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Please comment below with your thoughts. I'm not so old a dog that I can't learn a few new tricks!

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  1. Ath wrote on

    Good post. Simple and to the point. We sometimes forget the most obvious things when we’re trying to sell ourselves.

  2. Gina Lofaro aka the wordmistress wrote on

    Hi Glenn

    I love that you would write about something like that. It’s something I contemplate on a regular basis and haven’t really determined a system for how I display finished copy. At least, not in any consistent manner.

    One thing I also do is take a ‘before’ screen shot so that I can demonstrate how I’ve improved upon the original copy.

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to put some kind of system in place. I’m very proud of the work I do – as you are, of course – and I like to be able to show it in its best light.

  3. Copywriter wrote on

    Great post buddy. I liked it. Its always good to show your good work to the people.

  4. Vince wrote on

    Glenn,

    Thanks again; it’s good to see this question has helped at least one other person besides myself. It refreshing to see a successful professional put aside some time to help others without charging by the hour.

    Enough gratitude, back to selfishness. I’m going to be self indulgent by telling you all about myself, followed by a question.

    I have a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Writing. I’m a published poet, I’ve achieved high scores in professional lyric writing evaluations and already had people pay me for copywriting services.

    Perhaps bearing in mind the above paragraph I have a question for us not so established copywriters (sorry Glenn – please comment if you have some good advice about pricing; we musn’t let you feel left out)…

    What hourly rate do you consider fair for copywriting services??

  5. Melanie Jongsma wrote on

    I love your tip about taking a screen shot of your web copy! That’s a great idea. In fact, it might also be a good idea to take screen shots of your LinkedIn profile, blog pages, and other social media sites, in case you ever want to refer to previous versions of yourself! I update my sites pretty regularly, and sometimes I wish I could borrow text from an earlier version.

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Bill Harper wrote on

    Great post, Glenn. Definitely like the idea of taking a snapshot of the page so keep a record.

    A question, though: Is there a “standard” way to show how you’ve improved copy that a client has given you?

    Sure, you could do “before” and “after” shots if it’s web-based, but a lot of my stuff these days is to do with e-books. And some clients might not want anyone else seeing their copy before it was edited.

    I was thinking of doing some examples showing exactly what I’ve done using Word’s “mark-up” mode, then taking a screenshot and putting that up. Sound like it might work?

    Keep the posts coming, Glenn.

    Bill.

  7. Melanie Jongsma wrote on

    That’s a great question, Bill, and I’m interested in the answer too. I’ve started a series of posts about the different kinds of writing services I offer, and I was considering doing some kind of before-and-after comparison of an appeal letter I wrote for a non-profit ministry. (They usually send me a really rough letter with some basic facts, and then I polish it up and turn it into an effective appeal.) But I worry about how to do this in a way that makes me look good without making them look bad!

  8. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Thanks for the great feedback guys.

    @Vince, stay tuned. I think my next post will be on pricing…

    @Bill, you being a troublemaker again?! ;-) It’s certainly an interesting position you’re in there. I have a standard clause in my client contract that says I’m allowed to use whatever I write for whatever marketing purposes I choose. But most of my copy is for public consumption anyway. Maybe you could take a before screenshot and blur out all the words, then take an after screenshot and blur out all the words? lol Seriously, though, in your position, I’d try to get as many testimonials as possible, gather as many client logos as possible, and maybe collect some data about % decrease in word-count and readability stats? Maybe also try to collect data on effectiveness (e.g. number of readers, number of click-thrus, number of subscribers, degree of interaction with the page, or whatever other metric your client uses to measure success). Of course, then you’re relying on the client actually caring about these things to begin with, which is a big ask in itself. Let alone measuring it! In other words mate, I don’t envy you!

    @Melanie, I wouldn’t worry about making clients look bad. Unless there’s an implicit reason they wouldn’t want the public to know they hired a copywriter (e.g. they sell writing services — a copywriting company or an ad agency), most people won’t care if the world knows they’re not great writers. Some people take pride in that. Of course, it helps if you reserve the right in your T&C, as mentioned above…

  9. Steve Maher wrote on

    Hi Glenn,

    Just a question. Why did you attach separate links to all the words in this sentence; “had screenshots of the important pages”?

    Each word in the quoted sentence above links to a different gif. The individual words obviously don’t describe the image so there’s no SEO value there. I get that you wanted to show all 6 images but it seems an unusual way of doing this. Just curious. Cheers.

