When you tell someone you are a freelance copywriter, you most likely get “oohs and ahhs” with people thinking how glamorous it must be to dash off some clever words and make tons of money while working from the comfort of your home. Others just think you don’t even have a job or they think that you are most likely sitting on the sofa, watching daytime television in your robe and flipflops, with an odd job. Some have confided that they figured there may be a client or two and that a copywriter is probably, well, merely dedicated to typing some “stuff” on a computer. According to a 2015 State of Freelance Industry, there are a lot of people typing some “stuff” on their computers, and these activities often fall under the guise of copywriting – approximately 10% of the now 53 million total U.S. freelancer population. That’s a lot of people making a living at doing (‘stuff’) what they love.
Explaining What You Do
You know what you do as a copywriter but it can often be challenging to explain to others. Typically, no day is ever the same and no copywriting project just like another. Sure, the official definition by the likes of American Writers & Artists Inc. says that you are focused on writing advertising promotional materials, such as brochures, emails, catalogs, billboards, online ads and websites, but in reality you are most likely also doing social media writing and other types of marketing writing like blogs and articles. You might even be doing press releases, white papers, and video scripts.
Today’s freelance writing environment definitely blurs the lines between the various titles for writers out there. Essentially, you become a Jack or Jill of all things writing. The overriding connection between all the writing projects you do is that it is sometimes less editorial and more about influencing the target audience, or using calls to action to get others to purchase; but the biggest requirement today, is often information. You have to have something that the people want to read — something that gives the reader value in the form of usable information.
Satisfying on Many Levels
After working in the corporate world as a tech writer or marketing department member, it does feel rather idyllic to make great money working from home in a business that may or may not require additional formal education (no one asks to see your degree) or very much investment to get the business up and running. Although the competition is out there, the double-digit freelance copywriting websites with projects mean that you are in demand, which means you can build a steady flow of work (and cash).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median pay for copywriters at approximately $56,000+ per year. However, there are many people out there that are actually carving out six figures for themselves. These individuals are able to work full-time for companies that are desperate to have good writers to create the messaging that sells their products and services, as well as being able to research and put out required information on needed topics.
Managing a Copywriting Business
As copywriters and writers in general tend to be a rare creative breed, there is more of a need to emphasize the importance of maintaining the business aspects of a freelance copywriting career. Considered artists, it is easy to become caught up in the creativity and work and then forget about the fact that you are actually running a business that requires time spent on ensuring that said business stays afloat.
This means time spent on regularly marketing yourself to keep writing leads and projects in the pipeline, keeping up with legal documents like business licenses and estimated tax payments, and tracking client payments to make sure that the account is topped with ongoing cash flow. Yes, you are being paid to write and that’s an amazing thing, but just make sure you are actually getting paid!
Online Invoicing Tools for Copywriters
Today’s online invoicing tools understand the copywriter mind and provide ways to keep you on top of invoices and payments even when you are lost in thought on a project. Here’s how:
- Copywriters don’t tend to be designers so your invoices probably don’t look too pretty right now. That can change if you use free online invoicing templates that add a professional look to your bill while also giving you a way to brand your business with a logo and color scheme to match.
- Copywriters tend to jump around on projects, which makes it challenging when working on paid-by-the-hour assignments. Having an online invoicing tool that tracks the time for you in the background means you can just do your writing and researching rather than always using your clock to watch and record your hours. Of course, most copywriting jobs are now by the word or the project, but it may help to have a time tracker that works in the background to show you how you are spending your time whether it is for researching, writing, answering emails, reading emails, marketing yourself, or are you wasting time?
- Copywriters may actually be working at the beach or in the woods. Having an online invoicing tool that is also cloud-based means that you can send your invoices out no matter where you are or what device you are currently using. This is good news because sometimes the mood strikes you to work elsewhere but, at the same time, you still have bills to pay and money owed.
- Copywriters may even forget to do invoices. That’s when an online invoicing tool can come in handy for scheduling invoices or even offering recurring invoices, which are great if you are on retainer and simply charge the same thing every month.
- Copywriters don’t like things that take up their time that do not have a dollar sign attached to it. Yes, time is money, so it is great to have an online invoicing tool that stores all the client data to populate fields on future invoices, automatically tally up the billable hours or project amounts, and send to a client’s email rather than having to go the paper route. This means that your client will get your completed invoice faster and can pay through an online payment portal so all you have to do is check your bank account or click a button to transfer the funds from a PayPal account to your bank.
- Copywriters like the fact that they have a low overhead. Online invoicing tools can keep it that way with no paper, envelopes, or stamps. Plus, many online invoicing tools are even free to use, which is even better.
If you are a copywriter and all the above sounds a lot like you, then you really should click the button below and get these online invoicing tools working for you and your copywriting business. You know these words make perfect sense.