Why the Smartest Copywriters Won’t (Just) Write Forever

In the working world, there are only two types of jobs:

1. Technicians (the worker bees)

2. Managers (the owners)

If you’re a technician, you only make money while you’re working. You perform the task, get paid hourly (or per project) and move on with your life. It’s a good gig – you can make a living at it. But your income ceiling is limited to the work you can perform yourself. You can keep giving yourself a raise, but clients need to be willing to pay it.

And then there’s managers. Managers have people under them who can do the work. They might do some of the technician jobs themselves (and have likely proven that they can), but at the end of the day, they’ve got capable hands handling the work they can’t.

If this were street fighter, they’d be using a combo multiplier.

As a writer, you’re a technician from day one. You’ve got to build up your brand, get people to trust you. You’re essentially marketing your own talents. So how do you transition to manager?

You’ve got two options:

1. Build products

Products are way that technicians can cheat the system and manage without having any employees. If you build a product, it can be resold over and over again, making money while you’re in bed. If you have no aspirations of managing people or can’t reasonably do so, products are the way to go.

Why else do you think the best writers in the world sell training classes and eBooks? Because these scale outside of themselves.

2. Build a team

If you’ve got a talent, pass it on. People come to you with a need – how can you build up a team that would fulfil that need? There are all kinds of challenges in doing this – you’re essentially building a company. But they payout comes in that you benefit from the work of those you’ve hired/referred/sourced.

Now let’s make this all about me for a second.

That’s something I’m personally figuring out. See, I’m at the point where I have more leads than I can fulfil. I can (and will) raise my rates when the time is right, but for now, I’m just stoked to be working with so many great people. (If you’re interested in working with me, somersault your way over to Business Casual Copywriting. Currently booking into November.)

But I guess now is as good a time as any to announce my long-term plans: I’m building out a team of writers to service a market I see a need in.

  • SEO’s and digital marketing agencies need content, but can’t find talent.
  • Budgets for content are increasing as people realize that maybe overseas writers working at $10/hour is a bad idea if you want to be taken seriously.
  • Finding talent that fits the bill is hard, even when you have budget.

So what am I gonna do about it?

I’m assembling a justice league of hand-picked, talented writers. I’m on the hunt for the underpaid, the ones making the transition to full-time freelance, the ones who are damn good at what they do but don’t know where to go to prove it.

I want to build relationships with good writers who want to be rescued from the cesspool of oDesk and Elance and make what they deserve.

I want to be a source of talent for agencies who “get it”, put quality first and have the budget to match. The ones who have been jaded by bad writing and are ready to pay for someone who can just get the job done right the first time.

Sound like something you could use?

If you’re interested in either writing for, or hiring out the team, tweet me @JoelKlettke. I’d like to clarify that I am NOT offering full-time or employee-based positions. This is referral work as part of a team.

Stay tuned, universe.

One Response to “Why the Smartest Copywriters Won’t (Just) Write Forever”

  1. Julia Kayser says:

    Hi, Joel. I found your post through Maneesh Sethi, a classmate of mine from Stanford. I’m a freelancer specializing in copy for nonprofits. I don’t know if you need someone like that for your team, but if so, drop me a line! Best of luck as you make the shift from technician to manager.


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