The other day, Bree, one of my students, said: “Why are there so many junk writing jobs around? Where do I find great gigs?” I suggested to her that she do a little thinking.
Think about: her BEST client. What does her best, most ideal client look like? What would her best client need that she could provide? Once she had an answer to that, the next question is: how could she get herself and her writing services in front of that perfect client?
If you’d like better clients, do that first. Write down what your own perfect client looks like. Next, get in touch.
Prime the pump: make contact
Wishing for great clients won’t make them magically appear. You need to prime the pump.
You can prime the pump in any number of ways. The simplest way is via email. Let’s say that you’d love to work with clients in the tourism industry.
Create a list of companies and publications you could approach.
Next, create an offering.
Create an offering…
Yes, you could send out introductions to your services to your prospects list. Sending out intros is better than nothing. However, most of your prospects will delete your messages, or they’ll file them away, and forget them.
An offering is better. Creating something you’ll sell to a client shows a little more bounce than writing: “Hi, my name is _________ (your name). I provide writing services, yada, yada…”
Your offering is personalized: don’t send the same offering to 50 prospects. Each offering is aimed at that prospect, only.
Your offering could be anything:
- To fix ONE thing on their website: get more customer stories, jazz up their listings, fix their About page;
- To create a Facebook/ Google+ company page (or another one if they have a page); fix their Twitter profile; fix their blog; create a Pinterest board…
Set a fee for the offering, whatever it is. But keep the fee to yourself for now. Instead, think up the benefits that the offering would give the client, and list those benefits in your email message.
Dig deeper: go back to your list of clients, and look for prospects locally
My favorite saying is: “if they’ve hired you once, they’ll do it again.” So go back to your contacts lists and think of ways you could help each client. Create an offering to do whatever it is.
Here’s something else you can do daily. Check your local newspaper and news websites: the business section. List the companies which have made the news. Approach them with an offering. Again, make sure that each offering is specific to that company, and list the benefits to them.
Why do offerings work?
Offerings work because they show willing. You’ll stand out from the usual run of writers: you have ideas. (We cover ideas which SELL in Idea Magic.)
Here’s the thing: eight out of ten companies and publications which hire you won’t hire you so you can put your brilliant ideas into effect. They’ll hire you because you show you CARE about them, and about what they do.
We talked about how to increase your writing income in one minute or less, by thinking about value, rather than “writing.” You’re not offering a commodity: “writing”. You’re offering ideas which you think will help them.
Here’s the takeaway: your ideas mean you can charge appropriately for what you do
Presenting an offering makes you look professional. I suggested that you keep your fees for your offerings to yourself, until you’re asked.
Commit these words to memory: “How much is that worth to you?”
When you’re negotiating, never be the first to name a price. You’re in a much stronger position the more your prospect tells you. Information is everything, when you’re negotiating.
Do a little thinking, then get in touch with your offerings
Offerings work. I suggested this tactic to Bree. Within 48 hours, she’d negotiated a project with a new client. That project is worth a great deal to the client. To Bree, it’s worth $3,857, but its real value to her is priceless. It’s shown her a whole new world of writing jobs — and she knows how to get them.
Great ideas: get them with Idea Magic
The income you’re making from your writing today is a direct result of your ideas. If you want better ideas, explore Idea Magic. A new world will open for you too.
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