It’s not easy starting a new career, much less building a successful one. Building a copywriting career is a big goal, and big goals are almost always challenging. Think about it. Running a marathon, raising a healthy and happy child, writing a book, and losing 100 pounds are big goals are all difficult.
It can feel scary and cause you to doubt yourself more than anything else you’ve done in a very long time—that’s normal.
But people accomplish big goals all the time.
When someone runs a marathon, is it because they love going out in subzero temperature to train? When people raise a child, is it because they love getting pooped on and yelled at periodically? When someone writes a book, is it because they love the slog of sitting down and writing pages no matter how crappy they think they are? When someone loses 100 pounds, is it because they enjoy limiting what they eat and spending much more time in the gym?
You get where I’m going.
If you want to have any hope of sticking with a big goal, there’s one question you need to be able to answer—and need to be able to keep that answer in mind. So, what is the big question you need to answer to be a successful copywriter?
Your Big Why
People accomplish big goals because they have a purpose. They have a Big Why.
Determining the ultimate end goal for why you want to accomplish something big is critical to your success.
“I’m running a marathon to raise money for cancer research.” “I’m raising a child because I want to feel love from my child and contribute a good person to the world. “I’m writing a book because I want to contribute my voice to the world.” “I’m losing 100 pounds because I want to be healthier and live to walk my daughter down the aisle.”
How to Identify Your Big Why
So, what’s your purpose for building a copywriting career? What’s your Big Why?
Your answer is going to be personal to you, but it’s also got to be compelling to you. “Eh, I want to try it” isn’t going to get you to stick with it when things get tough. But maybe, “I need a career in which I can be creative and be respected for it” is. Or maybe, “I need a career in which I can express myself in writing and get paid well for it” is you Big Why.
Or maybe it’s neither of those. It’s up to you to figure out your own Big Why.
And you need to do it.
First, spend some time brainstorming the reasons you want to become a copywriter. Don’t censor yourself. Let it all out.
Then, walk away. No, really. Go for a walk. Sleep on it.
Come back to your list. Circle the top three reasons from your brainstorm. What are the connections between these three things? For example, if you put being able to pick up your kids from school or extra cash for family vacations, maybe your Big Why is something like “The flexibility to be there for my family both physically and financially.”
Your Big Why helps carry you through when times get tough. Your Big Why gets you through the month when you’re getting nothing but no’s from prospects to the month when clients can’t get enough of you.
You need to spend some time thinking about your Big Why, and you need to make it as compelling and inspiring as possible.
And then you need to plaster it everywhere.
Make it your phone’s background picture or its locked screen (or both). Put it on your fridge. Put it on your computer’s screensaver. And when you see it, read it and think about it.
Revisit Your Big Why
Your Big Why is not a set-it-and-forget-it sort of thing. As your life moves on and your personal and professional life evolve, you’re going to want to evolve your Big Why with it!
Comprehensive Copywriting Academy students revisit their Big Why ever year as part of the annual Write Start planning event (the workbook has an entire section on brainstorming your Big Why and your definition of success). We suggest revisiting it at least once a year to make sure it’s still in line with your goals and is still the motivating force behind why you do what you do.
You can be successful at building a career. But it’s going to get hard sometimes, and you’re going to need a greater purpose—your Big Why—to pull you through. So take some time now to come up with your Big Why. It’ll be worth it.
What’s your Big Why? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on July 4, 2023