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Should You Invest in a Self-Driven Course or a Live Online Learning Experience?

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You can definitely learn a lot of solid info on your own through books and free info online. But I’ve found my career went a lot faster when I was in a community of people who were in the same place as me.

Case in point: just last week, I had a chat with Emma Siemasko who runs the Freelance Writing Coach podcast with Kaleigh Moore. Emma and I were in a mastermind hosted by The Copywriter Club a few years ago, and we work in the same space. So when I needed to gut-check the rates I was charging B2B clients for copy, I’d already built a relationship a person who’s got a solid following in our space.

Turns out that someone at my level should be charging at least $1/word for B2B content and $1200/page+ for web copy. And I’d been undercharging.

Yeah, I’d read the reports and articles about how much copywriters should charge. But having a community of people who know me has been really helpful to get this kind of feedback that’s personal to my skills/abilities/experience.

(Emma and Kaleigh’s podcast is awesome, by the way. Worth checking out a few episodes.)

You can look at my reply history for other stories about how investing in the right learning opportunities helped me quadruple my rates, get multiple six-figure in-house copywriter jobs, etc.

All that to say, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in different online writing courses, masterminds, etc. and know which ones yield the best results. Here’s what you’ll want to look for.

Always, Always, Always Look for Community

Anyone can post recordings of videos online and PDF worksheets. But the real growth comes from being able to interact with other people who are learning with you.

  • Contrary to other businesses, copywriters don’t really “compete” with each other – what’s a good client for you may not be for someone else, and vice versa. So there’s lots of referral opportunities when you join a community. (Case in point: I joined a program by copywriter Kirsty Fanton a couple years ago, and within two weeks I got a job that paid for the entire course and then some.)
  • You don’t know if your copy is good until someone else reads it. Copy isn’t like IT where something either works or it doesn’t; it’s scientific, but very qualitative at times. So having live feedback is critical as you’re learning and trying to improve.
  • Seeing how other copywriters at your level are finding clients/succeeding/positioning themselves/etc. will give you ideas on your own business. You’ll quickly figure out what’s a good fit for you and what’s not.

Alright, so you can tell I’m pretty sold on learning in a community. (It’s why I’m paying $300/month to be part of yet another copywriter community for people making six figures in copy who want to level up higher.)

It’s just going to be the fastest way to replace and exceed your current income.

If I Were to Start over Again, Here’s What I’d Do

I spent about 3 years flailing as a self-taught copywriter. Then I started investing in my growth through community learning, and everything changed.

Here’s what I would do if I started all over again.

  1. Listen to podcasts aimed at freelance copywriters and writers. Some of my favorites are Freelance Writing Coach (linked above), The Copywriter Club aka TCC, and David Garfinkel’s Copywriters Podcast. Those will give you a lot of great info on not only what copy is and how to be good at it, but also how to manage a business. (Because as a solo copywriter, you’re also a business owner.)
  2. Invest in a live training program. The Copywriter Accelerator is opening up again soon, and I can’t recommend it enough. They’ve got a free workshop next week that will be a good place to start. (Disclaimer: you can check my post history and see that I’ve been promoting the Copywriter Accelerator for years for free – it’s genuinely the best early-career program for copywriters based on the peope I see come out the other side. But I’ve used my affiliate link there because this is the first time they’ve offered an affiliate program, so why not? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ If you’d rather check it out through their site, do that instead! It’s genuinely the program I think is best.) I’ve personally spent about $15k on Rob and Kira’s programs, and I credit them with making it easy for me to consistently hit $10k+ months.
  3. Read a few books on copywriting. The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly is a classic and a great fit for people with a technical background. Sean Vosler’s 7-Figure Copywriting Book is an unbelievable value (even if it looks expensive, it’s worth 100x that based on what you’ll find inside).
  4. Focus on getting data from clients early on. This will make it a LOT easier to tell future clients how you helped raise previous client sales by XX% with your copy. It’s a simple way to prove to yourself that you’re not an impostor and to also land better and better jobs.

There are so, so many programs and books and courses to choose from. The biggest thing is to implement what you learn. It’s so, so easy to get a 10x return on your investment with almost any training (except anyone who makes you call them “sifu,” those people are definitely scammers). Start with the links above, and feel free to reach out with any followup questions.

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We occasionally write about conversion-focused design (including UX design and conversion copywriting).

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