How a Marketing Writer Gets Business

Marketing writer and trophy case of writing samples

A marketing writer left a note at my website:

I’m just now in the marketing phase of my freelance copywriting business. How can I get past the ‘no experience and small portfolio’ problem to even get people to call me? I need to get hired to get experience, but no one will hire me because I have no experience.”

Getting hired as a marketing writer

Everyone is affected by the vicious circle of hire-ability and experience. I’ve seen a lot of writers go through it. For that matter, I went through it.

Most of us have made ourselves into marketing writers by pressing on with large helpings of patience and determination. That, and just enough breaks to convince ourselves that we were going in the right direction.

It’s true that the more you write for money, the more credible writing samples you’ll accumulate in your trophy case. But it’s also true that, like the person who left the note on my website, everybody starts somewhere.

The importance of writing samples

I replied:

“It’s unlikely that any prospects will find you spontaneously. That means you will have to find them with a combination of search engine marketing, online forum dwelling, cold calling, attending industry events and other approaches.

“You must have some kind of writing samples; otherwise, you wouldn’t be interested in writing for a living. Put together a small website with a trophy case. But don’t spend big money on it, and don’t expect that the whole world will miraculously find it.

“Some content marketing manager or editor out there has a business problem to solve, and you’re the marketing writer to solve it. One of the first questions that manager will ask is ‘Can you show me samples?’

“That’s where your prior work comes in. Be sure it’s clean, presentable and easily accessible. Do not apologize for anything about it; samples are rarely a perfect fit to the prospect’s need. If that need is great enough and the manager likes the way you present yourself, then you’ll get hired.

“That’s how a marketing writer gets business.”

Of course, I left out a lot, mostly because finding work is rarely a rational process. But patience, determination, active marketing and an online portfolio are among the first steps in getting business.

And if you get a few good breaks, then you know you’re heading in the right direction.

photo credit: Cupcanal


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”