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« Your Input Needed | Main | Lessons Learned in 2006 »

January 03, 2007


Jay White

Great stuff, bro. As you know, I'm just finishing up my first official year as a freelancer, and God has been VERY good. The Whites are truly blessed.

Thanks for the insight on LLCs. I've been a sole proprietor this year and I'm thinking of changing that because of tax breaks. I'll definitely look into it.

Hope you and the family are well, Ryan. Check out my new website at:

when you get a chance and let's talk soon, okay?



Hi Ryan,

Wow! Great job tackling my question...Now, you've inspired a few more.

What specifically goes on at The Big Seminar that helps generate business?

How do you set up a Lead Generating Website?

Both "heavy" questions, but I'd appreciate your wisdom.


Andrew Cavanagh

Nice post Ryan.

Learning how to market yourself effectively is the biggest key in your first year.

It will help both with your own marketing and with your clients if you study masters of marketing like Jay Abraham.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

Mike Jezek

Ryan that was a great post!

Here's my take on this ...

I started 5 years ago and I have worked like a dog at this business. I have written killer copy for some of the most coveted companies you could want to work for. My last sales letter raked in $400,000 in 24 hours. I don't say this to brag but to let newbies understand that I know what I'm saying is true.

The copywriting lifestyle is NOT an easy one. You will definitely work your tail off for a client only to have him or her screw you over by not paying you. Or by demanding their money back for whatever reason. It's happened to me several times. Then you'll have clients who will change up your sales copy and then complain that it doesn't work. You'll also have clients who will never even run your sales copy.

The first year is usually tough as nails. Unless you go to a seminar and meet people, you'll drudge along struggling to find clients. This idea of there being a sea of clients ready to hire you on the spot is pure unadulturated hype. Sure, if you belong to some Chamber of Commerce group, you might find a pile of jobs coming your way. But for the most part, you'll find much of your time spent chasing after clients (no matter how slick your marketing techniques) then once you get those clients you'll have to put 110% into their project.

I found myself at times fretting over where the business would come. It would seem one year that the fall season deluged me with more work than I could handle. Whereas the next fall season was a drought -- almost forcing me to quit the copywriting business.

Everyone wants to believe that their situation will be different that somehow, some teleseminar or course they bought will make it different for them. That they'll always have this nice, steady stream of clients. Again - don't buy into the hype. And don't buy into the hype of getting paid $8,000 or $10,000 for a sales letter either. Unless you're Clayton Makepeace it's not going to happen.

You will have ups and downs for the most part unless you build a network via your Chamber of Commerce and attending seminars.

That's my 2 cents.

Michael Roach

Ryan, thanks for taking the time to write such insightful posts.

Any advice on bookkeeping? That part of the business frightens me more than any other.

Pam K Gitta

Thanks, Ryan. That was very informative! I couldn't agree more on the "market yourself" comment. I think "do something to market yourself every day" is one of the best pieces of advice any freelancer can get.

Ray Williams

Hey Ryan,
As always, great post...
Thanks so much for being so candid.
Based on your first year, as well as the very different experiences of the others who've shared their story, I choose to believe that my first year will be whatever I make of it.
The trick is to learn how to make it the way I want it to be... I think :-)

Keep up the great posts

Ryan Healy

Thank you all for your comments. Here are some additional answers to your questions.

1. "What specifically goes on at The Big Seminar that helps generate business?"

Unlike other big events, there are times set aside specifically for networking. And networking is encouraged from the stage by Armand Morin. This warms-up the crowd and makes people easier to approach. In other words, the environment at Big Seminar is conducive to networking.

2. "How do you set up a Lead Generating Website?"

Creating a lead generation site is fairly simple.

Write a sales letter selling your services. Upload it to a web site. Make sure there's a form at the bottom for capturing email, phone number, etc. Then send traffic to your site (via Google Adwords, forum posts, articles, press releases, etc.).

3. "Any advice on bookkeeping?"

Keep business and personal stuff completely separate.

Save bank and credit card statements for your business, and code each expense as to what category it falls into. (Income is income. You can code it fee income, affiliate income, etc. if you want to, but it's not necessary.)

Enter it into QuickBooks or have a CPA or recordkeeper input the numbers into their system on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Many times you can find a good CPA by asking for a referral from another business person or even just calling a few people out of the phone book.

I currently pay my CPA $225 per quarter for recordkeeping, plus additional fees of about $550 total for business and personal tax filing.

Ray - I like what you said about your first year. It really is what you make of it, although every person's experience will be different.

And regarding fees, you can make $2K... $5K... $10K... or more per letter. The numbers are not set in stone. It's your choice.

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