As our students can attest, when you land your first few clients you feel elation followed very quickly by panic. (Which, by the way, does subside and occurs much less often as you land more and more clients.)
The reason for this panic is that it’s now time to walk the walk as well as you talk the talk—to actually do the work you’ve been practicing and preparing for. And that’s natural; once you’ve gotten through your first few projects and have proven to yourself that you can do it (spoiler alert: you can), that nervousness will abate.
But that panic also comes up for another reason: You’re forgetting that YOU are the expert. When we’re trying to pitch and land clients, it can be easy to focus on what we want (the work) and forget that we are actually offering them a valuable service.
In other words, they’re not doing you a favor by hiring you; they’re hiring you because they need your valuable help.
Your client is not a marketing or copywriting expert.
(Unless you’re working for a creative director, of course, but that’s a slightly different scenario. And even then—you were hired for a reason.)
And because your client is not a marketing or copywriting expert, they have HIRED a copywriting expert to help them: You.
And they need that expert (you) to guide them when it comes to their projects.
Just the way a homeowner may have a general idea about what projects done but looks to a construction contractor for advice and guidance, your clients will look to you.
When you’re discussing a project with a client, don’t be shy to share ideas or recommendations. That insight you offer is incredibly valuable to your clients because they don’t have that same insight or expertise themselves.
Even when you haven’t yet landed many clients, your studying and practice give you insight into best practices that your client doesn’t know and key marketing opportunities that your client doesn’t know to look for.
For example, a client may have been told by their business coach that they need a “sales funnel” but they don’t necessarily know what that entails, how many emails that should include, how to get people into it and where to send people after it.
Just because a client tells you “I need a sales funnel” doesn’t mean they actually have a full and complete understanding of the project.
You’ve done the studying and the practicing and the honing of your skills to get to this point. And, yes, you’ll likely be nervous when you land your first few copywriting clients.
But never forget: you are the expert and they need the expertise that you offer. The only way you can do them a disservice is by not sharing that expertise and insight with them.
Your turn! What makes you nervous about landing clients? Or have you developed any techniques for getting over the nerves? Let me know in the comments below.