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Is Networking an Effective Way to Get Copywriting Clients?

Grow Your Freelance Copywriting Business Through Personal Contacts

freelance copywriting
Meeting with prospects at the local coffee shop or their office is time-consuming but can be effective for generating sales for your freelance copywriting business.

As someone with a well-established freelance copywriting business, I’m frequently asked if I use networking as my primary method for getting clients?

I do to some degree, but most of my networking these days is done on social media. I get to know folks through LinkedIn and occasionally Facebook. When they have a copywriting need for their business or know someone seeking a copywriter, they’ll contact me. So my networking is online, not in person, but that doesn’t mean traditional networking can’t work for you.

Social networks offer the opportunity to meet new people who could potentially become clients.

When I was starting my freelance copywriting business eons ago. I always had a stack of business cards in my purse. I never missed an opportunity to meet someone new and talk about their business, which often then led to talking about my business.

The way I got clients was by joining networking organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, which had monthly business-after-hours networking events. I also joined several local women’s professional groups. I made it a point to know EVERYONE.

I volunteered to sit on the boards or to be the editor/copywriter of their newsletters. That way everyone got to know me and also my capabilities.

I attended any business trade shows held in my local area. It was another great opportunity to meet new people and also reconnect with business people I already knew.

trade shows
Trade shows are a good venue for networking. Be sure to follow-up with good prospects.

I would make notes as I walked around the show of people to reach out to after the show. Sometimes that meant sending them a follow-up email saying it was nice to meet them and oh, by the way, I offer these services. Other times, it was a phone call to try to schedule a meeting, if they’d expressed an interest when we initially spoke.

I also did cold-calling, which sucked but occasionally netted some work. I don’t know anyone who enjoys it. I would contact individuals or businesses who I thought might possibly have a need for my services. Sending an introductory letter was less painful than making calls but still not my idea of fun.

Slightly better than cold-calling was connecting with other professionals like graphic designers, videographers and product photographers who could refer work to me. And I also netted work from calling on ad agencies that didn’t have a full-time copywriter on board.

Back in those days, you spent a lot of time getting business that now goes into doing business. The internet changed everything. Now I’m practically a shut-in.

Because I work so many hours and don’t go to meetings, I’m almost always home, which is where my office is. My husband and I have even begun considering whether we should downsize to one car instead of two!

I use my website, blog and some social media networking as I mentioned as the primary means for bringing in new business. I don’t even have business cards because I never meet anyone in person.

I should mention too that the majority of my clients are not local. Any type of in-person networking I’ve done would never have led me to them. Like so many businesses, I look to the internet for worldwide exposure. Recently, I’ve done copywriting projects for companies in China, Singapore, Germany and France.

copywriting business
When your copywriting business becomes well-established, you may be able to back off of networking and wait for clients to come to you.

Gone are the days when you’d do a big dog and pony show. What’s the sales process look like now? Here’s how it usually goes down.

  1. A client searches for a copywriter and finds my website or is referred by an existing client.
  2. He emails me to ask how much it will cost for a particular job, say copywriting a Home, About Us and Services page for their website.
  3. I send him a proposal with a quote and timeline for getting the work done.
  4. The deposit amount lands in my PayPal account, sometimes just a few minutes after I’ve sent the proposal.
  5. I get to work.

I realize it’s a luxury to have a steady stream of clients who are referred to me or find my website and contact me, eliminating the need for me to do any cold-calling or selling. I’ve worked hard to get to this point, building my freelance copywriting practice for years. Someone just starting out is not going to be in that position.

copywriting projects
An in-person meeting may be worth the effort if the client has potential to bring you large or multiple copywriting projects.

What would I do if I was now not in that situation? I’d probably revert back to doing some networking, both in person and online. There’s value in getting to know people who have the possibility of hiring you for copywriting gigs or referring you to people they know. Family, friends and businesses that you know in the area can be a great place to start.

The most successful freelance copywriters aren’t necessarily the best writers. Often, they’re just the most effective sellers of their services.

Want more tips to grow your freelance copywriting business? Request my FREE report. Email Susan Greene at and put “Copywriter Report” in the subject line.

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Really sends the message home – POW!

Wow! Sounds great! I’d call that a wrap. Thank you so much for bearing with me. This was well worth the effort. Really sends the message home – POW!

Corey Hooper
Creators Bounty
Lighthouse Point, Florida

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