Direct Response Copywriter on How NOT to Find Clients Part 10

How NOT to Find Copywriting Clients. Part 10.

Method #10. Trade Shows

A Series of Essays for Copywriters and Fellow Creative Professionals.


NOTE: You're reading a series of essays about how to find copywriting clients ... and how NOT to find them. This series will be extremely controversial. Read the blogs and you’ll discover my experiences with finding direct response copywriting clients … what works and what’s a waste of time. The goal is to help you find “elite” level clients with deep pockets who are looking for top-quality creative talent. My focus is on direct response copywriting but it all applies to all creative talent.


Over the last 15 years, I have attended trade shows and conferences. A couple of reasons.

First, I wanted to see current clients. Just a few minutes in person with a client can mean a lot to the client. Second, this can be a great place to meet new clients ... in person.

This past January, I attended a whopping trade show. I saw some current clients and simply asked, “are you happy with my work and the services I provide?” It’s important to ask this question and listen very closely to the answer. Fortunately, the client is happy. I also made a point to see a couple of potential clients. I’m in Charlotte and the client is in Texas. We met in Florida and this meeting has led to some work.

In October, I usually attend a conference with about 400 other direct response copywriters. The event features presentations and there’s a “job fair” one afternoon. There’s a room full of people who are eagerly looking for a direct response copywriter like me. It’s tough to argue with an opportunity like that and I’ve met many a strong potential client at this event.

Clients can be found at these events. You can cement relationships plus you can begin new ones.

Is it the BEST way to find new clients? No. The sheer scale of these events makes it hard to focus on the best clients for your copywriting business. One show I attend has 400 exhibitors. Another show has 45 with just 2 hours to find these clients.

Here’s how I approach a situation like this.

Before an event or conference, I try to target good potential clients and meet with them in person at the event. Many events have a Facebook or LinkedIn presence; you can see who will attend and plan accordingly.

The stronger approach is to get the list of people who are attending. One trade show lists all the exhibitors in the official guide plus there’s a listing on the event website. Another conference gives you a list of the people who are looking for a direct response copywriter.

You can take these directories and then start to build a list of strong potential clients. I have used this methodology to build a database of over 2,000 potential clients for copywriters and creative professionals. To get access to this list, [click here now][1].


I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here when you have a project you'd like to discuss. I'm also a Dan Kennedy certified copywriter for information products.