Living the life of writer often seems to be a life of putting down the words that you want; inspiring people to live their lives for a higher purpose and a freelance copywriter seems to have the best life of all. But the reality of day -to-day writing that a copywriter does is far from this idyllic dream.
Copywriting is an exciting and rewarding calling for those who can handle the responsibilities of operating a business, being creative and spending less time writing than they ever thought possible. But how can this be, how can a freelance copywriter not be able to spend much time writing?
People leave copywriting jobs all the time because of the lure of being a freelance copywriter and the freedom that they long to have. However, I’ve found that since going freelance my copywriting has almost taken a back seat to these 10 daily issues that running my own business requires.
The 10 Daily Tasks of the Successful Freelance Copywriter
1) Quoting Copywriting Jobs to Keep the Money Coming In
In the beginning of your copywriting career you’ll spend a huge amount of time quoting on copywriting jobs that you will never get. But you have to keep putting yourself and your work in the market in order to build a clientele. A freelance copywriter attempting to build their business to a point where they can survive needs to spend at least 25% of their time quoting and marketing for new work.
As a freelance copywriter you’ll need to have an understanding and feel for how long your own creative process requires. It also requires you to be a bit of a detective in order to be able to ferret out information about the companies you will be working for and what you can anticipate their budget for your project to be. Knowing your Unique Selling Proposition, sovepiller håndkøb or what differentiates you from the competition will go a long way toward defining your market and reduce much wasted time preparing quotes for jobs that do not fit you or the way you write.
2) Freelance Copywriting Proposal: A Quote in Sheep’s Clothing
A proposal for a freelance copywriting job will include a quote, but not the other way around. Often clients, especially new clients for the freelance copywriter, will request a proposal about a certain job. This is their way of shopping for the best freelance copywriter at the best price. Quotes are just your opportunity cost for the job, and a proposal is more of an outline of how you would attack a project.
The firm requesting a proposal from you should provide a well thought-out package of information so that you can provide them with accurate information on which they can award you the job. Your proposal will most often contain an abstract, an outline, summaries, call to action and your pricing.
3) Getting Work Reviewed: The Bane of the Freelance Copywriter
It is extremely tough to meet deadlines for a busy freelance copywriter. However, when a client requests to review work all along the way it always takes more time to complete a job. Providing the client with copy to review is simple, but getting it back is often hard to do. You must be persistent and continually push the client to get reviews back in a timely manner so that you can complete the job on time and provide them with the work they want.
4) Tracking a Freelance Copywriting Project
Regardless of the size of a project, I’ve always found it helpful to schedule and plan all the writing that I do. This helps me to stay aware of any deadlines plus work on multiple projects at the same time. There are a number of ways to track jobs but my way involves using a database program that I wrote using Microsoft Access. If you would like to use the same one that I do you can get a free copy of it here http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/contactsandjobs.mdb. You will need Microsoft Access installed in order to use and to enter a current date just press Ctrl+; to enter today’s date.
(To view Part 1 of the video CLICK HERE )
5) Keeping Track of your Cash
I write because I don’t do math extremely well, but to keep my business running you have to have a way of issuing invoices, taking payments and deposits, following up on unpaid invoices, recording expenses and managing your bank account. It takes time, especially if you, as a freelance copywriter, have several methods combined in an effort to accommodate your clients. Handling them manually or with a spreadsheet alone is almost impossible so you can use programs like MYOB and Quicken software. These really come in handy when it is time to do your tax reporting and the invoice tracking alone can save you a lot of time and money.
6) Client Visits at Their Office
Yes, even although you function as a freelance copywriter, you will have to make occasional visits to the client’s office. Sitting down and talking face to face with a client about projects often helps to clear up misunderstandings and allows you to get a feel for the work and the tone that should be used in your writing. It also allows you to talk with sales people and customer service people so that you have a different perspective on the project.
Presenting a proposal in person is also a major reason for going to a client’s office. Often the people who commission you would like to see your ideas in person and be able to ask questions before they hire you and if you are close enough or the job is lucrative enough a live organized presentation is always a good way to seal the deal. Always use good appointment etiquette and confirm the time and date of the meeting and be on time and be prepared. Before you leave from the appointment make sure you follow the copywriting protocol and ask for the sale.
7) Running Your Office
Office administration work is a necessary evil, whether it is talking to your ISP to make sure your internet is working properly, dealing with your own bills or doing website maintenance. Something always needs to be done and if you don’t schedule it, the tasks may build up until they begin to cost you productive time away from your freelance copywriting jobs. Factor this time into your day and also into the deadlines you promise to meet or you will find your work at home job working you to death!
8) Staying Abreast of the Copywriting World
If you are not aware of what the latest trends in copywriting are you will fall behind your competitors. We are seeing that a lot today as just now many copywriters are finding themselves behind the eight-ball when it comes to social media.
You can check out recent developments in SEO at http://www.divinewrite.com/SEOCEO.htm or subscribe to a newsletter from http://www.webpronews.com. Keep up with the words and language that is buzzing around the industry and understand the nuances of urban slang. Spend just 10 minutes a day reading about the copywriting industry from sources like http://divinewrite.com/articles.htm.
9) Research for Your Current Freelance Copywriting Jobs
A freelance copywriter spends a lot of time researching projects fordeveloping an intimate knowledge of not only the client’s product or service but also the top competitors in the same market. Often clients don’t provide enough information and you’ll be required to dig it up on your own.
Developing a standard set of questions that you can alter to specific clients is a good way to know that you are getting the information that you need. It is often a good idea to ask upfront before ever quoting a job about how much detailed info you will be getting from the client. Internet and offline research for a project can take a lot of time especially when you have to verify the sources for accuracy.
10) Plan Each Day, Each Job and Your Life
If you don’t do it now you really need to start taking 15 to 30 minutes at the beginning of your day or at the end of the day and plan your next work period. This small amount of planning can be as simple as writing a to-do-list or as specific as writing out time blocks for each thing you have to do.
Apply these 10 daily actions to your role of being a Freelance Copywriter!