Goal-Setting Tips for Freelance Copywriters

Goal-setting: It’s THE difference between the copywriters who achieve what they want in life and the copywriters who don’t.

Look throughout history and you’ll find that the people who set goals succeed because they have a target. They know where they’re going and they put in place steps to achieve those goals.

People who don’t get involved in goal-setting often achieve roller coaster results in their lives.http://writersacademy.net/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

Why is that?

There’s a Universal law that dictates that we achieve whatever it is that we think about the most.

The meaning behind this quote is that we get what we focus on. If we write down our dreams and our goals, setting clear targets, we have a destination that we want to focus on. And by focusing on that destination it will occur.

Also, consider another quote by someone famous  …

“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.”

As a copywriter your goals might be to earn a six figure income, get hired by a leading Advertising agency, work in London, publish and market your own information products online or something else. Regardless of what your goal is it’s important that the goal setting method you use, works.

That’s why it’s important to follow the SMART principle. In other words:


The goals should be measureable. For instance, let’s say you have a goal to be a successful copywriter. You could simply write that goal down as …

“Be successful”.

The challenge is, setting your goal in this way is quite vague. Successful at what?

Instead, write ..

“Be a successful freelance direct response copywriter”.

See how much more specific that goal is.


To one person a goal that says being a successful freelance direct response copywriter could mean earning $40,000 a year. To another copywriter it might mean earning $240,000 a year so when goal setting make sure you write down a specific, measurable outcome, attaching a dollar figure to the goal makes it measurable.


Achievable means is it possible for anyone who has unlimited resources to achieve? If you want to be a successful copywriter who lives on Pluto, is that achievable? Maybe in the future but not with our current technology it isn’t, is it. Obviously then, writing down impossible goals is a wasted exercise.


Making your goals realistic is another important goal-setting rule to follow. A question to ask is this:

Is it possible for you, given your current resources, availability and knowledge to achieve this goal?

You could write down that you want to be a successful freelance direct response  copywriter earning $1million a year. If you’re starting out though, is that achievable in your first year? Really? If you set your goals too high, and they’re way too difficult to achieve, there’s a good chance you’ll fail. Instead, set shorter term goals that are more realistic.

A wise man once said that, “We overestimate what we can achieve in a year but we underestimate what we can achieve in five years.”

Time focused:

Always put a time limit on your goals. After all, earning $150,000 a year as a copywriter is either easy or difficult depending on the time frame that you attach to it. $150,000 over 5 years is very easy. $150,000 within 3 months is a lot more difficult.

Write the time element as a specific date. For instance …

“Be a successful direct response copywriter earning $150,000 a year by 4th October, 2011.”

To summarise, a critical first step in achieving your goals as a freelance copywriter relies on setting them in a way that they’re much easier to achieve. Using the SMART formula is the key to doing that.

Why Most People Won’t Achieve Their 2012 Goals … The Missing Step

Many people set goals and then put in place the action steps to achieve those goals. Does that mean you will achieve your goals? Maybe yes. Maybe no.

One of the biggest reasons why people don’t achieve their goals, or why they achieve their goals and they don’t stick is they miss out one crucial element.

It’s the post-mortem of their past goal-setting efforts.  We all know it’s important to think positively about where we want to head. We all know the importance of action, as well.

But – for us to achieve our goals we first need to become the type of person who owns that luxury car. The person who nets a million dollars or more. The person who loves their body and feels great about it. To BE that person we need to look at who you are now.

Now – here’s the missing element…

It’s getting real about where we are now – not glossing over the negatives or the downside of our situation – but really taking a deep, close look at the current situation you’re in. Taking a deep, close look at what limiting beliefs you have that got you where you are today.

Without doing that, no matter which goals you set yourself you’ll still continue to get more of the same. More of what you have achieved in the past.

So – know yourself. Know your shadow side. The side of you that feels you’re unworthy. The side that feels you’re powerless. The side that feels you’re not good enough. Until we can get in touch with these elements of ourselves and “heal” them, it will be Ground Hog Day all over again.

I’ll admit it – facing one’s shadow is often an unpleasant experience but when you can do that, and take actions to neutralise it, it is one of the most important keys to achieving whatever you want in life.

The first step in neutralising your shadow and getting power over it is to stare it in the face and recognise it for what it is. Once we do that, it loses a lot of its hold over you.

  • What do you commonly say or think about yourself? I’m stupid. I’m not good enough.

“I don’t know enough.”

“I never get what I want.”

Or something else.

  • What do you commonly say or think about others?

“Nobody loves me.”

“People are selfish.”

Or something else

  • What do you commonly say or think about the world?

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world”

The answers to these questions are your limiting beliefs. They aren’t true. They’re illusions that you first made up when you were a child. Then – every time something that you perceived to be bad happened, you kept reinforcing those beliefs. Now – they are part of how you operate in the world. Yet – they are not real. You made them up. You are operating in the world based on the illusions of a six year old child. Every decision you make, every thought you have, every feeling you have, is done through the eyes of that six year old.

The next step is to see how these limiting beliefs have played out in all areas of your life. Get really present with the level of impact that these beliefs have been having on your income, your health, your relationships, your family. Get really present with that. And YES it may hurt or at least make you squirm.

Next – recognise these limiting beliefs as illusions. When you can recognise that these aren’t real they completely lose their power over you.  How to do that?

That’s an article in itself however there are many different methods to use. I’ve experimented with many of them over the last 10 years.  What I’ve found that the method that works best depends on the willingness of the person, the stage in their “journey” and the personality of the person.

One of the challenges with limiting belief eradication processes is that the person doing the work works through the process with their logical mind and they don’t get completely, completely present with the impact that this limiting belief is having on their life. So – they are employing their own self-sabotage patterns when going into the process. Needless to say, in many situations, the process doesn’t work.

Processes fall into two main groups:

  1. Psychological processes – where a person is asked to relive certain situations in their past and then use certain steps to neutralise these beliefs.
  2. Metaphysical processes – this is where an energy healing practitioner channels energy which bypasses the person’s subconscious mind and helps emotional healing occur on a cellular level without the person actively going through a certain type of process.

Either one can be very effective depending on the situation. A few years ago I started combining both in the same session – using both energy work and the psychological processes during my coaching work, and once I started doing that, it produced a dramatic shift in results.

No matter which process you use to eradicate those limiting beliefs, the vital thing to do is to sit down and recognise what they are – first. Then – get present with how they have impacted your life so far (really present). These two steps alone will have an enormous impact on the manifesting of your goals.