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To portfolio or not to portfolio?
That is the question.
But really, it’s not.
Here’s what I mean…
When you’re starting out as a copywriter, there are so many things you’re told you “apparently” need before you can even take on your first client.
Schooling, years of experience, and a Declaration of Independence length portfolio.
So when do you actually get to start and what do you actually need?
As someone who’s been in this industry for a few years now, and built my brand from the ground up to nearly 7-Figures, I’m here to give you the advice I wish someone had given me. And no, it doesn’t involve a 57 page portfolio.
How can I say that so confidently? Because I’ve learned (and now teach) that the best portfolio you have is…
Your website (period, as the kids say).
And of all the important adjustments you can make to take your website to new heights, there are three main things that every successful copywriter’s website has. Which leads me to the most obvious, but most important:
I’ve never had a portfolio available. And you know what? That has never prevented me from getting a copy job. Because all they had to do was look at my website and, based on my copy, could tell if I was a fit.
Your website is your digital storefront, and the first impression it makes on potential clients is crucial. You need punchy, persuasive, and persona-packed words that jump off the page and not only relate to your reader, but show them exactly the type of copy you could provide them with if they choose to work with you.
Think about it, your website copy is the voice of your brand. It’s the first chance you have to sell yourself and your services. So, if you want to make a lasting impression and stand out from the competition, this is your platform.
If you’re at a point where you have products and you want to direct people to book either done-for-you, book-with-you, or even DIY support, you need to make sure that those services are really clear and accessible.
Not only that, but the value and transformation behind each service needs to be the most evident part of it.
For example, I’ve seen too many websites that say something along the lines of:
And I hate to break it to you, but what’s at the forefront of your customer’s mind isn’t how long it will take.
They want to know the transformation they are going to get.
This is where you have the opportunity to really detail the core things that you do – Not everything you’ve ever done.
Because by including every single thing you’re capable of, it actually inadvertently strips away your authority by not clearly showing what your zone of genius is, and how they can get support from you in that specific area. That means doing away with ‘everything custom’, and honing in on ‘I do this really well, here’s how you can access it’.
This builds your brand authority and communicates your value and Unique Differentiators.
(These are essential pieces to your business, so if you’re stuck beneath the 10k/mo mark and want consistent, reliable income, I cover this and everything else you need to grow inside Elevated Brand Accelerator Program.)
This could be full-on case studies where you’re showcasing the work like a portfolio (what you did together/ before and after). It could be traditional testimonials with a picture and a quote beside it. Or, my favorite, a video testimonial (which I highly recommend you start requesting).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again:
Client testimonials are one of the most valuable assets a copywriter can have on their website.
→ They serve as proof of your skill, effectiveness, and success in delivering results for your clients, not to mention showing your potential clients (who may be on the fence) the exact fears they have had mirrored back to them by a real person, as well as the benefits of pulling the trigger and hiring you.
→ They build trust and credibility.
→ Also, client testimonials are the perfect way to highlight your expertise in your niche, putting your right in front of ICA and repelling the wrong-fit clients so you don’t even have to tell them to their face (a confrontation hack if I ever saw one).
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