At the beginning of my copywriting career, I realized if I didn’t do something every day, I would never succeed. Because I had a full-time job, it was too easy to come home and crash on the couch if I didn’t have a solid day-by-day plan.
Freelance writers face a lot of hurdles, and sometimes it can feel like they’re too high to jump over. By doing something every day to move your business forward, you’re gradually knocking a few inches off your hurdles at a time.
Eventually, they’ll be short enough to just step over so you can move on to the next level in your copywriting career.
The toughest part is knowing where to start. There are so many things to do. The answer is to just start somewhere. Anywhere will do because when you’re taking action daily, things fall in place faster than you would think.
When I started, I made a commitment to spend at least 30 minutes a day on my business. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but in the beginning, it was all I could manage. Little by little, it paid off.
Based on what I did and how it worked out, I think there are three essential things a copywriter needs to do on a regular basis:
- Take Action
- Stay Motivated
Here are some ideas of where you can start and how you can do something every day in 30 minutes or less.
Each day, you should spend a little time learning more about copywriting and marketing. You could use your daily time to read a chapter in a program. The next day practice what you learned. If you have more than 10 minutes for learning, read the chapter and practice in the same day.
Here is a list of things you might do in your 10 minutes (put several of these on your schedule for next week and see how much you can get done):
- Review or read a chapter of a book or the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
- Read and analyze an email autoresponder you received from opting in at a website. (You should be receiving emails from potential clients as well as companies that give advice to move your business forward.)
- Do a practice activity in a course or learning program.
- Take a headline from something you got in the mail and write 10 different versions of it.
- Copy a sales letter from an A-level copywriter by hand.
2. Take Action
Learning something every day is great, but I hear interviews all the time where successful people say the reason for their success is they took action.
If your goal is to live the writer’s life, you’ll have to take action – there’s no getting around that. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.
Here are some things you can do in 10 minutes to move your business forward (again, put several of these on your schedule for next week and see how much you can get done):
- Touch base with a potential client. This doesn’t have to be stressful. If you need a reason to connect, tell them about an article you think they might enjoy.
- Outline a blog post or guest blog post for your website.
- Record a video for your website of yourself giving some advice to potential clients.
- Outline or work on your one-page self-promotion letter.
- Address and stamp 25 self-promotion letters.
- Apply to a job posting or two.
- Research some potential clients and add them to your list.
- Pick up the phone and call a few potential clients.
- Call a few companies you’d like to work for and ask if they hire freelance copywriters.
- Follow up with a client who has hired you before. Ask if they have any current needs or can give you a referral.
3. Stay Motivated
This is the first thing I do every day, but it’s last on my list here because some people like to focus all their time and energy on the easy stuff and leave the hard stuff (like action) for later.
Be careful how much time you spend on motivation and mindset. It is easy to get sucked into a personal development program and believe that you can’t do anything actionable until you have finished the program.
This happens because often there is this belief (or hope) that by going through the program, you will be “ready” at the end. But personal development is a journey that should be done daily. Use it to improve yourself, not hold you back from taking action.
Now, on to staying motivated … Lately, my favorite method of working on motivation is to practice meditation. I have found it helps me focus and keeps me from getting stressed.
Here are some suggestions for how you can use your 10 minutes of motivation time:
- Start a gratitude journal and write in it daily.
- Start a goal poster or dream board.
- Add something to your goal poster or dream board.
- Talk to your accountability partner.
- Review your reasons for wanting to live the writer’s life. What will your life be like when you achieve your goals?
- Review any compliments you’ve received about your writing.
As you can see, learning, taking action, and staying motivated don’t have to be time-consuming. By doing something every day in each area, you’ll move your business forward in ways you wouldn’t believe.
And, of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to only 30 minutes a day. But smaller chunks of time are much more manageable for a lot of people who are just getting started.
Thirty minutes is so short, you could easily squeeze it into your day. You could get up 30 minutes early, cut your TV time by 30 minutes, or work 10 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch, and 10 before bed. It may take some creativity, but if you’re committed, you can make changes in your life that will allow you to live the writer’s life.
What about you? What changes have you made?
Comment below to join the discussion …