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by Nick Usborne
When you are approaching a company with the hope that theyll give you some freelance work, chances are that you are not the only freelancer who would like to work for them.
So why should they choose YOU?
What makes you different from other freelancers?
Are you faster? Do you have a better track record? Are you less expensive? Are you a specialist in their industry or niche?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself.
You need to look at things from the clients point of view. You need to think about the kinds of questions they will be asking themselves when thinking about hiring you.
And you could benefit from a little something else...
Even if you have a great portfolio. Even if you have a few awards under your belt.
Even if you are a well-known speaker.
Even with all that, there may be another way to make yourself memorable to enhance your personal brand.
This is a tricky area, but can make a big difference.
Ill use my own example.
Back in the day, I had all those things...the portfolio, awards, speaking engagements and more.
But there was one more way in which I was set apart in the minds of prospective clients.
Back then I lived on a farm. I was freelancing as a copywriter, but also raising chickens, sheep, pigs and a whole lot more.
For some reason it was the pigs which stuck in everyones mind. I became the copywriting pig farmer.
A client would have drinks with a colleague, chat about a campaign that just went particularly well, and then laugh, saying it was written by a pig farmer.
I would get calls from people I had never heard of before, asking me how my pigs were.
If I was away from my desk, people would leave messages, speculating that I was out feeding the pigs.
How can this help you?
Its about branding. Having pigs, without the track record of copywriting success wont help much. But once you have the fundamentals in place, you can leverage the strange and unexpected to further boost your brand as a writer.
What about you? What do you do in life that is a little different?
- Do you take part in crazy sports?
- Do you give a lot of time to charitable causes?
- Do you live in an unexpected place...like in a tree house in the mountains? Or do you work from the beach in the Caribbean?
- Do you have 22 dogs?
- Do you drive an antique car?
It doesnt really matter what it is, but if there is something a little unusual in your life or in how you live it, you may have the opportunity to boost your personal brand a little.
This isnt about manufacturing a difference...
I didnt live on a farm just so I could boost my professional brand as a copywriter.
That was a lifestyle choice, with an unexpected benefit.
If you try to force this kind of thing, it just rings false. It feels manipulative.
So Im not suggesting you get all weird and freaky in your life as part of a cunning marketing ploy.
Im suggesting that if there are conversation-worthy differences in your life, there no harm in leveraging that point of difference.
Its just one more way to separate yourself from all the other copywriters out there.
And its a way to keep your name in the minds of prospective clients.
Related learning materials:
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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
Get your copy of Writing For the Web #1 - 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
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