5 Easy Peasy Steps to Building a Six-Figure Business
Grab your trapper keeper, spiral notebook, and gel pens (do the cool kids still use those?) ‘Cuz class is in session.
And we’re gonna dive deep.
Building a PREMIUM Copywriting Business.
So if you’re still posting “will write for pizza” copywriting pitches on Upwork (or god forbid, Fiverr), listen up.
Because I’m about to show you how I went from sending out $2,000 contracts to $20,000 contracts in under two years.
Sidenote: I know how douchey income claims sound, so this isn’t some rah-rah “look at me” cry for attention. I just want you to know that this s@$! actually works.
So how do you:
- serve premium copywriting clients
- charge a premium price point
- Offer premium copywriting services
Even if you’re just starting out?
Stick with me. I’ll feed you baby birds.
I’m about to show you how to stop being a starving freelance writer & start making it rain as a premium copywriter.
Want the TLDR version of this? You can watch my YouTube video on this exact topic here.
I used to live the freelance copywriter life.
I’m talking about the ramen noodle budget, the minimum wage rate, and the awkward calls with parents (yes, dad…I know what I’m doing with my life.)
But no matter how many hours I spent polishing my skills, I never made the money I knew I deserved (or close to an agency’s copywriter salary…or anyone’s salary for that matter)
Lemme fill you in on a lil’ secret.
The difference between an underpaid freelancer and a premium copywriter doesn’t have much to do with copy.
It’s not about having the best copywriting portfolio.
It’s about setting up your business to provide premium copywriting services.
Being able to deliver on your promise is essential. You can’t take someone’s money and run.
You do have to be able to write copy and write it well. Since you’re here, I’m going to assume you’ve already hit that step. Cool?
There are a lot of REALLY talented freelance copywriters out there who don’t land the projects (or even the copywriter jobs) they deserve.
So how do you level up?
It only takes 5 steps.
Here are the 5 ingredients I used to create a premium copywriting business.
1. Copywriting Automation
If you want to get paid like a premium copywriter, you’ve got to offer premium copywriting services.
But it’s reaaally hard to offer premium copywriting services when you’re stuck doing all. the. things. necessary to run a business. And if you start every task from scratch? Forget it.
Automation is one of the most important things you can have if you want to get paid the big bucks. It allows you to get out of the grind, take a step back, and focus on the big picture.
Call me John Krasinski, ‘cuz I’m about to share some good news.
Automation is really easy to set up in your business. It requires a very small investment of time.
And you don’t need a team (or even experience) to set it up.
There are free and low price automation tools everywhere that will do the dirty work for you.
And like your AC in the dog days of August, they’re always running in the background to make you more comfortable.
When somebody takes an action, your automated workflow kicks off to execute the next action.
Translation? You can accomplish a task without lifting a finger (now THAT is the American dream.)
So you can keep focusing on what you do best — actually writing copy.
I’ll give you an example:
One of our most lucrative workflows is our inquiry funnel.
The second a client reaches out through our website, they receive an automatic series of emails and tasks inside our booking software HoneyBook.
They don’t have to wonder if their email was received or what the next steps will be. Right after somebody comes into our funnel, they get an immediate email response.
Now THAT is a high-touch copywriting service.
*BTW, if you want to set up an inquiry funnel for your biz, here’s a link to HoneyBook*
It pays to set up as much automation as you can that free up your time and communicate value to your client.
Automation can instantly raise the perceived value of your offer. So you can start charging five-star prices instead of sticking to the dollar menu.
2. SETTING EXPECTATIONS
The second ingredient is to set up the right expectations.
Okay, this might seem obvious.
But before you give me you cue up your best eye roll…
Bear with me.
I see soooo many newbie copywriters make this mistake:
They’ll agree to a project and immediately say “see ya later” to the client.
They hide away in their copywriting cave, only to emerge three days later with a draft in hand (and a serious need for a nap and shower).
That whole time, the client has ZERO idea what’s going on.
Premium copywriters let their clients know what the project will look like, what their process is, and what’s coming next.
The end result is the same. The client gets their copy.
But those small extra steps help clients feel like they’ve invested in higher-end copywriting services.
My team and I send every new client a welcome packet.
