There are two types of copywriting clients, one kind you want; the other you don’t. There are some dead giveaways to which is which, and it’s important that you aren’t inadvertently marketing to attract the most difficult type of copywriting client. That’s the first one, by the way:
First Type of Copywriting Client: One Who Doesn’t Know They Want a Copywriter
The first is the kind of copywriting client who doesn’t know they want to hire a copywriter. This is a tough one. In certain industries, admittedly, you’ll encounter this more than others. For instance, in older or established businesses or in businesses that have yet to undergo a digital transformation, it may be more likely that a marketer or advertiser wears all the hats. Companies that don’t have a robust or diverse marketing strategy probably haven’t dealt much with individual copywriters or copywriting teams. Okay, fine. The problem is, these types of copywriting clients need convincing.
I see people appealing to clients like this all of the time, especially on my Instagram feed. It’s a lot of posts like:
10 reasons your business needs a copywriter
How a copywriter will help you grow your business
I sometimes wonder if copywriters who market themselves this way actually realize what they’re going for. Do you really want a client who doesn’t already know they need a copywriter?
To be honest, most of us don’t want this (and the accompanying headaches). Clients who don’t know they want a copywriter will be difficult. This is because they have no process for managing content creation or copywriters, plus they may not be totally bought into your value. If you have to spend a lot of time convincing a client they need your services, you are already on a knife edge.
For my money, I far prefer the second type of copywriting client:
Second Type of Copywriting Client: One Who Knows They Want a Copywriter
Ahhhh, sweet relief. The absolute easiest and best type of copywriting client (to be fair, it’s a sliding scale), is a client who already knows they want a copywriter. These are usually established brands who either have internal marketing departments or who outsource to a digital marketing agency. Like I say in the video, the best place to find these clients is typically through a marketing agency or marketing department.
In my experience, this is a superior kind of client for many reasons:
They know what to expect from a copywriter
They already have a content strategy and marketing messaging in place
They can manage editing and revision cycles and provide feedback
They won’t expect you to do things far outside a typical copywriting scope (like dev or design work)
The truth is, copywriters are specialists. My entire agency is a team of specialists who almost only write (I mean, we do some other stuff but we prefer not to talk about it because then people want to hire us for that stuff). Our bread and butter is words. The best people to hire people like us (professional copywriters) are professional marketers or business owners who understand marketing.
If you want these types of clients, you’re going to spend less time talking about the power or value of copywriting and more time talking about your individual results. You don’t have to sell people on an entire concept: you just have to sell them on your personal skills and abilities. This is far easier, and something with which you should be much more familiar.
What’s more, with this type of client, you run less of a risk that they won’t get it and will ditch you early on. That kind of churn is hard to recover from, and if you try it over and over again, you’re going to severely undercut your personal career growth and income.
So, those are the two types of copywriting clients - spot them early, market yourself correctly and you’ll be headed in the right direction of building some long-term contracts and client relationships. Good luck!