Marketing is to business what butter is to bread.
Without it, you’ve got only half of something great. Without an effective and properly-structured marketing plan, your business isn’t going anywhere fast. As I sit here writing this, I have a flood of plans to continuously and effectively market my business services – sure, not all of them will work, but I have the plans there.
That’s one sure piece of advice: Always have a plan in place.
If things go wrong, you have something to fall back on and somewhere to focus your efforts. Without a plan, you’ll be flitting from one thing to the other, from one passing fad to the next.
But as the title suggests, this isn’t about marketing PLANS for copywriting, but more about the seasonal trends, and when the most/least popular times are for copywriters.
I did some digging, and scooped up this handy graph from Google; take a look at it, and tell me what you see:
As you can see, the searches drop at the end of each year, around December. This has been pretty consistent since 2004. So if you’re experiencing low traffic, little work and you think your marketing has suddenly turned on you viciously – take a moment and think. December is the end of the year – people are spending on Christmas presents, going away on holidays, and coming up to the end of the financial year.
So my advice? Plan accordingly, and ensure you’ve got enough work/finances to cover this dip in work. Even the top copywriters have dips in performance and work – don’t take it to heart. Just plan accordingly, and you’ll avoid the fatal pitfall so many freelancers fall into!
Other than December, we can see a pretty regular pattern across the rest of the year, with slight drops over the summer (likely due to holidaying and such). Copywriting isn’t a seasonal business – as long as people are selling something, copywriting is needed.
Some solid marketing tips to help you on your way:
1.) Don’t (or stop trying to) emulate other successful copywriters, at least after a certain point. Do you think people want a 2nd rate copy of someone else? They’ll just go for the #1 guy.
Set yourself apart by having your own ‘voice’, and your own style. When I read a Jay Abraham, Gary Halbert, or John Carlton ad, the author is immediately recognisable. Every copywriter falls into their groove after awhile, and develops a certain pattern of writing. Find yours. Carve yourself a niche, and be the best in that niche. Which leads me onto my second point…
2.) Stop attempting to be a jack-of-all-trades, and instead focus your efforts.
This tip has two points I’d like to make. The first is the fact that so many entrepreneurs on the internet these days, do EVERYTHING. Graphic design, copywriting, SEO, etc. Answer me something: Would you rather have a guy who has every skill, but hasn’t mastered any of them – or would you rather have the guy whose honed one skill so well you’re pretty much guaranteed to get high quality every time?
If you’re a copywriter, be a copywriter. If you’re a graphic designer, be a graphic designer. I’m not saying never extend your skillset. What I AM saying is master one thing first, and become renowned for it. THEN move onto something else.
My second point is that when you first start, you tend to have the assumption that if you cover every niche, you’ll get more work. But in actual fact, the opposite applies. It all goes back to trying to cover everything – when you try that, you become ‘average’ at every niche. However, if you specialise into several niches, you become much more potent.
Again, imagine for me this scenario: Two men message you for a job you posted the other day, asking for a copywriter for your up-coming fitness product. One tells you he can do ANYTHING. He’ll take anything. The other however, tells you one of his main niches and one of his passions is in fact, the fitness niche – who would you go for? The handyman, or the specialist?
I think I already know the answer.
3.) Be picky about your work.
This is especially important for those who are just starting out in their field. You’ve got to have direction, passion, motivation, and above all, a set of standards. I made this mistake when I first started out in copywriting, and it cost me.
My initial thought was “Hey, I’m gonna get as much work as possible, and build a huge portfolio! Then I’ll be able to market myself in a huge way!” But boy oh boy, did it turn out differently. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s put it this way – most of my first ‘wave’ of clients never gave me the results of my work, or even a testimonial.
In fact, one guy I wrote for ran off with my copy, after promises of royalties, only to come back months later asking me if I could write him some articles! Heh – I suppose the copy performed quite well.
But my point is this: be picky about who you work with. Be picky about the projects you take. There are a lot of bottom dwellers on the internet, who won’t hesitate to take full advantage of your naivete. Don’t learn this the hard way. Make sure the product is good – so good that it gets you excited to work on copy for it.
And while sometimes you have to work unpaid, under the chance that it will lead to better prospects, you should almost always get paid. Your time is valuable. Even more, your skills have taken you months and years to acquire – don’t sell them away cheaply.
That’s all for now.
Stay focused and the result will come!