So you’ve just begun your epic journey into the world of copywriting. A young buck in the industry, hungry for those big jobs…
The next Coca Cola slogan. An ad campaign for the brand new iPhone. A re-rewrite of all the copy on Toyota’s main website.
These are the kind of projects you’ve set your sights on.
And as a skillful, innovative copywriter, you know you have enough raw talent, passion and determination to make your vision a reality.
But hang on… How are you going to land those big jobs if you don’t even have a copywriting portfolio?
It’s the old Catch 22 situation. You need experience to get work. But you can’t get work without experience.
And in order to entice the big-time clients, you’re definitely going to need a solid portfolio of copywriting examples that shows off your talent.
So luckily for you, I’m about to reveal 3 simple ways to build a winning copywriter portfolio from scratch…
1. Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends
I’m going to assume that you know at least one person, if not several, that run their own business. Maybe it’s a friend of a friend of a friend? They might just work as a freelance gardener or run a simple market stall on Sundays.
It doesn’t matter. This is the perfect place to start.
Offer to help them out with your services for FREE. Write a brochure for them, some website copy, a press release or whatever you feel would best showcase your talent in your portfolio of copywriting.
You’ll be doing them a favour – while at the same time building that all-important archive of copywriting samples for potential clients to feast on.
And who knows – if they love it, they may end up paying you – which is what happened to me on my very first copywriting job.
2. Find the Clients Yourself and Give ’em a Free Taster
We’ve all come across websites and thought ‘this copy is pretty crappy‘. Right?
So why not show them that you can do a better job?
Re-write the content of one of the pages, or at least a sample of it, without asking first. Make it awesome. Make the header attention-grabbing and make the copy hypnotic.
Then approach the company yourself and tell them they’re losing customers through badly-written content. Give them a few facts about conversion rates if you like.
And reveal to them your amazing new version – which they can have as a freebie!
With any luck they’ll be blown away and will want to pay you (the low rate you’re offering) to re-write the rest of it.
Be honest about your experience.
They can see from the quality of your sample that you can do an amazing job, especially with the low cost you’ve offered them.
And Bob’s your uncle! Some cash in your back pocket and another juicy sample for your ever-growing copywriter portfolio.
3. Take a Copywriting Course
By taking on a course in copywriting, you’ll not only learn invaluable skills from amazing, experienced copywriters, you’ll also produce a body of copywriting examples that have been fine-tuned by yourself and by your tutor – which you can then showcase to future clients.
That’s exactly how I got to where I am today.
Probably the best of all online copywriting courses you can find, and the one I took when starting out, is run by the Blackford Centre for Copywriting.
And thanks to some great connections (and heavy negotiation), you can now get 10%-off the course if you book via phone or email and quote ‘The Creative Copywriter‘. Well worth it!
The course is extremely reasonably-priced even without the discount, and has completely flexible hours.
And how do I know that this course nails it?
Because it’s the very same one that got me firmly onto the copywriting ladder.
Complete it in your own time, get tutored by the the best in the business, build an awesome copy portfolio full of every different kind of copywriting sample. And end up with a little, pretty Copywriting Diploma icon you can stick on your website homepage!
Once you’ve taken these 3 steps to create that first bundle of copy examples, life will get much easier. I promise!
You’ll have a base to work from and some juicy samples for potential clients to get their teeth into.
You can then entice companies with your website and aggressively apply for jobs through Elance, ODesk and other online job forums.
But keep your rates low to start with, as you’re still a toddler in the industry. When your portfolio gets even bigger and better, you can start to reel in those big-time clients you’ve been dreaming about!
Good luck. And don’t forget to check out our very own copywriting portfolio while you’re here!
Contact us if you have any questions at all.
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