Does this sound like you?
When you first got into copywriting, you were excited to live the dream of…
…saying goodbye to your boss—for *good*!
…making six figures from a beach of your choosing.
…being able to persuade anybody to get what you want.
But when you got started, you realized:
Writing good copy is hard—and getting well-paying clients (the “big dogs” that pay $5k and more) is disappointingly hard.
I want to help you understand the principles of why clients hire you—or don’t—so you can set your compass to “$$$” and sprint to your goals.
Who am I to tell you this?
I’m not a guru. I’m not rich. No six figures.
But I fly where I want to be, making money from wherever I want. Good enough for me.
In today’s post, I’ll reveal the central principle of why clients hire you (it’s really why *any* transaction takes place).
Second, you’ll learn how to create the exact situation you need to sell yourself to clients by improving a single skill you already know a bit about.
Then, I’ll list 5 ways I used to accelerate my learning in this crucial area—and which you’re welcome to steal.
Let’s get into the post.
Lately, I came to think about the freelance market, “gig” economy and general principles of business.
First, you need to understand one of my ways of thinking in business.
To lay the foundation, let me explain what a transaction is:
A party gives up resources in order to get something they perceive to be higher value than their resources.
Conversely, the other party perceives the value of the resources they get as higher than what they give in exchange.
So really, whenever you buy something, you and the seller just disagree on the value their goods/services have—but you’re both happy in the end.
(it’s a copywriter’s job to create this disagreement)
With copywriting clients, it’s much the same:
The client needs to perceive your copy as more valuable than the price they pay…
To be paid more money, you need to raise your perceived value—and, of course, charge more $$$.
Simple enough, eh?
Now you just need to know how to raise your perceived value.
While there are many ways to increase perceived value, possibly the most effective way to persuade is to demonstrate.
And there’s one simple way to demonstrate value to a client:
Make ’em money!
(or get them results in another way)
The best way to increase your ability to make clients money is to get better at copywriting.
That’s assuming your client has a rough idea of what they’re doing.
Yeah, you could lie about your experience…
…but other than that you’ll have to get your clients the results they want at some point.
You already know that as a copywriter, your job is altering people’s perception.
But until you’re actually good at what you do, you can only increase your value temporarily.
Don’t get me wrong:
I’m not saying that everything you do to appear professional and sell clients on your ROI is wrong. It’s important, even necessary.
But if clients don’t see their perceived value reflected in the end-product, you’ll have no returning customers, no referrals, no word of mouth.
So, how do you become good as a copywriter?
I’m not a guru.
I’m just a copywriter making enough money to pay for food, rent and some travel.
But here’s what made *me* get good enough at writing copy to live a boss-free lifestyle:
1. Writing. There’s nothing quite like actual practice. If your copy is bad now, write badly until it’s good.
When I started the daily blog (this post also appears on my website), I realized how importance daily practice is.
2. Testing your writing. Often, your clients will get results to you after testing.
But you can also test your copy without having to go through clients.
A few ways:
a) Post in job boards and test your copy until it works.
b) Be active in communities. See what gets engagement and what doesn’t.
(this post is an example of that. I’ll see how many people react to this post. You might find your way to my website or Facebook page—giving me an indication of the impact this post has. In Google Analytics, I will see which blog headlines get the most clicks)
c) Drive traffic to your website for $5 a day on Facebook or AdWords. This *does* cost money, but mich less than some courses.
3. Learning in-depth rather than breadth.
I’d much rather read one good book five times than five decent books once.
Try relistening, rewatching or rereading your favorite marketing resources. You’ll be amazed at the gems you’ll find.
4. Have experts look at your copy and completely destroy it. It hurts, but it’s one of the best ways to improve.
Often, you’ll have to pay for these critiques.
5. Read effective copy and dissect it. Study why it worked.
Those are my favorite ways of improving my skills.
Once you’re good, you can worry about all the rest like systemizing, packaging and all the good stuff.
But for a high perceived value, you need to deliver a good ROI. Everything else comes after that.
In my opinion, *this* is how you build the foundation of any freelance business.
But I’m open to discussion.
What’s your opinion?