Your Physical Copywriter Portfolio Amps Up Credibility

Did you know that a professionally done, physical copywriter portfolio amps up your credibility by 100%? That’s right. At least that’s the success rate of one professional copywriter that I know. And there’s no reason you can’t make it work for you too.

I usually write to business owners who are looking for tips about writing effective copy. But for the purposes of this article, I’m directing the message toward copywriters in particular.

There’s been some debate recently in a few copywriter circles about the advantages of a having a physical copywriter portfolio. I thought I’d seek some insight on the subject from a professional. Perhaps this can help you decide if this is something you might pursue for your business.

My quest for enlightenment led me to a copywriter who regularly, and successfully, presents her portfolio during client meetings. She also happens to be a portfolio specialist. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to speak with Katlynn Blakely – known as Kat to her friends.

Kat’s background as a copywriter goes back to New York, where she was a very successful agency writer. There, the need for a portfolio was essential. She continues writing with success in Austin, Texas and also uses her portfolio building skills to help other copywriters get ahead of their competition.

Show, Don’t Tell

I wondered what all the fuss was about since I already have an online portfolio. What’s so special about a physical copywriter portfolio? For starters, Kat stated that for the prospect, a physical portfolio provides an immediate human connection to your work.

Show off your copywriter portfolio to interested prospects. (photo, © Shelly Moreau, November 2014)

Show off your copywriter portfolio to interested prospects. (photo, © Shelly Moreau, November 2014)

It also allows you to describe the work with some background, and explain how it relates to what you can do to help that prospect with his dilemma.

She also added, when you show your words in context – with visuals – the impact is even more powerful. Here’s what that means. Our words end up in an ad, brochure, on a website page or in other medium. So it’s more influential to present them in their intended context and end product.

After all, not everyone understands what a copywriter does. When you go off on your elevator speech about how you help prospects increase their ROI by writing powerful and compelling copy, their eyes probably glaze over.

But when you can show someone how your words integrate into the medium, it helps convey the whole picture with bigger effect. The prospect is then in awe. In Kat’s words, “It’s a deal closer.” She confirms that every time she presents her portfolio, she wins the project.

Kat also says that many prospects she meets want to reach out and touch the samples because they’re so intrigued by their appearance. I would tend to believe her.

In fact, I recently had the privilege of seeing the physical copywriter portfolios of two of my colleagues. They were very impressive. And I’m jealous right now. So guess what I’m going to be working on in the near future?

Go Big or Go Home?

I bet you’re wondering…how many samples should a physical copywriter portfolio contain – 15, 20, 30? Well, Kat recommends somewhere between seven and ten of your best writing samples at any given time. You’ll also want to be able to switch out your samples to use ones that are relevant to your client’s needs. Those are the ones to lead with at your meeting.

I mean, why wouldn’t you want to show off your work? It’s like offering a test-drive to your potential clients. They get to see what you have to offer, and can gauge whether your abilities or style are a good match for their needs.

Remember…while having an online portfolio may be useful, it doesn’t have the same effect as a physical one. A well done, physical portfolio lends credibility. It also supports the value of your work for potential clients more effectively.

So go ahead. Get a screen capture of your web copy, when it’s finally gone live. Get copies of the finished brochures you’ve written for. Ask your client for a sample of your finished sales letter package, or other products you’ve worked on.

Then reproduce them in print on high-quality stock, and insert them into your own physical copywriter portfolio. And there’s no need to present your pieces by category. Just remember to put the most relevant ones at the front, to immediately captivate your prospect.

Don’t Have Time?

If you aren’t inclined to pursue this project on your own, or need more guidance, there is help. Kat offers one-on-one consultation, which involves sorting through your material. She’ll help you to identify and select your best pieces. Then she’ll print and package them for you in a polished and finished portfolio.

She’ll also help you determine your needs and tell you how to present your copywriter portfolio in the best way – to be useful to your business goals.

Why not get ahead of the game with your own portfolio then? It’s a game changer to be sure.

I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Katlynn Blakely for her time and insight toward writing this article.

Feel free to connect with Kat on her Polished Portfolio website and talk to her about building your own professional portfolio. And be sure to say hello for me.