9 Tips for Freelance Copywriters to Earn More & Get More Clients
Click for tips on boosting your career, building your copywriting portfolio, and earning more as a freelance copywriter!
Becoming a freelance copywriter and applying to copywriting jobs is the easy part. But actually making a living with it and earning good money is where it gets challenging. Don’t worry though, if you have a well-thought-out and purposeful strategy, you can definitely be one of the copywriters who make it.
Follow our tips as each will give you a chance to boost your earnings, while learning how to network, build your copywriting portfolio, and more.
1. Work on your marketing and generating leads
Clients and jobs won’t just come to you at first, and applying on freelancer marketplaces is not the most profitable. To help people find you when they’re looking for a freelance copywriter, you need to work on your marketing first.
As a copywriter, you might already know some of the basic marketing principles. If not, then do a little research and figure out:
- who your ideal clients are,
- where they hang out online and offline, and how you could reach them,
- exactly what copywriting services you could offer them,
- what your USP or unique selling point is, aka what makes you special and a better choice than other copywriters.
When you got these basics done, you can think about your main message for them (this should be easy as a copywriter), and possibly what free content you could offer them to catch their attention.
Look into lead generation to learn more about the concept. Basically by providing something of value (e.g. templates or educational content) in exchange for their contact info or them following you, you create the opportunity to pitch yourself later.
2. Invest time into your branding and online presence
Branding is an important part of marketing, especially if you want to make the impression of a professional. A strong branding will let you position yourself as a higher-end copywriter, allowing you to charge more too.
So as part of your pre-reach-out process, you should establish the basics of your branding. This includes things like your logo, brand colors, fonts, and of course, your tone of voice.
Make sure to consider your ideal client and target audience (which you figured out in the previous step) when you do this. Because the branding has to impress and convince them, not you.
Of course, branding is pointless without displaying it somewhere —and a perfect place to start is your online presence. The essentials of a solid online presence are:
- Your own copywriter website and online portfolio
- A LinkedIn profile for networking and professional connections
- Accounts on social media platforms where your prospects are active, whether that’s Instagram, Threads, or TikTok
Optionally you could also create profiles on job marketplace sites. But beware, as the competition there is fierce and copywriters often complain of low-quality and low-paying gigs on them.
How to create and brand your copywriter website
Your copywriter website is like your online storefront, so creating it is important —but not as difficult as you might think. To make it a quick and easy process, choose a website builder like Copyfolio, which was designed for copywriters like you.
Let us show you just how easy it is to create and customize a freelancer site with it: it only takes 6 steps.
- Create an account in two minutes. You just enter your name, choose your profession, and pick the goal of your website.
- Choose a template you like. It’s all about the style of the site, and don’t worry, you can change it later anytime. Once you pick one, we’ll create a starter site for you. It’ll be filled with pages and sections with content customized for you based on your goal and profession.
- Write a tagline and upload a photo of yourself to the top of your homepage. This will be the first thing people see when they land on your site, so take the time to perfect it. It’ll be your online first impression after all.
- Add your copywriting projects. Whether they’re previous pieces of work or mock projects you did to practice, display 4-6 of them to showcase your skills and expertise. In Copyfolio, you can do it easily with a Portfolio section, where you can add projects as case study pages, external links, or PDFs.
- Customize the text and photos on the site to be about you. Your page will already have content on it to give you some ideas on what to write and where but you need to make it real. You can add or remove sections if you want —or leave the structure as it is and just update the contents inside.
- Get a custom domain and start sharing your site. The last step to make your site feel truly professional is getting your own domain —think of yourname.com. It’ll be easy to remember and shows others that you invested time, money, and effort into yourself and your business.
3. Land well-known clients, even for just one small project
Testimonials and logos of previous clients are great for building trust with prospects. But do you know what they could also be good for? Establishing authority.
If people see that you’ve worked for bigger, well-known brands, they’ll think: “Wow, they must be really good if this brand hired them!”
So even if it’s only a small or even pro-bono project, try to land one with a famous company.
To do that, you can try to look up their marketing or editorial colleagues on LinkedIn and reach out to them. Or find the email address of the department that takes care of content and reach out to them with a pitch and a link to your copywriting portfolio.
After the collaboration, ask if you can showcase it as a project in your portfolio, and whether you can add their logo to your site too. Normally it shouldn’t be an issue, but big brands often have their logos trademarked. And you want to make sure you don’t get into any unnecessary trouble.
4. Make it super easy to hire you
Once people found you, landed on your website, and are reading about your services, you’ll have to convince them to actually take action.
