Want to get writing jobs? Several times a week desperate writers contact me. They need writing jobs, NOW. OK, not a problem. With 120 minutes of preparation time, you’re all set to take your world by storm.
Please don’t skip this preparation. On the other side of the coin, don’t take too long over it. Stick to the timeline I’ve given you. If you haven’t collected your brag-ables, or need more time to think about who will hire you, do that later, in ten-minute sessions.
Why ten minutes? SPEED. You need to move, and keep moving. As I said in this article on ratio thinking:
… it all comes down to persistence. If you put your offering in front of 100 people, and you get one buyer, then you should get ten buyers if you put your offering in front of a thousand people.
When you get your offering in front of enough people, you get results.
1. Update Your Bio, Profile, and Brag-Ables (30 Minutes or Less.)
Write a short bio. Keep it under 50 words, and focus on your strengths. Update your profile: we talked about what to do if you don’t have a website.
Collect your “brag-ables”. They’re writing samples.
2. WHO? Get a Fix on Who Can Use Your Services (30 Minutes.)
This is the biggie. Brainstorm: WHO can use your services? Please don’t say “everyone.” That’s not so, for any writer. For example, I’ve written for real estate developers, heavy equipment companies and beauty products companies. If I needed gigs fast, I’d target businesses in those areas. Alternatively, I’d target tech companies, because I wrote for tech magazines for years.
If you’re just starting out, and have written for no one, ever, you can make a selling point of this. What are you interested in? Let’s say that you love animals. OK – make a list. What kinds of companies create animal-related stuff? Google it.
Then, in your script and cover letter (see below), mention that you’re just starting out, but you love animals, and you’re a great researcher. Writers are always getting gigs where we need to find out stuff fast: be confident that you will do a good job on your projects.
New writers tend to think that they need to hide their newbie status. That’s BS, and it doesn’t work. Be straightforward. Every writer starts somewhere. More to the point, your clients will love it. Professional writers tend to be intimidating; you’re not. Make it work for you.
3. Write a Script, and SHORT Cover Letter (60 Minutes.)
You’ll be talking to people on the phone, and via letter and email, so write a quick phone script, and boilerplate letter. You have 60 minutes. Set a timer. At the end of 60 minutes, you’re done. Go with what you’ve got. You can refine later.
Rubber, Meet Road. Tap Out Phone Numbers, and Write Email Messages (60 Minutes a Day, Minimum.)
Businesses and publications need writers. All you need to do is contact enough people to get hired by one person. And then by another. Keep going. If you’re working a day job, 60 minutes can be hard to find, because you’ll be contacting people during business hours. Use your lunch hour to make calls (ask your boss if that’s OK.) Alternatively, do all your contacting via email and social media in the evenings.
Remember: ratio thinking. Put it to work for you. I read Mary Kay Ash’s autobiography years ago. This stuck with me: in her early years in Mary Kay Ash stayed at work late, making “one more phone call.” Contact enough people and you WILL get writing jobs, more than you can handle. Grab your timer, and get started now.
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