Want an easy way to grow your copywriting portfolio while growing your copywriting business?
Hey, why stop at one — here are seven time-saving ways!
You’re about to discover how to create a copywriting portfolio and build your network at the same time.
It’s tough enough building relationships with client prospects without taking the time to grow a rock star portfolio to show them once you’re in a conversation with them.
It’s a real chicken and egg scenario…
How in the heck do you put together a collection of copywriting samples without having a client to write for?
And yet how can you land a great client without a great portfolio?
Even Pros Need a Strong Copywriting Portfolio
If you’re a beginning copywriter, you may face this dilemma.
But even experienced pros need to keep their portfolios fresh with new copy.
The real enemy in this scenario is paralysis by perfectionism… Trying to get your portfolio just right before going out to land that perfect client.
The best way to get started is to… well, get started.
Let’s say you just completed one of those awesome copywriting courses for beginners.
You’re ready to start reaching out to your ideal clients. You’re going to need a portfolio to show off — and quick!
To help you “prime the pump”, here are seven quick copywriting projects that’ll help you nurture client relationships while building your copywriting portfolio.
1. Mail a Hand Written Thank You Note
Not only will it expand your sense of gratitude, you’ll vitalize your personal network. And heck, you might even enjoy it! The secret to making this work for you is to do it with a generous spirit expecting nothing in return. Unless you write really long thank you notes, you’ll at least have a quick bit of short form copy to show off. It’s a start. Time next to…
2. Interview an Expert
Believe it or not, people actually do answer their phones and emails. You won’t engage unless you try.
One way to not sound like you’re just trying to waste their time on a sales pitch they don’t need is to ask for an informational conversation. It could be a great opportunity to learn what’s really going in their world. What challenges are they facing? What new problems might you solve for them? Who knows, you might come up with a whole new and highly profitable product or service.
You’ve probably heard of restaurants discovering whole new niches in take-out, delivery and new specialties. Doing a little “market research” by simply talking with customers could reveal a whole new opportunity for you. Transcribe the interview and turn it into an article.
3. Send Somebody 10 New Ideas
Podcaster and serial entrepreneur James Altucher recommends thinking up 10 ideas every day. Sometimes he’ll send a list of 10 ideas to somebody he’d like to add to his network. It’s led to invitations to visit Amazon headquarters, present for Google, get Mark Cuban on his podcast and more. Most of the time, he says, nothing comes of these lists.
You never know. But sometimes good things can happen. Why not give it a try instead of binge-watching Netflix? (Not that you would ever do that.) At the very least, now you’ve got the start of a “Listicle” you’ve authored.
4. Pull Off The “Mask”
This one could be challenging, but profoundly worthwhile. Especially with social media pressuring us to show off our “perfect lives”, it feels uncomfortable to be vulnerable.
A former addict, now highly successful business owner relates this is what they practice in Alcoholics Anonymous. We’re all addicted to presenting a “mask” to the world hiding our flaws. To get past the addiction, you need to rigorously reveal your true self in every interaction, even if you find it threatening.
One caveat: As a leader, you do need to show confidence and competence. Now you’ve got a nice start on your bio — great job, keep going!
5. Rewrite your website
You know it needs it. This can be as simple as cleaning up your garage, attic or basement. A little de-cluttering can go a long way. Get very clear on the ONE message it delivers and the ONE thing you want your visitors to do. You need a call to action button above the fold. Call, book an appointment, make a purchase, get your newsletter.
And if they’re not ready to do any of those things, give them an alternative — download a report, white paper, checklist, resource guide etc. so you can nurture the relationship until they’re ready to take the next steps with you. Naturally, your website will be one of the first places a prospective client wants to see.
6. Go Deep and Develop Your “Brand”
Take advantage of the slow time before you land a project to clarify your brand as a copywriter. Talk to prospective clients, team members, friends… Look at your competition — what are they doing that you can “swipe and deploy” with your own unique twist?
This is some of the most difficult work you’ll ever do. And wordsmithing what you come up with takes real effort. But the muscles this little exercise builds both for yourself and your brand are well worth it. It may simply be restating your Unique Value Proposition, but if you can do that well for yourself, a prospective client will see you can do that for them too.
7. Write a Sales Letter
You may not have the luxury of a solid reputation and clients flocking to you with writing projects. Trust me, once that happens, you’ll wish you had more time on your hands. You can find the time.
And if you’re not sure how to write a good sales letter, get Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Sales Letter, Michael Masterson’s The Architecture of Persuasion or Evaldo Albuquerque’s 16-Word Sales Letter. As legendary copywriter Gary Halbert said, a good sales letter can solve pretty much any problem in life.
Voilà — Your Copywriting Portfolio is Looking Good!
(And so are your business prospects!)
So there you have it, seven ways to grow your copywriting business while building your portfolio.
And you know what?
They don’t just work when you’re just starting out — they work pretty much ANY time!
Good luck and let me know if you found this helpful in the comments below.