If you do any reading about business, you’ll already know that a big topic is “scale”—as in “how to scale your business.” It’s an important topic for businesses big and small…and, my copywriter friend, it’s an important topic for growing your copywriting business, too.
In a nutshell, “scaling” is growing your business. Ideally, it involves growing your business in profit as effectively and efficiently as possible. Which sounds good, right?
And it may also sound kind of hard. After all, freelance copywriting—and that’s whether you do it full-time, as a side hustle to another full-time job, or part-time—involves finding clients, writing for them, invoicing them, and then moving on to the next batch of clients.
How do you “scale” that unless you grow an extra set of hands?
The great news is that scaling your copywriting business is a whole lot easier than adding new appendages. It just involves thinking of your business in a different way.
Scale Your Copywriting Business With Existing Clients
The biggest enemy to scaling your business is thinking of your freelance clients as “one and done.”
In fact, the fastest and easiest way to quickly scale your copywriting business is to get more work from current and past clients.
Think about it: the ramp-up time to starting work is exponentially faster with current and past clients. Instead of trying to find new potential clients and sell them on how great your work for them would be…you reach out to people who have already worked with you and who already know how great your work is.
Here’s how to get more work out of both current and past clients:
Pitch More Work to Your Current Clients
Timing is key to getting your clients to agree to new projects. Often, they’re already juggling several projects and the one you’re already writing for them is just one of many. The best time to suggest sitting down to talk about new project ideas is just before you finish up a project—there may be minor edits left—or just after you finish it.
Suggest a 15-minute call with your clients so that you can walk them through a few ideas you have. Remember that even the pitch should be focused on their benefit. So, if they’re a restaurant, it might be talking about “a few ideas to get even more new customers in the door.” Or “getting more reservations from current customers.”
Because you’re familiar with their business (you’ve just written a project for them, after all!) you probably have a whole slew of ideas for projects. Again, though, we don’t want to overwhelm your clients. When you get them on the call, pitch them no more than three of your very best, most high-impact ideas for projects.
Get on the call fully prepared to describe the project, exactly how it will benefit your client, how long it will take you to do, and what you’ll charge for it.
Not every single client will be ready to jump into a new project right away. If they’re not, make sure you make a note to reach back out after a month or three months to re-pitch your ideas. There’s no sense in letting a good client get away!
Pitch New Projects to Past Clients
By “past clients,” I mean clients that you’ve worked with in the past one to three years. Any longer than that and the client may not remember you—and at that point, you’re basically starting fresh with that relationship.
So, for these recent past clients, reach out to them and offer to set up a “marketing strategy call.” Let them know that this is a service you provide for free to past clients to help keep them on track and ensure that their marketing is fully supporting their business goals.
Before the Strategy Call
Before the call, do as much research about them as you can to refresh yourself about their business, as well as get up to date with any changes. Jot down ideas you have for projects, of course, but you don’t necessarily need to fully flesh these out yet.
During the Strategy Call
On the call, spend the first half of it asking your previous clients questions to get a good understanding of where they are and where they want to go. Things like, “How have your business goals changed over the last year? [or, “since we last worked together?”], “What are your current frustrations with your business?” and “What are the top three things you’d like to change about your business?”
You’re looking to get an understanding of both their greatest goals as well as their greatest pain points. The projects you present to them should either help them reach their goals, help them eliminate their pain points or, best of all, do both.
You should be prepared to talk through some ideas on the call. You don’t necessarily have to give them a polished pitch, though. The ideas you have will be based on the discussion you have and that information will be only moments old.
Think of this as more of a brainstorm session between the two of you. When you hit on a project or project that your client likes and might want to move forward with, you can let them know you’d like to spend a little time developing a project scope. Also let them know you’ll send along a description and price within a day or two.
Ask for Referrals to Your Copywriting Business
Here’s a little bonus tip: Because these strategy calls can be great ways to land work, they’re valuable for both you and the person you’re talking to. Let your client know that you only schedule a limited number of these free calls.
You can also let them know if they’d like to refer one of their colleagues/other business owners they know (and help those people get a free strategy call with you), you’d be happy to accommodate that as a “thank you” to them. They get to give an exclusive “gift” to a colleague, the colleague gets valuable marketing ideas, and you get to talk to a potential client!
Stay Focused on Copywriting
This may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning since so many copywriters spread themselves too thin: stay focused on copywriting.
If your goal is to be a copywriter, you should be focused on tasks that move that goal forward. It’s all too easy to get distracted by a bajillion other things, including design, UX, copyediting, and SEO, among other skills. Remember: these are entirely separate careers! They require their own training, and adding them as services (especially early on in your copywriting career) is just going to slow you down. (Plus, when you spread yourself too thin, you end up offering clients sub-par services…and reduce the likelihood of them hiring you again).
Focus on what’s going to move your business forward. That also means cutting out distractions like spending days agonizing over your business name and nothing else, or spending 10 hours getting business cards printed, or working an entire weekend on a logo. You don’t need any of this. What you need to have a copywriting business is copywriting clients!
Nicki and Kate sat down with a Comprehensive Copywriting Academy student, Madeline, to talk about how spreading our focus in too many places actually prevents us from achieving our goals faster. Listen into the conversation and check in with yourself to see if you’re trying to take on too many things at once!
Your turn! Which of these strategies will you implement right away to start scaling your business? Let us know in the comments below.
Last Updated on December 7, 2022