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Ten Steps To Set Up Your Copywriting Business For Success

Today’s episode is all about helping you set up your copywriting business for success. Before you jump into taking on clients, having these ten things set up early in your business will help you run your client journey more efficiently. These ten steps are not the most exciting when it comes to business, but they are very necessary. They will help you set up your business the best way possible now, so the essentials are taken care of before you get busy with your copywriting clients!

In Today’s episode we cover:

  • Tips for setting up your business entity
  • Setting up a payment, invoicing, and proposal platform
  • Getting your website and portfolio up
  • Networking to get clients

Full Audio Transcription of this Podcast Episode:


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 busy work. 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 is freelancer Friday where we help you as a freelancer, add 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.


Hello, freelancers. Thanks for joining me today on freelancer Friday, today's episode is talking about some really necessary things that you need to have in your business. That may not sound so fun, but they're necessary. So we're going to talk about them today. Now, the things that I want you to focus on that we're going to go over today are things that you should have set up in your business before you start taking on clients. But if you already are taking on clients, take a little bit of time, go back, set these things up in your business so that you have them moving forward. If you have these set up before you take on clients in your business, I think that you will find your time is going to be a lot better. Spent later with clients when you have these things set up because you won't have to go back into it later.


Okay? The first thing that we're going to talk about today, that's not so fun about setting up the back end of your business is your business itself. Make sure that you have a business entity. You should consult with your tax advisor, and you should also consult with a business attorney about the best way for you to set up your business. But you need some kind of business entity that can be a sole proprietorship. It can be an LLC. It can be an S Corp. It can be a C Corp. There's all kinds of different ways that you can set up your business. And the best way for you might be different than for me or for somebody else. So make sure that you speak to a tax advisor and that you speak to a business attorney and they can help you figure out which one is better for you, but you want to have some kind of entity set up for your business.


The next thing I would recommend you setting up once you have that entity created is that you set up a bank account for your business. Now I am a Dave Ramsey followers. So I'm going to mention here that I believe you should use a debit card. So get a checking account set up for your business that has a debit card. So you can use automatic payments. You can pay for things without using a credit card and going into debt. I actually have an episode that is coming up in the next couple of weeks about managing your finances as a freelancer. And we talk about how to do that without going into credit card debt. So number one, so number one, get your business entity set up. Number two, open up a bank account for your business. Now the next thing, number three, that's also not so fun is I want you to contact an insurance agent, call it insurance agent who does commercial insurance and who covers your type of business.


Now I'm guessing if you're listening to this podcast, your business is probably copywriting or content marketing or digital marketing, some kind of freelancer or virtual assistant business. Make sure when you call your agent that you're asking if they do commercial insurance and whether or not they cover your type of business. Once you have an insurance agent who answers yes to both of those questions, you need them to give you recommendations for an insurance policy. So get your entity set up, get your bank account open, then get an insurance policy. When you speak to your insurance person, you want to make sure that you're asking about errors and omissions insurance errors and omissions insurance does exactly what it says. It insures you from errors that you make and things that you may accidentally omit, um, Arizona missions insurance. So make sure that you ask your insurance agent about that.


Now, again, I am not an insurance expert. I am not an attorney. I am not a tax advisor. So please, please, please. As you set these things up, these are just giving you some planting, some seeds of things that you need to go out and ask an experts that you can seek out as you're setting up your business. So make sure that you consult with an attorney and a tax advisor and an insurance agent to talk further about these things. So number one, get your entity set up. Number two, get your bank accounts set up. Number three, gets your company insured. Now number four also has to deal with insurance. Again, this is a personal recommendation. You should not take this as legal advice, tax advice or insurance advice, but I would also recommending that you personally have an umbrella insurance policy. This is a form of liability insurance that you personally can have.


And I would recommend that you also ask your insurance agent about an umbrella liability policy for you personally. So that's it for insurance. I know insurance doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but it really, really is so important. The next thing I want you to focus on is setting up a budget. This is going to be something that you set up. That's going to change you guys like, especially if you're new in copywriting or content marketing as your business grows, you're going to learn a little bit more about setting up a budget. This is something we're going to go into more details on in an upcoming episode about managing your finances. But as you initially get started, have some kind of a budget understand what expenses you have each month and then have a savings account where you can put profit from your business.


