Do you dream of starting a new career or setting up a side hustle as a copywriter but aren’t confident you can win pitches and book copywriting jobs? There are five skills that every professional copywriter needs. The best part? You don’t need any special training to master them.
Use soft skills to land the best copywriting jobs
The skills required for copywriting go beyond composition, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t remember every grammar lesson from English class. In fact, many successful copywriters don’t have any formal training at all!
Writing quality copy relies on the same skills you use to think critically, understand different perspectives, and carry on productive conversations.
These five soft skills will help you land your dream copywriting jobs and jumpstart your freelance writing career.
Skill #1: Curiosity
Curiosity inspires exploration, learning, and personal development. Every copywriting job challenges you to tap into your sense of curiosity. Your curiosity is a significant motivator for connecting with the subject matter and delivering high-quality results.
Curiosity-driven approach to research
Regardless of your niche or experience level, copywriting jobs require dedicated time for conducting research. When you are a curious copywriter, you see research as an opportunity for discovery. You will notice patterns and common questions that need concrete answers. Besides collecting information for current projects, curiosity-driven research reveals what’s lacking and sparks ideas for future copywriting jobs to pitch to clients.
Authenticity through curiosity
Curiosity gives way to authenticity. Maybe you weren’t interested or knowledgeable about a subject from the onset, but your ability to get interested becomes the driving force to determine what an audience needs to know. Your copy will have a more authentic voice because it engages your readers, deepens their trust in your client, and inspires follow-through with your call to action.
Selling Curiosity to your clients
This soft skill has flown under the radar for far too long. Fortunately, curiosity is gaining traction as a virtue in the corporate world. A recent study reported that 62% of managers say their most curious employees are more productive and efficient. Employees seem to agree, noting that they’re more inspired to go above and beyond to satisfy their curiosity.
Authentic enthusiasm is born from curiosity. When you pitch yourself as a proudly curious copywriter dedicated to thorough research, you spark intrigue in your audience.
Skill #2: Empathy
It seems obvious, but you must remember you are writing for a reader. Using empathy, writers can meet audiences where they are, regardless of the client or content of the copywriting job. Connect with them emotionally to understand who they are and what they feel.
Take yourself out of the reader’s shoes
Completely remove yourself from the equation. Understand your target audience: speak to your client, check their social media, and read the copy on their website. By incorporating this into your research, you will develop an empathetic approach. Creating a piece tailored to readers’ interests relies on connecting with their unique perspectives.
Anticipate needs and appeal to emotions
With emotional copy, you shed doubt and establish genuine confidence within readers. You will engage with them more honestly, and they will receive your message with sincere openness and trust.
Plus, your clients will appreciate that you get to know and accommodate their target audience, making them more susceptible to the copy’s call to action.
Show your client how you relate
Authentic engagement through empathetic writing will help your clients connect with their customers. This will maximize the value of your writing and increase your chance of landing repeat business.
Skill #3: Listening
Copywriters are more than just skilled listeners; they’re active listeners. Writing effective copy means tapping into 6 key active listening skills. Clients appreciate a copywriter’s ability to understand their target audience’s motivations, concerns, and expectations–without losing sight of the call to action.
Distilling a client’s needs and wants
You will need as much information as possible about a client’s brand, along with the objective of your copywriting job. Actively listening will ensure that your client feels heard. They will appreciate your clarifying questions and trust your interpretation of what they did and didn’t say.
Communication with clients is crucial to your work. Don’t take your skills for granted. An open and honest relationship with the client, where everyone is free to offer constructive feedback, ask questions, and discuss a project, is essential to a successful copywriter/client partnership.
A great way to practice active listening skills is to accept feedback respectfully. Feedback, edits, and revisions are inevitable when both parties commit to producing high-quality copy.
Hearing what’s said and unsaid
Building a relationship with prospective clients will begin with the pitch. Effectively communicate how collected information makes compelling content, and you’ll earn their confidence in your ability to translate objectives into persuasive copy.
Skill #4: Confidence
It takes conviction to succeed in copywriting. Self-confidence comes from believing that you, like every successful copywriter, deserve to express your views, set goals, ask for help, and celebrate your successes.
Believe in the writing
Confidence will motivate you to accept every opportunity to improve as a copywriter. Less confident copywriters might become discouraged on days when words don’t easily flow.
Confidence in your hard and soft skills will remind you that the most important thing is just to start writing. You’ll soon have something exciting to work with and be back on track by putting pen to paper without expecting perfection or passing judgment.
To sell a client’s vision, self-confidence is essential. Copywriters combine valuable skills to establish credibility and influence readers, but without self-confidence, you won’t fool anyone.
It takes confidence to connect with your target market, emphasize the benefits of your offering, and impress your clients.
Confidently pitching your value
It will be easy to show potential clients that you’re the right person for a copywriting job after just one conversation. They will feel confident that you will tell their story and elevate their product if you show confidence in your abilities.
Skill #5: Creativity
Creative copywriters can communicate effectively, explore new possibilities, and identify opportunities in challenging situations. Innovation, productivity, adaptability, and growth are all closely linked to creativity.
Being the voice–every time
Copywriters can write for any industry and across multiple departments, learning about products and services they would not have otherwise encountered. The creative challenge is becoming a reliable narrator for a company you don’t work for while selling a product or service you’re unfamiliar with.
Exploring new topics is not only fun for creative copywriters, but it also results in higher-quality content. You will build empathy and trust with the reader by being as playful, authoritative, and charming as a subject-matter expert would be.
When hiring writers, clients check out their portfolios to see how creatively and effectively they write about industries, services, and niches similar to theirs.
There is no need to limit copywriting portfolios to strictly commissioned work. Using creative problem-solving skills, any copywriter can research and write their way into the relevant experience.
A hard sell begins with soft skills
The five soft skills are in no way monolithic ideas. Strengths in one soft skill have a positive impact on the others.
Every pitch meeting will establish how these skills, among others, impact and inform your professional development. You will land the kinds of copywriting jobs that inspire, challenge, support, and help you become a better writer by utilizing and strengthening your skill set.
Jo Gore-Wright is a copywriter and marketing strategy consultant based in Atlanta. She spent years working in business development, operations management, and marketing strategy in the corporate sector but was ready to make a splash on her own. Jo launched Copysplatter and hasn’t looked back since.
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