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The Not-So-Mysterious Art of Getting Clients

by Steve Slaunwhite

 

Sure, you can print business cards and letterhead. Launch a web site. And hang your shingle as a freelance copywriter.

 

That's easy.

 

But you're not really "in business" until you GET business. And that means having at least one paying client. Preferably a lot more.

 

How do you make that happen? It's a lot easier than you may think.

 

No, you don't need a killer cold calling script. Or a pitch letter packed with the latest response-boosting techniques. (Although neither of these would hurt!)

 

All you really need is a plan for communicating with potential clients that ccomplishes the following three objectives:

 

1. Tell Them What You Do.

 

Consider your target market. Does everyone in it know that you're a freelance copywriter? Probably not. In fact, you may be missing out on assignments simply because potential clients don't know you exist.

 

So tell them!

 

It's a simple strategy. But it works. I know many freelance professionals who have built an enviable list of lucrative clients just by telling people – lots and lots of people – exactly what it is that they do.

 

One of the most successful copywriters I know is my friend Ivan Levison. The first five words on his web site are: "Hi. I'm a freelance copywriter..." He leaves visitors with no doubt as to the service he provides.

 

So how do you tell lots and lots of people what YOU do? The options are virtually limitless. You can send letters. Make phone calls. Write articles. Speak at meetings. Network at events. Etc.

 

I prefer a combination of letters, calls and articles. You may want to schmooze at conferences and place ads in the trades. How you do it is not the most important thing. Doing it is.

 

2. Tell Them How You Help.

 

It's true that you can get by quite nicely simply by telling lots of folks what you do.

 

And I know plenty of freelance pros who have become very successful doing just that.

 

But if you want to crank it up a notch – so you can get more and better clients, faster – you also need to tell people how you help. To put it in familiar copywriting lingo, you need to bring in a benefit or two.

 

On my web site, for example, I tell potential clients that I'm a copywriter. But I follow-up quickly with a list of three specific benefits that my services provide.

 

Clients have said many times that it was these "how I help" bullets that first prompted them to call me.

 

How do YOU help? Does your copy increase response in a direct mailing? Or boost sales conversion on a web site? Or improve readership of a newsletter or e-zine? The more specific you can be, the better.

 

3. Stay On Their Radar Screen.

 

When I was selling my home a couple of years ago, only one real estate agent came to mind. Why? Because she called at least twice a year. Regularly e-mailed helpful articles and updates. And kept me stocked with more complimentary calendars, pens and notepads than I could possibly use.

 

She was on my radar screen. So when I needed an agent, I called her.

 

Are YOU on the radar screens of your target market prospects?

 

Here's what can easily happen: A potential client is blown away by the pitch letter you send him. He says, "The next time I need copy, I'm calling you!"

 

Then months go by and, guess what? He forgets. And hires someone else.

 

You must have a plan to help prospects REMEMBER who you are and what you do.

 

There are many ways to stay top-of-mind. You can phone periodically (so long as you don't become a pest.) You can clip and send helpful articles. Subscribe prospects to your e-zine or newsletter. Etc.

 

Typically, clients consider only up to three copywriters for a specific project. Make sure you're one of them!


:: Steve is the author of "Secrets of Writing for the Business to Business Market" - a 350+ page course on how to make money writing for the B2B market.

 


Related learning materials:

 

Freelance Writing Success in a Box

What's in the Box? Everything you need to start and build your own, successfull freelance writing business. Learn how to start your company, find clients, set your prices and make up to six figures a year...Read my in-depth review


Michael Masterson's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

Improve your copywriting skills and enter the very lucrative market for direct marketing copywriters. This is a comprehensive course and my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to write copy that drives results. Read my in-depth review

 

 

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