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Can Copywriting Become My VA Signature Service If I’m Not A Gifted Writer?

If you want to add copywriting to your business as a freelancer, but you feel like you aren’t sure if you’re a gifted writer, then listen up! Today’s episode is for you! In today’s show, we discuss (and debunk) the myth that you have to be a gifted writer to add copywriting as a service as a freelancer or virtual assistant. Maybe you’ve thought about copywriting or content marketing because you want a flexible schedule, you want to work from home, or you want a signature service you can specialize in, but you feel like you have to have a natural tendency for the written word. You do need to enjoy writing, but being a natural, gifted writer, is a matter of opinion and not a necessity for all copywriting jobs. 

In today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to learn the skill of copywriting
  • The traits of a good copywriter
  • The types of copywriting you can do
  • How to know if you will be a good copywriter

Full Audio Transcription of this Podcast Episode:

(00:00):

Hey there, freelancer. Thanks for joining me on the show today. If you want to add copywriting to your business as a freelancer, but you feel like you aren't sure if you're a gifted writer, then listen up today's episode is definitely for you in today's show, we discuss and debunk the myth that you have to be a gifted writer to add copywriting as a service, as a freelancer or virtual assistant. Maybe you thought about copywriting or content marketing because you want a flexible schedule. You want to work from home, or you want a signature service you can specialize in, but you feel like you have to be a naturally born great writer. Well, you do need to enjoy writing, but you don't have to be a naturally gifted writer. That's just a matter of opinion and not necessarily for all copywriting jobs. So in today's episode, you're going to learn how to learn the skill of copywriting, the traits of a good copywriter, the types of copywriting you can do and how to know if you will be a good copywriter. Well, if that sounds like something you need to hear, then I hope you'll grab that laptop and pin and join me. Let's dive in. It's copy time.

(01:11):

Hey there, freelancer, did you start your freelancing business, wanting more time and money? Freedom only to find yourself feeling stuck, doing everybody else's busywork, and now you feel like you need something to Uplevel and differentiate your online business while you're in the right place. This is the school copy and messaging podcast. And today it's freelancer Friday, where we help you as a freelancer ad copywriting and content marketing skills to your book of business, to up-level your freelancer services, to earn more money, and gain more freedom in your schedule. My name is Amber and I've been freelancing for almost 20 years as a marketing media relations and PR professional. Let's dive in. Thanks for being here today, freelancers, and happy Friday.

(02:00):

Well, at least if you're listening to this in real-time, it's Friday. If you're a freelancer who does not have my free guide yet, that tells you exactly what you need to include on your website. Please go get it today. It is free. It's Amberglus.com/website. This is a really good guide. It is like a map. You guys, that walks you through exactly what sections to put on your website. It shows you how to lay it out. It gives you copy tips of what copy goes, where it does it all. It's a really great guide that will help you make sure you've got a website that will speak to your customer easily and clearly, and we'll convert them into doing business with you. So go grab that guide at amberglus.com/website. All right, freelancers today's episode is for you. It's for all of my freelancers and virtual assistants out there, who've been thinking about specializing in copywriting as a signature service, but you just aren't sure if you're a gifted writer today, we're discussing whether or not you need to be a gifted writer to add copywriting to your business, or use it as a service to start a freelancer or virtual assistant business.

(03:13):

That might be you as well. Well, first I think whether or not you are a gifted writer is a matter of opinion. Please don't make the mistake of testing the waters with copywriting and stopping because a few people don't like what you wrote, please don't do that. I think there are so many people out there who consider copywriting and they get started. They show their work to one or two people and it doesn't go well, they get some criticism. And then they're like, okay, I guess I can't do this. And they give up. So please don't do that. Please don't let the opinion of one or two people determine whether or not you believe you can actually do copywriting as a signature service. So first go back and listen to my episode on how to deal with criticism of your work. Especially if you're new in this business.

