Look, I get it.
Money is how we measure success.
So, the appeal of a promise that you can “skyrocket your freelancing income overnight” is a sexy one.
We see this promise every day online and, understandably, people fall for it.
Now, if you’re thinking, “The people who would believe that probably don’t care about having a long career.”
This is exactly why this style of marketing pisses me off.
I’m going to keep saying this until everyone hears me:
FREELANCING IS NOT A BIZ OP!
But that won’t stop quick buck marketers from selling it that way.
After all, if biz op is the lens they see the business through, then why would they teach anything else?
It’s up to YOU to apply your own LOGIC FILTER to these kinds of offers.
Here’s a HORROR STORY for you…
I heard directly from a guy in the health niche that he was quoted twenty thousand dollars by a newbie copywriter to write a VSL.
He asked to see the guy’s work.
The guy said, “I’ve never written a VSL before, but I wrote a Facebook ad for a cookbook, so I’m sure I can do it.”
I could go on for pages about how ignorant and hurtful to the industry those kinds of offers are.
But, the worst part is…
That client has been telling this story to anyone who will listen because he wants to WARN other business owners not to hire this guy or anyone else who is practicing biz op pricing tactics in freelancing.
So, that dude’s career is over before it could even begin.
When you see a “magic trick” style tactic promising to get you paid 2x, 3x, or 5x MORE tomorrow than you did yesterday…
At the very least, you have to ask yourself:
Do you know anyone who’s actually used this tactic to do it?
I mean, beyond the claims on the sales page.
Have you reached out directly to the people who ARE featured on the sales page to ask how legit the claim is (pro tip: also ask if they are an affiliate for the offer.)
Even more simply, just ask yourself: DO I know anyone I respect as a freelancer who has doubled their income in a single week?
Not a one-time project, but a consistent raise?
I highly doubt it.
And if you think you do, please ask them for very specific details – not social media vanity stats.
In fact, to make it easier, I’ll go ahead and be that person for you.
Because I can directly claim that I DID once double my copywriting income in one week.
I could *technically* say I TRIPLED or even 5X’d my copywriting income in one week.
- Back in 2010, I was the copywriter for a product called Mobile Monopoly.
- The offer was on ClickBank and went completely gangbusters.
- So big that the sales page URL was registering as a trending topic in search for the ENTIRE internet (via the “Alexa” tracking tool. Long before it was ever a voice command.)
- The MM launch made 6-figures in the first 30 minutes and didn’t slow down for weeks.
- The product owners earned millions and suddenly became the darlings of ClickBank, because, of course, their affiliates also made huge banks promoting it.
So, how did writing the copy for that epic launch double or triple my income?
I’d love to tell you it’s because I was such a savvy businessman that I negotiated a thick-ass royalty and collected passive income for years, because if I had (which I certainly would today) it would’ve done much more than double or triple my income.
But… royalties for copywriters on ClickBank weren’t really a thing yet back then. And even if they had been, I wasn’t yet ready to incorporate them.
However, the launch was SO successful, and ClickBank was still such a “small world” back then, that everyone knew I had written the copy for this launch and, (if you’ll allow the brag), everyone loved it.
Even Ryan Deiss, when promoting to his list, added that even if the reader wasn’t interested in the product they should read the copy because it’s some of the best he’d seen.
Needless to say, the proverbial phone was ringing off the hook after that launch.
It was like being a musician going from playing small clubs to suddenly having a #1 radio hit and playing arenas a month later.
Tim and Adam (from Mobile Monopoly) were first in line, saying, “give us your next spot!”
I had charged them 10K total for the first package and said this time it would be 20k.
They didn’t flinch.
They (now) knew they’d gotten a deal on the first one and had no issue sharing the wealth.
OK… there is a legit DOUBLING OF MY INCOME in one week.
Then, I did a bit of my own promoting to make sure more people in the industry knew about the success of the launch:
Perhaps I rushed a bit too much because I misspelled the URL – haha.
Still, the right people noticed:
You might get a kick out of seeing me on video 11 years ago breaking down some of the things we did on the launch in this video.
After that epic, perfect storm, launch event…
I was quickly booked solid for several months at the new price of 20k.
After more successful projects, I raised the price to 30k, and eventually onto 50k+ and held there (plus royalties) for the remaining five years of my freelancing career.
