How a freelance copywriter quintupled her revenue in one year


  • Marisa Corcoran is a freelance copywriter and founding father of Marisa Corcoran, Inc.
  • When she left performing to pursue freelance copywriting full time, she took the teachings she realized on stage with her.
  • Corcoran made $50,000 in 2018, $250,000 in 2019, and predicts she’ll make $500,000 in 2020.
  • Giving her experience a highlight, connecting with purchasers on a private stage, and offering a distinctive twist to her providers helped her succeed.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

In January 2018, Marisa Corcoran, an Atlanta-based freelance copywriter, leveraged her 5 years of freelance copywriting expertise (intermixed with facet jobs) and launched her enterprise Marisa Corcoran, Inc., banking $50,000 that year. In 2019, she quintupled her earnings to $250,000, and this year she’s on monitor to make $500,000.

This is not an unusual success story for a freelance copywriter — particularly when you think about that the common quantity that this job title makes is a little over $81,000 a year, based on Glassdoor. Corcoran’s background wasn’t normal for this line of labor, both.

Corcoran was educated as an actor, receiving a MFA from Harvard University in 2013. Post-graduation, she settled in New York City with an agent. 

Marisa Corcoran, freelance copywriter

Marisa Corcoran.

Marisa Corcoran


“I needed to have a flexible schedule for auditions,” Corcoran mentioned. “A friend suggested I could make money writing for people online for blogs, emails, and websites. As I had writing experience from undergrad, I thought I’d be good.”

To make ends meet, the fledgling freelancer was additionally auditioning for performing roles, working as a nanny, and had a job in a chiropractic’s workplace. It wasn’t till 2016 that she had sufficient copy work and retainer purchasers that she may stop her different gigs and focus solely on copywriting and performing.

Then lastly, in 2018, on the heels of a transfer to Atlanta and what she described as “a particularly unfortunate audition for ‘Winnie The Pooh,'” she stood in her kitchen and determined that she may now not put up with the fixed emotional rollercoaster trip of performing. She was able to pour herself absolutely into a freelance copywriting profession. 

Drawing on the spirit of her performing profession, she realized that she nonetheless had the need to be a chief and have a important influence when working with purchasers. 

“I didn’t just want to be someone’s copywriter behind the scenes,” Corcoran mentioned. “I wanted to teach, speak about copy, and stand out.”

That’s when she realized that every thing she realized at Harvard about being an actor may very well be utilized to her enterprise. Corcoran used the next three-step framework to place her learnings into apply, get seen in the web writing house, and considerably up her revenue in simply a few quick years.

Step #1: Give your self and your experience a stage 

In order to face out and escape what Corcoran described as “the typical done-for-you copywriter life, stuck making proposals and setting hourly rates,” she knew she wanted to create her personal unique framework for her enterprise and turn out to be what she calls a “copy mentor” in addition to a copywriter. 

“Most of my actor friends (before making it big) created their own work in some way,” Corcoran mentioned. “The TV show, ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ is a great example of this. A group of friends created the show first before it was noticed and catapulted these actors into movies, other TV shows, etc.”

This imaginative and prescient led Corcoran to develop “The Copy Chat,” a web-based digital summit involving interviews with notable copywriters, enterprise coaches, and on-line strategists that present her copywriting purchasers with one doable tip to create copy that helps them appeal to extra purchasers, feedback, clicks, and conversions. 

By internet hosting her first two summits, the freelancer was capable of balloon her e mail record from 90 to over four,500 folks in simply 9 months. Her present e mail record is round 5,800 — bringing to her doorstep a sea of splendid purchasers. This allowed her to tackle higher-profile copy initiatives shortly.

Corcoran’s third season of “The Copy Chat” simply wrapped with over three,000 listeners, and in addition to boosting the freelancer’s personal enterprise, her firm raised $13,000 for the charity Headstrong Project, which helps present post-9/11 veterans and their households with psychological well being remedy.

Because of the success of “The Copy Chat,” she then created a group program referred to as The Copy Confidence Society that Corcoran mentioned helps on-line coaches and creatives “discover what to say and how to say it to magnetically attract their dream clients.” 

While Corcoran’s deal with copy teaching was her private strategy to construct her copywriting enterprise by means of her personal inventive channels, she recommended that every freelancer may have their very own spin on creating their very own work that goes past simply writing copy.

