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There Are Many Ways to Skin a Freelance Copywriter
By: Mona Sabbah
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As a freelance copywriter, how do you get business? I get this question a lot, both from clients and creatives alike. For a number of people, the ultimate goal is to work for themselves: their preferred hours, deadlines, and clients. Yes, experienced creatives have options. If the job description boasts “Are you passionate? Do you dream of being published?” it’s not for me and it shouldn’t be for you, either. After 12 years in AdLand, I’m not looking for internships — just like you, I’m looking to be respected and paid accordingly.

So how will you get business besides the obvious advertising and relationship-building? I find that clients respect you even more when you’re efficient and productive on their behalf. It shows initiative, maturity, and really sets the stage for a solid relationship. I find my credibility shines during those times. Doesn’t yours? So before you embark on a new assignment, consider the various ways of working with that particular client.

For example, if the company’s employees take on research and deliver the findings, then the client is only responsible for the copywriting part of it. If they want someone on-site for 40 hours a week, because there’s “a lot” of work, try it out and see what work flow is really like. You may realize you can do it in half the time, so bring it up and point out the savings. Your client looks good and you can take on more freelance work. It’s a win-win.

Another great tip is to take on the gig, but work with junior or mid-level creatives that you can oversee — preferably, people you’ve worked with before. This, again, reframes clients’ budgets. You can also review and suggest different deadlines. If you know you’ll have a lull in the upcoming weeks, propose to work with them at a later date and offer a rate they’re happier with.

Copywriting is what I love to do and consider it a major blessing in my life. The way I see it, if you truly want to make it work, you’ll make it work.


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About the Author
Mona Sabbah is a Senior Copywriter/Creative Director with over 12 years of experience writing for print, TV, radio, and online. Mona has worked on a number of accounts from The Florida Lottery to Air Canada and Keiser University. You can see some of her work at http://www.miamicopywriter.com/. Find her on Twitter at @miamicopywriter.
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