And you can also save for expenses that maybe you aren't planning for yet, because you don't know that there, that you're gonna need them, especially as a new entrepreneur. That's a really good thing to do is to plan for unexpected expenses. So we're going to go into those kinds of details about managing your finances in a future episode, but at least for now, make sure that you have some kind of a budget and you have an account where you can track your expenses and you can put your profit when you have it and you can save for some expenses. Should they come your way that you don't know about yet? The next thing that I want you to thinking about as you start your business is your portfolio and your website. First focus on your website. If you don't have a place yet online for sending your clients, you need one.


Please don't only depend on having a Facebook page or an Instagram account. As we've talked before on the show, you do not own those platforms. If something happens to your account, if, if Facebook changes again tomorrow, you need a place where you can send your clients where you own that platform and you have the ability to build an email list of it. So make sure that you have some kind of a website up. Don't overthink this, especially if you're new, it is fine to have a one page website that gives a little bit about you and what you do and where to contact you. If that's all you have right now, that is okay. It is better than not having anything up at all, but make sure you have a website and somewhere where you can send people on that website. The next thing you should be looking to do is put your portfolio up.


Now, there may be times where you don't have a portfolio listed online, and that can be, if you're exclusively working for one contract, one client with one contract, you may not need a portfolio up at the time. You may be parking your business and exclusively working on one contract for one client. I've done that many times. I actually just got done doing that, a stint where I served one client, uh, didn't have a portfolio up right now for that reason. But as you move into a place in your business where you are taking on clients and you're active with your business, you're gonna want a portfolio online. So make sure that's your second thing. Once you get your website up is that you are building a portfolio. Now we're also going to talk more in detail in an upcoming episode about what does that portfolio look like?


What are some tips for building a rockstar portfolio? We're going to go over all of that in an upcoming episode, but for now, once you get your website up, the next thing you want to focus on getting on your website is a portfolio. If you were actively taking on clients, now, if you don't have a portfolio yet, that is okay. This is the time where you're going to start to reach out to some of the people who you think you might want to work with. This can be the company, organization, or entrepreneur, entity, whatever you want to work with. You're going to start to reach out to some of those and have some ideas about some ways that you can help them. You may have to do a few things for free. You don't have to work for free forever, but if you are a new copywriter or a new content writer, a really good way to get your first few portfolio pieces is to ask if you can do something for free, give people some of your time.


In addition to just doing a good thing for them, it's going to help you build your portfolio. So be willing to take on one or two projects for free. This can be something as simple as, Hey, I saw that you have a lead magnet. I have some, just some suggestions. Could I rewrite this for you? It could be a rewriting, a homepage for someone that you see, you could help them make it a little bit stronger or a little bit better. It could be that you see somebody, an organization that really needs help with a sales page. Anything like that, reaching out to somebody and just saying, Hey, I'm new at this. I would love to just do this for you for free. In addition to that, I think it would help. And it would make this a little bit stronger. And then could I use this in my portfolio as an example of my work, that is a really, really good way to start building our portfolio.


And you guys that does not have to be huge. You do not need a portfolio of 50 different examples if you have that someday. That's great. But for right now, if you have a portfolio where you can show three or four things that you've done, maybe for either your ideal client, if you've chosen a niche, or if you haven't chosen a niche yet, pick a three or four different types of entities or entrepreneurs that you can do some work for, just to give you a little bit of diversity and get something up on your portfolio, it can be as simple as rewriting somebody. I help statement it can be their homepage of their website. It can be some social media posts, a blog post, um, anything like that. It can be a LinkedIn article, anything like that can count to use in your portfolio, but at least get a couple of things that you can start adding to that.


So that you've got it. When you go out to get some business. Now, again, we're going to speak about in a couple of weeks about how to make a rockstar portfolio. So stay tuned for that episode after you've gotten your portfolio and, um, on your website, you've got a few things in it. You also need to be thinking about how are people going to get in with you? You want to start networking. And so in order to do that, you have to have some business cards. And then of course your online business card is basically your social media. So yes, I am old school. I still use physical business cards. I still hand them out to people that I meet. And then I also use my online social media channels, like a business card. The reason is when you're interacting on social media, most people are going to look at your profile to see who you are, what you're about, how they would get ahold of you, just like as if you were handing them a business card.


