Let me tell you about the worst experience of my copywriting career.
It was several years back — when I’d been freelancing for less than a year.
Somehow, I landed a HUGE opportunity with a copy chief for a massive DR company (who I won’t name, but … you know them).
The job was to write a funnel for a big SaaS company doing multiple $MM per month. And we’d get a 3% lifetime royalty on any sales we made.
Basically … it was the opportunity of a lifetime for a rookie copywriter.
And unfortunately …
It was also the worst project I ever took on.
Let’s count the reasons.
First of all …
It was a beast of a job.
I was required to rewrite …
- A webinar build up funnel
- A sales funnel
- A downsell funnel
- A webinar offer page
- A downsell page
- A book offer page
- An upsell page
All in the space of a few weeks!
Now, it wasn’t ALL from scratch. The copy chief gave me all the current copy, and told me to reuse as much as I needed.
(Remember that bit, it’s important)
But still … even NOW I get the shivers looking at all that work.
The truth was, I didn’t have the experience yet to handle such a big project by myself.
But … I accepted the job.
It got worse, though …
The copy chief was initially very detailed in his messages.
But as the project went on, he became unresponsive.
I gave him a proposed outline of what I wanted to do.
He ignored it.
I asked some follow up questions.
He didn’t answer them.
And as the deadline for the first part of the project loomed closer … I started getting worried.
I still wasn’t sure on what I needed to deliver.
I hadn’t heard from the guy in several days.
So a few days before that first deadline …
I submitted an early first draft.
Because I was so unconfident, I stuck super close to the existing funnel.
Honestly, it was probably 75% the same as their current version.
(Though to be fair, he DID say to reuse what they had. And I blatantly acknowledged this … and offered to change it further.)
Well, guess what?
After submitting my draft …
He FINALLY got back to me.
He told me he would read it, and get back to me the next day with some comments.
That was the last I EVER heard from him.
The dude just dropped off the face of the earth.
I followed up by email. Nothing.
The project deadline passed. Nothing.
I reached out again asking for an update. Nothing.
I reached out AGAIN asking if everything was still okay … Nothing.
He just completely ghosted me.
Nor did I ever get paid a cent for the time I spent on the job.
To this day, I imagine that he saw my first draft and recognised some of the emails …
Forgot that he’d actually given me the old funnel to work off …
And screamed, “PLAGIARISM!!!” and deleted it in disgust.
(At least, this is the amusing story I tell myself.)
Whatever the case, it was a dumpster fire of a project.
And you know who I blame?
Blaming other people for your freelancing failures is a weak move.
In my case, I oversold myself … took on a job I wasn’t ready to do yet … and wanted too much hand-holding.
And while it was a low move of him — a big-shot copy chief, no less! — to ghost me …
It was also my fault for getting into such a risky project in the first place.
The fact is, this is what freelance copywriting is like in the real world.
You have clients with seemingly wonderful reputations making amazing promises …
Who go silent, then ghost you, and leave you with nothing to show for your work.
That’s the bad news.
So what’s the solution?
Well, solution #1:
Get really good … build up your own email list … and then write a sales email about the whole crappy ordeal, so you still at least make some money from it 😏
The funny thing is, many of the writers at the company this guy worked for … now follow ME to learn how to write emails.
So if I had to, today I could do this job with my eyes closed.
But ironically …
I don’t need to do client work like this anymore.
When you’re good, and confident, and you have your own list … you call the shots. Not clients.
Oh, what’s that?
You don’t have your own list yet?
Well then, here’s solution #2:
Get your copywriting work in a place where the clients come vetted … projects are enforced by contracts … and money is held in escrow so you can’t get ripped off.
If only there were actually a place like that?
One that literally thousands of copywriters use to earn good money?
Whose name rhymed with “Cupwork”?
And if only *I* had a course on it that rhymed with … er …
“Cupwork in Fun Sour?”
That taught you how to use this “Cupwork” platform to win good, profitable copywriting work … in just
fun sour one hour?
Yeah, that’d be cool.
Otherwise, guess you’re just gonna have to suck it up … and start growing your own email list.