“Where can I find freelance copywriting work?”
Is a question I’ve heard a lot on my social feeds this year. And amidst the traditional responses about social media, local networking, beefing up your PCN listing, content marketing and email marketing, there’s another route you shouldn’t forget:
Connecting with other copywriters
Other copywriters aren’t your competitors.
I know it’s tempting to think: ‘I’m looking for work, they’re probably looking for work, I must batten down the hatches and protect my business.’
But that’s a mistake that can cost you income and professional support. Here’s why.
Scalability is a big challenge for freelancers
When I worked in agency, we had a team of in-house copywriters to handle the workload. When you’re freelance, it’s just you. Which means you’re limited by the number of hours in a day/week/month. And you don’t spend all of your time writing – there’s all the management that comes with running your own business.
Let’s say I get an enquiry. I’ve already got work booked in and can’t shift those deadlines, but the client seems nice and I want to be helpful. I have 2 choices:
- Say ‘Thanks but I’ve got other client commitments during that time’ and recommend another copywriter
- Take on the job and subcontract work to another copywriter
Both those scenarios require a relationship with another good copywriter – someone I can trust to deliver a quality service (because my reputation is tied up with both scenarios).
You’d be surprised at how often freelancers want a name to put forward.
Subcontracting can make you a better copywriter
I’ve been very lucky in my career. I’ve worked with brilliant creative directors and copywriters who have given me constructive criticism and helped me develop ideas.
When you’re freelance, you leave lots of that infrastructure behind – and it can be lonely with no one to proofread your work or challenge (or confirm) your ideas.
When you do work with a more senior copywriter, you get that feedback loop. You open a document full of tracked changes and you start to refine your approach and technique.
So if you’re looking to fill your pipeline, have a word with your peers
Email other copywriters in the PCN directory, post in the PCN forums and LinkedIn groups, tweet using the #copywritersunite hashtag. You may be surprised at what comes through.