Haris Halkic: Hi Shahid, thanks a lot for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting. Please, tell us more about your story.
Shahid Abbasi: Hi Haris, I am always happy to share tips and hacks on copywriting and freelance work.
I have started copywriting after 4 years of the career doing fulltime internet marketing job. However I knew the importance of content from the very start, later decided to develop the marketing copywriting skills.
When I was working with content writers, I felt so dependent to execute content part of my marketing projects. Lots of time I had to bear with content quality. I realized that team leader has to be sufficiently independent by building his own education and skills. This thing motivates me to start developing, refining and improving my writing skills. And fortunately, I found that the SEO is actually all about content marketing.
Haris Halkic: How did you transition to freelance copywriting from your previous job? What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is employed and wants to become a freelance copywriter?
Shahid Abbasi: A transition from fixed monthly income to non-fix was not easy. But developing a passion for personal responsibility keeps me on track. When my work was recognized by few great clients, I have started getting continues work from their referrals means increasing income with new and high pay inquiries.
I have many friends who started work at home have given up. The common reasons were not getting new clients, an imbalance between work and life, due payments, etc… When I had decided to start freelancing, I didn’t put the job off rather start preparing business base and pillars. Being a freelancer, the responsibilities to perform start from sales to production. You have to do whatever one business owner does to survive his business and make it profitable.
Start freelance copywriting along with your full-time job until making 60% of your salary up to 6 months.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. What ways do you use to get clients?
Shahid Abbasi: Yes, it is the toughest part of freelancing.
But there is a process to make it easy. At starting phase, write for your own or we can say, contribute to well-known publications being a guest writer. These writing pieces introduce your writing skills and your role to not only the publications but its regular readers, other guest writers even its competition.
Another good resource is copywriting marketplaces where agencies and copywriters collaborate. I don’t recommend Upwork or Freelancer because of the high competition and cost. Rather start with BlogMutt, Scripted, ContentMart, Wittypen, Weworkremotely, Jobspresso, Hubstaff, Remotive are the name of few. You can simply signup and get qualified as a copywriter to start getting new assignments.
In my experience, referred clients from existing is the best source of getting continue business. You just need to delight your existing client to activate this source.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Shahid Abbasi: English is not my first language. I have learned it in a way a child does. Listen, Speak, Read then Write.
To write a marketing copy, I have learned and certified Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing from Hubspot.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Shahid Abbasi: I prepare notes and research data aligned with clients’ requirement. This makes me creating fluff free copy every time.
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favorite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Shahid Abbasi: My favorite copywriters are Brian Dean of Backlinko and Neil Patel of Quicksprout.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
Shahid Abbasi: Freelance lifestyle makes us multitalented and gives freedom to say ‘NO’ to what we don’t want/like to do.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Shahid Abbasi: Time management.
Haris Halkic: Are there areas you specialize on as a copywriter and if someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?