A copywriting career is an excellent choice for many creative souls. What better way to earn a living than by creating one great content piece after another, feeding your hungry readers with relevant and informative content?
This copywriting career sounds all nice and rosy, doesn’t it?
Well, listen up:
All is not rosy in Copywriting World. Challenges abound.
But we’re here to unearth them and help you be wiser the next time you come across similar challenges.
Ready to swallow some hard pills? Here we go:
Copywriting Challenge#1: Clients Giving You Insufficient Information
Your work as a copywriter is to research and write amazing copy, right? Yet, that can only happen if your client gives a detailed brief that addresses all the key areas.
There are some pieces of information that Google can’t give you. The client has to provide such details.
Case in point:
You are writing an “About” page for a client’s eCommerce store. Now, unless the client gives you sufficient information, you will have a hard time coming up with content that resonates with the target audience, let alone attaining the desired word count.
Get clients to give you sufficient information that will help you write killer copy.
Create a project brief questionnaire. Let the client fill it before you begin writing anything.
Need guidance? Read these:
- 52 Questions to ask your new copywriting client
- A detailed Copywriting brief from Belinda Weaver
- 40 questions you need to ask every copywriting client
- A downloadable [PDF] Copywriting brief from Digital Balance
Sometimes, a client may lazily fill your questionnaire without proving sufficient details. In such a case, book the client for a Skype or phone call chat to help you fill in the missing gaps.
With a clear brief, writing will be a breeze. However, there is another twist. Check it out in the next point.
Copywriting Challenge#2: Projects Spiraling Out of Scope
With a well-filled project brief, can anything else go wrong?
Most certainly. Nothing is cast in stone.
Your copywriting project may spiral out of scope. Your client may get new inspiration and new ideas they need you to accommodate in your copy.
Don’t feel helpless in such a situation. Here is what to do:
Firstly, acknowledge that the customer is always right. Secondly, made sure you:
- Work out the payment terms to incorporate the additional work;
- Discuss a possible extension of the project’s due date (if need be).
Tip: Always get sufficient information from the client and sign a contract, or else most (if not all) of your projects will spiral out of scope.
Copywriter Challenge#3: Clients Being Unreasonable
There are many (many!) good clients out there. Clients with which you enjoy working and who even end up being good friends. These are the clients who value your professional services and respect you.
BUT then again…
There are clients from hell.
The kind you just hate. And every single day you wake up, you dread working with them because you have your horror story.
It could be that the client:
- Is rude to you;
- Doesn’t stick to the agreed deadlines;
- Doesn’t pay you on time and as agreed;
- Is a Mr. know-it-all client, rigid to take advice;
- Gives you unreasonable rounds of revisions;
- Is unreasonably demanding (project scope creep);
- Makes you feel like you are not good enough (confidence knockers).
Here is what you can do when your client is being unreasonable:
- Exhaust all possible solutions for making the situation better;
- Check your ego and confirm that you are not the one at fault;
- Professionally fire that client without burning bridges.
Whatever you do, make sure that in the long-run, you won’t regret not firing that unreasonable client sooner rather than later.
The video below provides further insights on this issue. Take a look.
Copywriter Challenge#4: You Earn Only When You Write
Your writing skills are what puts bread and butter on the table. Therefore, if you do not write, you do not earn a dime (unless you have a monetized blog that will still need a copy from time to time).
Therefore, to ensure you don’t run out of writing work, you should learn how to sell your services and attract better clients.
Here are a handful of ideas to help you get you started:
- Keep learning, never settle;
- Check out online job boards;
- Be a specialist, not a generalist;
- Have a stunning resume and portfolio;
- Find creative ways to land writing jobs.
Copywriter Challenge#5: Not Knowing How to Charge for Your Projects
We are all in this copywriting business to make money while doing what we love: writing. But when starting out, you may leave money on the table simply because you do not know how to charge the correct amount for your projects.
The chief stumbling block when it comes to charging clients is FEAR:
- You fear you are not worth good rates;
- You fear the client will reject your rates;
- You fear you are overcharging a client;
- Fear, fear, fear and more fear.
You need to believe in yourself and your abilities before anything else. Once your confidence is sky high, it is time to learn some pricing basics.
There are several payment plans, but it will depend on what you and your client agree upon:
- Fixed price: a flat fee to cover the entire project;
- Per word count: every word you write equals money;
- An hourly rate: you are paid for each hour you work;
- A retainer fee: to do specific tasks within a stipulated period.
With that in mind, let us look at the average copywriter rates to give you an idea of how much to charge.
- Freelance writer pay survey
- Pricing guide for web copywriters
- Virtual assistant salary definitive guide
Copywriter Challenge#6: It Gets Lonely Working Alone
In the beginning, your ultimate dream was to work from home in your pajamas and forget about the daily commute (or something close to that).
Fast forward a year or so later, and you feel lonely and isolated working from home day in day out. Except for your family, friends, and pets, you have little to no human interaction.
Now you miss the office gossip by the water cooler, going for lunch with your colleagues, the after-work parties, and other typical corporate social activities.
By the way, three out of four Americans are lonely.
Please, don’t let yourself be among that number. Do something about your isolation while working from home:
- Reclaim your weekends and go out with friends and family;
- Plan and go for vacations and other fun activities from time to time;
- Schedule time to go and work outdoors, in a co-working space, restaurant, or park;
- Join social and networking groups and get to meet and mingle with new people.
Copywriter Challenge#7: Without Discipline, You Can’t Make It
Have a look around your house. Do you notice any distractions?
- The never-ending household chores;
- Your television, radio, and mobile phones;
- The ever-alluring internet and social media;
- Your bed, which looks more inviting on a cold rainy day;
- Family and friends who don’t understand you are doing actual work from home;
- Nobody is watching over your shoulder, so a small break can quickly turn into a long break.
Failure to deal with these distractions will mess up your copywriting career. You will miss your work deadlines, hand in poor quality work, fail to meet your client’s expectations and more.
Here’s what you should do: Learn how to deal with these distractions.
You can also use these apps to help you stay focused and do more copywriting than being distracted.
Copywriter Challenge#8: Dealing With Online Scams
Internet safety continues to be a major concern for companies and individuals worldwide. And that includes you. You are at risk of encountering online scams, which come in many forms.
Better still, learn these scam red flags and run when you smell a scam:
- A client with a fuzz website that doesn’t pass the eyeball test;
- Being hired with little or no experience yet promised megabucks;
- Spammy ads where the employer is almost begging for your services;
- A client not being upfront with you regarding payment rates and responsibilities;
- New enterprises promising you exposure and pageviews in exchange for tour services;
- A client with a bad reputation online or offline (check writer forums and communities);
- Random, anonymous client promises to pay you thousands of dollars per day, week, or month;
- A client requesting many written samples (one or two should suffice, and not custom samples either).
Bottom line, always trust your gut feeling.
Swallow Copywriting Career Hard Pills No More
It is true that when you venture into the copywriting career, you will face many challenges. What makes the difference is that you now know how to navigate each challenge and emerge as a stronger and better copywriter.
There is an amazing community of online workers at Small Revolution. Join us and learn how to be a successful online copywriter.