If you love writing and you’re looking to start your career as a copywriter, there are many skills that you’ll need to be successful. This can be somewhat daunting if you don’t know where to start, but with the right guidance, it’s easier than you think! This guide on how to start your career as a copywriter will help you identify the most common roles in this field, and how they could fit into your long-term career goals.
Prepare an elevator pitch
When you’re trying to get your foot in the door, it can be helpful to have an elevator pitch prepared that succinctly describes what you do and why you do it. If someone asks about your career path, for example, you might want to say something like: I’m a freelance copywriter who specializes in crafting ad copy that generates clicks.
Research agencies and show them what you can do
A copywriter, or creative content marketer, is responsible for writing—you guessed it—copy. Before you can begin working in advertising or marketing, however, you’ll need to get your foot in the door. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position at an agency or aiming for a management role right out of college, here are some tips for making that happen.
Practice coming up with ideas (idea generation is hard!)
To be a copywriter, you must first become an idea generator. Look for inspiration everywhere—from your surroundings to advertising and art campaigns. Google Images is great for finding visual ideas; InDesign’s Inspiration Gallery is great for words. If you see something that inspires you, write it down—and if you can’t think of anything else, read it out loud or act it out with friends. The best way to get comfortable coming up with ideas is…coming up with ideas!
Show you’re reliable
It’s important for copywriters to show that they’re reliable, especially at first. The easiest way to do that is simply by showing up on time and always delivering work in good condition. Be prepared to provide samples of your work, even if you’re just starting out (more on that later). Demonstrate that you’re a self-starter and not afraid of hard work or criticism. Always look for ways to improve your skills, knowledge and services.
Learn how to write clearly and concisely
No matter what you end up writing, it’s important that you have a knack for communicating clearly and effectively. To help develop your copywriting skills, study famous bloggers and writers, such as Gary Vaynerchuk or Seth Godin. In addition, read news articles frequently to develop your daily vocabulary. But don’t just skim—make sure you understand what each word means so that you can use it in conversation later on. Read out loud if need be!
Learn about the different types of content marketing jobs
Learn about content marketing and its different types, including inbound marketing and outbound marketing. There are copywriters, brand managers, digital marketers, social media specialists and so on. So it’s important to understand what each of these roles entails. Read up on them all—it might give you some inspiration for your future career path. Plus, these articles will explain what each role does from start to finish and how they all work together within an organization.
Follow up, follow up, follow up!
The most important part of job hunting is not applying for jobs, it’s following up with potential employers. Making sure you communicate your interest and expertise in an application is crucial if you want to be taken seriously by potential employers. After applying, follow up with a phone call thanking them for their time and letting them know that you’re still interested. A well-timed phone call can mean all the difference between being ignored and landing an interview.
Get experience in any way possible (internships, temp work, volunteering…)
A degree in English may be useful, but it’s not at all necessary. There are many ways you can start your career, even without any prior experience—you just have to get out there and try. Reach out to people in your industry; make connections and ask if they have any leads on internships or volunteer opportunities.