To refresh your memory, here are Heinlein’s five rules for being a successful writer.
- You must write.
- You must finish what you start.
- You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
- You must put it on the market.
- You must keep it on the market until sold.
In this post, we’ll look at the fourth rule, You must put it on the market.
It’s a rule that can be intimidating, especially as putting yourself out there might feel scary and fraught with potential rejection. However, marketing yourself is an essential aspect of building your copywriting business.
Rule #4: You Must Put It on the Market
Robert Heinlein penned this rule specifically for writers. In its original context, “You must put it on the market” serves as a call-to-action for authors to take their completed works and send them to publishers.
Heinlein understood that writing was only half the battle. The real challenge lay in overcoming fear, self-doubt, or procrastination to put your work in front of those who might publish it. Without this step, even the most brilliant manuscript remains unseen, unread, and unsold.
Now, let’s translate this principle into the world of copywriting.
Just as Heinlein urged authors to get their work out into the world, copywriters, too, must be proactive in showcasing their skills and services.
Whether you’re writing web copy, e-books, or social media posts, your words are designed to sell, inform, or engage. But before your services can help anyone, they must first find their way to the market.
Simply put, without putting your services in front of the right people, you remain invisible to potential clients.
The act of marketing is about making connections, building relationships, and turning your writing expertise into a thriving business.
With a copywriting business, visibility and self-promotion are key. Visibility and self-promotion help you align with clients who are the right fit for your style and strengths. And they open doors to opportunities you may not have known existed.
In the following section, we’ll explore practical tips and action steps for putting yourself and your services on the market, adapting Heinlein’s sage advice for the world of copywriting.
Tips for Getting Yourself on the Market
1. Create a Personal Website
A personal website acts as a central hub for your business, allowing potential clients to easily access your portfolio, testimonials, and contact information. It’s more than just an online resume; it’s a place where you can express your unique style and voice.
Action step: Design a professional website showcasing your portfolio, including client testimonials, to provide a one-stop shop for potential clients to view your work and contact you.
2. Engage on Social Media Platforms
Social media is not just for sharing personal updates; it’s also a marketplace filled with potential clients and collaborators. Engaging on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram can help you demonstrate your expertise, connect with industry peers, and stay updated on the latest trends and opportunities.
Action step: Share your recent projects, writing tips, or industry insights on Twitter or LinkedIn, engaging with others in the field to increase your visibility and authority.
3. Utilize Freelance Platforms
Platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can be a starting place for copywriters. By positioning yourself in a space dedicated to freelance work, you can connect with a broad audience actively seeking your services and gain valuable experience.
Action step: Register on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to offer your copywriting services, making sure to highlight your specializations and maintain a strong rating through quality work.
Caution: Do this only to build up a portfolio and gain some real-world experience. You want to move on to higher-paying work as quickly as possible.
4. Offer Free Workshops or Webinars
Educational events like workshops or webinars can position you as an authority in your field. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you attract businesses and individuals interested in your specialization, fostering trust and connection.
Action step: Conduct a free webinar on effective email marketing strategies, attracting businesses that may be interested in hiring you for their email campaigns.
5. Network at Industry Events
Face-to-face networking remains a powerful tool for building lasting relationships. By engaging with others in your industry at conferences or local meetups, you can create a more personal connection and stand out in a crowded market.
Action step: Attend marketing conferences or local business meetups to network with potential clients, handing out business cards with a QR code linking to your online portfolio.
6. Collaborate with Other Professionals
Working with other creatives can enhance the services you provide and extend your reach. Collaboration promotes cross-promotion and taps into different audiences, offering a win-win for all parties involved.
Action step: Partner with a graphic designer or web developer to offer a package deal of content and design services, expanding your reach to clients looking for comprehensive solutions.
7. Write Guest Posts on Relevant Blogs
Guest blogging offers a platform to showcase your knowledge and writing style to a wider audience. By writing for established blogs in your industry, you gain credibility and create opportunities for readers to discover your services.
Action step: Contribute a guest post on a marketing blog, sharing your insights on crafting persuasive product descriptions, and include a bio linking back to your website.
8. Provide a Free Consultation
Offering a free consultation can break down barriers between you and potential clients. This approach allows them to experience your expertise firsthand, understand your approach, and build trust without any financial commitment.
Action step: Offer a 30-minute free consultation to discuss a potential client’s needs and demonstrate your understanding of their brand and audience.
9. Create a Newsletter
Newsletters are more than just updates; they’re a platform for engagement. By providing valuable content and maintaining ongoing communication with your audience, you can nurture relationships and convert readers into clients.
Action step: Launch a weekly newsletter sharing valuable content marketing tips, building a loyal readership that may convert into paid clients.
10. Seek Referrals from Satisfied Clients
Leveraging the satisfaction of existing clients can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business. A happy client’s referral adds authenticity and credibility to your services, often leading to more confident engagement from new clients.
Action step: Encourage satisfied clients to refer you to others, possibly offering a discount on future services as a thank-you for successful referrals.
Final Thoughts on Rule #4
For copywriters, putting your services on the market isn’t just about selling a piece of writing. It’s about marketing yourself. For many, this can be an intimidating process filled with uncertainties and fears of rejection.
But it’s a necessary step for business success. Trust in your skills, follow Heinlein’s sage advice, and take your rightful place in the copywriting industry.
Next time, we’ll explore Rule #5 — You must keep it on the market until sold.