Taylor Medine, a freelance personal finance writer, had been writing blog pieces for a few years when a customer requested assistance with email campaigns. Medine saw it as a chance to broaden her horizons and dived right in.
While it took some time for Medine to hone her marketing copywriting skills, she discovered that developing email campaigns was more profitable and less time-consuming than, say, writing articles. "With articles, payment is typically based on word count and quality, so you have to work more to earn more," Medine explained. "It doesn't matter how many words are on the page when it comes to email copy. What matters is the impact of those words. The income potential is huge if you can write copy rapidly and obtain results."
There are a slew of freelancers who specialize in top-of-the-funnel content, such as social copy, blog entries, and other types of writing that raise brand awareness. However, there is a growing demand for copywriters who can move readers closer to conversion—signing up for whatever a company is trying to offer. Consider data-driven reports, product copywriting, webinars, case studies, customer success stories, landing sites, and whitepapers.
Setting yourself apart as a freelancer in one of these "middle- and bottom-funnel" areas is a great way to stand out.
Create a marketing mindset.
According to Konrad Sanders, CEO and main strategist at The Creative Copywriter, content writers frequently come from a journalistic background. They excel at producing educational, value-driven, and entertaining content, which is typically found at the top of the sales funnel.
"The problem is that freelance writers don't often have the skill set of a professional copywriter—someone who truly understands how to market," Sanders explained. "Copywriters are taught to think about psychology, the art of persuasion, and how to move prospects down the funnel effectively." They also know how to communicate that information in a few words."
Middle- and bottom-funnel copywriters are more difficult to come by than generalists because they work in a more specialized industry. That means they're in more demand—and frequently command premium prices.
You need a marketing mind to write a solid case study or landing page copy, according to Todd Anthony, executive creative director of content marketing agency Pinwheel. He stated that while there are legions of writers who can churn out a blog article, not all of them grasp the complexities of marketing strategy.
"Copywriting is a science as much as an art." "It's not something you can just pick up and accomplish on your own," Sanders explained. Speaking to a segmented audience is part of marketing copywriting. It must also be accompanied by the proper architecture. Freelancers can acquire these fundamentals by enrolling in a content marketing or copywriting course offered by Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or another online resource.
You may also learn from the masters—brands whose copywriting you appreciate. In Medine's example, she looked at emails that made her want to buy something or learn more by clicking on CTAs. "If I get an email from a business, I'll go through it and attempt to find out what's causing me to feel or behave," she explained.
Storytelling continues to be important
When it comes to marketing copy, those with more traditional writing backgrounds have one advantage: storytelling is still an important component of the process. It merely has a different appearance.
In a nutshell, marketing copy such as sales emails, landing pages, and case studies provide a story about how a service or product can solve a customer's problem. Writers must be alternately engaging, instructive, and persuasive to accomplish this effectively, according to Anthony. A splash of wit here and there doesn't hurt, either.
Medine recommended filtering novel-writing or investigative journalism talents via a product-centric lens for freelancers trying to break into this type of content. She advised, "Start by writing about your favorite product or service." Experiment with the essential pillars of a story arc and the main aspects of a narrative, focusing on the product.
Freelancers can explore for chances with existing clientele, as Medine did. Check with your trusted contacts to see if they require assistance creating case studies, webinars, or landing pages. You'd be shocked at how many of your current clients require this type of information.
Be a big fish in a small pond
According to Anthony, today's content marketers must think more like curriculum designers. "They have a tremendous chance to be educators," he said, "to help their audience gain a specific proficiency in a particular subject." "Think about stuff from that standpoint when you're thinking about it."
Writers must establish their own expertise of an industry or business in order to be successful. It's a good idea to establish yourself as a leader. "Expertise and experience, especially in small sectors where such things are quite rare and are what bring you greater prices and more regular jobs." said content expert Paul Conley.
This is true for all types of marketing collateral, including long-form publications, according to Conley. There are only so many people who can write on how machine learning can forecast retail customer intent, the newest developments in railroad track layout, or the influence of managed care on group homes, for example.
To be that big fish, put in the time and effort to read trade publications, subscribe to news feeds, follow notable individuals and companies on Twitter, and read academic journals to remain on top of industry trends. Find and speak with professionals in your field.
Some talents are universal, regardless of where you are in the funnel. "You must have a strong understanding of your audience, where they are on their journey, and how to reinforce your brand story along the route," Anthony stated. "You must be an excellent writer with a strong sense of empathy."