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Copywriters Riches and Ad Agencies

Updated on March 25, 2020
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Prachi is a freelance marketer and copywriter. She is actively involved in market research to help entrepreneurs with brand-building.

Woodbury Soap Company: Skin You Love to Touch is considered to be the longest running and most successful ad in the advertising history crafted by J. Walter Thompson agency in 1911. It introduced "sex appeal" in the advertising industry.
Woodbury Soap Company: Skin You Love to Touch is considered to be the longest running and most successful ad in the advertising history crafted by J. Walter Thompson agency in 1911. It introduced "sex appeal" in the advertising industry.

The corporate world has always been very competitive from its early stage. With the introduction of the Internet, when people have easy access to all sorts of information and have plenty of options to choose from, it has become more important for the businesses to adopt advanced marketing techniques to flourish globally. Consequently, despite having their own marketing team, many businesses heavily rely on ad agencies to boost their traffic and increase sales, also raise awareness among the public.

If we focus on the working of ad agencies, then it is noted that most of these companies prefer freelancers for marketing jobs. These jobs include:

  • Writing brochures
  • Writing direct mail
  • Writing press releases
  • Writing ads (TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and so on)
  • Writing sales letters
  • Writing featured articles
  • Writing magazine articles and so on

If you have ever checked out any ad agency website, you must have noticed they are hired by both big and small companies, giving you a huge opportunity to boost your income.

Freelance Copywriters’ Pay Range in Ad Agencies

You’d be very lucky if you receive a chance to work with an ad agency because you can earn between $30 to $50 per hour on an average. Also, the hourly wage increases with experience and possibly can be $60 to $75 or more per hour.

Payment is Huge, But…

You do not get a byline and most of these agencies don’t credit you for your work since it is outsourced as “work for hire”.

Getting Your Feet Wet

  • Ad agencies prefer experienced copywriters over amateurs.
  • You need to have related experience of 2 or more years.
  • Build a strong portfolio of related samples

Here’s a twist

  • If you’re an amateur, you can start as an intern.
  • Work on small projects.
  • Team up with the creative team including graphic designers.
  • Work on your portfolio
  • Use it as stepping stones to become an experienced professional and finally, land a high paying gig.

Searching Copywriting Gigs

It’s highly confusing to figure out the best site to land the promising gigs. To ease your work, here are some suggestions to consider:

The website has almost all the possible types of copywriting job from all over the Internet.

You can find many local agencies posting ads for hiring a copywriter or search the phrase “freelance copywriter” with or without “ad agency” to find the potential matches. (Avoid the quotes.)

Besides these sites, there are many freelancing websites where ad agencies post jobs. Do a simple search on Google “ad agency copywriting jobs” and you’ll have your answer.

Apple: Get a Mac - One of the earliest Apple ads to introduce Mac to the world. It is one of the most successful ads of the company.

A copywriter is a well-trained marketer

If you receive no response or there’s no appropriate job available that entertains you, this is the time to show your marketing skills.

  • Build your own opportunities
  • Being a copywriter, you are expected to have excellent marketing skills. Use it to spread your name across ad agencies.
  • Learn networking skills
  • Build your clients’ trust in you so they refer you to their colleagues and knowns. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising technique.
  • Market your services through online (social media, blog, guest posts, etc.) as well as offline (friends, family, newspapers, etc.) promotional material.

Start Interacting with Ad Agencies

  • Search “ad/advertising/marketing agency + (specialization/skillset)” on Google.
  • Select the appropriate ad agencies from the search result.
  • Visit the websites and contact the relevant persons. (In most cases it is a person from the creative team, especially creative director.)
  • Send an email. Choose the subject line wisely, for example, “Professional Freelance Copywriter looking to Work with You”, or anything else.
  • In the email body, state how you can asset them with their work and meet their expectations.

