how do you harvest those 5-star reviews? 

How and when to ask for testimonials from your copywriting clients

Timing is everything: Hit up your clients for a rave review when the results are fresh and their enthusiasm is bubbling over like a well-earned champagne.

Make it easy: We know staring at a blank page is the ultimate brain freeze, so why do that to your clients? Offer a simple form with prompts on your site. It’s like Mad Libs for reviews, and they’ll thank you for the nudge.

Gratitude goes a long way: A “thank you” can turn a happy client into a raving fan. Let them know their words are more than just flattery—they’re the wind in your business sails.

The gentle nudge: If your client’s as busy as a bee (and who isn’t?), a polite poke to remind them of their promise to provide a testimonial is more than okay.

Say “yes” to YES: Always, always get the thumbs up before plastering their praise on your promo materials. Consent is king.

Using your copy testimonials effectively

Once you’ve gathered testimonials about your copywriting, don’t let them collect digital dust. Use them strategically to maximise their impact! 

On your site: Have a page dedicated to your greatest hits—testimonials are your platinum records. Put them front and centre on your homepage, service pages and even the contact page for good measure.

Proposal power-up: Lace your proposals with testimonials to beef up your credibility. It’s like name-dropping, but better because it’s genuine.

Social savvy: A good word here, a five-star shout out there, and your social feed becomes a veritable hall of fame.

Remember, testimonials are not just about showcasing the end result, but also about highlighting the experience of working with you. Aim to collect reviews about the quality of your work as well as responsiveness, professionalism and any other qualities that make your service outstanding.

Growing your copywriting business

After landing your first few copywriting clients and delivering quality work, it’s time to think about sustainable growth. To grow your copywriting business, you need to look beyond one-off projects and develop a strategy that expand your reach and secure a more stable income:

1. Secure some retainer clients

Think of retainer clients as your business’s anchor—keeping you steady against the ebb and flow of the freelance world. These are the regular gigs that allow you to forecast income, understand deep brand stories, and consistently flex your creative muscles. 

Juggling 1-3 retainers alongside ad-hoc projects is the sweet spot for keeping things varied without overloading your schedule.

2. Broadening your service spectrum

As you settle into the rhythm of writing, you might like to look to the horizon for new peaks to conquer. Adding content strategy, SEO, UX writing and email marketing to your suite can amplify your value and your pricing power. 

Packaging these services into tiers lets you become the one-stop-shop for your clients’ growing needs, opening doors to cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

3. Smart outsourcing to maximise output

When you hit your copywriting capacity, consider outsourcing as your growth catalyst. Start with the tasks that are necessary but not directly billable—think research, admin or even certain types of content creation. 

This allows you to focus on generating the high-impact copy only you can craft while maintaining quality across the board with a team that shares your dedication to excellence.

4. Investing in tech to take you further

With success, reinvest in your business with tools and technology that sharpen your edge. This could mean sophisticated CRM systems for managing relationships, automation tools for mundane tasks, and advanced writing software that lets you deliver that much more to your clients.

5. Targeting high-value niches for premium projects

With a bit of detective work, you’ll find industries thirsty for specialised copywriting skills—and willing to pay premium rates for them. Whether it’s healthcare, fintech or another lucrative niche, becoming the go-to expert can significantly increase your project’s profitability and pleasure.

6. Building a personal brand that elevates your business

Your personal brand is your beacon in the industry, signalling your expertise and attracting opportunities directly to you. By sharing your insights through articles, speaking engagements and social media, you craft an image of a thought leader and a craftsperson, which, in turn, commands higher rates and respect.

The end of the beginning

Starting a copywriting business with no experience may seem daunting, but with the right mindset, legal know-how, and learning the science and craft of copywriting, it’s entirely achievable. 

Let’s recap the key steps to your first steps in copywriting:

Develop a growth mindset: Cultivate the mental toughness needed to face challenges head-on and thrive on feedback.

Handle the legalities: Ensure your business is registered and protected by understanding basic accounting and contract essentials.

Learn the craft: Invest time in learning and practising the craft and science of copywriting and persuasion.

Choose your niche (or don’t): Discover the benefits of specialising, or remain flexible by being ”chooseable” to a wider market.

Find your first clients: Use networking, cold emailing and social media to build your initial client base.

Showcase your skills as you build them: Create a compelling portfolio as you gain experience and create mock projects until you do.

Set professional rates: Establish rates that reflect your skill level and the value you provide, even as a newcomer.

Craft winning proposals: Make proposals that stand out by emphasising your unique selling proposition and previous successes.

Gather testimonials: Collect and showcase client feedback to enhance your credibility and attract more business.

Plan to grow: When the time is right, consider retainer contracts, expanding your service offerings, and outsourcing to grow your business.

Starting a freelance writing business requires commitment and resilience, but the payoff can be both professionally and personally rewarding. 

I hope this guide on starting a copywriting business (with no experience) gives you the boost you need to get going! 

If you’re ready to take the next step and lay down a solid foundation for your copywriting career, I invite you to join The Copywriting Inkubator coaching program. This comprehensive program is tailored to help you hone your writing skills and build a profitable copywriting business from the ground up.

Looking for a bespoke roadmap? A 1:1 coaching session with me can craft a strategy that suits your unique situation and sets you up for success.

Finally, consider joining my vibrant community of copywriters in Confident Copywriting where you can share experiences, get feedback, and find support on your journey. 

Remember, the path to becoming a successful copywriter is a marathon, not a sprint, and you don’t have to run it alone. 

2 Responses

    1. This was a long one! I went through the stages of mapping the sections, then the content in bullets. Then, I drafted each section and worked through my editing process. All in all, it took a few weeks. I’m glad you found it a useful read.

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