Breaking Into Copywriting – Advice to College Students

So you want to be a freelance copywriter? Okay, kid. Roll up your sleeves, fire up that pot of Joe, and get those fingers warmed up. Let’s get writing.

Oh, before I say more, here’s my best advice for those thinking about freelancing right out of college: don’t. Becoming a successful copywriter takes years of stick-with-it determination and persistence. Most copywriters have already put in several years working full-time at companies or agencies before branching off on their own.

So, don’t be lured by those work-at-home schemes peddling workbooks, seminars or widgets promising overnight success. There’s nothing overnight about it. Periods of boom and bust, feast or famine affects everyone, regardless of talent, portfolio or address book. Still interested? Working as a freelance copywriter can be very rewarding and great fun. I still get a charge from people who’ve found me on the web, liked my work, and need writing help. It’s an opportunity to put all my word-nerd knowledge to good use, for people who appreciate it.

Follow these suggestions for jumpstarting your copywriting career:

  • Volunteer for local non-profits. Animal shelters, eco-groups, hobbyist clubs and philanthropic associations are ALWAYS in need of someone to write press releases and grants.
  • Network, network. No one’s going to know about you unless you promote yourself. Creative Connects hosted by the Boss Group, as well as the Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Society of America have monthly meetings. It’s a great way to find job leads and make connections.
  • Get an online portfolio. If you have good work samples, it’s easier on everybody if they’re available on the web. GoDaddy.com offers templates and hosting. You can also publish samples on free blogs such as WordPress.com and blogger.com
  • Get plugged into your alumni network. Reconnecting with old classmates is a great way to meet new people and find new opportunities. You’re more likely to land work if people already know you.
  • Friend connects. Anyone you know starting his or her own company or returning to work for the family business? Inquire about doing their brochure writing or web content.
  • Keep looking for full-time work. Freelance can be very unsteady at times. Building your freelance writing portfolio while working another full-time job is a wise, safe investment.

Landing work as a freelance copywriter requires skill, experience and reputation. But unlike a lot of other vocations or trades, it doesn’t require a degree and is largely self-taught, so there’s nothing to hold you back. Jumpstarting a career might necessitate working for pennies or for free at first. But remember: success in this business isn’t measured by income, but rather the ability to amass a wealth of contacts and clients who will supply you with regular writing work and refer you to others.

While the job won’t pay much at first, building a business based on solid writing work and integrity will pay off in the long run.



Source by Daniel Bartel

Should Authors Use YouTube For Book Marketing?

 

In the history of marketing the hottest marketing spots are the locations where the most people can be found, whether it’s the town square, bazaar, train station, airport, MySpace, YouTube or Twitter.

There are more than 75 million videos on YouTube, for instance, and when these videos go viral they register millions of views per video. And while many authors know how to use YouTube to share videos with family and friends, very few understand how to harness the power of YouTube to earn money, market themselves, connect with customers, grow their business and sell more books.

I am using YouTube in every way possible for all my clients. I truly see opportunities for every type of client I represent including, authors, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and even charities.

In fact, I used YouTube to help Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue make it to the “Top 10” in a $1 Million shelter makeover contest sponsored by Zootoo, a web site for animal and pet lovers. As part of their effort, I asked Mike Ball who, along with being an award-winning columnist, is an accomplished musician, if he would be willing to write and record a song that could be used in an online video and for public service announcements. That emotional song with the photos of horses helped Angel Acres in their online voting campaign.

Another client, Mr. Duey, a school teacher who uses music to teach kids math, science and history, is also having great success with his video. Called “Mr. Duey Fractions” it’s featured on Teacher Tube which is like YouTube but it’s for teachers, parents and students. The “Fractions” video we promoted is now one of the top ten all time most viewed videos on TeacherTube with 567,000 views. You know you are hot stuff when the kids in your school ask a teacher for an autograph! The exposure has led to CD sales, media coverage and other exciting opportunities Mr. Duey and the label Kaas Records. As I am writing this Mr. Duey is finishing filming a new series of videos which tie in his musical talent with a new “book type” product… cant’ tell you what it is but it came about as direct result of the that video!

Another very successful application for YouTube videos is through video book trailers as part of a book marketing campaign. In an effort to obtain book publicity for my author clients we’ll create a book trailer about the book. A book trailer is like a movie trailer in that it allows someone to preview a book both visually and via audio. A video book trailer brings the book to life and gives the potential reader a sneak peak at the contents. We’ll then post that book trailer on YouTube and… here’s the best part… we add it to more than 41 additional video sites online for even greater exposure.

One of the big benefits of a book trailer is how is improves search engine ranking for an author’s main web site, providing you carefully select traffic driving key words and titles.

How can a book trailer help? A couple months ago we landed a terrific article for one of my authors in The Patriot Ledger outside of Boston. First, they ran a photo of the author holding his book. They mentioned the upcoming book signings I asked him to arrange after we had this story confirmed so he could capitalize on the PR.

The Ledger also included a link and screen shot of the book trailer video we produced for YouTube. The best part? ABC-TV CH-7 of Boston then saw the article and book trailer, realized it was a good visual story and came out to the author’s house and shot their own story! It really proves my point that “PR Begets PR, the More You Get, the More You Get!”

An example of book trailers we’ve created can be viewed at Westwind Communications YouTube Channel at: [http://www.youtube.com/thebookpublicist]

There are a lot of ins and outs when it comes to YouTube. If you are serious about using it then I suggest you buy a new book How to Make Money With YouTube, by Brad and Debra Schepp. In this insightful guide the authors unveil specific steps to harness YouTube’s power to turn a profit. The Schepps offer in-depth, easy to understand instructions on everything from shooting and uploading videos to fundraising and marketing, to building buzz, and how to get your videos noticed.

They also draw on one infamous company’s humorous “Will it Blend?” video that brought thousands of new customers to its website. You’ve probably seen it. A guy in a lab coat blends everything from food to iPhones in their blender demonstrating how powerful the blender really is. The book is filled with valuable advice and practical tips to allow readers to maximize their earning potential on YouTube.

One of the most valuable features of How To Make Money With YouTube are real-life success stories from video marketers who used the site to launch successful consulting businesses. A featured success story is from my own firm about Mr. Duey mentioned above. The bottom line: Get a book video trailer created and get it on YouTube right away and use it to promote your book online. You can’t go wrong.

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Source by Scott Lorenz