It all stemmed from that one big hit.
So, if I wanted to be a super hype, truth-bending marketer about it, I could frame this “perfect storm” event in all kinds of ways.
Here are a few potential horseshit headlines I could use:
How To Write The One Simple Sales Letter That Will TRIPLE Your Copywriting Fees (Or Better) And Have Every Guru Online Begging You To Take Their Money!
(I mean, it happened to me, so what’s wrong with that?)
How To Go From Charging $10k per sales letter… to $30k, $40k, Even $50,0000, For The Same Work, With A Single Facebook Post!
(Ok, the bullshit’s getting thicker, but maybe, kinda, sorta, that somewhat happened?)
How To Double Your Copywriting Revenue Overnight
(Actually the most legit of them, but still totally misleading.)
Why would that be such horsesh*t?
I mean, c’mon. You can smell it, right?
It’s horseshit because it very conveniently leaves out ALL the things I did leading up to that moment.
- A full year of studying the craft before I landed my first client (back when there was only one course and a handful of books)
- Writing tons of copy (learning from mistakes and capitalizing on successes)
- For tons of clients (some really horrible ones and few good ones)
- Charging too little for too long (so when I did finally double my fee it was actually overdue)
- Worming my way into John Carlton’s world (by investing in his community and then a trip to Chicago when I couldn’t afford either)
- Making the scary leap to full-time (so I could devote 100% of my time to copywriting)
- Bringing on a writing partner (to help my slow-going perfectionist ways)
- Building a reputation as a “go-to” copywriter in my niche (my name was becoming known before Mobile Monopoly)
And ALL the things I did afterward to continue growing my skills and my income…
- Investing in coaches and networking events (where I met a lot of my best clients)
- Learning to negotiate better deals (like back-end royalties)
- Losing thousands to bring in extra help (Ben and I tried 3 times to hire other copywriters to grow the agency, only to end up rewriting their stuff each time)
- Expanding our packages by adding in consulting days (a 50k package looks and acts differently than a 10k package in so many ways)
And here’s the most important thing to understand about freelancing:
The only plan you will stick with is the one that actually WORKS for you.
That means, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all technique, method, or “success hack” to skyrocketing your revenue from copy projects.
Just like anything in life, you need to lean into your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses.
Yours will be different from the person next to you.
However, I want to offer you this…
After 7 years of coaching freelancers, these are…
The most PROVEN EFFECTIVE steps for increasing your income as a freelancer:
- SPECIALIZE. You will always earn more as a trusted expert than you will as a generalist.
TARGET DREAM CLIENTS. Don’t just hope to work with your dream clients someday, study what they’re doing and develop ways to improve on it. Then, introduce yourself (or find someone to connect you) and show it to them. I promise you will have their attention.
- BUILD TRUST. The most overlooked asset freelancers have is simply being a good person. There are a lot of dirtbags out there. If you’re the kind of person who follows the PRO CODE and prides yourself on delivering for your clients with integrity, that will be a huge asset to you and your business. Make sure to emphasize those things to prospects. They need to know.
- GENERATE ROI. Develop skills and processes that aren’t just “nice to have”, but make your clients money. If you can show them how paying you will produce a return, and they trust you to deliver results, you’ll get more “hell yes”es than you can fit into your calendar.
- NETWORK. It’s true that you become the average of the 5 people closest to you. In business, you need to align with people who have achieved what you are looking to achieve so you can learn exactly how it works, and apply it to your unique situation.
Keep this in mind:
Creative freelancing is not a team sport, like football.
It’s an individual sport, like golf.
So, you’ll need to get coached accordingly.
Demand a flexible system, and a coach who recognizes your unique struggles.
Confirm that your coach has the experience to help you capitalize on your strengths and eliminate weaknesses.
If you have that, you can grow as fast as possible, and earn as much as you desire.
Without it, you risk your reputation and spread poison around the industry by forcing biz op-ish tactics onto your prospects and clients.
If the thought of doing it that way feels wrong to you – it’s supposed to.
Use your head and trust your filter.
Want my help identifying where you might be stuck in your freelancing? (it’s often for reasons different than we think)
And a free training on how to blast through it?
Go here and fill out my survey to identify your current Phase in the Freelancer’s Journey and we’ll get it to you right away.