Many times, copywriters have a great project they've finished but the project is still in production and hasn't gone to print yet. You don't have that full-color brochure or that glossy print ad to put in your portfolio but you'll want to show off your copy so you can land the next assignment.
This is also a similar case for the budding copywriter who has no official samples to showcase at all. You can create SPEC ADS, which are ads you've created on your own. In other words, you can rewrite an ad for a major company with your own style, label it as a SPEC AD and industry pros automatically know you're showing your ability to write without you trying to mislead them into thinking you really wrote that Nike ad, for example.
Choose the work that best shows your copywriting talent, even if it is simple text on a piece of paper. We'll dress it up in Step 6.