Who pays for copy? Data from 11 years of copywriting clients.
December 12, 2013 • Glenn Murray
A lot of aspiring freelance copywriters ask me who they should target with their marketing. Who’s most likely to pay for copy? I’ve always told them to start with real estate agents, because that’s where I got my start.
But I’ve never spent any time actually looking at my records. Never analysed where most of my work comes from. So I decided to do it.
Over the last two days, I’ve trawled through my records since mid-2002. 395 client folders and 1034 job folders. I did some categorising and tabulating, then created some useful graphs. Enjoy!
What industries deliver the most clients? (Click to zoom)
Two notes on this graph:
- I’m not an expert at industry classifications. I’ve done my best, but I’m sure it could have been better.
- There’s often a difference between industry and subject matter. Especially in the IT & Telecommunications industry. E.g. I’ve worked for quite a few software developers, and when I did, I was writing content that was specific to THEIR clients. While it was generally fairly technical, it wasn’t about IT, per se.
What industries deliver the most jobs? (Click to zoom)
I retained the industry order from the previous graph, so you could easily see the industries that stand out.
What size/type of organisation is most likely to pay for copy?
NOTE: A lot of bigger companies go direct to big agencies with in-house copywriters for their marketing materials. I’m sure quite a few of the bigger companies have in-house copywriters themselves, too. So that could account for the poor showing here.
How many clients come through agencies?
How many jobs come through agencies?
Types of clients in the top industries (Click to zoom)
IT & Telecommunications industry
Sales & Marketing industry
Finance & Insurance industry
Real Estate industry
Arts, Media & Communications industry
Health & Beauty industry
Obviously things will vary, depending on how you market yourself, and what your background is. (I worked as a technical writer in the software industry for 9 years before starting Divine Write. I’m only an Arts graduate, though.). And who you know also makes a huge difference. But in my experience, your best bet is to target clients directly in the IT, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Real Estate, Communications, and Health & Beauty industries.