So, you want to be a copywriter, but do you have the necessary skills?
Let’s find out.
Before we even begin, it’s important to note that a love and passion for writing (and notice this is in bold for impact) is a must. If you love writing and have the desire, then the rest will fall into place.
The good news is that even if you’re not the best writer you can learn copywriting tips and techniques to propel your copywriting to the next level.
If you’re serious about this and think you can do it – and I know you can – then let’s dive in. Here is a list of 13 copywriting skills you should possess in order to begin your copywriting career. And, if you don’t have some of them, that’s ok, copywriting can be learned and taught!
Learn Copywriting Skill #1 – To Have a Degree or Not to Have a Degree
The answer to this question is a bit tricky. It’s always great to have a degree and it certainly won’t hurt your chances of becoming a copywriter or anything else for that matter. But, if you’re at a stage in your life, where going back to college is not an option, then the answer is no you don’t need a degree. It also depends on where you hope to work. Most corporations will want their copywriters to have degrees, but if you’re a freelance copywriter then you can let your work speak for itself without the degree.
The good news is that copywriting is not graded for perfect grammar and punctuation, but your writing does need to make an impact. Copywriting is basically just using words to tell a story. The end goal is to convince the reader to act and buy whatever it is that you’re writing about. If your words have impact, then you are well on your way.
Learn Copywriting Skill #2 – Know How To Self-Promote
A little shameless, self-promotion never hurt anyone. If you want people to know that you are a copywriter, then don’t be shy and don’t be afraid. You have to hustle a bit to get attention and get people to notice you and your copywriting work. Create a sales pitch and be ready to highlight your skills and showcase your talents.
Learn Copywriting Skill #3 – Multi-tasking is a Must!
Not only will you have to juggle multiple copywriting jobs and different types of projects at once, but you’ll also have to perform a myriad of other tasks along the way. You have to be able to juggle between writing, prospecting, marketing, budgeting and promoting your copywriting skills, all while meeting deadlines and pleasing clients. Staying organized is key.
Learn Copywriting Skill #4 – Always Be Ready to Learn
A copywriter is always learning. It’s important to stay current, know the lingo and keep up with social media and digital trends and technologies. Find a few trusted resources and read up on everything as often as you can to stay in the know. There are also a number of inexpensive and free courses out there to help streamline your knowledge, get results and continually develop your copywriter brain.
Learn Copywriting Skill #5 – Be Resilient
Some clients may love your work while others will have edit after edit so be prepared to work with all different personalities. And, be prepared to take constructive and sometimes not so constructive criticism. Be Resilient. Don’t let your feelings get hurt and use those comments to make yourself an even better copywriter.
Learn Copywriting Skill #6 – Willingness to Work Hard
It will take time to build up your copywriting skill base. At first, you may have to write at a lower rate or even volunteer your services. If your copywriting skills are top notch, this won’t last long. Set clear goals for yourself and be patient. Each piece of copy you get paid for becomes a building block to something more. Good things come to those who work hard!
Learn Copywriting Skill #7 – Be Creative
Many times, a client has no idea what they want – only what they don’t. So, you may have very little information and be expected to write a masterpiece. Sometimes, you have to delve deep within to pull something out and make it work for your client.
Learn Copywriting Skill #8 – Ability to Make Friends & Network
You never know where your next copywriting job will come from. Making friends and creating a network allows you to create a copywriting base to build upon. Finding other copywriters and joining a community of like-minded people will help you enhance copywriting skills, share best practices and lead to future copywriting jobs.
Learn Copywriting Skill #9 – Open Your Mind
You never know where inspiration is going to come from so always be prepared to let the words flow freely. Have your tools – pen, paper, laptop, smart device, napkin – handy at all times because you never know when inspiration may strike. Always be on the lookout for copywriting examples that can be used for future inspiration.
Learn Copywriting Skill #10 – Good Research Skills
Of course, it’s much easier to write about what you know but a good writer can write about anything. So, be prepared to do the research and use your words to get the point across. Even if you’re not an expert on the subject, solid research will help you turn those words into a masterpiece for any client. Research can seem tedious to some copywriters so possessing good research skills will help you stay ahead of other copywriters and win jobs.
Learn Copywriting Skill #11 – Possess Some Math Skills and Business Savvy
Numbers may not be your forte, but you need some math skills to enhance your copywriting. Understanding data like percent increase in sales, page views, likes, and open rates will validate your copywriting skills with the success to back it up.
These are the numbers that will prove to a client that you’ve got skills and know what you’re doing. The numbers will help you prove that your copy can convert to sales and is a surefire way to increase your client base.
Learn Copywriting Skill #12 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
You want your clients to be happy, but you also don’t want them to abuse their editing power. Know when to part ways with a difficult client. Time is money so if you’re spending too much time on one client then you need to take that into consideration. You also need to know when you are at capacity and can’t take on anymore work. This is a good problem to have and also a sign that you are ready to raise your rates and charge more.
Learn Copywriting Skill Lucky Bonus Tip – Know When to Ask for Help
Many years ago, I was in the same position that you are now – I was a beginning copywriter questioning my copywriting skills and wondering if I had what it takes to be successful. I made a life-altering decision and I have never been happier in my life, and I’m here to tell you that you can do it too.
My name is Michael Giannulis and one of my missions in life is to help copywriters learn and grow. I’d love to invite you to our Copywriter Brain community to find out more about you and connect you to other copywriters. Please join us and also check out my new online course to start your journey and check out these helpful resources to help you learn more about copywriting today!
Here is another great article to check out.