(04:02):

That was a while ago. That was episode 21. That would be a really great episode for you to listen to if you're somebody who isn't really sure how to take construction, constructive criticism of your work. And well, truthfully, sometimes we don't get constructive criticism. Sometimes it's just criticism. So go listen to that episode. That would be really helpful. Um, but you guys, please, as you get started in this business, or if you're seasoned, please don't let a couple of people's opinion of your work determine in your own mind whether or not you think you're a good copywriter, because you're always going to have people who don't like your work. There's always going to be people who do, and there's always going to be people who don't like your work. So take some feedback, learn from it, improve your skills, use it to improve yourself, and then keep trying if this is a business that you want to be in.

(04:53):

My number one piece of advice to you is don't give up, keep trying, because it takes a while to figure out what kind of copy you like or what kind you're better at than others. And you got to give yourself that time to really figure that out. So make sure that you're keeping that in mind. You don't just give up because somebody says that one piece of your work wasn't good. Okay. Um, the next thing is, if you are not a naturally gifted writer, it is still possible for you to be a copywriter, but it may take you some more time to learn this skill. Some people are naturally gifted writers and others who are not just like, some people are naturally better at math, um, not me than other people. And it's the same with writing. So I believe that anybody who wants to and has some basic skills can become a copywriter, even if they're not just a naturally gifted writer.

(05:51):

Um, now they may not ever be as good as a naturally gifted writer. Kate just truth be told. That is absolutely the truth. Um, it's no different than any other industry. Somebody who is not good at math is probably not going to become, I don't know, a rocket scientist, right? Like I can work as hard as I want to you guys, but I am horrible at math. I can get, you know, I know the basics of everything. Um, but I'm probably not ever going to be, you know, a math teacher. Okay. So yes, there are people who have a natural gift for writing. And those people are probably going to have an easier time with being a copywriter. But just because you don't feel like you have a natural gift, there could be a couple of reasons for that. It could be that first year new and you don't know how to use that gift yet.

(06:38):

Second, it could be that you don't have a natural gift, but you have some basic skills that you can use to still make a good living in this business. And other people are just more gifted at it than you. That's probably the case. It is the case with most industries out there, everybody just has different skillsets, but it does not mean that you can't be a writer and that you can't learn how to have the gift in the skill of copywriting. Now, there will always be people who are better than you. There are tons of people who are better than me, but that doesn't mean that I can't still stake my claim and have a good career in this industry. This is the biggest reason why I don't think that you have to be a gifted writer to be a copywriter because I think that's a matter of opinion.

(07:27):

I think that how gifted you are is probably determined by many different factors. And I think that you're probably your own biggest critic, right? I know I'm my biggest critic. I'm sure you are your biggest critic as well. So I think if you have a desire to be in this business, there's a reason for that and you should go for it. The only way that you are really going to know if copywriting is for you is to go dry it. But I mean really try it, try different types of copywriting, try different types of clients, copywrite for different industries, and really keep at it to find out if you actually like it. And I think if you have that desire and you can find the industry and the type of copy that you really like to write, that's probably going to be the one that you're going to be the best at.

(08:18):

Now. The number one requirement for determining, if you will be a good copywriter, regardless of if you feel like you're naturally gifted, really comes down to whether or not you enjoy copywriting. If you do not enjoy it, you will not be good at it. And I think that that's true of any industry. You can want a flexible schedule. You can want to work from anywhere. You can have that laptop lifestyle, but if you don't enjoy copywriting, none of that's going to matter. It's not going to make you enjoy it. You really do have to enjoy writing to be a good copywriter. And I think that's true of any industry. So on that note, how do you learn how to be a copywriter? Well, there are a lot of options. We're going to talk about some today. The first is you can take traditional classes, such as a course at your local community college or a four-year university.

(09:11):

Now I personally don't believe that you need a college degree to be a copywriter. I think if you want a degree, great, you should go get one. But if you don't, don't let that stop you from thinking that you can become a copywriter. Whether you need to have a degree, may also be determined though, by the type of people that you want to write for. So a good tip of something that you can do if you're in the early stages of trying to figure out, if you think copywriting might be for you is do some research and find out if the companies or the individuals that you really want to work with, whether or not they require a degree because some people, some companies might and others might not. Um, copywriting is one of those industries that there are opinions for everybody that you ask, right?

