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How I Became a Copywriter: Part Two
As I mentioned previously, I had no prospects for several weeks. I sent out resumes to every web marketing shop and traditional marketing agency in the DFW area. Three months of writing experience isn't much to go on, and I didn't get any positive responses back.
Then one day, I received a call from Scott. He and Kevin LaFond and Darren VanLaningham (of Vooka) joined forces to create TuZoom, a new web marketing company. They offered me a contract copywriter / SEO position as their first hire. I took the position and spent the next four months writing copy for their new website and developing META recommendations for their largest client. It was pretty primitive SEO stuff, but I was also cramming a bunch of knowledge into my brain at the same time.
After a while, I felt the need to go out on my own and try freelance copywriting. I had more experience, and landed some freelance work, including press release writing and distribution, articles, web copy, and a brochure. For the most part, though, I tried over and over again to line up work. I cannot tell you how many near-contracts I lost. Most of my problem was my attitude. I didn't have much experience, but I didn't want to be treated like a day-laborer. I overcompensated and came on way too strong with most of my prospective clients. I lost at least 10K in deals due to my attitude. It made me sick to my stomach.
I got to the point where I needed work so badly that I applied for all kinds of writing and non-writing jobs in my area. God must have had a plan for me, because I couldn't even land a position as an assistant manager at the local movie theater. I felt like a total failure.
An old friend of mine, Brad Pratt, offered to hire me on as his personal assistant. He owned 30 rental properties and part of a landscaping company. Grateful for the work and the pay, I worked for Brad for about four months as his property manager. Due to some restructuring in the company, I had to leave, but he gave me two month's notice to help me find something else.
I went through another round of resumes, contacting every writing opportunity and placement agency I could find. Out of the blue, an ex-copywriting client called me up. I had written nearly a dozen press releases for him the year before, and he had told me that he hoped to be able to hire me when his company was positioned to do so. I had filed that information away and completely forgotten about it. But there he was, on the phone and offering me a job as an SEO Specialist and Copywriter.
Here I am, officially an "SEO Specialist", but still a writer and strategist at heart. We have a sweet office space in Las Colinas, and I'm moving towards a public relations / social marketing position. It all involves copywriting, so that would be my overarching title. Pretty much anything that is written by the agency passes through my hands at some point, if for nothing other than a quick edit.
This is getting long, so I'll post again to provide some tips about how to become a copywriter.