How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter and Editor | Melissa Ushtchenko | Skillshare

How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter and Editor

Melissa Ushtchenko, Photographer + Mindset Coach

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7 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1: Know Your Strengths

    • 3. Lesson 2: Brainstorming

    • 4. Lesson 3: Your Personal Network

    • 5. Lesson 4 Network Research

    • 6. Class Project

    • 7. Final Thoughts


About This Class

This class will show students how to tap into their existing network to get started in copywriting, editing, and proofreading.

By the end of the class, students will have a strategy for outreach and building a support network. Each lesson will provide students with an actionable takeaway item to build confidence to break into copywriting and editing.


1. Introduction: Welcome to my school share class on how to get started as a freelance copywriter and editor . This class will show you how to leverage your existing network so you can get started as a freelancer. No portfolio required. That's classes designed for beginners, and those early on in their careers were looking to grow. I personally got my start as a freelance copywriter by reaching out to my existing network . It's really easy to forget about this incredibly valuable resource, but I'm going to walk you through how to tactfully tap into your network so you can get started as a freelancer. A couple things to know about this class. It will not teach you copy writing skills or techniques. And I won't talk about freelance Web sites like Fiverr up work, freelancer or any others. That's class will go through a great method for getting started in freelancing. This is about getting your foot in the door and building your network 2. Lesson 1: Know Your Strengths: before we get started. Let's go through some terms. So the main terms are copyrighting content, writing, editing and Prue. Pretty copyrighting is more for the purposes of marketing and raising awareness about brands and content. Writing is more about entertainment and driving brand engagement content. Writing is about getting people to stay on a page at a name is about improving the overall quality of writing. Editors will look at tone, language, toys, flow and clarity. Appropriating, on the other hand, is a scaled down version of editing, and it looks more at thes surface type things like grammar, spelling and punctuation. Before you go out and start marketing yourself in your work, take some time to look back at old pieces of writing or assignments from school to really assess what your strengths are and identify areas where you might need to improve. Having confidence in your skills and the ability to consistently deliver on them are two crucial elements for getting clients, keeping clients and being successful. Your network is so important because word of mouth referral is one of the best ways to get clients. Just think of the impact of reviews and testimonials for products and restaurants. If you do good work and deliver on your promises, you will get referrals. I got started with writing and editing as a direct result of a word of mouth referral from someone in my personal network who is familiar with my work. If you're interested in getting feedback on your writing, upload something recent that you're comfortable sharing to get feedback from me and other classmates, you can also send it directly to me. For feedback. Provide some background on what the peace was. Four and any other information you think would be useful. This activity has a few benefits. By participating, you will get feedback on your writing. You'll be able to practice editing and proof reading other people's work. You'll get used to other people reading your work and you'll get comfortable receiving feedback. So feel free to participate in the activity, and I look forward to reading your ready 3. Lesson 2: Brainstorming: Now that you have a better idea of where your skills are at in terms of copy writing and editing, you're probably starting to think about how you can put those skills to use. At this stage. It can be really overwhelming because the copyrighting industry is huge. There are so many different powers you can go down. That is easy to get. Decision paralysis. So you may be thinking, How do I know where to start? How do we know what type of topics they'll be good at or enjoy writing about? How do we start defining my zone of genius? One way to overcome this feeling is to figure out what you actually enjoy writing and talking about and remember that there are no wrong answers. All of this is about learning and exploring. It's a really good starting point to brainstorm which topics you both enjoy writing about and also have experience or knowledge in So for the activity. For this lesson, you can use the spread sheet provided or make your own. So I'm here in the spreadsheet now you can see at the bottom. It's, um, activity one. So, um, here are two columns, one is topics I enjoyed. The other is topics I have knowledge and experience in. And I encourage you to be really broad. Write down everything that you can think of. So I've written down cats, nature and conservation. I also enjoy international relations and politics. So over here, um, I have some knowledge about God and experience Also have some knowledge about conservation and politics. So I'm just gonna type a why? For yes, besides those. So I'm not typing up the name again. And just continue doing that until you can't think of any more topics. Once you're done, share your lists with the class, check out other lists and see if there any topics to you might have missed. And, of course, see the list for leaders. You can come back to it. 4. Lesson 3: Your Personal Network: your personal network is made up of warm and cold contacts. Warm contacts are those who you keep in touch with. These people are more likely to help you if you asked, and vice versa. But the same token, if you're warm contacts came across an opportunity that would be great for you. They would pass it along or refer you. If they had an opportunity for you themselves, they would reach out. This goes both ways. Relationships are a two way street. Building relationships and maintaining trust are the foundations of a strong, warm network. Don't go into this thinking about what you can get from them. Keep in touch with people who you general genuinely want to keep in touch with. And you should not exploit relationships or use people just for leads. A freelance career relies so heavily on word of mouth and reviews. How do you treat people? Is