How to become a copywriter – tips & advice

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Now that you’ve got a better idea of what it means to be a freelance copywriter, let’s take a look in some more detail at how to become a copywriter. This advice applies whether you’re just taking your first tentative steps in copywriting, or you’re looking to grow your freelance business.

How to become a copywriter – the basics

Once you’ve learned the skill of copywriting by learning from example and practising, it’s time to make some money! The first thing you’ll need is clients. Yes, you heard me – before you even have a website in place, you need to get yourself out there and start working with people. If you’re still growing your business, clients aren’t going to come to you. There’s time to work out how to attract clients to your site later, but for now, you’ll want to see the first fruits of your labours.

The easiest way to get those first clients coming in is to register with one of the many freelance job sites out there. We’ve found that peopleperhour and Upwork are two of the best. It’s easy to get yourself a profile and start bidding for work, but it’s worth realising that this is going to be hard work. In order to win bids, you’ll need to play the numbers game at first.

Until you have some positive feedback, it’ll be difficult fighting off the competition, but don’t lose heart. Get some examples of your work up there, and take your time to craft attractive proposals that are tailored to each job – don’t just copy and paste! Many clients buy in bulk regularly from these sites, and with so many candidates out there, they’re skilled at spotting generic proposals. Use yours to stand out from the crowd.

Behave professionally and they’ll keep coming back

To become a copywriter, you need to act professionally from the beginning. Complete your work on time and to your client’s requirements. Also, remember to be personable when you’re talking over the project with them! A large part of repeat business is gained by being easy to work with and making it seem like nothing is a hassle. Do this, and you’ll start getting positive feedback.

Positive feedback starts a chain reaction – once potential clients can see that you’ve completed work successfully, on time and to a high standard, they’re much more likely to hire you. Make sure you get feedback, recommendations and testimonials from clients that you can use to attract others in the future.

Now what?

Now that you’ve got your first clients under your belt and you’re getting some repeat business, there are two things you want to do – secure your foundations, and grow!

Part of securing the work you’ve done so far is managing your time. Once you have a few projects on the go, it’s easy to get in a muddle. Deadlines cross each other, you mix up clients with the wrong projects – we’ve all been there. The easiest way to solve this is time management.

One tip for keeping everything in order is to steal an idea from the blogging community. Since it’s likely you’ll be doing some blogging work as part of your copywriting, you may as well make it work for you!

If you’re using WordPress for a lot of your work, download the Editorial Calendar plugin. It’s free and scores a huge five stars. Once it’s installed, you can use it to plan out your own blogging, which will come in handy later. However, it’s also a great way of planning out your working month.

Create draft posts for each of your copywriting jobs, and you can just drag and drop them around the calendar. These can be tagged or categorised depending on the client, topic and such, and you can remind yourself regularly of what work needs to be done.

Another tool we love here at Recruit Write is Meister Task. There are so many todo and project management web apps out there, and we’ve tried them all. However, Meister Task is intuitive, looks fantastic, and even has a built-in time logging function so you can easily invoice. You can have separate projects, each customised to suit your needs and the whole package works like a great combination of Asana and Trello. Best of all, it’s free!

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to be a copywriter, it’s time to grow your business. Next time we’ll cover how to improve your web presence and start attracting clients to you.

 

 

 

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How to Become a Productivity Master Today

You can easily sit at your desk for 8 hours straight, but that doesn’t guarantee that you will be productive. Productivity is not really about how long you work for, but rather how much work you get done. You can get the same volume of work completed in 3 hours, as you can in 5, if you are focused and determined. Whether you run your own business or you work for an employer, your opportunities for success will be determined by how productive you are. It is not always easy but there are some simple measures you can take to become a productivity master today!

Remove Distractions

This is easier said than done, but it is one of the most important actions to take if you want to be as productive as possible. You may think checking Facebook or sending a quick text doesn’t take long, but it can easily take your concentration away from the task in hand and can cause a dip in productivity levels. It is a good idea to keep your phone off, or at least hidden from view and to refrain from checking it or your social media pages until after lunch or when you get home in the evening. A couple of seconds can easily spiral into half an hour and this can have consequences for how productive you will be. Most communication can wait, so don’t be tempted into getting into long, drawn out conversations. The less distractions you have, the more productive you will be. Don’t be afraid to refuse to attend meetings that you don’t believe will hold any value, as these can just take up a lot of unnecessary time.

