With new businesses launched all the time, and new websites launched every day, there's a huge demand for freelance copywriting services. I'm talking about marketing copy - copy that sells or persuades a reader or visitor to do something (from clicking a link to requesting a quote to signing up for an email newsletter subscription).
Do you think you have what it takes to succeed as a freelance copywriter? Before jumping into freelance copywriting, take some time to learn more about the following three things: marketing fundamentals, sales, and consumer psychology. Understanding these three things to a better degree will absolutely help in a copywriting career.
You can't write effective copy for a client if you don't fully understand who their target market is. Not all clients can tell you that - they expect you to figure it out. So brush up on market research. This is also going to help you work with the client on using the copy in positioning them against competitors.
Take some time to look at existing sales and marketing materials (company websites, brochures, sales letters, landing pages, etc.). Find samples from sites you know are successful, and look for similarities, trying to understand why certain things work.
You know your target market, and you've looked at lots of examples. Other than simply copying the copy of others, you need to understand at least a little bit about consumer psychology in order to go from being an average copywriter to a great one. What does this mean? You'll want to understand why consumers do what they do, buy what they buy, and react to things in certain ways. For example, consumers react differently to different colors, and that knowledge is used in crafting marketing material all the time (so you might want to know what colors headings should be in a sales letter for example). This also goes back to market research. It's one thing to identify who that target market is. It's something else to really understand them and what motivates them to do what you want them to do (and what makes them decide against it). For example, if you're writing copy for a company targeting parents of young children, you'll need to understand what concerns those parents have, and what values they have when it comes to making purchases that affect their children.
You won't become an expert on all three fronts overnight. But start early, and make it a point to continue learning. Here are a couple of resources to get you started:
- Principles of Marketing - free online "textbook"
- Consumer Behavior: The Psychology of Marketing