This week we’ve been focusing on the business of freelance copywriting. There are two good reasons for that.
First of all, the demand for quality online content and copy that converts has exploded in the last several years. And that demand will only grow.
That means a lot of opportunity for freelance copywriters.
It also means copywriters have an unfair advantage when it comes to marketing themselves. Why?
Because it’s content marketing in all its creative expressions that works online. Marry that with a persuasive landing page to close the deal, and it’s clear that it’s the copywriters who are in the driver’s seat.
Because you have talent that’s in demand. And every business seeking to effectively market online needs that talent.
Only problem is, you’re all competing against each other.
Which is a fairly common marketing problem for freelancers, small business, and big business alike. Every business has to differentiate itself and communicate the benefits of being the choice over the other guy.
But copywriters are skilled in solving that problem, right? It’s your function.
Have you solved that problem for yourself?
Dare to Be Different
One thing every copywriter needs to understand is how to develop and communicate a unique selling proposition. Whether positioning or purple cow, differentiating the client’s offer in a unique and valuable way is critical to winning copy.
Shouldn’t you do the same for your business?
Look, Michel Fortin can position himself simply as “copywriter” because he’s a well-established badass. He commands premium fees, and likely turns away more business than he accepts.
If you’re not at that point yet, a little unique positioning is just what the doctor ordered. Your business may not be sick yet, but you’re hardly in a defensible market position. And if you’re just starting out, here’s your opportunity to start out right.
Ever since I chose to become unemployable in 1998, I’ve been an initial nobody in a succession of industries filled with well-established badasses. Law, real estate, software, even this very blog… each time I was starting from scratch competing against those already at it.
I succeeded in each instance because I focused intensely on serving a different need in a different way, and then effectively communicating and demonstrating that difference.
Dare to be different, and you’ll be a badass in a league of your own.
Writing is a Feature, Not a Benefit
Another thing every copywriter knows is that brains crave benefits. And yet, when it comes to marketing themselves, many freelance copywriters seem to focus only on their writing, which like it or not, is a feature of your service, not the desired benefit.
It’s no secret that writing tends to be undervalued by many of the people who seek to hire you. Maybe it’s because any literate person can write to some degree, so perhaps they think it’s simply an hour or two of putting some words down on paper. What’s so hard about that?
We writers know that’s not true.
Good writing is hard. Great writing is even tougher.
The answer, however, is not to change how the client thinks, because that rarely works. At least not at the initial stage of the relationship.
The key is to start emphasizing the benefits clients are really after, not the feature that brings about the benefits. Because if a client could achieve his desired benefit without your writing, he would.
What are you really selling?
Think about that for a bit. Tomorrow, we’ll reveal the second reason we’ve been focusing on freelance writing this week.