Set Deadlines

At the start of the day, it is important to write a to-do list and also set yourself some deadlines for when you want to complete work. For instance, if you are writing a report and know you can complete it within two hours, make sure you put your head down for those two hours and don’t go over the deadline. You will feel better if you complete your list of tasks for the day and will learn to become more productive by setting your own deadlines.

Regular Breaks

It may seem that sitting down at your desk for 8 hours solid is the best way to be productive, but it is not physically or mentally possible to stay focused for this period of time. It is much more productive and better for your health, if you take regular breaks from your desk and particularly if you can get outside for some fresh air. If you aim to take breaks every couple of hours, even for just 15 minutes, you will find that you may get a new lease of life when you return to your desk. It is important to remember that we are not robots and we need regular exercise to stay motivated.

If you’re looking for the next step in your career, check out the banking and financial jobs we have available at Nationwide Jobs today.

Employers – What to Know About 2016 Employment Law Changes

A new year has kicked off and with this comes a number of changes to the employment law. Employers should be aware of these changes and put plans into action to deal with these, if required, and if they have not already done so. A number of the changes are HR related and may require action from this department.

Introduction of National Living Wage

Many companies have already implemented the National Living Wage, but if you have not done so, you will need to have it in place by 1st April 2016. The National Living Wage applies to workers who are aged 25 or over and is aimed at protecting workers on low salaries within this age bracket. It does, however, exclude those in the first year of an apprenticeship. The national living wage will exceed the national minimum wage for this age group and is currently being set at a minimum rate of £7.20 per hour. The National Living Wage will become the law, just like the National Minimum Wage, so it is imperative that employers ensure this is in place.

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Gender Pay Gap Reports

There has been a lot in the press recently about gender pay gaps and in an attempt to reduce these gaps, employers will need to publish details on their pay rates, both for males and females. This will be introduced in March and will affect businesses who employ 250 or more employees. This particular legislation is still a bit sketchy, with specific details on what is expected from employers still to be released.

Sick Pay and Maternity and Paternity Pay Rates Frozen

There will be no increase in statutory sick pay and the rates for maternity, paternity adoption and shared parental pay will also remain the same as they were in 2015. Employers do not need to make any changes here.

Employing Foreign Workers

There will be more stringent rules in place when it comes to employing foreign workers into the business. Some of these changes include, a requirement for all employees working in face to face customer roles to be able to speak fluent English. There will also be an immigration skills charge introduced for those employers who use foreign workers.

It is important to keep on top of the employment law and how it may affect your staff. If you require HR support on a bespoke/temporary basis, contact me for more information or visit www.recruitwrite.com.

5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating in the Workplace

Whether it’s staring at the screen or day dreaming our way through long, boring meetings, we would probably all agree that we never finish our day with the knowledge that we have been as productive as we could be. With small changes though, you can easily make big differences to your working day and help reduce procrastination levels. If you stick to this, you may find that you can reduce your stress levels and impress those above you!

Close Social Media

It is amazing the hours you can waste just looking at updates of people’s dinner on Facebook and what do you really gain from it in the end? If you can’t stay away from social media, just reduce the number of times you look at it. For instance, wait until the evening to catch up with people on social media and you will probably find that you get a lot more work done.

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Plan Your Day

Take time at the start of your day to plan out your workload and how long it will take you to complete each task. This will enable you to ensure that you get all your tasks for the day done and that you don’t waste time on other unnecessary tasks.

Track Time

If you really look at the time you spend on your tasks, you will probably find that you waste a lot of time which could be spent on more productive activities. There are programs such as Rescue Time, which you can download and look at how long you spent on work versus entertainment. You will be surprised at the results!

Take Breaks

Many people think they are more productive if they keep their head down all day but this is often an unproductive way of working. You should always make sure you take regular breaks, as this will give you time to refresh your head, so you are ready to be as productive as possible.

Reduce Meetings

There are often a lot of unnecessary meetings and you will probably find that you don’t need to turn up to every single one. If you can reduce time spent in meaningless meetings, you will probably be a lot more productive. Meetings can often be a waste of precious time and can take you away from other tasks. The more you can reduce the unnecessary meetings, the better it will be for your productivity levels.