So you’re a copywriter hopeful – or already working in the field – and you’re not quite sure where to go from here. You want more business, and you want to enjoy your work more. But sometimes things feel a little scattered, you feel all over the place, you have to do too much research.
You may not even feel like you know what you’re doing.
And that’s okay, because we all feel like we have no idea what the hell we’re doing … like, all the time. And yesterday. And this morning. And next Tuesday. And so on.
But there is a way to make your copywriting career feel a bit less scattered, and that’s to niche down.
It seems counterintuitive, but it really really works. Seriously, it’s saved my business and led to some of the most entertaining gigs of my life. Niching = smart copywriting.
I talk a bit about that in the video below. With my giant spazzy eyes and giant spazzy teeth. You’re welcome. Grab some coffee first, because here goes Sarah.
Like I explained in the video, one of the easiest things you can do as a copywriter to generate more business is to make your niche smaller. Again, you need to serve fewer people to get more business.
So let’s niche you down, my friend.
See, people will hire you because you are conversant in their field and can sound the way they want to sound with minimal effort on your part and theirs. There’s a voice element to that, of course, but it also means:
Keep in mind that if you don’t know any of these, you can buy the relevant books and learn them. (For instance, look here and here.) Or you can make friends with the Purdue Owl, which is an ancient but wonderful website that has never let me down.
Unless you write in these styles all day, erry day, you won’t remember them anyway, so don’t hesitate to get your resources in order beforehand.
Similarly, what “lingos” do you understand? Medical, legal, journalistic, fashion, global events, politics, self-love? All of these fields have their own languages, and conversance with them will net you clients and money. If you haven’t yet worked in any of these fields, take a look instead at what you like to read on your own. Chances are you have some expertise stemming from simple interests: traveling, childcare, photography, etc.
Education and jobs are kind of a gimme, because you have been educated and you have had jobs. If your major was in environmental science, well, you can definitely write for people in that field. If you worked at a PR firm for a few years, you can definitely create press releases and related copy.
And lastly, hobbies and interests. Much like the lingo, expertise can come from long-term immersion in certain types of content: science, fitness, cooking and so forth.
And lastly, what do you just plain love talking and writing about? The more you like it, the more you’re likely to keep up with it outside of your work for clients, and the more of an expert you will become. You should definitely gravitate toward your own interests.
Below, I’ve written out some questions for you to think through. These will give you a closer look at the niche industries in which you would excel.
Go to it.
First, list out between 5 and 10 industries in which you have experience. This list is by no means the end-all-be-all, but it will give you a pretty good idea of fields commonly looking for writing services.
Once you’ve selected your main industries, you can start to narrow in on the real skills you can offer clients. Now answer the questions below:
Now, what specialized writing styles do you know? Check applicable boxes below. Again, if you can’t check any, DON’T WORRY. These are easy to learn and NOT must-knows upfront. But they will still be a leg up.
Remember, these aren’t hard to learn. If a client asks if you know them, say yes, then get your butt to a computer or to Amazon and figure it out.
What hobbies and interests particularly fire you up? Name three.
Name three things you just plain love talking and writing about.
Okay, that’s it! See, it wasn’t so hard. I really do advise you to do this work, because establishing your niche industries is just about one of the most valuable things you can do for your career. Now that you have this information, make sure it’s reflected on your website, in your LinkedIn profile and social media feeds, on your resume and in your samples. Clients want to see it, and it will get you much more work than just offering generalized help.
(Like the information in this post? It’s from my Overnight Copywriting course, which includes a variety videos and worksheets to help you deepen your understanding of copywriting in general and generating business in particular. You can find out more by heading to the link and reading up on all the awesome shiz you’ll be able to do if you take it. If you just want to stay in the loop and get access to the Free Resource Library, go ahead and click that pretty picture below.)
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