One of the coolest things about being a copywriter is that every business of every kind relies on copywriting or content writing in some form.
That can, however, be a double-edged sword. One one hand, you can always find work. On the other hand, sometimes you have so much work that you don’t have time for other tasks. And time, as we all know, is your most valuable resource.
There are so many things I don’t have time to do, or can’t do, and just don’t have the time to learn.
Enter: service swaps.
What is a Service Swap?
A service swap is in the name: you trade your services for someone else’s services. Service-swapping isn’t working for free: it’s a way to get things done using your skills to barter.
As a copywriting course creator and agency owner, my days can be packed to the gills. But, because I have a specialized skill, I can use that to my advantage and trade services with people who have their own specialized skills.
Here are five of the best service swaps I’ve done as a copywriter that have saved me loads of time.
- Laundry Service
Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than not having to do your own laundry. In fact, one of my jobs in my early twenties was managing a laundromat where I did other people’ laundry. I hated that aspect of it, but that was one of that business’s most popular services–for a damn good reason.
Imagine: stuffing all of your laundry into bags, sticking it on your porch, and poof, the next day, it shows back up, washed, dried, and neatly folded, ready for you to just put away. It’s as close to magic as I’ve ever seen.
And with four dogs and a huge neat-freak-streak in me, the feeling of having clean laundry is akin to slipping into a warm bath.
How I did it: I found a locally owned laundry drop-off company and tested out their services. I loved it (clearly) and I emailed the owner of the business asking if he’d like SEO content for his website to help get his name out there. He did!
Getting SEO content written for his site helped grow his business, and having my laundry done for me freed up my time to do other things that were more worthwhile than having to spend hours folding towels and t-shirts. Win-win for both parties.
- Cleaning Services
The average person spends about 2 hours cleaning per week. That’s ten hours per month. That is 120 hours of your life each year just cleaning your house. That is the equivalent of five solid days. You’re a business owner, you don’t have time for that! Calculate how much you charge per hour. Multiply that by 120. That’s how much money you’re losing each year just by cleaning your house.
And that’s where service swapping your house cleaning comes into play.
Service swapping house cleaning is one of the best trades I’ve ever done. Twice per month, someone comes to my house and does the nitty gritty deep cleaning like the oven, the fridge, the and the ceiling, while I spend that time working on my business. In exchange, I write emails, blog posts, and web copy for their company.
How I did it: I emailed a small cleaning company in my town that had great reviews online but virtually no web presence and asked if they were interested in a service swap. The owner of the business told me “absolutely, it takes us six hours to write a blog post and an email, and only 2 hours to clean a house.”
And bam, now I’m doing what I LIKE doing, in a fraction of the time it would take me to deep clean my house, for a fraction of the money it would have taken me to hire cleaners outright.
Psst…I’ve done this with car cleaning services, too. It’s equally amazing.
- Web & Graphic Design
Writing is my jam. Design? Not even close. I can’t even match my clothes, let alone figure out what colors would go together on my website. It would take me hundreds of hours, if not more, to design a website that was even remotely professional. And it would still look like dogshit.
A lot of designers have the opposite problem. They can design a website in half the time it would take them to write compelling copy for their site. Bam. Service swap time.
Web designers understand the importance of good copy and know the value of your work. You understand the value of their work. It’s a great trade.
How I did it: One of my clients is a web designer. I write copy for his clients. He actually asked me if I’d like to trade services. Rad.
I exchanged a page of copy for each page of design he did. It worked out great for both of us.
- Business Coaching
Even though I’m a copywriting coach and guide people in growing their businesses, everyone needs a third-party perspective. I work with a lot of business coaches that I super, super respect. When I was putting together a marketing plan for my agency a while back, I wanted another set of eyes and another brain to give it a once-over.
How I did it: I offered a month’s worth of projects in exchange for a set number of hours of time. I knew how much he charged, so I did the math to make sure it was worth it for both of us.
If you have a client that offers something that you just can’t do but you definitely need, it never hurts to ask for a service swap. They already need what you offer and would probably be glad to exchange their time for more of your services.
- Voice-Over Work
Even though I host a copywriting podcast, I know that I definitely don’t have a voice for video ads or other commercial audio. So, I found someone who did!
How I did it: This one happened organically. I set out to hire someone to do some voice-over work for my agency and he was equally as interested in my services. Instead of sending each other invoices, we swapped services.
Like I said, every business everywhere required copy or content of some kind. You can service swap for virtually anything.
Swapping Services for a Specialized Skill
You’re good at what you’re good at, and what you’re good at is valuable. What’s even more valuable is time.
Instead of spending hours and hours trying to DIY something that you just can’t (or don’t want to do), you can trade with someone who feels the same way about copywriting or content writing.
It’s a win-win, all the way around.