When you realize you need a change, you want to have that change happen as soon as possible. And once you figure out how to make that change? Well, you want to motor through that process, until you break out into all of the success and happiness on the other side.
If you’ve found your way to copywriting and you’ve realized it’s the direction you want to take—you want to use your writing talent to build a career that allows you to be creative, respected and that pays you well—you probably want to get that going ASAP.
But “fast-tracking” success in a career isn’t necessarily about doing things faster. That is, you don’t have to do things faster to get to your success faster.
I know it’s very tempting for our students to try to get through the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy as quickly as possible. It’s self-paced, so why not?
And students are absolutely welcome to go through that material as quickly as they want to. But if they’re going through so quickly that they’re not absorbing the material and they’re not learning and they’re not giving themselves time to practice, they’re only putting themselves father behind.
Fast-tracking copywriting career success doesn’t come from speeding through the learning phase. You can move quickly, but you need to be sure you’re understanding the concepts. (Which is one of the reasons I’m constantly encouraging my students to ask me questions!)
In copywriting, one of the best ways to fast track your path to career success is a pretty simple concept: Flexibility.
Part of that flexibility is ensuring that your portfolio has a great depth and breadth of types of projects and industries. (I won’t get into it here, but here’s a post where I talk about how the advice to “choose a niche” right away is actually a pretty dangerous trap.)
Work on building up that depth of breadth with both spec ads, and then paid work (when you’re able to).
The second big part of that flexibility—and, what I would say is the biggest key to speedy success—is being flexible in the kind of work you’re willing to take. And I don’t just mean types of projects; I mean how you do them.
A lot of would-be copywriters get into it with the end goal of being 100%, work-from-anywhere freelance. And that’s absolutely worthy goal. (Though sometimes it’s not always everything it’s cracked up to be.)
But getting to the 100% remote freelance goal is a lot easier and faster if you’re flexible until that point. If you’re willing to take contract work, if you’re willing to work on-site part-time, if you’re willing to have lots of in-person meetings with a client, or even if you’re willing to work on-staff for a while first…you’ll get to your 100% freelance goal a lot faster.
And this also holds true for whatever your copywriting career goal is, whether it’s 100% freelance, 100% contracting, 100% on-staff, or some combination of those. The more flexible you are when it comes to willingness to take work, the faster you’ll hit your goals.
Why does this work? Well, being willing to take any of those kinds of positions or gigs opens up the potential work opportunities. Just think of it: If there are five possible ways to do copywriting work (for example, there are more!) and you limit yourself to only accepting work in one way, you’re cutting out 80% off your opportunities!
And those opportunities lead to more work and more opportunities. Any work you do for a company can lead to more work-either with that company, or through referrals from contacts you made working with that company.
Once you have tons of opportunities, then you can start narrowing down which ones you accept—or, even better, negotiating for those opportunities to look exactly the way you want them to.
Once you’ve worked with a company, or even when a company has a personal referral to you, you have so much more leverage. If they want you full-time but you only want to be a contractor? You have more leverage to offer that option. Or if they want you in the office, but you want to be remote? If they know you and trust you, they’ll be so much more willing for that to happen.
That’s right: Getting to the dream vision of your copywriting career will actually happen much faster if you open up your scope on the way to getting there.
Getting to a 100% remote, freelance career happens much faster if you’re first willing to take work that isn’t 100% remote, freelance work.
Can you still get to your end goal taking only the kind of work you want to take? Absolutely. It just may take a little longer.
But to fast track? Be flexible.
Your turn! What questions do you have about career flexibility? Let us know in the comments below!