Is it possible to create a copywriting portfolio with no experience? The short answer is yes. One of the major dilemmas of people who are just fresh out of school is they have pretty much zero experience. And companies nowadays require their potential employees to have experience. So, how could that possibly work?
It’s a good thing the freelancing industry is a bit more forgiving when it comes to working experience. In fact, it is possible to get a job even without any prior working experience. This makes freelancing ideal for those who are just starting out, whether a new graduate or someone who wants to switch to a different industry. When it comes to freelancing, you can let your skills shine through instead of showing a list of prior work experiences.
How can you possibly show your skills? Through a portfolio. So, if you want to know how to build a copywriting portfolio with no experience, read on.
Create a Copywriting Portfolio No Experience
So, if you’ve never worked as a copywriter before, where do you exactly get the materials for your portfolio? Here are some suggestions below to help you out with your copywriting portfolio no experience:
1. Dig up schoolwork
If you studied copywriting, you can actually use schoolwork for your portfolio. Make sure to use relevant materials, it could be from an exam, a project, or other requirements you submitted to your teacher or professor. Of course, make sure to filter these materials as not all may be impressive to potential clients.
Choose the ones you got a high grade on or maybe something your professor gave you excellent feedback on. It’s best to tweak these a little bit, to make sure they are still relevant today.
2. Check old internship materials
If you interned as a copywriter during your undergrad or postgrad, the materials that you have produced can also be used. Make sure to thoroughly read your internship contract first. There might be an NDA that you have signed that says the deliverables you have produced cannot be shown to the public.
For good measure, you may contact the point-person of the company and ask for approval that you will use the things you have produced for your portfolio. Who knows, you might even score a recommendation from them.
3. Create your own samples
Maybe you don’t have a background in copywriting because you were from another industry. That’s okay, you can still make a copywriting portfolio with no experience. You just have to be a little more creative. You have to make your own samples, below are some ways you can do it.
• Invent a scenario
Think up possible scenarios where your copywriting skills will be needed. This can be your dream scenario like a big makeup company is launching a new lipstick and need an eye-catching copy for their billboard. Maybe a trusted company is looking to bring its brand more appealing to the younger set and will require a new tagline.
When creating a scenario, write the premise so potential clients will understand the problem. Then write in detail how you would go about with the solution. Create mock-ups and enlist the help of designer friends if you can (unless you also know how to do this).
• Build a client profile
This is your chance to dream up your very own client. Build the profile of the hypothetical client and write what kind of copy you can offer them. Of course, it would be best to add a bit of a challenge when making this type of sample so potential clients can see what you are all about.
• Makeup sample products
Your creativity can really be tested when you make a copywriting portfolio with no experience. You can draw inspiration from your childhood or popular culture or pretty much anywhere. Create products that will push the boundaries of your creativity to make an ad copy. Make sure it is relatable, understandable, and of course totally sellable.
4. Use yourself or your own business
Finally, make yourself the client. As a freelancer, you are technically running your own business. You are selling yourself or your skills, so how do you go about doing that? Make your own professional account and create impressive posts that showcase your talent for catching attention and also effective CTAs.
How you sell yourself is highly effective in showing potential clients what you can do. After all, if they are drawn to the copies that you make about yourself, then it shows you can do the same for them.
Tips for Making a Copywriting Portfolio with Zero Experience
Just because you’ve never worked as a copywriter in the corporate world doesn’t mean you can’t make it as one in the freelancing industry. Some people ask, does freelance work count as experience? The answer is yes, definitely. Freelance work requires the same set of skills as that of an employee (if not more). Below are some tips to help you make your copywriting portfolio with no experience.
• Find sample copywriting problems or case studies online
Potential clients will usually give you a test so you can showcase your copywriting skills. Most of the time, this will be a made-up scenario. You can get inspiration from this for making your own portfolio. it can help give you insight into what potential clients are looking for in a copywriter.
You can also check out sample case studies of real client profiles or copywriting problems so you can see how a professional handles it. There’s so much information and resources online that you can use, utilise these to help you with your portfolio creation.
• Use appropriate samples related to the potential client’s business or project
When applying for potential clients, make sure the portfolio you make is in line with said client’s business. For example, if you are trying to be a copywriter for a hotel then highlight in your portfolio advertisements about vacations and travel, not just hotels.
Change up your portfolio depending on the client you want to work with or the project you want to work on. But of course, also have a master file of all the materials you have on your portfolio. Some clients will definitely want to see some range from you.
• Showcase your range
Speaking of range, when making a copywriting portfolio with no experience, this is your chance to “do it all”. Being a writer is quite a broad job and copywriting narrows things down but you still have a lot to cover. Below are some of the samples you may need to make to impress potential clients:
1. Press Release
Show information on product launches or anything new that a company will offer. Make sure to sell while also providing pertinent information on the project, product, and company.
2. PPC ads
Websites these days are a numbers game, that’s why PPC ads are highly important. It’s truly a challenge to make a short and snappy copy that will drive people to “click”.
As a copywriter, you also need to practice long-form writing, such as an advertorial. It’s pretty much like an article with the goal to sell but without it being too much of a hard sell.
4. Website landing pages
Copywriters need to know the language of the internet. Learn about power words that will help you retain the attention of website visitors.
5. Product Pages
With online selling eating up the market these days, copywriters also need to be adept at writing product pages. These are straight to the point and concise.
Remember that in a copywriting portfolio no experience is possible. You can do this in freelancing but make sure to indicate where the materials are from. If you made a sample out of your imagination, just write that it is just a sample and not actually used for a client.
Aside from that, know that the portfolio is just a hook. You also need to follow up with an excellent proposal so that you can land yourself a client. Do put in the effort when making a copywriting portfolio no experience but make sure your skills and work ethic shine through where it matters most—your freelance work.
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