Haris Halkic: Hi Dan, thank you for agreeing to share some tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting? Please tell me more about your story.
Dan Sparks: It started in 2017, I was writing fiction and nonfiction on the side while at my corporate job. I was immersed in being a better writer and writing a book. So I was in some writing groups on FB and I started getting targeted ads for AWAI and their copywriting course. I read through the sales letter and was hooked.
I signed up and went through their Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting which opened my eyes to the wonderful world of direct-response copywriting. I’ve been hooked and reading marketing & sales books ever since. Since then I’ve taken a few more courses, both around organizing a business and directly related to email marketing. I currently work full time while pursuing my freelance career on the side.
Haris Halkic: How do you manage your freelance copywriting projects in addition to your full time job? Do you have any tips for others who are working part-time on their copywriting career while still relying on a job to pay the bills?
Dan Sparks: It’s all about planning, and not taking on more than I can handle. I typically wake up pretty early and will do some writing then. And then after work, I will spend an hour or two doing more work.
My advice would be to not quit your day job. Start small and build your business an hour at a time. Don’t think you have to get it all done in a week or a month. The other is to make sure you create processes.
You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every time you talk to a potential client. Have a process to make it as easy as possible to work with you.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. Could you tell me more about how you get clients?
Dan Sparks: Networking. It’s about relationships. Get to know people and solve their problems.
Copywriting isn’t just about writing, it’s about helping people get their products and services in front of the right people.
If you can show you can help someone with their business they are more likely to reach out when they need work done.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources that you can recommend?
Dan Sparks: AWAI is where I started to learn how to write copy. As far as other courses/books I recommend Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. Also just start looking at ads and emails you get and try to break down what they are trying to accomplish. It helps you to start thinking about why things are written the way they are and what emotional triggers they are trying to pull.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Dan Sparks: I sit down and just start writing pure crap. This helps just start getting words flowing. Then I start writing about whatever subject I need to write about.
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favorite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Dan Sparks: I’ll answer both. I’m a huge fan of Ben Settle. He sends daily emails and isn’t afraid to sell every day.
And my favorite piece of copy is the Wall Street sales letter about the tale of two young men by Martin Conroy.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
Dan Sparks: There are a couple advantages that I see.
- You get to create your own business and build something for yourself as well as for your clients. A master of your own destiny.
- You get to talk to a lot of different people and get a lot of insights from their different perspectives.
- You get to work from home.
- Focus is all on results, not on the time spent working.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Dan Sparks: Writing every day.
Regardless of whether it’s for client work I write every day.
750words.com is what I use to track it and it’s helped me get clear in a lot of areas of my life.
Haris Halkic: If someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
Dan Sparks: Send me an email at DanSparks@sparkscopy.com and I’ll get in touch.