When people get excited about a new career, they often want to jump in with both feet. However, there are big benefits to starting that new career while you’re in your old one.
I can certainly appreciate the excitement of going all in on a new career … but I’m definitely not a “jump and build a net on the way down” kind of person. It makes a lot of sense to build up your copywriting career while your full-time job is still something else.
When you have a full-time job to rely on, you can take things at your own pace. The financial security is great on its own, of course, but it also means that you don’t panic when you get a “no” as you’re prospecting. (And you’ll get a lot of nos—it’s just how it works.)
How Do You Build Up Your Copywriting Business While in a Job?
So, how do you actually do it? Well, once you’ve learned the fundamentals of how to write copy, you’ll want to start prospecting for clients.
Start with Small Business Clients First
We recommend starting with small business clients for a few reasons, one is that their hours tend to be more flexible—just the way you’ll need them to be! Another reason is they may not ask for your copywriting portfolio. So, if you’re looking to get some samples to build your portfolio, it’s a great place to start. Plus, you’ll have a ton to offer these clients whose specialty isn’t copywriting!
Once you have some samples in your portfolio from your small biz clients, you can move on to solopreneurs. Much like small business clients, many solopreneurs won’t mind having meetings or taking phone calls on nights and weekends.
Set Aside Time on Your Nights and Weekends
You’ll also need to be sure to set aside some time on your nights and weekends for prospecting to get you those clients. The only downside about transitioning to a new career while you’re working at an old one is that you’ll have to put in some extra hours. If you plan ahead for it and just know you’ll be available for fewer happy hours or brunches, it won’t sting so much.
Carve Out Time During Your Lunch Hour for Calls
Be prepared, too, to make or take some calls over your lunch hour at work. You probably can’t do this at your desk, so map out your strategy. Is there a small conference room or nook you can duck into in the office? Can you make calls from your car? Or is there even a hallway in the building next door that will be quiet at noon?
Make Sure Your Day Job Stays Your Priority When You’re There
Above all, remember that while you’re at your day job, that day job needs to be your priority. No boss is going to have much patience for an employee who’s sacrificing their work for their next venture, no matter how exciting that venture may be. Professionalism in your current job is just good karma (not to mention good for references!) in your next one.
When you’re working for your day job, you’re all-in on your day job. When you’re done with your day job, then it’s time to go all-in on building your copywriting business. It’s easy to let these two bleed into one another, so make sure you have separate times for each.
If you find yourself switching back and forth, reassess your systems. Do you need to do your copywriting work in the early-morning hours before your day job? Or do you need to only use your weekends for it? Find what works for you!
Watch: Building a Copywriting Side Hustle With a Full-Time Job – Claire’s Story
Claire, a Comprehensive Copywriting student, built her copywriting business while she was still working a full-time job in a completely different industry. She enjoyed her full-time job, so there was no reason to go all-in on copywriting (though, spoiler: since we recorded this video, Claire decided to pursue her freelance copywriting business full time).
Are you getting into copywriting while working a full-time job? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on June 30, 2023