Whether you just got into the copywriting business or have been a copywriter for several years, you should always keep looking for ways to increase your salary or pay rate.
Unfortunately, many copywriters hesitate to ask for a raise or look for better-paying opportunities. If you are fortunate, a satisfied client or employer will increase your salary without you asking for it, but don’t keep your hopes up.
To increase your copywriter salary, you have to take a proactive approach. Here are three ways you can increase your copywriting salary.
#1: Build your Skills and Expertise
One of the best ways to increase your copywriter salary is to build your skills and expertise. This is going to be an ongoing process.
Make Yourself More Valuable
The most immediate way to boost your copywriting salary is to make yourself more valuable to an employer or client. Most high-paying copywriting jobs require copywriters with a specific set of expertise or specialization within a niche.
Clients and employers are more willing to offer better wages to highly skilled copywriters. Copywriting jobs require you to write and edit content. However, your goal should be to equip yourself with more advanced skills to become valuable to clients and employers. For example, you can learn how to optimize your content for better SEO results.
Generally, most copywriting content goes online, where SEO is important. While there are SEO experts, who can fine-tune your content after you have submitted your work, your employer will appreciate it if you write SEO-optimized content. This means you could learn how to use keywords, terms, and headings and structure your content for maximum SEO performance.
Take Online Courses
Another way to improve your copywriting skills is to take online courses. These courses allow you to learn new skills and refine your existing skills. Some copywriting courses also offer a certification, which will add to your profile as a professional copywriter. This can also help boost your copywriter salary since this helps prove your ability to potential clients or employers.
You could take copywriting courses covering general skills or more advanced courses focusing on specific skills. For example, you can take classes geared toward specific industries or types of content, such as creative writing or ghostwriting. In addition, learning a complementary skill, such as graphic designing or website development, can significantly impact your earning potential.
Listen to the Client
Lastly, listening to the employer or client is one of the best ways to improve your copywriting skills and increase your copywriter salary. The feedback they provide can help identify your weaknesses. For example, if you are told that your work has factual errors, you may need to work on your research skills.
It is best to take a proactive approach to feedback and ask the employer or client for it instead of waiting for them to initiate. This will help project confidence and a willingness to improve. It will also help build your relationship with the client, which is often the key to long-term success as a copywriter.
#2: Network and Market Yourself
While it is essential to keep improving copywriting skills and maintain a high quality of writing, it is equally important to develop lasting relationships with existing clients and find new connections to build a network that can help you find high-paying copywriting jobs.
Build a strong network
In this digital age, copywriters can easily do networking online. To build a network, copywriters can use social media platforms like LinkedIn. Investing time and energy in networking allow you to access potential clients, organizations, marketing agencies, new copywriting jobs, and mentorship opportunities.
Networking can also be done in person. For example, you can join professional organizations and attend industry events to network and establish connections with other industry professionals. Although many copywriting jobs are now online, don’t ignore local markets.
Breaking up with a client is sometimes unavoidable; however, maintaining good relationships with past clients or employers is wise, as you never know when your paths will meet again.
Many copywriting jobs are only accessible through references and connections, so a solid network is a great source of new high-paying opportunities. Your network can also be an excellent source of determining if your current salary as a copywriter aligns with the market.
Networking can help you land jobs through referrals that pay a higher copywriter salary and grow your business. Although the size of your network matters, you should focus on quality. This means building meaningful relationships rather than just superficial exchanges. Just having a large number of connections on social media is not enough. You need to engage with them to develop valuable relationships.
Have a Positive Mindset
Successfully marketing yourself as a copywriter starts with your mindset. If you are uncertain about your ability as a copywriter, you are likely to project that to clients or employers. However, you can build confidence by consistently delivering quality content, working on improving your skills, and not fearing feedback.
You must also create marketing assets, such as a writing portfolio, social profile, and personal website. Next, choose the right marketing channels that align with your goals.
When marketing yourself, don’t forget about existing clients or employers. After all, retaining a good client or keeping your current job is easier than finding a new one. If you have gained new skills or certification, feel free to communicate your achievement to your existing client or employer.
#3: Negotiate Your Salary
While it may be tempting to just accept your salary offer, it is worth negotiating the salary. Even if you are not a new employee, you have the right to demand a raise if you have been successful in delivering value to your client.
Prepare For Salary Negotiations
When you offer your services to a potential client as a copywriter, you should always have a salary figure in mind that you would like to earn from the job. Typically when clients or employers have discussed the job details, they would ask you what rate you charge for your services or tell you what salary they are offering.
It would help to do a little research on competitive copywriting rates before communicating with the potential employer. You can also request a slightly higher salary than what you earned from your previous jobs; however, this depends on several factors, such as the job description and volume of writing.
Although, you should refrain from mentioning a salary range during the negotiation because it can allow your employer to default to the lower value of your proposed salary range. It is best to allow them to initiate the first figure in the salary or pay rate negotiations.
Remain confident when negotiating salary, but be polite. Typically, employers are willing to pay you a competitive rate in the market; however, if you successfully negotiate with them, you could end up with more.
The key to successful salary negotiation is communicating your value to the role. You can research industry benchmarks and be prepared to provide examples of your experience and value to justify a higher salary.
Be Ready to Walk Away
A golden rule of salary negotiation is to be willing to walk away from the offer. This is often challenging to accept for copywriters who are desperate to land the gig. However, this doesn’t mean you decline the offer if you don’t get your desired salary, but you should have a minimum number in mind. This will be your “walk away” salary.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to create market value by developing new skills, building a solid network, and negotiating your salary. You have to be realistic in your salary expectations; however, with effort and patience, you can climb the ladder. Your efforts can boost your salary, allow you to enjoy your work, and make a foundation for a long and satisfying career as a copywriter.
Ali Azhar is a contract copywriter with Content Workshop and a member of Copywriter Exchange. He has 6+ years of experience in copywriting, SEO/SEM optimization, content writing, and technical writing.
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