In this episode, Nicki and Kate are talking about when you should work for free as a copywriter; which is basically never! The hosts explain why some copywriters offer to work for free and why offering your services for free will ultimately hurt your career.
Listen to this episode to hear Nicki and Kate share what you can do to prove yourself instead of working for free and how to avoid situations where you might not get paid what your expertise is worth.
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Check out the episode on Youtube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[0:45] Nicki and Kate preface the show with the advice that you should almost never offer your copywriting services for free. Nicki mentions that new copywriters have a habit of offering their services for free thinking it will help them land work, but ultimately it ends up hurting their careers.
[3:27] Kate points out that it can seem easier to offer services for free. But, she explains that you’re better off quoting your services for what they’re worth even if you’re feeling nervous at the start.
[4:37] Nicki shares a scenario where you could do a small sample of work for free to show the client that you know what you’re doing. But, she emphasizes that this needs to be a very small sample, something you can do in under half an hour.
[8:43] Kate mentions that you could create a spec piece targeted at a certain client and put it in your portfolio, but this wouldn’t qualify as working for free since you’re creating the ad to benefit yourself and the client is likely never going to use that spec ad.
[11:24] Our hosts discuss copy tests and the role they play in unpaid work. Kate and Nicki say that this needs to be a paid test or a super small, limited test.
[14:27] Kate illustrates the fact that there are plenty of clients out there willing to pay you what your copywriting services are worth, not lower. But, she notes that to be respected by clients you need to respect yourself in both business and personal situations. This means charging friends and family when they ask you to complete a copywriting task that takes much more than 5-10 minutes.
[19:32] There’s nothing wrong with creating a blanket discount for friends and family, just don’t severely undercut your regular rate. But, it’s also well within your rights to refuse to take any friends and family work in order to avoid any difficult situations altogether.
[21:12] Nicki and Kate remind us that you should very, very rarely provide your copywriting services for free. You and your work are worth so much more than a free service, so learn to embrace that! There’s nothing wrong with getting paid for doing your job!
- What is a Copy Test and Should You Do One?
- The Importance of Spec Ads in Your Portfolio
- The Cardinal Sin for New Copywriters
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 20+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.
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Last Updated on December 11, 2023