It’s been a lean year for many, but there is hope on the horizon. Many businesses are revising and reworking their Websites to stay current, gain relevance or grab a larger share of revenue. All of this can translate to dollars if you follow these tips to land Web copy jobs.
NETWORK IN YOUR TARGETED MARKET
One of the best ways to land local Website jobs is to network with other professionals. Start with local networking events such as paper shows, trade shows, conferences and small business events related to fields you are interested in. The point is to get out there and meet business owners.
The key at these events is to realize you are there to sell yourself and your services. It’s your job to illustrate to business owners how you can make their lives easier by handling their Web copy. Be prepared to hand out business cards and Web addresses for sites you have written.
MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF
Another great strategy is targeted advertising. Of course, you need to have a professional Website of your own. If nothing else, you can send prospective clients to your site to check out your writing. But beyond a Website, you should join professional groups with freelance writers, graphic designers or other creative types. Many of these groups will have Websites that allow you to post a monthly article, a portfolio or links to your own Website.
Take advantage of any group or site that allows you to write a column or articles. Writing about how tone influences Web copy, or on SEO strategies, not only gets your name out there, but sets you up as an expert in your field. After all, if the writers are turning to you for advice, business owners just do the same.
CONNECT WITH AGENCIES
Another practical strategy to landing copy work is to connect with a local advertising or marketing firm. Many excellent agencies are small enough that they may have very few, if any, writers on staff, which means that overflow goes to freelancers. Working for hire means another company is landing the jobs, so you can focus your efforts on providing great copy.
And remember, if you land an assignment with a marketing firm, make sure you deliver. A company that is pleased with your efforts and professionalism will be sure to send you a steady stream of work in the future.
YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT
The last tool you’ll need to actually land a Web copy job is the perfect price. Too low and a company will worry that you’re inexperienced; too high and you risk pricing yourself out of the job. Many businesses and agencies will want a flat fee from you, and that is fine as long as you keep in mind what you need to earn per hour. Follow these steps to nail that quote:
A.) Meet with the client. Find out exactly what they expect from you. Do they have a site that needs revising or one that needs to be written from scratch? Will you need to interview people, or is all the research fully completed? Do they have slogans, value propositions and logos in place, or will you be helping to create these?
B.) Estimate your time. Jot down your expected hours for each step of the project. Remember to include various meetings and phone time into the proposition. Once you have an idea of how many hours the project will take, add about ten percent to it. There are almost always add-ons and unexpected revisions after the initial design is completed. It’s better for you to include that up front (without necessarily mentioning it!) than to ask for more money later.
C.) Determine your hourly rate. Average rates vary by region and by experience. Less experienced writers working in a depressed region or with a lot of competition might charge $25.00 per hour, while well-established writers at the top of the field might easily bring in $150.00 per hour. If your rate is $50.00 per hour and you think a job will take you 40 hours, add four hours and submit a quote of $2200.00.
D.) Adjust based on your client. Finally, adjust your quote based on the situation. If you are working directly for a large corporation, plan in extra time for phone calls, requests for changes and so on, while freelancing for an agency may save you time as you might only deal with one person. You might also adjust up or down depending on the size of the company or a stated project budget.
STEP INTO THE FRAY
The bottom line is there is Web copy work out there, but you need to take the first step. With a little effort and know-how you will be able to find, quote and land those jobs.
Lisa Tiffin is a freelance writer from Upstate New York. She enjoys writing Web copy as a change of pace and to boost her income. Learn more about her at http://www.lisatiffin.com.