“In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you're a great writer, you must say that you are.” – Gore Vidal, Born Oct. 3, 1925.
If you write copy for a living, this is something you should know.
The people hiring you don't know if your copy is good compared to anyone else's.
They know if they like it or not, sure.
But they lack the experience and knowledge to tell if your copy is decent or excellent beyond just judging based on taste.
RARE is the client that has also written copy in multiple markets. RARE is the client who has the chops to vet a writer with any precision or objectivity.
That is WHY they need to hire a writer in the first place…
That's not to denigrate anyone who hires writers. And if you do hire writers and what I said is upsetting to you, I didn't mean you. You're great. I meant those other assholes.
Now, back to the writers who are reading this –
Your clients don't know squat about your skill. They can't tell by looking. So you have to toot your own horn. Loudly. Play some motherfuckin Charlie Parker on that shit.
Tell people you are good at what you do. Tell them LOUDLY. Show them your serious dedication to your craft by publishing meta content ABOUT copy. If you teach it, you must know it, right? And finally, like Gore says – HUSTLE.
Don't wait for a break. Make your breaks. Chase your dream clients. Annoy them into hiring you. Prove them right for giving you a chance by kicking that ass all up and down the boulevard.
And I know Gore said that's what it takes to win in America. Well guess what? The Internet IS America, y'all. It's the wild western frontier.
Having a reputation is just as important as being a fast draw.
How do you get a reputation?
Tell people what your reputation is. You're your own best advocate. Every message you put out should imply or flat out DECLARE what you deliver.
Do you know what I mean?
Who did you tell today? Who did you tell what a badass you are at what you do? Hopefully tons. And hopefully some of them are the kind of people who need someone like you.
Here is ONE big idea you can start using today to make sure that you are at least subtly singing your own praises each day like you should…
You’re already producing and publishing content, right? Hopefully some of that is in the form of helpful tips and problem solutions that your audience can put to use.
Here is the trick: always frame those as stories that came about through your work on behalf of clients. For example, don’t share a useful headline writing formula. Share the headline formula you created for the client who wanted at least a dozen testable subject lines for every email draft.
Every bit of information you find fit to share should be positioned as a valuable gem you worked to dig up while working in the field.
This imparts, without having to harp on it, that you have clients. They pay you to solve problems. Which you do solve, and they are happy with. And that you are, of course, available for hire to solve theirs, too.