We won’t go into the details of how to do that with great copy and call-to-actions. As a copywriter, you already know the ins and outs of that. But we do have one small tip for you.
The action itself, getting in touch and hiring you, should be as easy for them as possible. You can ensure that by:
- Adding multiple CTA buttons on your different pages
- Linking to your Calendly page so they can book a call with you right away
- Offering a free consultation session, so reaching out feels like less of an upfront investment
- Displaying your contact information in the footer of your website
You can also add a section to your contact page that explains what happens after they contact you. This way people will know exactly what to expect and could feel more confident to reach out.
5. Think about how to bring even more value to your clients
This tip related to earning more —whether in the beginning of your freelance copywriter career or as time goes on.
Clients don’t pay you for the words and sentences you type, they pay you for the value it provides them. For the clicks they get and the sales they make. So the more valuable the results that you give them, the more they’ll be willing to pay for your services.
As you continue this line of thought, you’ll easily get to the same conclusion: find ways to bring even more value to your clients, and you’ll be able to charge and earn more.
This could be by adding additional services, taking courses to better your skills, or doing even more thorough research when working on projects.
6. Realize the importance of upselling
Speaking of additional services, our next tip is to never underestimate the power of upselling.
Mcdonald’s is famous for adding up to 40% to their annual revenue by simply asking: “Would you like fries with that?”. But restaurants are not the only places where asking the customer to add another, smaller item to their order can do wonders.
Once somebody made the decision to commit to a purchase, whether that’s for a burger or copywriting services, they’re more likely to buy again or add to the original order. It’s all based on the trust and mindset they’ve already established.
And if the second item or service that someone offers them is smaller in price, it’s easy for them to feel like they’ll be spending “almost the same”, while getting more value. So small additions, package deals, or two-for-one offers can be really effective when someone is already ready to sign.
In the context of freelance copywriting you can offer things like:
- Extra rounds of revisions and editing
- Copy for an X number of additional social media posts
- Additional website pages if you’re working on website copywriting
- Standalone broadcast emails in addition to an email series you’re writing
It all depends on the services your client is hiring you for. Just try to always think of smaller things —and wait with offering them until they’ve committed to working with you.
7. Give thought leadership a go for better visibility
A great way to get people to notice you, talk about and recommend you, is by becoming a thought leader. A thought leader is someone who often shares content and opinions with others: on social media, by attending podcasts and conferences, and in person, just chatting with others at events.
By giving the impression of being an expert with valuable things to say, you can build a following and your authority in your niche, and as a copywriter.
It will come as no surprise that when potential clients see that you have a considerable following, if they’ve heard about you, or see that you’ve been invited to multiple podcasts, they’ll be more ready to hire you. And to pay more.
Because in their eyes, you won’t be just another ordinary freelance copywriter. You will be an expert, an authority, whose words other writers listen to.
Now let’s be realistic: you can’t become a thought leader overnight. It would take months if not years, and an incredible amount of invested time and effort. But if you’re ready to give it your all, this is a great way of increasing your earning potential.
8. Increase your authority with educational content
Another way of increasing your authority is by becoming not just a thought leader, but a known expert and educator. Someone that other copywriters learn from and ask for advice. You don’t have to appear on all the shows and chip in with your opinions on everything.
You do have to create tons of educational content on copywriting, branding, and working with copy though. Think short videos on TikTok, long-form content on YouTube, blog posts, eBooks, and more.
Although this content will be aimed at other copywriters and businesses who want to get copywriting done without hiring somebody, it’ll considerably help your visibility and discoverability.
Since if you get people hooked on and sharing your content, that’ll signal to search engines and social media algorithms that it’s valuable. It also means that when someone will be looking for a copywriter to hire, you’ll show up amongst the top results more easily. And as a reliable expert with whom their brand is in good hands.
9. Set a beneficial pricing plan & review it from time to time
One of the things that determine how much you earn as a freelance copywriter is how much you charge for things. And since there are only so many hours one can work in a day, it’s logical that if you want to earn more, you’ll have to charge more too.
The previous tips were to help you to establish credibility and authority so that people will actually agree to pay those prices when you set them. But you do need to consciously calculate and communicate your prices.
Think about how much you want to earn in a month and break that down by project or hour. Don’t forget to also take into consideration how much others charge in your field or area, and how much your additional costs are.
Freelancers have to pay for their own workspace and insurance just to name a few, and your income will have to cover that.
Don’t forget to also review your prices every few months and raise them if needed. Your skills are improving and you’re gaining more and more experience too, after all.