Website is Your Most Important Identity

  • It is a general tendency of employers to search you online before making the hiring decision.
  • To ease their search, make sure to have an SEO-friendly website that pops up the moment your name is searched.
  • It is possible your name is quite common and searching your profile may become cumbersome. If this is you, either go for a specialized domain such as yourname+[designation such as copywriter or freelance writer].com or go for a pseudo or pen name.
  • For example, my name “Prachi Sharma” is extensively common in my country. Using a specialized keyword with my full name can be the solution, but taking it to the top results can take time and efforts. So, I prefer using a pen name, which is readily searchable and always shows me in the top search results.
  • In your website, highlight your work samples, client lists, and testimonials.
  • Take your business card handy.
  • There are two possibilities, either the creative director contacts you immediately or keep your name for future consideration.

Stay up-to-date with Local Demands

  • Gaining trust online takes time and efforts. Initially, the results may even disappoint you.
  • Stay connected with local businesses. When you are present in person, you have a higher possibility to gain trust and readily receive the copywriting work.
  • Then, the same business can write testimonials and references for you to use both online and offline.
  • Sites like YellowPages, JustDial provide you with local business knowledge along with genuine contact details.
  • You can also run a simple search on Google for example, “New Delhi(your place) advertising agencies” and find the potential copywriting agencies.

Indulge Yourself in PR(Public Relations) News

  • There are innumerable ad agencies and are constantly evolving.
  • Due to high competition among them, most of them lose and gain clients almost every day.
  • To ensure their business growth, they always on a lookout to expand their team by hiring more and more experienced professionals.
  • You can find the related information through PR Newswire. They publish a weekly summary of news releases under the name “Agency Roster Lead”. It highlights details related to investor relations, news releases, and advertising agencies.

Don’t forget this

1. Google News

  • Search advertising agency on Google News to know the latest updates.
  • Look for their contact details and send your query.
  • Pitch yourself as a professional copywriter who can boost their work progress and assist them in meeting the desired results.

2. Books

Secrets of a Freelance Writer, Third Edition: How to Make $100,000 a Year or more by Robert W. Bly

  • The book is a sure way to earn a substantial amount of income as a freelance writer. It is an authoritative guide to forge out a successful copywriting career as well.
  • Don’t get amused by the figure mentioned in the title. The moment you are done reading this book, you’ll have sure ways to actually come up earning more than 100k annually.
  • The book guides on writing brochures, direct mails, reports, catalogs, web pages, newsletters, page releases and much more.
  • This guide serves well for you to land a gig at big corporations, associations, small business, government organizations as well as at non-profit organizations.
  • You’ll also gain knowledge to master freelancing and marketing skills. Also, boosting sales through your website and bring in more potential customers.
  • It gives a head start in your business life.

The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly

  • It is impossible to close the discussion about copywriting without mentioning this ultimate guide.
  • The book has everything you can ask for from basic to ultra-advanced copywriting techniques suitable for all levels of freelance copywriters.
  • Written more than a decade, the book is still the topmost choice among writers and amateurs.
  • The book doesn’t only serve copywriters, but also executives, creative directors, advertising managers, and entrepreneurs as well.
  • It explains and gives a detailed analysis on how to write attention-grabbing headlines, how to write a readable copy, how to give a consistently successful sales rate and much more.
  • The techniques are relevant to both online and offline marketing material.

The demand for copywriters by ad agencies is endless. You just need to know the tricks to stay ahead in the race. Practice is the most important step you should go for. Practice daily with different techniques, niche, and media. If one of your techniques give you successful lead doesn’t mean it’ll be effective in other scenarios as well. A copywriter keeps learning throughout his or her life. Understanding human nature and their psychology is a complicated job that you need to nail at every stage in your career to stay in demand.

If you go through all the searches and observe the endless ad agencies demand for copywriters, you can reckon why some copywriters earn millions per year or hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour.

Never stop testing and your advertising will never stop improving.

— David Ogilvy

© 2019 Prachi Sharma


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