How to Achieve Copywriting Success as an Introvert
If you’re like me, then one of the biggest challenges you’re facing when it comes to living the writer’s life is the fact that you’re an introvert.
You want to be your own boss. You want to work when the mood strikes. But, you’re paralyzed by fear, because in order to make it all happen, you’ve got to “put yourself out there.”
Maybe you can relate?
First, know that you’re not alone.
In fact, most writers are introverts. I think it’s why we “self-select” and choose a career path that doesn’t involve talking to a bunch of people (like face-to-face sales, or becoming a motivational speaker).
Next, know that you CAN do this.
I’m living proof.
I don’t like big gatherings. I like being alone. I’m not blessed with a sharp wit and the ability to come up with really smart things to say on the spot.
Yet, I’ve managed to design a lifestyle I enjoy a lot — all thanks to copywriting.
So I’d like to share with you a few of the things that have helped me get to where I am today, despite my being an introvert.
1. Gain confidence by practicing your craft.
This is a biggie. One of the challenges introverts face is feeling like they’re not “ready” or perhaps not “good enough.” This lack of confidence in your abilities as a writer can be devastating.
Get as good as you can, as quickly as you can.
One way I did this was by writing great copy out by hand.
Grab yourself a notebook or legal pad. Then get a pencil or pen (go with whatever you feel most comfortable with).
And then spend at least one hour each and every day, writing a winning letter out by hand.
This is one of the most basic things you can do … yet the benefits are profound.
Why does it work?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that it does work if you do it consistently.
And a large part of my confidence as a copywriter early on came from doing this one exercise.
Another way was by learning directly from the experts in the field … Katie Yeakle, Rebecca Matter, Paul Hollingshead, and Mark Ford, to name a few. When you learn from people who live and breathe an industry like they do, you’re going to get further, faster.
2. Get comfortable with saying “I’m a professional copywriter.”
Another huge obstacle introverts face is feeling like an imposter.
Some call this “imposter syndrome.”
Basically, this means that if someone asked you “what do you do for a living?” and you responded, “I’m a copywriter” … you’d feel really weird and awkward saying that.
In fact, you’d feel like you’re lying through your teeth.
The solution is to first and foremost, really see yourself as a professional copywriter.
If you’re doing the exercise of writing out letters by hand, and practicing your craft, and immersing yourself in learning, then you are — by definition — a copywriter.
So do whatever you need to do to get comfortable with that new identity.
Maybe you need to visualize yourself landing a client and having them be thrilled with the copy you turn in. Maybe you need to repeat an affirmation a few dozen times every day that says you are a copywriter. Or maybe you just need to create a rule that whenever someone asks what you do for a living, you respond with “I’m a copywriter” and then proceed to explain what that is if they ask for further clarification.
Bottom line: Give yourself permission to say you’re a copywriter and let the world know.
This is key.
Because the sooner you can get “okay” with the idea that you ARE a copywriter, the sooner you can get your first few paying clients.
3. Don’t wait until you think you’re perfect.
Another big thing I see with a lot of would-be copywriters (including myself when I was starting out) is this idea that you need to be absolutely “perfect” before you can get your first client.
This is FAR from the truth and the reality of this business.
First, there’s no way you could ever learn absolutely everything about copywriting and marketing, etc. — even if you dedicated an entire lifetime to it.
That’s because even though human psychology is pretty much the same as it was thousands of years ago, technology changes. Marketing channels change. Everything is always in a state of flux.
Look — there is ALWAYS something you can learn in order to get better at your craft. Always.
So this idea of perfection is just a misnomer.
You just need to know more than your client, so you can deliver true value. And frankly, if you write letters out by hand and study a few controls (along with taking AWAI’s Accelerated Copywriting Program), you’ll be there.
That’s because most businesses have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to marketing.
And the businesses that ARE sharp direct-response marketers are so busy, that even if you show the hint of promise as a copywriter, oftentimes they’ll be over the moon and more than willing to work with you, to get you up to speed.
That’s how valuable you are.
And that’s why you need to toss this idea of “knowing it all” before you get started to the curb.
4. Take baby steps every day to move closer to your goal.
I know that reaching out to potential clients is scary. Especially as an introvert.
But if you’re serious about living the writer’s life, then you’ve got to do at least ONE thing each and every day, to move you closer.
Since face-to-face interaction and even phone calls can be intimidating, I suggest you start with email.
Find a potential client to email. Write up a sample for one of their products.
Give them a few ideas to improve their copy.
Just make sure you LEAD with value, and you can’t go wrong.
Will everyone respond?
Of course not.
But you’ll be surprised at how many do, if you’ll just put yourself “out there” even in the smallest of ways.
Another tip: Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile, if you haven’t already, and mention that you are a copywriter.
Oftentimes, businesses will start on LinkedIn to see if they can find the help they need. And depending on your connections, you might show up as a prospective writer they may want to hire (making it easy because THEY will contact you!).
That, and let everyone you come into contact with know that you’re now a copywriter. You’ll be surprised at how even a chance encounter can lead to your first client or even one of your best clients.
So there you have it.
If you’re an introvert and struggling with making your writer’s life a reality, I suggest you try out these tips.
They worked for me, and I know if you apply them, they can work for you.
Do you have any questions about taking the first steps toward becoming a copywriter? Share with us in the comments so we can help.
The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter
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Thanks, Guillermo. I appreciate your suggestions on using email to connect with prospective clients instead of face-to-face. Your "How to Write High Impact Emails" course is a great resource.
TS Morgan –
I soooo relate to this article in a big way.
Teresa Valdez –