It tells them when I’m available, how to get in touch, when I’ll deliver their copy, and what I need from them.
And we set all our project meetings before I ever write a word of copy.
The more expectations you set up for your client, the more your client will invest in your service.
They don’t want to chase you down.
They just want to sit back and relax until they arrive at their destination.
3. CLIENT COMMUNICATION
Choose your favorite buzzphrase:
Communication is key.
Communication works for those who work at it.
Sharing is caring (wait…that’s Barney.)
They may sound cliche, but they’re true.
Clients are willing to pay a premium for copywriters who consistently communicate throughout projects.
All you have to do is communicate.
It’s that simple.
If you let your client know where you are in the process, what you’re working on now, and what’s coming up next, your value goes up.
We’ve all got s@&! to do.
So I’m not in my clients’ inboxes every single day blowing them up.
They’re busy and I’m busy.
But I do make an effort to keep them informed.
We send out a project update every week to every client.
They know that every week at the same time on the same day they’ll be getting an email from my team. And they’ll never have to wonder when our next meeting will be, when to expect their next deliverable, or what I need from them to get my job done.
It’s not just for the client either.
Frequent communication with clients keeps me and my team on task.
My project updates help us internally review our upcoming deadlines and get buy-in from the clients on our messaging. If something is off, we can get nip it in the bud right away instead of going further down the wrong road.
So if you can establish consistent communication from day one, you’re going to make your client trust you so much more.
4. COPYWRITER COLLABORATION
This one is a doozy.
Because, especially as newer copywriters, we always want to go above and beyond for clients.
To truly become a premium copywriter, you can’t just do everything your client tells you.
You need to reframe your thinking and see yourself as a strategist and consultant for your client.
If you’re just ticking off boxes off your client’s checklist, you’re nothing more than a task-based service provider.
It doesn’t communicate the kind of value (and rates) that come with a premium business.
From day one, you need to position yourself as your clients’ peer.
They need to view you as someone with whom they can collaborate, not boss around.
So use your expertise.
As a copywriter, you can diagnose and prescribe their copy problems.
That’s when you can raise your value and your prices.
My clients don’t approach me and tell me “Brittany — I have a launch coming up and I need four copywriting emails in my sequence.”
They tell me “I have a launch coming up” and then I ask questions. A lot of questions.
And once I have a firm grasp on their copy needs, I write them up a proposal with the diagnosis of their problem.
I tell them what they need for their launch and what we’re going to do.
So I’m in the driver’s seat of deciding what we’re writing, how much we’re writing, when we’re writing it, and the strategy behind the copy and the messaging.
I’m no longer an outsider. I’m an asset for their business that knows how to get the results they desire through better copy.
The more you can collaborate as a peer, the more value you’re going to be able to bring — and the bigger your contracts are going to be.
The last, and arguably the most important step, is to overdeliver.
If your client is paying 5-figures for a copywriting project, they want to know that you’re worth the investment.
So prove it to them.
Don’t just do the bare minimum.
Give them the razzle dazzle. Make them feel spoiled.
Think of all the ways that you can exceed your client’s expectations.
I always try to go above and beyond what’s listed in our contract.
I’ll give my clients more touchpoints so they know they have my attention throughout our project.
I’ll take the research and find creative ways to give them more copy than our agreed deliverables.
I even send my clients gifts.
If you’re charging $20,000, you can afford to buy them something special.
And with apologies to Michael Scott, I’m not just talkin’ bout gift bags.
We provide every client with customized gifts that we KNOW they will like based on their industry or even personal details from our conversations.
Here’s a list of go-to Black-owned women-owned businesses that we use to provide our clients with gifts:
And when there’s cause for celebration, we make sure they feel the love.
When we wrap a launch, we’ll send clients something special to put a button on the project. We’ll send them champagne (or if they’re not a drinker, something else memorable).
The small stuff goes a loooong way.
Create a memorable experience for clients. The more you can overdeliver, the more your clients will feel you’re worth the price tag.
Five simple steps for building a premium copywriting business.
Even if you don’t change anything about your copy, you can start significantly raising your prices by following these steps.
I encourage you to always grow, always learn, and always seek to do better.
And if you do all that, you can become a premium copywriter without changing the way you’re writing or what you’re writing.