(10:00):

Some people might tell you, you need a degree to be a copywriter. Some people might tell you, you have to have a master's, um, a Ph.D. in English. Others will tell you, you don't need a degree. I think really the determining factor is what are you comfortable with? If you feel like you need a degree and you want one, great, go get one. If you feel like you want to be in this business and you don't need or want a degree, great, don't get one there are other ways that you can learn. And I don't think that there's one answer that fits all. I think it really depends on what you're comfortable with, what your financial ability is for learning. Um, and then third, what companies you want to work with and whether or not they say you needed GRI. So if there is an entrepreneurial there or a company that you know, you really want to work with and they require a degree, then that's something that you should take into consideration.

(10:52):

But there are many people out there who are going to ask you for references and copies of some of your work. Um, your history, if you've worked with other companies or individuals, and they may not require a degree. So it kind of runs the gamut, do some research and really focus on the types of companies that you want to work with and see whether or not they require a degree. And that will help you determine what type and how much education you might need before you can really dive into copyright. Okay? The next way that you can learn copywriting is to read books. Now, this is my favorite. Uh, as you guys know, I'm a bookworm and I'm always reading books. I have a stack of books that I'm reading at any given time. And I've got a whole list of books that I can't wait to get to.

(11:41):

So reading books is my favorite way of learning copywriting. And there are some great copywriting books. Honestly, there, there are so many good copywriting books out there that I can't them all in one episode without probably boring you. So I'm going to list some of my favorites and I will put these in the show notes for you. If you're new or you are seasoned and you haven't picked up these books yet, this is a great list to start with. Uh, the first one at the very top of my list is the copywriter's handbook by Robert Bly. If you get this book, make sure you get the fourth edition. It's been, uh, updated over the years based on the S the industry of copywriting changing with online marketing, with websites, with email marketing, social media, et cetera. So make sure that you get the fourth edition because that is the most up-to-date version. So the name of that one again is the copywriter's handbook by Robert Bly. Fourth edition. Next on my list is how to write, copy that sells by Ray Edwards. This is a really great book is to Ray Edwards is a mentor of mine, even though he doesn't know it.

(12:49):

This is a really great book for copy, obviously, that sells. So if you're somebody who wants to get into an industry and specifically focus on copywriting, that will help you sell products or services. This is a really great book. It's a great book anyway, but especially if you're looking to really learn how to write, copy that sells the next one on my list is persuasive copywriting by Andy Maslen. I think that's how you say his name, masculine Maitland. I think it's masculine, persuasive copywriting by Andy Maslen. The next is everybody writes the go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content by Ann Hanley. Next is this book will teach you how to write better by Neville Medora. I'm concerned that I'm not saying that name right, too, but I'm going to put these in the show notes. And then of course, last, but never least is all of the books by Donald Miller StoryBrand and marketing made simple these two books.

(13:50):

I think if you are in any kind of marketing or copywriting, those books should always be on your desk at any given time. Now I'm not going to go too far into those, because I know you guys have heard me talk about all of the books by Donald Miller since I'm a StoryBrand certified marketing guide, these are like, um, you guys, these are always the handbooks I go to for everything. I'm constantly absorbing everything about StoryBrand and it's just something that I think a copywriter really needs to understand. So if you haven't grabbed those books, please go do that. StoryBrand and marketing made simple by Donald Miller. So I'm going to put all of those in the show notes. So you guys have got that list handy. If you want to order any of those super easy, I'm sure I'm pretty sure all of them are on Amazon or where books, wherever you buy books.

(14:39):

The next thing you can do to start learning copywriting is taking online classes. There are so many options today for online classes, which is great because you can learn different types of copywriting and you can learn from so many different copywriters. I actually believe you should learn from multiple copywriters because everybody has a different style. Everybody has a different way of doing things. And as you guys know, one of my big pet peeves is I just don't believe that there is one way to do anything. I think you should learn different ways. And then the Terman, which way feels best to you, which fits your business best, which fits your personality best. Um, there are coaches out there who teach differently than I do. There are people out there who learn differently than I do. And so you always want to take, uh, take into account how somebody writes and how they teach is going to be different than somebody else.

