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Making your First Pitch

By Nettie Hartsock

 

You’re ready to pitch your copywriting services to a company, but what are the best ways to do that?

 

The good news is once you get this process down, you’ll be able to utilize it over and over to gather more clients and boost your credibility and clout for what you offer over competitors.

 

Here’s one big copywriting secret to selling yourself and your services. Treat every client as if they were your first client.

 

The first key is to study your target market. What appeals to you as a writer? Do you want to write advertorials for the medical field or do copywriting for doctors and dentists? It doesn’t take a root canal or medical emergency to get that gig going. Just focus on what you can offer them. Look at their company or their profession and come up with complementary copywriting services that will get their attention and the job for you.

 

So let's use dentists and orthodontists as an example...

 

If you’re pitching to all the dentists and orthodontists in a major city like Austin, for example, send a congruent and eye-catching query to a targeted list of them.

 

If you want to go all out then get 200 free business cards from VistaPrint shaped like a tooth with your copywriting services on it. Come up with a toothy tag-line like, “Let me handle all the content fillings for you.” And then mail those cards out with a short note about your services.

 

This is a niche you can fill. (Pardon the pun.) What I mean by that, is find your writing work by looking at the businesses that are successful but won’t have a copywriter or even a director of marketing on staff. They still need good content and they need to have someone they can call that’s dependable and can get the work done. If they’re dentists, they’re not in the business of writing, that’s why they need YOU.

 

With the dentist in mind, let’s look at what derivatives you could pitch them:

a. Back to School tips for healthy teeth – a ten tip ad to go as an insert into newspapers, back to school newsletters and to the schools themselves as part of new student packets.

 

b. Web site content

 

c. Ad copywriting

 

d. A letter from the dentist at Christmas time or on Valentine’s reminding his patients and possible new clients to keep an extra pack of “ribbon” floss handy while eating all those seasonal treats.

 

e. Business mission statements or taglines

Let’s say you want to target all the dentist offices in your market. You want to offer them your services on copywriting ads, marketing collateral, web site content and even an occasional business profile piece aimed at raising regional awareness about what they offer.

 

If we use the example of the dentist, here’s what you can do. Find out where they advertise and clip those advertisements. Make notes on how you think the copy could be improved. Look at things like how does their service make life easier for the community and make your pitch letter to them around that. If you want to take it one step further, then pick the top 50 out the 200 dentists you identify and take your pitch letter and your card to them by hand.

 

Be prepared to follow through with your pitches. Ask yourself, “How committed am I to getting this work”, if the answer is “Totally”, then start moving. Set up an excel sheet with all the dentist’s names and addresses and tightly track your efforts to contact them.

 

Take it one step further and see if you can set up a ½ hour lunch with several of the medical folks at the local hospital meeting room or your local chamber and offer a free seminar titled, “How to get customers Through Print”. Mock up some marketing collateral that is generic enough that it would work with most medical offices and educate them on how good marketing copy works wonders for the bottom line. The key is to brainstorm with them and help them focus on how their business can be highlighted in the community. If you do that, you’ll be the first one they tap when they want to build their media outreach programs.

 

That old Nike tagline “Just Do It” rings true for us copywriters as well. So lace up your selling shoes and get on the road to successful copywriting gigs and be prepared to run full force into garnering a steady stream of writing work!



 

Top Resources:

 

Michael Masterson's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

I was sent a review copy of the entire course and read through it from cover to cover. It is excellent. Perfect for offline copywriters. Also an excellent writer resource for online copywriters who want to write in a way that drives RESULTS. Read my review of Michael Masterson's course

 

The 2005 Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey

Finally. Now you'll know how much to charge for that next freelance copywriting job - without having to worry about estimating too high or too low.
Read my review...

 

 

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