How to Be a Clientless Copywriter in 30 Days or Less
Recently, I was talking to a freelancer who specializes in the fitness industry. She just lost a big client which was paying for most of her lifestyle. She was also panicking. She didn’t know what to do — as she doesn’t have a huge client network (having foolishly relied on one client for so long), has very few would-be client contacts in the fitness industry, and needs to pay her bills.
Long story short:
She needs money.
And, she is (understandably) sour about getting any more clients, seeing as how they can discard freelancers at any time, for any reason, immediately and without notice.
“Ben, any suggestions?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “And if you do exactly as I say, don’t skip any steps, and do it with a cheerful attitude while working hard, I would bet someone else’s kidney you’ll be clientless, with a solid, monthly income you can live off of and build upon in 30 days or less.”
She, of course, leaned in.
And, here is what I suggested she do:
First off, she should play on her strengths. She knows the fitness market. She has been writing to them, selling to them, and making money from them for some time. And so, I suggested she invade that space right away.
Her first move is to build a list. But, not having a lot of money, I urged her to:
- Create a product quickly about an urgent problem in the fitness niche — nothing super fancy or long, just record a video or audio solving this urgent problem. If it’s an hour or so, that is fine. Having it transcribed is ideal, but optional at this stage of the game.
- Break a small, but compelling, piece of the product off and turn that into a premium to offer people who join her email list, which she needs to build immediately.
- Since she is low on time and money, she should build the list using joint ventures. Find as many people in her niche as she can. She may not have a lot of client leads, but just being in that world, she knows many marketers who sell fitness or weight loss related products.
- Ask the ones with larger lists (10K or more) if they would be willing to mail their list about her new website/daily emails in exchange for her doing some kind of copywriting work for them. This is not all that different from what the late, great Eugene Schwartz did: He didn’t write for money, he wrote ads in exchange for mailing lists he could then sell his own products to. What kind of work she does for them will vary. But it could be landing pages, opt-in pages, email sequences, whatever they want. She could even get them to mail for her multiple times in some cases.
- Email her new, growing list each day, selling them on her product and ONLY that product.
- Buyers of that product get automatically segmented off that list and onto a Buyers list.
- She can mail that Buyers list a high ticket offer. (I recommend coaching or, even better, group coaching, so it can be a continuity-type product.)
- She can even shortcut that second email by taking the email selling the main product, and changing the call-to-action to the coaching. This is a way to get more “mileage” out of an email. For example, in the prostate niche, I would take the daily email to leads (selling an e-book), and send it to the e-book buyers after changing the details in the email from selling the e-book to selling a prostate supplement. Usually, it was about 30 seconds of work as I only changed the call-to-action and the link.
- Over time, she could sell her coaching customers other high ticket products, events, health supplements, fitness equipment, and anything else that makes sense.
This is a very simple way to get a business set up and going for a freelance copywriter who wants out of client work.
Yes, it’s hard work.
Yes, it’s not necessarily “easy” (if it was, everyone would be doing it).
And yes, there are no guarantees.
But, at the very least, she could be doing the above while looking for more clients. Plus, time is passing, regardless.
And, it doesn’t hurt to put the odds of success in your favor by building a side, clientless copywriting business where you are your own client, and sell your own products/services even if you decide to keep doing client work.
Check out my 10-Minute Workday program for more step-by-step details on how to create a clientless business and take complete control of your career moving forward.
Are you ready to start a clientless writing business? What topic do you think you’d like to write about? Let us know how we can help you get going by posting a comment below.
If you want to be a well-paid writer without having to land clients or spend hours every day working on your business — Ben Settle’s 10-Minute Workday shows you how to create an easy email business. Learn More »
Having trouble deciding on a topic I want to write about.
Guest (Molly) –
This is a very interesting idea to try out. I am an educator of school aged students and my aim is to create "life long learners". Teaching them that 75% of learning does not happen behind a desk at school. Curiosity paired with good research skills will keep their brain muscle strong. And they will never be bored a day in their lives again. I have been toying with a short course on critical thinking skills, since it is no longer taught in my district. Thank you for the ideas!