Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Where has free copywriting got me?

Hi, it has been a little while since I have had the time to write a blog, but here I am!

Today I will discussing whether offering free services can be a positive development for a copywriter? When I began my copywriting company Purple Bubble Writing from my home here in Dorset I thought about the best way to promote myself and develop my testimonials.  I began by joining UK Business Forums and offered free copywriting services to anyone who felt they would benefit from my writing skills.

To be honest, I think I opened the floodgates- I was inundated but wasn't complaining! So, for a couple of months I wrote for free and gained many testimonials which are now posted on my website www.purplebubblewriting.co.uk if you want to take a look.

In addition, I have written for many mediums and for various clients who are all over the moon with the copywriting services I have provided.  Please just ask for examples of my work and I will happily provide them.

Anyway, enough about me- lets get back to the statement I made originally: Where will offering free copywriting get you?

Obviously offering free services not only has benefitted me but also the client too.  I gain more experience, can show off my copywriting skills, built contacts and positively help someone in need.

But choosing to work for free is something I needed to consider very carefully as the time that I spent on working for free for a client is time that I could spend on a paying project or marketing myself so that I can land my next big project. One issue I was conscious of was by offering free services maybe I was putting myself in danger of underselling myself and my rates?

But I need not have worried as people I have done free copy for have gone onto pay me for my time- very encouraging for me.  Also, it reinforces the fact I am a great copywriter and have a bubbly personality which is something I pride myself on.  I am enthuastic, down to earth, easy going, and like a giggle and don't worry; that will never change!

So, with this in mind there is a fine line between a giveaway that help you and one that can set you back.

When is Giving Your Time Away Worth Your While?

Time is money. Just like me, if you’re giving away your time, it had better mean that doing so will bring in some money in other ways. It’s not impossible to set up:
  • A giveaway will lead directly to paid work. If, for instance, by giving away an hour of free work to land an additional hours of work means a win, win situation for everyone!
  • For people or businesses offering a product or a service, get big attention from your ideal client. Putting a gift certificate for a couple hours of your time into a silent auction for charity can help you build at least a little awareness among people who hadn’t heard of you before, although it’s crucial that you make sure that at least part of the audience would be interested in paying you for your work.
  • Pair your giveaway with a paid purchase. If you have a product to sell — even if you’re an affiliate for a product and didn’t create it yourself — you can offer up some of your time for free to help buyers make up their minds. A web developer might sell a website template and offer up an hour of customization for free, as an example.

Limiting Requests for Unpaid Work

If you don’t see the benefit of donating some time, it’s likely to be something you don’t want to do. I support a fantastic local organisation in Wellington, Somerset called The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation www.weddingwishingwell.org.uk, run by the beautiful and courageous Naomi Thomas who helps people with life limiting and life threatening conditions have the wedding of their dreams, and gladly offer my copywriting services for free. So far I have helped Naomi with suggestions for her website and have created a 2000+ word article for use in a local magazine. (Soon to be published apparently!)

There are times that, even without a clear financial benefit, you, just like me, can choose to give away your services just the same. With The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, for instance, I am willing to help out for free because it’s a way that I can support the organization, which is important to me.

In all, the important thing with offering free copywriting services is being able to recognize where the benefit is and make the decision with your eyes wide open.

Hannah @ Purple Bubble Writing, Bridport, Dorset xxx

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