This freelancer earned over $1.3 million in 2020: Here are his top tips

Stefan Georgi has made more than $1 million from copywriting infomercials this year alone.

Stefan Georgi and his wife, Laura.
Courtesy Stefan Georgi

In 2011, Stefan Georgi had been exploring various jobs and industries from education to political fundraising when he realized how much fun his then-girlfriend, now-wife was having as a copywriter.

"I would come home and she would've made four times as much [as me]," he says, "and she's like in her underwear drinking a beer." His mission seemed clear: to try copywriting himself.

The experiment has worked out well for him. Georgi found a niche writing scripts for infomercials and now he makes $50,000 per project. This year alone he's already made more than $1,312,000 from writing.

Here's how Georgi was able to build his freelance business and his best advice for others.

When starting out, he took on 'almost any kind of writing'

To begin with, Georgi was not selective about the work he accepted. "I would take on almost any kind of writing gig," he says. This ranged from web copy and content creation in the self-help world to dating to gambling. Once, he says, he even wrote "someone's term paper."

If you "expose yourself to a lot of" different types of projects at first, he says, "over time, you'll start to find that there are certain areas or categories you like writing for and you'll gain more confidence."

You'll also start to see what works across industries and be able to apply tactics and techniques more widely. Georgi himself found some early writing gigs on Upwork and Fiverr.

'Truly focusing on being the best' helped him succeed

For Georgi, "truly focusing on being the best" was always at the top of his mind. "How do I become the best in the world of what I'm doing? How do I consistently get better? How do I make every piece that I'm going to craft the best piece I've ever crafted?"

The answer for him was "relentless focus" and "modeling off what's working," he says. Georgi would pay attention to which infomercials in his field seemed to be garnering success and attention, for example, and use those as blueprints for his own.

"I think people make the mistake of trying to reinvent the wheel way too often," he says. Instead, finding templates that work and "then just making those your own over time and perfecting them and putting your own spin on them is a really effective way to shortcut the time it takes to achieve mastery," he says.

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Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Come to projects and clients 'with the spirit of service'

As he met more copywriters and business owners through networking events like meetups, Georgi also invested in bringing genuine care to his work life.

A freelancer's attitude toward their clients and jobs should be warm and open: "Come with a spirit of service," he says. Think about what problems they're trying to solve and genuinely try to solve them. Don't just think about what you can get out of any particular project. "Come with a relational, not transactional, attitude," he says.

In the long run, he says, when it comes to continuing to book work, "people want to help people they like."

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