Spec is short for speculation. In the copywriting and creative services world, that means a potential client says to us, “I’m not sure about hiring you, so let’s see what you do with this speculative assignment. We’ll pay you if we like it. And if we do, there will be a lot more work to come. But if we don’t, no $$.”
Even a newbie copywriter’s time has value. If a new client wants to see what you can do for them, show them samples (paid, pro-bono or generic samples you’ve written for yourself), give them client testimonials, and/or offer them a great deal to give you a shot.
For the rest of Roberta’s post, go to The Copywriting Maven: Why I Don’t Work “On Spec”