(15:37):

And for you to get a really, really good well-rounded education on how to be a copywriter. The best way to do that is by learning from different copywriters, as well as learning different types of copy. The nice thing with so many online courses today is you can do that from the comfort of your own home, and oftentimes get a really good variety of different types of copy from different teachers at a really, really good price. So I highly recommend that you search online for different classes that you can take. Um, there's, you know, there's stuff on LinkedIn that you can find for classes. I can't remember the program that LinkedIn, um, partners with, but you can look on LinkedIn for different classes. They have. If you just search copywriting courses, there's a ton of courses out there for copywriters, and you can take tons of copywriting courses, right from the comfort of your living room.

(16:31):

Um, some copywriters specialize in many different things. And so think about what you want to specialize in. As you start to look at what courses you can take. Some types of specialties would be advertising, uh, sales copy, editorial copy website, copy, email, copy, technical copy. Um, such as writing instruction manuals, there are so many different types of copy. And we'll talk about a few more today in the episode, but there are so many different types, as well as different industries. You may find a copywriter who teaches copy specific to an industry that you want to be in as well. So I do want to mention to you guys to think ahead about what type of copy you think you're going to want to learn first and use that as a guide for what classes that you would take. You may find the first one you take is not something you like.

(17:23):

That's okay. You can pivot into something else, but it is helpful to narrow down the type, of course, you would take by figuring out what specialty you could look at first. So if there's something that you kind of have an inclination that you might enjoy, and you might be good at, maybe you're thinking of specifically doing sales copy, look for a course that either has that module in it or specifically just teaches sales copy. That will help you really determine if it's a type of copywriting that you want to specialize in. And then also think about the industry that you want to be in. Because if there is an industry-specific course, that also would be really helpful too, if you're thinking of specializing in a certain industry. Um, so if you are interested in looking at my course, I'm really happy to announce it today.

(18:13):

My courses are coming soon. I will be giving a discounted price to anybody who is already on my waitlist. So if you want to get on my waitlist, I've got a course coming in the next couple of months, that specifically teaches VA's and freelancers how to add copywriting for online entrepreneurs to their business. You will get a special discount if you're already on the list to do that, email [email protected] Again, that's [email protected] If you want to get on the waitlist for my course, that's coming soon. All right. The last thing about making sure that copywriting is for you and starting to test the waters with this industry is to go out and write. You guys have heard me say this before, but if you don't have a client that you can write for, then write for yourself, build a portfolio of your own work based on the types of clients that you want to write for, to create samples.

(19:07):

You don't have to have clients to start copywriting. You can do this on your own. You can come up with a makeshift fitness center that you want to write copy for, or come up with a life coach that you think you want to write copy with, create that customer and start making some copy, write a blog article, right? Oh, web page, get out there and write and build a portfolio because that is the number one way to find out. If you're going to enjoy copywriting is to actually go right, find two or three clients. If you already have some on your VA business that you can ask, if there's some copy that you can write for them and let them know that you'd like to add it to your portfolio, just get out there and start writing. It is truly the best way to find out if this is going to be an industry that you're going to enjoy.

(19:58):

So let's talk for a minute about what are some traits of a good copywriter. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Um, but if any of this describes you, then you may find that copywriting is a good fit for you. So a couple of these are your conversational, you know, how to write conversationally. This is a big deal because I think so many people get stuck on like, well, I feel like I don't know exactly what to write, and maybe I'm not that good at grammar. If you have a basic skill level of grammar and you know how to write conversationally and conversation, that would fit the situation that you're in, then that might be a good trait that you would be a good copywriter and that you would enjoy this business. The next thing is you like research, uh, you're detail-oriented, you like structure and putting things together in a way that makes sense.

(20:52):

You enjoy the story. You have tough skin and won't take criticism personally. Uh, you at least enjoy writing or speaking is okay too because you can speak and then transcribe and clean that up. So, um, I would, I would feel comfortable saying if you just are somebody who enjoys speaking, but you would be okay with going back and cleaning up a transcription, then that might be something that would be a good trait for enjoying copywriting. Uh, if you're curious about many different topics, that could be a good trait for a copywriter because copywriters tend to, well, they tend to focus on an industry. They tend to write about a lot of different topics. Uh, if you can explain things well, and you understand the basics of writing and grammar, and then if you can adapt to the voice and mannerisms of other people, well, those are some traits of copywriters.

