RE: Learning New Skills: Copywriting, and Web Design/Development

Subject: RE: Learning New Skills: Copywriting, and Web Design/Development
From: "Morton, Christopher" <CMorton -at- caiso -dot- com>
To: "Jennifer C. Bennett" <fritillary -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 08:44:44 -0800

>I'm looking to develop more skills to make myself more flexible and
>marketable in order to find more freelance positions.

I became a copywriter as a direct consequence of becoming an advertising
salesperson, so I don't know how to advise you other than perhaps you
have some friends who know some friends who can steer freebie
assignments your way until you've accumulated a decent portfolio from
which to leverage for-hire assignments.

I got started writing free pieces for the local Chamber of Commerce
newsletter on general business IT topics I chose. They loved it! This
got my name out there. I also created advertising pieces for my company,
entered them in a regional marketing club contest and won.
Self-promotion is key.

In my experience, most local businesses are absolutely _clueless_ when
it comes to advertising. I presume you can fog a mirror, hence you are
their advertising expert. You said you were, right? Therefore it must be
true. Knock on enough doors, recognizing that each "no" gets you one
step closer to getting a "yes" (it's in the statistics). Oh, and if it
is for-hire, make certain you have a written contract with some sort of
retainer upfront. The advertising/marketing folks are the absolute LAST
to get paid.

>Also, I'm thinking of slowly moving into web design and development.

Isn't everyone? I don't mean to be snide, but it's a crowded field with
every stubble-chinned Xbox geek (that ought to get a rise out of some of
you!) being an expert. Why? Because they say they are! Remember: the
definition of an "expert" is a mirror-fogger from over 50 miles away.

Kidding (truth?) aside, nose around the Collins College website
( If I were in my twenties, I'd figure
out some way to attend classes there. (Besides, Tempe is a great party
place.) Also, take a look at the classes offered by Learning Tree
International ( Expensive, yes...
Invaluable, definitely.



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