The Best Way to Land Your First Clients as a Copywriter is to Be RELENTLESS!
Before I talk about the power of being relentless, let’s take a peek at the broader issues involved in landing clients for your freelance business.
First, it’s important to understand that there are two totally separate marketing approaches when it comes to landing clients.
The first approach is OUTBOUND marketing.
This is when you reach out to prospective clients with a phone call, by email, by snail mail … or even face-to-face at a business event of some kind.
The second approach is INBOUND marketing.
This is when you become a creator of great content, in the form of blog posts, social media updates, special reports, talks, and even books.
In other words, you become a prolific creator of materials that attract the attention of your prospective clients.
If those prospects find enough value in your work, at some point some of them will reach out and ask you to do some work for them.
Which approach is better … outbound or inbound?
Neither one is better. For most freelancers, it makes sense to do some of each.
One more thing before we get RELENTLESS …
We often talk in terms of attracting clients.
But what we should actually be talking about is attracting GOOD clients who give us the opportunity to do our best work.
This is super-important, particularly when you’re just starting out.
It’s tempting to take on just any client. When you’re looking for your first few jobs, or you have some urgent bills to pay, I totally get the temptation to say yes to any company that will give you work.
But be careful … A bad client who pays you less than you deserve can fill your time, work your fingers to the bone, and leave you little time and energy to spend on finding better clients.
Now for the power of being RELENTLESS.
Let’s say you are going to do some outbound marketing and some inbound marketing. You’re going to mix it up.
For your outbound campaign, you compile a list of 100 companies you’d like to work for. Then, either by email or phone, you’re going to reach out, introduce yourself, and pitch your freelance services.
For inbound marketing, you’re going to start a blog on your website and commit to writing at least one new post a week.
Does that sound about right?
It sounds good to me. And if you keep at it, you’re going to start landing clients.
Make no mistake, there are a TON of companies out there in desperate need of trained copywriters.
Especially copywriters who understand how to write for the Web.
However … a lot of new freelancers who commit to this kind of process DON’T get any clients.
Because they give up.
They don’t put in the hours.
They get discouraged.
Back in the days when I did a lot of coaching, I was working with a freelancer who was just getting started. At the end of one of our calls, I worked with her to set up some outbound marketing.
On our call a week later, I asked how things were progressing. She said she didn’t have any clients yet. I asked her how many emails she had sent out. “About 10,” she said.
Really? I felt like asking her what she’d been doing with the other 39 hours of her workweek. Maybe that gut response was unfair. Maybe she had other stuff happening in her life that week.
But the point is that if she had put in a 40-hour week — just a regular workweek — she would have been able to reach out to hundreds of prospective clients.
Yes, it can be hard when you reach out and almost nobody gives you work. Heck, most of the time you don’t even get a reply to that first email.
That’s why the key is to be RELENTLESS.
In my career, I have focused primarily on inbound marketing. That has meant writing a lot of articles and posts for my own site and also as a guest writer for other publications.
During the “launch” phase of my career as an online copywriter — approximately the first 12 months — I wrote over 500 articles and posts. That’s more than one a day, weekends included.
That’s being RELENTLESS.
I know people who have built six-figure copywriting careers simply by sending dozens of prospecting emails every day … and never quitting.
The point being …
Ultimately, it doesn’t much matter which approach you take to landing new clients.
The winners are those who work the hardest. They shrug off the rejections and disappointments. They get back up and keep the process moving forward, one day at a time.
They win simply by being RELENTLESS.
And you can too.
Do you have any questions for Nick about finding good clients? Post a comment below and he’ll be happy to answer it for you.
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Hi, Nick. This post is an eye-opener - and resourceful too. What you said about posting articles weekly caught my attention and as a health writer, I'm wondering what kind of topics I could write on. Do I have to write on health topics?
Guest (Iheoma Oparaugo) –
Iheoma, hi. Absolutely. If your niche is health, that's what you should be writing about. Health and health marketing.
Nick Usborne –
You have to work as if you are already in business. I get it. I must say I was only blogging once a month. I'll try and blog once a week. I just don't want to put out frivolous content.
Guest (Regine Baptiste) –
Regine, hi. You're right about that. There is no point in publishing regularly unless the quality of what you publish is as good as you can make it. Remember, each post is the equivalent of an ad for your business.
Nick Usborne –
Wow great article Nick and it sure brings things into perspective and down to earth. I recently bought the course Getting Clients and your video really brought a settled down and clear vision of how to do inbound marketing. Back to this post. I saw the title had the word 'relentless' in it and I'm currently reading a book entitled that written by Michael Jordan's trainer. It explains his excellence on the court. He had no magical powers, just put in the work just like you say here. Thanks again.
Guest (Martin) –
Martin, hi. I'm glad you enjoyed the video and this post. I didn't know about that book about Michael Jordan! : ) Makes sense.
Nick Usborne –
Hi Nick, This article really took the pressure off trying to figure out when to do what and why. I believe in the "Rentless" pursuit in many areas of life, including getting clients for my writing business. The point is to start and keep going and they will come. Thanks Nick.
Cynde Jackson –