So yes, I recommend that you actually get physical business cards because you will find that you will need them as you start meeting people and networking people who could potentially be a client or refer a client to you, and then treat your online social media channels, like a business card. If you don't know this, you can update your profile on Facebook to be different for different groups. That you're a part of. So when I am in an entrepreneur group, I have a profile that has my website and says copywriter for online entrepreneurs. When I'm in a group that is full of freelancers and virtual assistants, my bio is going to say, I'm a coach for freelancers who want to learn how to add copywriting to their business. And you can put a link in that bio that would link to a certain page, or that would link to your website.


Make sure that when somebody clicks on that, that it has at least a website where they can go learn more about you, see your contact information and get in touch with you. So that is your online business card, have a physical business card and then have an online business card, basically in your social media bios. That is how people are going to get in touch with you today. Next you're going to start networking. So ask everybody that, you know, if they know of anybody who needs your services, start letting people in your sphere of influence, know that this is now a service that you provide and ask them if they can think of anybody specific that you should call, that might need your services. Now here's a tip. If you are new at copywriting and you don't know this yet, most people do not refer to the work that they need help with as copywriting.


So talk to people in a way that they can understand the language that you're using. You may find that some people who don't know what copywriting is, they don't know what to refer to you. They may have a friend who's a blogger who just talked to them about how difficult it is for them to get time, to write their blocks. But if the person doesn't know that it's called copywriting, they're not going to understand that that's what they should be referring to you. So you need to specifically tell people here's the types of things that I do. I write online articles for bloggers. I write the words that go on a business website. I help people who run their own business, promote themselves. Well, I help them create the message that their company uses to promote the company. Talk about it in terms that people are going to know, even if they don't understand what copywriting or content marketing is, you have to train the people in your sphere of influence what to look for and what to listen for before they can refer those people to you.


So you need to teach them what it is that you do so that they know who to refer to you. The next way that you can start going out and getting clients beyond just networking in your own sphere of influence is reaching out to ancillary type providers. So this an example of this would be, think about whatever the niche is that you want to focus in. Um, for me, it's, you know, I, I specifically do online entrepreneurs. Well, one of the ancillary services that an online entrepreneur might be using is a website designer and a lot of website designers don't necessarily write copy. So they outsource that copy. And so speaking with website designers is a way that I get clients, because if those designers don't want to write the copy, I can write the copy. Now in return. I also can refer people to them because I don't design websites.


I only write the copy. And so I can refer clients to them. They can refer clients to me. This is a really good way to start networking with ancillary service providers, to build a referral network of people who you can depend on one another and start to really help each other, build your book of business. Another thing that you can do if you're looking for new clients right now is jumping to LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a really great place to talk to people. Um, and then think about what other services your ideal client needs, what other services or people would they be utilizing that you can reach out to and say, Hey, I know that you do this and that for online entrepreneurs. I want to let you know, I specialize in copy. So if any of your people need a copywriter, please refer them to me and Aubrey for what you do to you.


If I come across what, what they need and it's for you. So you can really build a good book of business by just referring back and forth with ancillary service providers. Now on the topic of referrals, another way that you can build your book of business, especially if you're new is to start your own affiliate marketing program. There's an episode that we have coming up. That's going to talk about affiliate marketing, and there's two ways to do affiliate marketing. The first is that your, an affiliate for someone or something else, and you make a commission when you sell that thing. But the other way to do affiliate marketing is you create your own affiliate marketing program. And so an example of this is when maybe you give a discount code that a client can use in their community or with their customers. And then they, so their customers are kind of getting a discount for being a part of that community.


And then you give a commission back. That structure can be different. There's, there's a lot of different ways to do that. And we're going to talk about some of those details in a future episode, but that's a really good way to, for you to reach out to your ideal audience, we're ancillary services of your ideal audience and build a referral network because today affiliate marketing is a really, really good way to build your book of business. Not only for you earning commissions, but for you setting up your own affiliate marketing program that you can use when people refer you. So, um, I've got a couple of affiliate programs now where I will give a discount code to an influencer. Their community can use that code and get a discount on some of my services. And then at the end of the job, whatever profit I make, they get a small commission back as a thank you for referring that client.


And that helps build my book of business. And normally that client that came to me for one thing is going to use me for something else. They're going to keep coming back. And so once you've got a client, a lot of times, then it will become a repeat clients. It's a really good way to build the future of your business as well. The last thing that we're going to focus on today is I want you to have a way for people to pay you. Now, you may think that that sounds silly, but I really want you to think about if you've got a client right now, do you have a way for them to pay you? Do you take credit cards? Do you take checks? Um, what does that look like? How do people pay you? Do they have to mail you a check? Do they have to send you a Venmo?


