February 2018 1
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
Why "Which Niche?" is the Wrong Question ... Plus Advice to Freshly-Minted Copywriters Who are Looking for Work ...
First … hello to new subscribers to this email. Welcome.
You’ve heard, I’m sure, the direct response copywriting commandment … “thou shalt specialize.”
After hearing this, hundreds of copywriters plunge head first into a niche, desperately hoping their chosen area of specialization will attract throngs of eager super-duper clients.
And then nothing happens.
I hear two things all the time.
The first from copywriters: “I’m not getting enough work.”
The second from marketers: “We’re desperate for copywriters ... we're always looking for copywriters."
Hmmmmm … what’s wrong with this picture?
I have an area of expertise. I have written 11 books in this niche and it’s about 1/3 of my work as a direct response copywriter. My main client is in this niche is a rock-star direct marketer who reads direct marketing books when he’s on the plane and even when he’s on the lavatory.
My type of client.
But what would happen if this niche was full of marketers who DID NOT fully understand the value of a direct response copywriter? I could stay in this niche, because I’m following the “thou shalt specialize” commandment and be broke and miserable.
If I couldn’t find the right type of client in this niche, I would not work in this niche. It just so happens, thankfully, there's a strong client in a niche I like.
Remember this …
Finding the right type of client is much more important than the niche.
Now … in the world of direct marketing, there are more top clients in the health and financial fields than other niches ... which explains why many of the top copywriters “specialize” in health and wealth. These copywriters work in these niches because it’s where the money is … usually. It's also where you'll find plenty of serious direct marketers.
I address this directly on this page on my website.
Maybe you’ll find 3 great clients in the health space … and suddenly you’re a health specialist. Maybe you’ll find a great client in the pet supplies space … suddenly you’re in the direct-to-consumer space.
You might like the health niche and write copy for clients in this space but remember … focus on the quality of the client before the niche.
Is the client bonkers about direct marketing? Does the client read “Breakthrough Advertising” while moving their bowels? Do they have a strong portfolio of superb products? Can they generate big-time traffic? What sort of list do they have?
A lot of nascent copywriters ask me, “how should I get started finding clients?”
Here’s one way …
Google “digital marketing agencies” and start contacting these agencies. There are thousands of these companies around the world.
Contact 200 of them in the next 30 days ... and follow up.
These agencies need a TON of copy. Some will provide some training. Their needs are fairly basic … emails … AR series … squeeze pages. You will need to turn work around quickly, always a good thing, and most will pay quickly … even if the pay isn’t epic. But it’s a place to get started.
It's how I started, writing a ton of copy for a digital marketing agency in Australia.
And there’s something else about these agencies: you don’t need to specialize. You’ll write for a wide range of products and services … everything from plumbing companies to real estate agencies.
In the next email, I’ll discuss ways to build a portfolio before you get clients. It’s not complicated.
Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter
P.S. I fully understand my "niche" advice flies right in the face of conventional wisdom. But remember ... the quality of the client is more important than the niche.