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How to Be a Well-Paid Copywriter Without Being a Suck-Up

Carol Tice

How to Be a Well-Paid Copywriter Without Being a Suck-Up. Makealivingwriting.comBy James Brown

There are many ways of getting brand-new copywriting clients. However, some of them take a lot of effort and money. Some make you feel like you have to flatter and kiss up to prospects.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Here is a way I used to get two clients very quickly, sending only ten prospecting emails. You can start right now.

I developed this method after seeing a display ad in my local paper that had a number of issues.

I sent them an email and simply told the truth. No ass-kissing required.

Here is what it said:



I noticed your ad in Metro news and wanted to drop you a line. I’m curious as to what your results are so far?

By tracking your ad, you should have some numbers by now.


I noted a few problems with the ad that you may want to fix in the future.


1. You pay a lot for the ad and a large portion of it contains a picture of two people who may not be your target market. (No benefit here for your target market.)

2. Your headlines are weak. (Concerned about your hearing?)

3. The photo of your staff should be in the top left hand corner where the “open house” is. This will draw your target market’s attention quicker, as people like to see who they are dealing with. Again, I go back to the stock photo…this does not build any rapport with your target market.


If you would like some assistance with your marketing, feel free to connect.


I would like to offer you my free report, “Is Email Marketing Right For You?”  Just let me know if you would like the PDF.
Best Regards,


You might think business owners don’t want to hear how their ad sucks, but I find this straightforward approach works. That email opened a conversation, which led to an immediate writing assignment and likely future work on the website’s newsletter.

Besides the hearing-aid clinic ad above, I reached out to a physiotherapy clinic that had a very ineffective ad in the phone book. By telling the truth and making suggestions, I came away with an $800 assignment.

How to find copywriting client leads

To begin, you need to find some ads to review for problems. The local daily paper is only one source for you.

Pick up any phone book or local magazine and you will see ads that should be burned.

It’s not always the business owner’s fault. Often, they follow the advice of the publication where they are advertising.

Don’t think of it as being snarky. This marketing technique is attention-getting, and these local business owners need your help. You have a valuable service to offer them that will help them get more business.

A current client said to me recently, “I called you because I bought books on copywriting and marketing. Then I realized I don’t have time to learn all this. I have a business to run.”

So starting collecting the postcards and flyers from your mailbox. Clip out the ads from your local newspaper. Put it all together and there is your fast list to contact.

You might even snag a client on the first email you send. A bonus point…if making cold calls scares the crap out you, emailing prospects will be less frightening.

James Brown is a freelance copywriter/blogger with a brown belt in hapkido and copywriting. Learn more by checking out his website or martial arts blog.

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