Ad Flack Woes
June 18, 2011 12:57 PM   Subscribe

How do a build a copywriting portfolio?

I've somehow found myself as a Copyeditor at a small Internet company startup out of college. It's not really a dream job, but it's something stable I can do while I figure out how to get to where I want to be. Recently, I've decided that I want to move out to The City. I'll need samples of my work for some of the bigger copywriting jobs, but there's a problem: my work is anonymized! We have clients that I write web copy for, but my name's not on any of it; most of the time, actually, it's under someone else's name. How do I get around this when making a portfolio? I'm afraid someone will google any samples I send, find out that it's posted under someone's name, and think I'm lying. How do I fix this? Thanks!
posted by themaskedwonder to Work & Money (2 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
(I'm assuming you're looking for a copywriting work, not copyediting.)

Very few copywriters see their name on their work. Advertising, marketing brochures, other collateral — those don't generally come with bylines. White papers might -- but it would be your client's byline, not yours. Your clients are trying to promote their industry expertise, not yours.

I wouldn't hesitate to include names other than your own on portfolio samples.

And BTW, one of the most effective packages I ever sent included a before-and-after piece -- my draft, my client's revisions, and my final. Of course, you wouldn't want to send something your client tore apart, but being able to work smoothly with a client's revisions is a positive.
posted by LonnieK at 1:11 PM on June 18, 2011

Some copywriters just starting out and needing different sorts of samples also do mockups for their portfolio. You can make up a brand or an item or landing pages and craft the copy. It'll be pretty bare bones unless you have some graphics knowledge or can get someone to help, but the basic idea is to have your writing shine. I wouldn't do a known brand or company, lest someone thinks you actually were hired by them or were trying to pass yourself off that way, though. You can also offer to do some quick probono writing for a friend or family member who has a site, etc, and use that as a sample, too.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 4:57 PM on June 18, 2011

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