I’m almost reluctant to admit it, but until someone in the CCA Facebook group mentioned well-known and “famous” copywriters, I had no idea famous copywriters were a thing.
Thinking about all the professional copywriters in my network, none of them have a major presence beyond their online portfolio.
We’re all heads down, working on projects and, generally, see ourselves as part of a larger team pulling off great work (designers, creative directors, strategists, developers, etc.).
You could make the case that I’m not “up” on what’s trending in the space.
But here’s the truth: after looking at a few of these beautifully designed sites, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. And neither should you.
Of course, that wasn’t my initial reaction.
My gut reaction?
“Why doesn’t your website look like this, Kate?!“
But while we all learn (or are learning) not to physically compare ourselves to others, for some reason that becomes harder to do when it’s about your career.
Many of these copywriters are touting making seven figures and helping others make seven figures. Maybe they are. And that’s great!
Sure, I make a fantastic living as a copywriter. But a nice paycheck is only one perk of copywriting.
And that’s just it: I’m writing copy.
Many of these copywriters are selling courses. They’re selling workshops. They’re selling $1,000/hour coaching calls (really?!). They’re bragging about astronomical rates.
And, in at least one case, I’ve seen them selling copy templates (though that’s beyond me how a copywriting template is helpful for clients when one size does not fit all and any email, website, etc. should be designed and written with a specific goal in mind … OK that’s beside the point 🙂 ).
Above all? They’re personas.
And most copywriters, well, aren’t. They’re working for big-named brands or small businesses alike. They’re coming up with killer concepts and writing effective copy. They’re collaborating with designers. And they’re having fun, making great money—no bells or whistles necessary.
If you spend a lot of time in the online space, following these copywriters on Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms you’re constantly checking throughout the day, then it may seem like these writers are everywhere and this is what you absolutely must do become as a copywriter in order to achieve “success.”
And you certainly can!
But becoming a persona isn’t something you have to do. And you don’t necessarily want to mirror your portfolio based on what they’re doing.
Remember: we have no idea if what they’re doing is effective. Some may be as wildly successful as they tout. However, I’ve noticed several of these writers making drastic changes to their sites and what they’re selling. Is that an indicator of anything? Maybe.
I’ve also noticed a lot of gorgeous sites with no portfolio.
As a prospective client, that’s a red flag to me. If I’m going to pay a premium for copywriting services, I definitely want proof of the actual work itself!
Some say their clients don’t allow them to share their work. That may be true of some projects. But if you’ve worked on a webpage, and it’s in the public domain, why wouldn’t you share it?
All that aside, there’s only one thing you need to ask yourself: How do I define success?
You’re here to work on your copywriting business.
And if you want to work 10 hours a week to have more family time, your path to reach your goals may look different than someone who wants to make six figures a year as a freelancer or someone who wants to be more of an influencer in the space or someone who wants to work at an ad agency full time.
The one thing you need for copywriting success no matter how you define it? Experience writing copy.
Once you gain experience, it may give you more ideas for where you want to take your career or completely change your goal.
You can certainly look to others for inspiration, but the second it takes you down that rabbit hole of, “Why am I not there yet? Will I ever be this good? I need to pay $5,000 for a website and branding stat!” you need to stop.
Comparing ourselves to others is never healthy and that includes copywriting.
There’s plenty of work out there for everyone.
Your turn! How do you define success when it comes to copywriting? Let us know in the comments below!