(21:47):

And again, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but that's a good starting list. If the majority of those sound like they describe you, then copywriting might be a good fit for you. So what types of copywriting are there? Well, there are literally tons. It depends on the specialty that you might be interested in. All copy is designed really to fall into three categories. It either first informs or educates, sells, or tells a story, all copy kind of fits into those buckets. But beyond that, you can learn copywriting specific to an industry or down to a type of copy, such as sales, uh, search engine optimization, there's technical writing, like instruction manuals, editorial writing for magazines or newspapers, ghostwriting for something like authors, media writing, like press releases or public service announcements, advertising that can be on billboards on social media, on newspaper ads, a webpage copy content marketing content, where you are writing on specific topics for another company catalogs, uh, jingles.

(23:00):

Those are types of copy to, uh, taglines, even video, and radio, right? We've talked before about how even you tubers and podcasters start with copy with outlining their episodes with copy, uh, course creators use copy in their courses. There are so many possibilities of what type of copy you could focus on. So not only can you pick an industry to focus on, but you can also pick a type of copy that you might call your niche as well. The industry and the types of copy within an industry can feel overwhelming, especially if you're new to copywriting or content marketing. My advice is to start with something that you love, find an industry that you're passionate about. For example, if you're passionate about nonprofits, then pick a nonprofit and start writing some copy for them. Start writing some blog posts for their website, or rewrite the copy on the homepage of your favorite nonprofit, just to get the practice and see how that would go.

(24:02):

Just to be able to start writing and see if you like it. Once you have kind of picked an industry that you think you might want to focus on, then pick a type of copy. You probably have one that you think already you might be better at. So I would start there. Cause that might be a good inclination. That would be your sweet spot. And I think if you, so if you enjoy web copy, start with web copy, see if you enjoy it, you can always pivot. If you decide that it's not something you enjoy, but the best way to narrow it down and to find out if you'll like it, it really is just to start. So what have you got to lose? Right? Start copywriting, get in the game and see if you like the industry. See if you like the niche that you chose, don't let whether or not you think you're a gifted writer, stop you copywriting isn't for everyone.

(24:48):

Of course, but really the only way you're going to know is to try it and give it a chance before you decide whether or not it's for you. So if you have questions about copywriting, jump into my Facebook group, that group is specifically for freelancers who want to learn about adding copywriting and content marketing services to their business. The link is in the show notes, I'm going to have a Facebook live coming up in the next few weeks where I will answer any questions you have about being in the business. All right, freelancers, thanks for being here today. I hope this episode helped you identify some traits that might tell you if copywriting would be a good industry for you and debunk the myth today on feeling like you have to be a gifted writer to be a copywriter. Remember that being a gifted writer is a matter of opinion. And the only way to really know is to get out and try, try, try, try and see if it's something that you enjoy. That's it for today. Freelancers have a great Friday and I'll see you here next week. Same time, same day. Bye for now.

(25:54):

Thanks for listening today, friends, and spending a piece of your day with me to get more information on my copywriting and content marketing and messaging services. Go to Amberglus.com. You can also learn more on Instagram with me @AmberGlus. Until next time, go share your unique message with the world.

Resources From Today's Show:

  • The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert W. Bly 4th Edition
  • How To Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
  • Persuasive Copywriting by Andy Maslen
  • Everybody Writes: The Go To Guide To Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
  • This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better by Neville Medhora
  • StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
  • Try Kajabi free for 14 days https://app.kajabi.com/r/sF7FazZp/t/hpcdqyng
  • Join my Facebook Community for more marketing, messaging, and copywriting strategies to grow your business, or up-level as a Freelancer, VA, OBM, or DOO with weekly training on adding these skills to your services https://www.facebook.com/groups/theschoolofcopyandmessagingcommunity

 

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