One of the most common questions I get from people who are interested in getting into copywriting is, “Great, I’m interested—but when will I start to make money?” If this question is on your mind, too, good news: We’ve got your answers in today’s article. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Chloe Y. who asks, “I’m really excited to get started learning. But once I do, how long will it be before I start earning some income?”
So, I’ll answer this question for you and for Chloe and, in doing so, I’m going to presuppose that you’re on an actual copywriting study tract. One of the biggest mistakes that trips people up (and keeps them from making money) is trying to get copywriting work without actually knowing how to write copy. Copywriting is a skill just like any other and requires training to learn it. No one’s going to hire you to be a cowboy if you don’t know how to rope a steer and ride the range.
That’s actually the reason that we created our own copywriting training: It’s been hard for people to find good copywriting training, much less a training that’s both affordable and thorough.
Back to the answer. Well, in a nutshell, you can start making money as soon as you know what you’re doing. That sounds like a very vague answer, I know. But, really, anyone who tries to give you a specific answer is just BSing you.
As soon as you start to have a basic grip on copywriting, you can start finding yourself some small business clients. I always recommend starting out with small business clients because you will almost always know so much more than they do about copywriting and marketing. And I don’t mean that in a superior way, but only to mean that you can start helping them very quickly. And, again, depending on how much you want to learn and how quickly and how well you assimilate the information, you could conceivably start trying to get your first clients within a couple of weeks.
Then, as you learn more and as you get more samples for your portfolio, you can start branching out to design studios and ad agencies and in-house agencies.
The time it takes you to start earning money is really all on you. There are some people whose schedules are packed and can’t dedicate a ton of time to learning or who want to take it at a slower pace and there are some people who will go at it, guns blazing.
And, again, I can’t make you any promises, but I can tell you how the timing worked out for one of my students.
Christina started working with me just a little over nine months ago. Like a lot of people, she wasn’t happy at her job and, on top of that, things at her company were a little shaky. So, she decided she needed a change. She was looking for a career she’d enjoy, a career she could grow in, and a career she could makes some money in.
She’d always enjoyed writing and she thought maybe copywriting might work for her, but she didn’t really know much about it. She’d never done it before.
Well, she found us and started training. (And wouldn’t you know it, just a few weeks after she started training, she lost her job. But she kept pushing on anyway.) Our training is all self-paced, so she could do it when she had time to do it while she was dealing with her job situation and then the aftermath in the other hours. And then, of course, too, she started being able to find herself some copywriting work to bring in some cash.
So, skipping forward a bit, about a three months ago, I got an email from her. I hadn’t heard from her and she hadn’t joined in the student calls for a month or two, so I was curious to see how she was doing. Well, it turns out she was doing pretty darn well: She had just landed a full-time, freelance position at Leo Burnett in Chicago. And if you’re not familiar with Leo Burnett, it’s a major global advertising firm.
She was thrilled and I was thrilled for her. So, timeline? She landed that about six months after she started training with us; six months from knowing nothing about copywriting to working with one of the biggest and most powerful ad agencies in the world.
And there’s no magic to it either. She learned. She took the steps we gave her to build her portfolio and she took the steps we gave her to network. She worked and she made it happen. Could it take you longer? Of course; it depends on the time you dedicate to learning and to building your portfolio. Could you do it faster? Sure. It’s all on you.