“For other copywriters, your own work may look like a podcast, a five-day challenge, and/or a YouTube channel highlighting your tips, case studies, and strategies, or hosting a workshop or your own virtual summit,” Corcoran mentioned. “While it’s great to comment inside other people’s communities and gain referrals, you’ll reach six figures faster by creating your own stage — it’s more fun, too!”  

Step #2: Schmooze with sincerity 

“When you walk into an audition, a casting director can smell desperation from a mile away. Instead, you have to walk into the room with confidence and as a genuine human,” Corcoran mentioned. “I used to stroll in and join on a private stage. There was a casting director who referred to as me in for commercials all the time as a result of we bonded over our mutual love of [the TV show] ‘Vanderpump Rules.'”

Corcoran now takes a comparable customized method to connecting with folks to develop her freelance enterprise.

As an instance, she shared that she as soon as reached out to a high-profile on-line coach and bestselling writer who she needed to take part as an knowledgeable on “The Copy Chat.” When Corcoran pitched the coach, her e mail wasn’t simply the compulsory “I’m a huge fan of your work.” Instead, she quoted components of the coach’s e-book and shared the way it had impacted her — and particularly how she had used it with her freelance purchasers. She additionally referenced one thing that she and the coach each personally beloved: actuality TV.

“[The coach] immediately responded saying she was in for ‘The Copy Chat’ because my pitch was incredibly detailed,” Corcoran mentioned. “I’ve had other experts move their content calendar around to be on the series because my pitch is that good, and go on to hire me for copy projects after being featured as a guest.”

As a suggestion to different copywriters looking for their very own methods to schmooze sincerely and construct enterprise alternatives, Corcoran recommended that if there’s somebody you need to collaborate with or have as a shopper, it’s a must to make all of it about them. She recommended the next three ways to attach with stakeholders on issues that they care about:

  1. Do they host a podcast? What’s your favourite episode of that podcast? Reach out and share the precise episode — even higher, the precise second — with them. 
  2. Did you hear them converse at an occasion? Direct message them on Instagram and speak about why their keynote had an influence on you.
  3. Did you learn a weblog or article they had been featured in? Tell them particularly why it resonated with you, and quote particular components of the weblog or article.

Step #three: ‘Beetlejuice’ your model 

Corcoran defined that when it got here time to create the model for her freelance copywriting enterprise, she determined to place her character first (and throughout her copy), once more making use of every thing she realized as an actor to copywriting. 

She refers to this method as “Beetlejuicing” her model, referencing the truth that Michael Keaton initially had no thought how you can play the character, Beetlejuice, and director Tim Burton requested the actor to provide you with the character’s key traits on his personal.

“Michael went home and one night decided he would have the wild hair, the ‘rotten’ skin, the specific voice — he even got a tattered suit,” Corcoran mentioned. “When he showed up on set, Tim Burton was so impressed with how specific Michael had made the character, he gave the green light, and that’s how this iconic character was born.”

The copywriter maintains that that is precisely what she does in her enterprise, honing in on the distinctive twist that she brings to copywriting as a specialist, reasonably than a generalist, by means of her performing background. 

“This helps you stay top of mind, easily remembered and referred, which makes you the go-to,” Corcoran mentioned. “You always get paid more money as a specialist than a generalist.” 

She really useful that different copywriters “Beetlejuice their brand” in this fashion by figuring out their very own distinctive qualities and specialty space.

“Do you want to work on websites? Blogs? Launches? Brand identity? Pick one and claim it,” she mentioned.

Corcoran additionally recommended “nitching down” for a particular shopper. For instance, she requested, if you wish to work in the web teaching house, what sorts of coaches do you need to work with? Financial coaches or well being coaches? It’s essential to get as particular as you’ll be able to. 

As an actor, Corcoran additionally talks about understanding your intention in a scene and what you need from the different actor on stage. 

“I teach email marketing like this,” she mentioned. “I ask my students: What do you want from the reader? This helps them craft more powerful emails, and it’s an approach they won’t get anywhere else.” 

She added, “If an actor whose largest performing declare to fame was a mother in a grocery retailer Thanksgiving industrial with the road, ‘This year I would like the perfect fowl for my household … and my pockets!’ can go from $50,000 to $250,000 in one year, you’ll be able to, too.”



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