The Go-Giver: 5 Principles for Copywriting Success

5 minute read

You’ve decided to become a freelance copywriter, so you can live the writer’s life.

It’s a great way to have the time you want for your family, make the money you need, and have the freedom to enjoy a well-balanced life.

You’ve been reading and learning how to improve your writing skills. Now, you’re ready to take the next step.

But, you’re unsure exactly what that step is.

The Go-Giver, a book by Bob Burg and John David Mann, has five principles you can apply to your freelance digital-copywriting business, paving the way for your success.

This book is the first of the Go-Giver series. The series promotes the philosophy of putting other people’s interests first, while continuing to add value to their lives, which can lead to unexpected returns. The central message is about shifting from a “getting” mindset to a “giving” one.

Let’s examine the first of the five laws outlined in this series, the Law of Value, and how you can apply its principles to your own success as a freelance copywriter.

The Law of Value

The principle from the Law of Value says:

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” — The Go-Giver

This principle isn’t about undercharging for your services or doing constant pro-bono work. It’s about perception and the intangible value you bring to the table.

In this article, we’ll review five ways you can apply the principles from the Law of Value to your copywriting business.

1. Offer Outstanding Service

In The Go-Giver, there’s a section that describes what makes a bad, good, and great restaurant.

The difference is that the great restaurant strives to defy the imagination with the goal of providing superior food and outstanding service instead of merely good or just enough.

As a copywriter, you’re hired to write.

You can deliver a good result by sticking to the project specifications and turning your work in on time. But, if you provide excellent service in addition to top-notch writing, you will give more in value than your client expects to receive.

Some ways you can provide a good service are by learning the brand’s voice, knowing the target audience, and solving your client’s problem.

To provide great service, you can go above and beyond by offering alternative headlines, preview text, and image suggestions to enhance your copy. You can tell them if something needs fixing, like a broken link on their website you noticed while researching.

When you provide this type of extra service to your client, you’re establishing yourself as more than just a copywriter. You show them you understand their business and care about it.

Continuing to learn new skills and staying up on trends ensures you’re always providing a valuable service to your clients in addition to great copy.

2. Build Stronger Client Relationships

The Go-Giver book’s philosophy is to look out for the interests of others first, to serve their interests first.

Your relationships will have a solid foundation, when you have a reputation for doing this.

In The Go-Giver, a salesman, whose company couldn’t provide what a client needed for a project, gives the name of a competitor he knows is better equipped to help his client.

As copywriters, we may be approached to do something we’re not able to do, like designing a landing page. Having a few designers in your network that you can refer your clients to is an authentic way that puts the interests of others first — both the client’s and the designer’s.

Another way would be to refer another copywriter, when you’re asked to do a writing project that’s not in your industry, or if your current workload is full.

Remember, you’re looking out for the interests of your client, so you’ll want to refer other professionals who you know will provide the type of excellent service your client is used to receiving.

3. Network Authentically

The Go-Giver stresses the importance of being authentic and genuine in your relationships.

Successful copywriters typically do a lot of networking. When you’re looking to expand your circle of people who know, like, and trust you, do it authentically.

When you network, don’t approach people with your business card out — this doesn’t show genuine interest in their needs or goals.

When you put all the focus on you, you’ll find potential contacts excuse themselves, and the opportunities are lost.

Instead, approach each person you meet with a smile. Introduce yourself, and ask them what they do. Take the time to get to know them. These are the conversations they’ll remember from the event.

You don’t want to turn it into an interview, but you do want to keep the focus on them and their business. Ask open-ended questions.

Having genuine conversations is key to building the “know, like, and trust” factor.

4. Focus on What You Expect

The Go-Giver explains that the underlying force driving all the principles it conveys is your expectation and focus. You have a lot to do with what happens to you, simply through what you put your focus on and what you think is possible.

Before you can give true value, your mindset must be a belief, an expectation, that the value you offer while serving others will have a positive return.

Our extraordinary mind acts on the blueprints we provide it. So, when you expect to be successful, challenges become steps toward that success.

When you’re focused on the value you’re providing and expecting positive returns, you’re aligning your actions with your goals.

Copywriters who provide consistently excellent service, while looking out for the interests of others, and who stay focused on a positive outcome, find endless opportunities.

Make sure your focus isn’t on negativity, because that will trigger your mind’s survival mode and have the opposite effect. Your mind will close itself for protection, and you’ll miss out on the opportunity to be at your best.

5. Know Your Value

The Go-Giver teaches the philosophy of giving, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be well-paid for the work you do.

As a copywriter, you’ll find there are many jobs that will pay you based on the number of words you write. These are low-paying jobs, typically paying only a few cents per word.

This type of copywriter fills a role. There are businesses, not willing to pay for a premium service, who need the help of low-end writers. These writers typically work quickly without an eye to quality. It’s similar to why we have fast food… a quick and inexpensive way to solve a problem.

But, copywriters who know their value and who consistently provide excellent work and service know their clients will receive value that far outweighs the price they paid. They enjoy a finer dining experience.

Clients like this feel more satisfied and become regular clients who happily pay you what you’re worth.

Taking the Next Step

You have learned five ways to apply the principle of the Law of Value in your writer’s life. It’s time you take that next step.

Find a networking event where you can get to know others. Show you have a genuine interest in them.

If you have a current client, think about ways you can provide excellent service that exceeds their expectations.

Begin building your reputation as a copywriting professional who consistently gives excellent service and wows them every time.