  10. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    @Steve Yeah, definitely wasn’t for SEO. Just the easiest way to link to all the screenshots. I typically don’t focus too hard on the little SEO things. That’s not to say they’re unimportant. I suppose I rely a little on my domain authority to see me through, these days… ;-)

  11. Waqas wrote on

    Hi but how can I take screen shot if my article when the article consist of 2 or more then 2 pages? It is confusing :|. How about I just take a printout of my articles ??

  12. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Hi Waqas. If the article is online, you can view it in Chrome and use the Awesome Screenshot extension to take a screenshot of the entire page. Alternatively, you could take multiple screenshots and combine them into a single image or PDF. Or yes, you could always print out the article, scan it to PDF/image and upload. Hope this helps. :-)

    Cheers.
    Glenn

  13. Waqas wrote on

    Glenn, now I didn’t knew that. Thank you so much sir. Really appreciate the tip!!

  14. Paula at PSC wrote on

    Hi all – some great tips thanks – I have often wondered how to present web based work and the screen shot idea is invaluable :)
    So if I were to end up with a number of PDF’s of work examples, what would be the best way to display them all together to a client? Just send them multiple .pdfs? Seems a bit cumbersome?

  15. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Hi Paula. Thanks for your comment. You could use Adobe Acrobat to join the PDFs. I’m not sure if all versions support that feature, or whether you have to get Pro or something. I have Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended, and it definitely supports it. :-)

    Otherwise, you can just upload the PDFs to your site, and send your client a list of links, each with a short description. That’s what I usually do. It gives the client some extra info, allows them to choose what they want to look at, and also means you don’t have to send a large file.

  16. elle wrote on

    I had been wary of showing my copy in it’s finished state because of an experience where a potential employer got super excited about the design. I felt my work was being overshadowed as opposed to complimented by the design, so this information is a revelation.

  17. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Hi Elle. Yep, I’d much rather show my work in a nice design than a shoddy one. Clients judge you, in part, based on how successful your clients look…

  18. ajay jain wrote on

    can you please give me link for downloading sample banner i saw on your site but i am not able to find link from where i can download

  19. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Hi Ajay. Do you mean the banner promoting my ebook? If so, you can find them all by starting at the following page, then choosing the book you’re interested in. http://www.divinewrite.com/affiliate-programs.htm

    You’ll then see a page about that particular ebook, and about half way down there’s a link to the banners.

  20. Camilla wrote on

    I take a screenshot of web copy, link to the web address, include a brief description of who the client was and the aim of the web copy, and then copy and paste the finalised copy into an InDesign doc. Then I create an interactive PDF :)

  21. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Sounds like a good approach Camilla. Care to link to it here? I’ll make sure the link gets through the blog’s spam filter.

    1. Camilla wrote on

      I don’t actually have it uploaded anywhere (haven’t been job hunting in a while). I should probably update my profile on The Loop though…

      1. Glenn Murray wrote on

        Gotcha! No probs. Thanks for the comment, anyway. :-)

  22. Rebecca wrote on

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the post. I’m a contracted copywriter with a company that outsources talent to freelancers. So I get many different briefs per day to write or refresh website copy or create blogs for certain clients. It would be quite tedious to take screen shots of each website, as there are easily over 100 that I’ve worked on at this stage. I send the company I work for a completed brief, which I assume is a copy deck, as it is a word document with the existing and revised text, as well as the brief and instructions/client wishes. The revised text is usually formatted with a Meta Title, Meta Description, Keywords, KWD density and then your H1s, H2s, H3s, H4s…Would these word documents be acceptable to display on a portfolio?

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hi Rebecca. Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I’m sure they’d work. I still think the screenshots would be better, though, because it sounds like the Word docs have a lot in them that might confuse or overwhelm the average punter. But if that’s all you have time to do, it’s certainly better than nothing! :-)

  23. cheryl wrote on

    I realised at some point that potential clients were not opening the example pdfs of the work I was sending them. So then I tried making a PowerPoint by inserting the finished brochures, segments of white papers, screenshots of ads and websites, etc. However, then the copy was not in the best resolution and it was hard to read. I want to try making one pdf using acrobat professional, but don’t think it will work because of the different format sizes. If anyone has a better idea, please post!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      My recommendation would definitely be to make it an online thing – just a regular HTML page with click-to-zoom images. Ensure the images are big enough, when zoomed, to read the copy easily. Esp on mobile.

      All designed and developed by a professional, of course.

      Then just send links to the online portfolio. Your links don’t have to be just text, either. You can take a screenshot of part of your portfolio and share that as a linked image, or better yet get a designer to create a little snapshot image that you can send.

      I’d steer clear of sending portfolio files because they’re awkward on mobile devices and not as convenient for anyone. And I’d DEFINITELY steer clear of Powerpoint because… well, I think it’s shit. ;-)

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