Implement these three ideas to get immediate results, long-term clients, and high-paying jobs from your freelance marketing efforts.
1. Pick Up the Phone for Immediate Results: In Articles, 10 Ways Freelance Writers Make Money Fast! (Part 2 of 2) (in my blog post at InkwellEditorial.blogspot.com on Thursday, September 7, 2006), I elaborate on what I mean by “cold calls”. Read tip #6. Don’t cringe, tune in, or decide you won’t.
I know this can scare a lot of people, but trust me, if you do this 5 or 6 times, it’s outdated. You can, and it pays off – almost immediately.
With the short, to-the-point script I laid out in the article above, you’ll see that it’s just as much a phone call to gather information as it is to call a restaurant to ask for directions.
Another marketing effort for instant response – email. Make sure you don’t have spam. How do you do this? By actually taking the time to do some research on the prospect you’re emailing.
Your research doesn’t have to be in-depth, but it’s enough to make your email recipients feel like you’ve taken the time to understand their product/service. Consult an article on their website, their current marketing campaigns, market stats related to their industry.
Your first email should contain: 1) Evidence that you already know/know their product/service (eg research tips above); 2) Reason for your contact; 3) Why/how you can help them; 4) A short professional resume; 5) A link to your website.
Your website should include at least the following: your full resume, links to samples of your work, and contact information. Testimonials, articles about/about your industry, media pages, and links to your blog (if you have one) are some additional information you may want to add.
2. To get long-term clients, think about the first connection: I describe how to do this in my article, Freelance Writer: How to Turn Client Meetings into a Bonus at Work (blog post from Wed, Nov 8, 2006).
In short, when a customer contacts you, always, always, always go beyond the initial work. Personal story:
I recently made all the web copies for a client who started a title insurance company. When I sent the final copy, I also showed him three marketing ideas to help him convert referrals into paying customers. Of course, these are all ideas that I can help him with.
As I mentioned before, being proactive in this way helps in three ways:
a) It shows the client that you are professional and future-oriented enough;
b) it lets them know that you understand their business; and
c) This gives them a reason to come back to you.
Many freelancers will simply submit a project and say “remember me if you have other projects I can help you with”. This is invalid. Please be clear.
You are the best resource by providing specific ways to help them improve their bottom line. This brings me to my last point:
3. Educate Yourself to Get a High-Paying Job: Freelance writers are more than just word masters, they also need to have general marketing knowledge. This knowledge can be easily obtained through trade journals, online lectures, first account articles, etc.
As a concrete example of how you can help you make more money, I’ll use the most recent client I mentioned above. This customer had never had a website and did not know much about online marketing. I gathered this from our conversations about his web copy.
When I make his copy, I tell him why I’m doing what I’m doing (e.g. add, cut, retouch, etc., text). A specific exchange is as follows:
“In marketing, when people get confused, it’s a fact
With little information, or they don’t fully understand a concept, they rarely strive for it.
If you follow this wisdom, it is always better to exaggerate an idea. therefore,
The changes I made are to add more of your ideas to this section, not cut
By explaining to the customer the reasons behind your actions, you show that you are well informed. Knowledge — especially if it’s transferred in a way that proves to customers that it benefits their bottom line — is something people are willing to pay more for, because it makes you an “expert” anyway.
Clients rarely question expert fees and are more likely to get more than just a freelance writer — they get a marketing expert who just happens to be writing.
Whether you become a freelance writer in 3 months or 10 years, implementing these three ideas will increase your income for years to come.