Haris Halkic: Hi Patti, 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.
Patti Haus: Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Haris.
I started as a copywriter with a company I worked at. I wrote web copy and emails for a corporate regulator as part of my duties. It was very technical stuff that I was tasked with making easier to read. A lot of our readers spoke English as a second language and the copy had to be written in plain language and simplified.
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?
Patti Haus: I started writing outside of my corporate job when I created my first blog. I never planned on making it anything other than a fun creative project, but I found myself doing some content marketing for a local tourism company. I have to admit I had no idea there were people who could make a living working from home (apparently, I live in a cave!).
Content marketing became a side hustle and eventually I learned about conversion copywriting. As soon as I heard it was research, psychology, and writing all tied together, I was hooked! I began reading anything I could get my hands on, enrolling in courses and honing my craft.
About a year after starting my blog, I had enough clients to quit my corporate job to work full time for myself.
My best piece of advice for anyone wanting to become a copywriter is to always look at how to improve. Take courses. Read everything. And make a swipe file of copy that you love and reverse engineer it to see why it’s so effective.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. What ways do you use to get clients?
Patti Haus: I get clients in several ways. My first clients came from Facebook; I joined several Facebook groups where my ideal clients spent time in and I answered questions related to copy.
I never pitched, I just tried to help people. Eventually, people started finding me via my personal profile.
I also belong to several online and local networking groups and have gotten leads that way.
And of course, I try to always leave my clients satisfied so they refer others to me; I get a lot of referrals from current and former clients.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Patti Haus: I do a lot of research before writing anything. I read testimonials, Amazon reviews, and do surveys and interviews. The when I feel like I understand what pain points my client’s ideal customer is struggling with, I outline whatever I’m writing.
If I’m writing a sales page, I outline the steps I think the reader needs to follow in order to go from different stages of awareness to being ready to buy. If I’m writing a sales email sequence, I plan it out. Then I use the research I’ve done to fill in the outlines.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Patti Haus: I love the Copy Hackers training and am enrolled in every course they sell, I think. Joanna Wiebe is a great teacher and knows her stuff. I also like to read the Copy Blogger and Hubspot blogs.
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favorite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Patti Haus: I like Joanna Wiebe, Ry Schwartz, and Laura Belgray. They aren’t super salesy and have a way of getting to the crux of the matter.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
Patti Haus: Well, working in yoga pants has its advantages! But really, I enjoy being able to choose who I want to work with and what kind of projects to work on.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Never missing a deadline is probably the one thing that helped me reach my current level of success. I will work nights and weekends to meet whatever deadline I gave my clients and I’ve got a great reputation for being reliable.
Haris Halkic: If someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
Patti Haus: They can find me at my website at www.pattihaus.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org