One of the cool things about copywriting is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time job. People can do it part-time to make some additional cash (whether for a vacation, a new car, retirement, or any other reason), part-time to test out and see if they want to do it full-time, or even do it part-time as they raise their children.
But how do you go about creating a part-time copywriting career?
At Filthy Rich Writer, you’ll often hear us say we are not fans of the “jump and the net will appear advice.” Sometimes the best way to build a full-time copywriting career is to start part-time. And sometimes you don’t want to leave a full-time job you love! Whatever your personal reason for pursuing copywriting part-time, here are steps to get you started.
Step 1: Get Training in Copywriting
Every copywriter, full-time, part-time, freelance, or on staff should start in the same place: by getting training. A part-time copywriter needs the same training that a full-time one does. After all, a brain surgeon that works 10 hours a week doesn’t need to know less than a brain surgeon that works 40 hours. I actually found it so hard to find a good and thorough copywriting training that I created one, myself. Our Comprehensive Copywriting Academy (CCA) is just what I wanted (and needed) when I was starting out.
And, of course, as part of that training, you get experience. You’ll create spec ads to build your portfolio. Trainings like the CCA will also take you through how to find, land, and interact with clients as a professional copywriter. Knowing how to write copy is important, but so is how to build your business as a professional!
Step 2: Consider Your Part-Time Hours
If your part-time has to be in the evenings and on weekends, you’ll be limiting the type of work you can take on and it might take you a bit longer to build up a solid client base. At the same time, though, since you’re only looking to fill 10-20 hours of your time per week instead of 40 hours, you might not find it very challenging at all.
If you have a full-time job and are building your part-time business around that, you may block off your lunch break to be able to take a few client calls. Many small business clients or solopreneurs are used to working odd hours (or at least not the traditional 9-to-5), but it certainly helps to have a lunch break if you need some daytime hours for a quick call here or there.
Step 3: Find Clients
Now that you have your time boundaries set, it’s time to start looking for your clients in earnest. You need to gear yourself and your search for the kinds of clients that won’t need you on-site (if you’re not available to do that) and won’t mind if you work evenings or weekends.
Who are these dream clients?
- Search small businesses throughout your area, your city, your state, and beyond.
- Next, expand your search to small online companies. Many start-ups, especially, are in need of copywriting help on a part-time basis and don’t have a problem with you working remotely. Don’t let me discourage you from pursuing larger online companies, though—it can be hard to know a client’s needs until you’re actually in touch with them.
- Design studios (small firms started by a designer with perhaps only one or two people on staff) often have a need for copywriters with flexible schedules. A simple search on LinkedIn and/or Google will help you find them.
- Another great group to target is solopreneurs: one-person companies who often need copywriting help for their websites and emails. Many life and health coaches fall into this category, but there are nearly endless business types within this category. Look for businesses that seem to be based around one person and that person’s services or products.
You can start your search in your city, but don’t feel too limited by geography. The magic of the Internet and sites/services like Zoom, Google Docs, and Dropbox mean you can collaborate with people across the country and even well around the world. You may find your part-time schedule filling up faster than you even dreamed.
Step 4: Pitch Those Clients
Here’s the thing that trips a lot of would-be copywriters up: they think businesses don’t need or want their services. And that is dead wrong.
As long as your pitches are value added (which is the way we teach CCA students), then these prospective clients will welcome them.
Watch Alicia’s Story
Alicia loves her full-time job and has no plans to leave. She happens to love copywriting, too. She shares her story about building a part-time copywriting business and how it’s totally possible to do multiple things you love!
Your turn! Does part-time copywriting hold a special appeal for you? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Kate Sitarz