My least-known secret for getting new copywriting clients

September 8th, 2017 by Bob Bly

Last month, I wrote an article saying I am against copywriters
working “on spec” — with rare exceptions.

Subscriber DW agreed that spec work is a bad idea for writers.

But when she added, “In my opinion, it’s right up there with
sending prospects samples of your work,” I immediately replied
“On that, we do not agree.”

The fact is, showing potential copywriting clients samples of my
published work … with my current clients’ permission, of course …
is a key factor in me making six figures a year for almost 4
decades.

Here is my online copywriting portfolio posted on my site:

www.bly.com/newsite/Pages/portfolio.php

Notice 3 important things about my portfolio:

>> First, it’s big. Really big. I don’t know of a copywriter who
has more samples posted online than I do, although there may be —
I haven’t looked hard.

By having so many samples, I increase the odds that I have
something online that will impress the client and make him want
to hire me.

>> Second, it’s organized in two sections: one by media (e.g.,
brochures, landing pages, white papers) and the second by product
or industry (e.g., financial, health care, software).

For the client who, unbeknownst to me, is browsing my site, this
makes it easier for him to find what he is looking for.

>> Third, each sample has a unique clickable hyperlink that I can
cut and paste into an email or document.

This allows me to send to prospects I am in contact with the
samples that best fit their needs and interests within a minute
or two — by pasting their URLs into an email and sending it to
them.

I have constructed my online portfolio this way because if a
sample is well written and generated good response, the closer
the sample is to what the client wants me to write for them, the
more likely I am to be hired, all else being equal.

Yes, I understand that, when you are a newbie (I never use the
term “copy cub”), you don’t have a lot of samples at the
beginning of your career.

But my advice is: get as many samples of your work as you can —
and ask the client’s permission to post them on your site. So you
can build a bigger portfolio rather than a smaller one, as
quickly as you can.

Two warnings: Never post or share a sample of your work unless
the client has given you the okay.

And never post a promotion that you did not in fact write.

Aside from being completely unethical, for all you know the
prospect you are showing it to is the person who actually did the
promo you just tried to pass off as your own.

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