Starting a new business – Day 2: How to get out of the rat race and make money as a copywriter (STOP writing copy)
*** Every weekday for 30 days, I’m going to be giving you one “big idea” to solve your biggest marketing challenge. To submit your problem for consideration, follow the format today’s subscriber used, and then comment with your own specific details and challenges ***
My 30-Day Marketing Challenge is: I’m a Copywriter here in Dover on the South Coast of the UK. My clients are mainly Internet and Information Marketers from the UK and the USA.
But the plain and simple fact is, I’m a ‘jobber.’ I trade my time for money, which I know you disapprove of.
My biggest challenge is: I want to wean myself off trading time for money and put in place some sort of ‘continuity’ income strategy. What do I do, and what’s the best way for a Copywriter to achieve it?
Thanks Craig, ‘Fervent’ Frank”
This is a common problem many people have – they trade time for money, doing the same things over and over again, only with different clients in front of them.
When I first started writing, back in 2000, I took on as many clients as I could. Since 2005, however, I’ve taken on MAYBE one or two clients a year and I charge them a small fortune to work with me.
I won’t take a client on, however, unless they are in a great position to make a significant ROI on their investment in hiring me, and… I also have some other criteria which is irrelevant right now. But the point is, I no longer trade time for money.
I make the lion’s share of my money as a publisher and consulting in group (and some individual) formats. This gives you far more control over your destiny than when you are dependent on the whims of clients.
As a copywriter, there are things you have in your favor, which allow you to enter and exit any number of different businesses, rather easily. I’ve done this multiple times during the last 5 years.
For starters, unless he is open to working with a partner (another topic for another day), Frank should think about getting into businesses that are primarily marketing driven. For example, running a consulting company showing niche industries how to generate more leads and make more money using better marketing, is solely a marketing-driven business.
This is also the kind of business that gives you reliable monthly continuity income.
Running a boutique plastic surgery practice, on the other hand, isn’t primarily a marketing-driven business. While great marketing can create DRAMATIC, sweeping changes in both the number of clients and the amount of money you get out of each client in a plastic surgery practice… you’re still going to need someone to do the actual surgery. Which makes running a business like this a little more complicated.
Another business to look at, that is marketing driven, are those kinds of businesses where the product is the focus of what you’re selling, as opposed to a consulting business, where YOU are the focus of what you’re selling.
For instance, selling durable and non-durable goods to consumers, is a business that is marketing driven, but it’s one where you don’t need any particular level of expertise. You don’t need to be an expert in anything other than marketing, to do this.
So really, the options you have, as long as you can write and create effective marketing pieces… are endless.
The easiest (and fastest) place for Frank to start, is by getting into a niche industry and teaching the people in this industry how to generate pre-qualified leads (this is literally every businesses biggest weakness) and increase earnings.
Since he’s a copywriter, he can create lead generation ads and other marketing materials for them, and make this his opening front-end platform. If he’s in the right marketplace, this business will expand organically from here.
This is how a number of people in my Mastermind group got started, as well.
But the point is this: If you have a skill set you can use to make money — and Lord knows good copywriters can make money very easily — then why use that skill-set to make money for others?
Why not use it to make money for yourself, first and foremost?
Here’s what my experience shows me, about why people don’t do this — and I’m not saying Frank is in this situation, at all — but this is what happens to most people who write copy.
They are typically not very good at business, in general – many wanted to become a famous fiction writer, but just couldn’t do it. And few understand things like financial statements, cash flow, or the dynamics of how to scale things up and how to manage multiple things going on at the same time.
Most are NOT good with people. Inherent in being a writer is dealing with long periods of quiet and solitary. Most people who are attracted to this kind of lifestyle, aren’t very gregarious or outgoing.
Me personally, I can run with the rabbit or hunt with the fox on this one. I’m extremely outgoing, but I don’t have a tremendous need to be social all the time. I’m quite content spending most of my time with my wife and kids, and socializing only occasionally. But I am probably the aberration here. Virtually every writer I’ve ever met is naturally quiet and on the shy side.
Most of them are somewhat unsure of themselves when it comes to taking the kind of positioning you need, to command authority and be a center of influence. This makes running any kind of a business difficult to do, from a marketing standpoint.
Again, this tends to hurt someone’s ability to leave the “jobber” role of writing copy for a living.
So what should copywriters do in this situation?
The answer is simple: if you want to do something more than just writing copy, you need to make changes in your business, and in your life. And if, for example, you struggle with either business matters, or being more outgoing… you have to find someone else to fill those roles, either as a partner or a paid for hired employee or freelancer.
Or hopefully, the pain of being a “jobber” is greater than the pain of having to make these personality changes and adjustments, and you’ll be able to leave your old self behind and enter a new, and more emotionally and financially fulfilling phase of life.
Hope this helps, Frank.
Send in your submissions while you still have time. I’ll be using the best ones as examples over the next few weeks.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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