extremely important as a personal tip? Be very open and honest with people about what you're doing and the business you're trying to build without asking for anywhere. Core leads when people know about your goals and what you're working on, it's more likely that you'll be in their mind when an opportunity comes up. The fact that you didn't ask for anything helps establish report and lets them know that you are not exploiting their relationship. So the next activity is about researching who is in your network again. You can use the spreadsheet provided which I have open here or you can make your own. I suggest you make a list of 20 people, goes down to 20 of people that you personally know and have spoken to within the last 12 months. You can include people who you haven't spoken to recently if you generally have a strong relationship or if their family. If you're not sure, you can always ask yourself if this person would find it weird if they received a text or an email from you today so you can see on a spreadsheet I've put here on column B, Part one. These are the names of people you know. So when you share this list to school share, you're gonna leave this column out. We don't want to share any personal information, and in part two will come to that later. So don't worry about that. Part one is just about listing people, you know, but you can see a little preview of what's coming in 5. Lesson 4 Network Research: There are so many different industries and types of businesses, and almost all of them need copyrighting or proof reading for something. For example, you might start off reading listings for local real estate agency or content for a blogged . Or maybe you start off with product descriptions. Every website needs copy, so there are lots of opportunities for getting started. So we're back in the spreadsheet. The one that you saw from the last activity is. So now we're going to move into part two. This one is about all, uh, all about what the people in your network do. So we've already made a list of people we know. Now we're gonna start listing what they do, what sort of hobbies or community involvement they have. And then we're going to rank them based on your interests, your expertise. And you're gonna also ask yourself if this person would need copyrighting are perverting. You can also put a guess in this column if you think they might know someone who would need that service. So over here in column C and her job field, this could be Web designing. This could be bloggers. People with small businesses, even medium or large businesses that could be people who work in communications departments , anything like that. So update the spreadsheet and remember that when you share this list, um, you can share a part two here with the class, but don't share column B Don't share what we did for Part one, which has people's names so you can just copy and paste the part two section into, ah, a new document and share that with the class. 6. Class Project: Now that you have a list of some people in your network, it's time to take action and reach out to them. The class project is about creating an email or message template that you can customize and used to reach out to friends, family and acquaintances in your network. Use your judgment to decide what the best way to contact each person is. It's better to email them. Or maybe it's better to private. Message them on social media. Ask yourself how you would reach out to each person normally provided a sample structure for your template, email or message. Here, it's important to start with a reading. You can then move into a specific or personal reference for that content. For example, maybe you'll say, How are the kids or how's the West Coast? Anything like that? Just something little personal touch. I think it's working that you get right into the reason that you're reaching out. You don't want to make it a mystery or hide your request somewhere in the bottom of your message. It seems really sketchy that way. People see through that, and it does not help to build trust, so be very up front with my your messaging. Let them know that you've decided Teoh, get into freelance copyrighting where editing and then summarize your skills and experience . But, for example, I've decided to get into freelance copyrighting. I have a lot of experience with this from my university or college program. I've edited coworker or other student assignments. Anything like that. Use your experience to your advantage. Next, you can ask if this would be a service that they need or if they know anyone who does. If they say yes, Amazing asked to me if possible, Um, it's always great to meet in person. Um, it's much more personal, and, um, it's a great way to close a deal, so to speak. At least they know that's OK to make sure you thank them. So just meeting up anyway, if possible to catch up. Um, and this is also a reminder that they are an important person to you that you're not exploiting the relationship. So I purposely did not provide an example a set template message. I think at this stage it's really important that you practice writing from thing something from scratch, and it's important to develop your own voice. You're going to be communicating with people for your entire career, so it's really good to be well practiced at crafting these types of messages. It's also important to remember, remember that these templates are meant to be customized. Once you make them, they will still just be starting points. You want to customize it to each person, make it personal, and you also may need to adjust the tone for each person. So don't worry about sticking to the exact wording in the template, and you don't have to worry about finding the perfect words right now. So good luck writing your template messages. I'm really excited to read. Um, remember that you can upload them toothy class project section. You can get feedback from other classmates as well as myself. Or if you don't want to do that, you can feel free to send them directly to me for feedback. And I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. 7. Final Thoughts: in this class. We have talked about the importance of your personal network and building relationships. You've brainstormed for field you might like to work in. You've created a list of people in your network and you created a template message for getting in touch with them. I hope this class has been helpful for you on your journey to getting started as a freelancer. If you have any questions or would like additional be back. Feel free to get in touch with me. Thank you for participating in this class and I'll see you in the next one.