Um, or can they use a credit card online? You need to have some kind of a payment system set up. This also goes hand in hand with an invoicing system. So think through the process that you want your clients to take. When you get a job, how are you going to handle sending them an invoice? And how are you going to handle getting paid? This also goes hand in hand with how are you going to present your services? How are you going to give them a proposal for your services and your fees? So sometimes you can find a program that does all of that in one, or depending on what you want to use. You may need to have different systems for those things. And we, we have an episode coming up. That's going to specifically talk about the systems and programs that you need to have in your freelancer business that will make some of this easier, but you do need to have some kind of a program set up where you can send a proposal.


And then when that proposal is accepted, you can send an invoice and then you have a process to get paid. The last thing I'll mention here today is have a follow up system for your clients. So after you've done work with someone, you don't want them to just never hear from you again. So you need to have a way to track those clients, to check back in with those clients and then think through what is the next logical step that they might need to take. If somebody hired you to do a website, then is the next step that maybe they need a lead magnet, or if you started a newsletter for them and you got that set up, then maybe do they also need a media kit or maybe the next thing that they need is social media. Do you, do you, do you do social media posting?


And if so, that might be the next thing that you could sell them. So think about that customer journey. What is the next logical step that they need to take? And then what is your process for keeping in touch with them, for following up with them and reaching back out to them and asking when they're ready to take that next step and making that recommendation of what they might need next in their business. It's your job to stay in touch with those people so that when they're ready to buy again, they think of you. If you didn't listen to the podcast episode, I did a couple of weeks ago on following up, uh, in your freelancing business, like a boss, go listen to that episode. It will give you some really good insight into ways that you can follow up. Um, that was episode 76, that aired on the 6th of August.


So go back and listen to that episode. If you didn't listen to it already, think through your customer journey, make this process as easy as possible for your customers, from everything, from how to find you, to seeing what services you offer, to getting a proposal from you to getting an invoice and getting paid to then following up on the customer journey. After they've worked with you, that entire process should be easy, easy peasy, lemon squeezy for your customer, because that's, what's going to help them come back and do business with you. Again, if it's hard, if there's not a way for them to pay you easily, if there's not a way for them to get a proposal and an invoice, and that if you're not following up with them, you're going to drop the ball in your business. And you're going to miss out on clients.


Trust me. When I tell you have this stuff set up ahead of time so that when you start taking on clients, you've got this process down and it's super easy for customers to do business with you. That's going to help you build your business a heck of a lot quicker. All right, you guys, that was some great tactical stuff today that will help you get started in your copywriting business. If you found that information useful, would you share this episode for me? Give it a screenshot, share it on your Instagram stories, tell people how helpful it was. I sure would appreciate that. And if you want this in a handy-dandy checklist, guess what? I've got one for you. If you go to Amber glass.com forward slash freelancer checklist, you can get this and some fun details that I added into the checklist about all of these things that you need to get set up in your business to have success as a copywriter.


So go grab that checklist. It'll give you a few little nuggets that I didn't mention today, and it'll put this right in front of you. So you've got a list of exactly what you need, especially if you were driving today and you couldn't take notes, or if I was in your earbuds while you were running at the gym and you want to make sure there's a way for you to remember all of this stuff, go grab that checklist. Amber glass.com forward slash freelancer checklist. I will put the link for you in the show notes as well. All right, before I let you guys go today, I just want to say thanks for listening. It means a great deal to me that you listened to the show. And if you like this information, you're going to love my Facebook group. I will also link that in the show notes below it.


My Facebook group is full of freelancers who are learning how to add copywriting to their business, or how to improve an existing copywriting business. We do things like accountability for our goals. We share our work so that we can get some eyes on the things that we're working on. We have time in there where we can talk about the projects that we're doing and get support on it. All kinds of really good stuff. If you're looking to build a copywriter business, go jump into that Facebook group. It's linked here below in the show notes. All right, freelancers. I hope you have an awesome, awesome Friday and I will be back next week.


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 Amber glass.com. You can also learn more on Instagram with me at Amber Glass until next time go share your unique message with the world.

Resources From Today's Show:

Connect with me www.amberglus.com

Follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/amberglus/


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