Canadian Mom Writer

Thoughts and Opinions on the writing life, working from home, and mothering.

Location: St Marys, Ontario, Canada

I am a work at home mom of 3 living in the country just outside of St Marys, Ontario. I am a freelance writer and copywriter just finally getting going on my business after baby #3. I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and have called Canada home for 16 years now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How to create a Copywriter's Portfolio before you get paying clients.

Give it Away!

That's right, offer your services for free! If you don't have any published pieces, now is the time to start contacting local organizations and asking them if they need any writing help, and if they would allow you to put the document on your website portfolio as well as your actual portfolio. I have written some articles for friends in a pinch, who were more than happy to allow me to use the finished piece in my portfolio. I also got a great start from volunteering my services at my local YMCA. They were looking to put a weekly column in the local paper, I showed up on their doorstep, it was a win-win situation all around.

I also asked the people I provided pro bono work to if they would mind contributing a written testimonial that I could use on my website, and they were more than happy to oblige. Like a good reference on your resume, what people say about you does effect what others think about your services.

So where can you find these pro bono jobs? Anywhere! Now is the time to start networking, telling people what you do, and what the role of a copywriter is as most people don't understand exactly what we do. If you are currently employed, ask to work on the next print ad or other written materials. If your children are involved with extracurricular activities, ask their instructors if they would like a profile written up about them for the local paper. Look around for volunteer work with festivals, non-profits or the like, they are usually very happy to have someone volunteer this kind of service.

But don't forget to ask them if it is alright to use the material in your portfolio, never just assume. In no time at all you will have a few decent samples in your hands to show to the paying clients.