I’ve been saying for a long time. You can make a very good living with a handful of clients.
We’re in the business of copywriting, of course.
Even more, we’re in the business of relationships.
In 10.5 years of full-time copywriting so far, I’m sure I’ve had fewer than 100 clients total. Maybe fewer than 75. I never set out to keep scrambling from gig to gig. That’s a head-banging way to operate.
Market yourself like a pro, get a project, do good work, and then…move on to the next one? Crazy!
Life is so much easier when you slow it down, develop relationships with people, give them ideas, and write good copy for them.
When you get to know them on a deeper level…when they like you…really like you.
So much that they don’t even consider working with anyone else.
I’ve been fortunate to have had some long-term clients over the years.
One big company sent me a check every month from January of 2010 to June of 2014. (Without ever having a retainer contract, I might add. They’re not necessary.)
Another company used my services every month for 8 years, from 2010 – 2018.
I had a UK client I worked with about six years ago for about six months, and for a couple years after that they’d contact me occasionally to do something else.
The reason these clients stuck with me for so long isn’t because I’m the best copywriter they could possibly find.
I’m good, but if they wanted to put out a casting call, I’m sure they could find a better writer.
This business is about more than the quality of your copywriting (which is hard to measure), and more than the results your copy generates (which should be easy to measure). Clients will keep working with you because you add value to their business, and in some small way, you add value to their life.
Be the business person who delivers on time, writes good copy, and generates cool ideas, of course.
But go deeper, and be the person who gets to know them better. Be the person they open up to about things they don’t tell their other service providers.
Be genuine. Be yourself. Be invested in THEM, not just their business.
This business is so much more rewarding when you get beyond “copy, copy, copy” and ROI.
You can sidestep a lot of what’s happening in our industry.
Get to know people, and let them get to know you.
It’s a profitable, pleasant, easygoing, and more “under-the-radar” way to operate.
I call it, of course, The Cafe Way.