You’re busy, so chances are that you do. I know that I’ve been guilty of that.
Last week I was having lunch with a fellow freelancer, Jimmy. He told me that he’d come across something which has quickly developed into a profitable sideline. He scouts the websites of local businesses, and sells them short reports. They can use these as freebies to get customers onto mailing lists, or just as promotional tools.
(You can do this too, in fact it’s something I mention in my new “get clients” strategy.)
Jimmy’s done short reports for real estate agents, veterinarians, tax accountants, and a sports medicine clinic.
He decided to get creative, to see whether he could take his short reports further, by selling advertising in them.
He said: “I got the idea because in my own street, we’ve got three houses for sale, out of around 30. That means we’ll have three new neighbors soon. Imagine how many newcomers there are in the local area in a year — hundreds of new families. I thought — why not create a short report on all the local amenities, and sell advertising space in it?”
It’s a clever idea. It took Jimmy just a day to get one of the real estate companies to sponsor his report. They’re paying for the printing, too.
He’s confident he’ll sell his advertising space. Beyond that, he’s pleased that he’s staying on the radar of local businesses. He knows that sooner or later, many businesses will need to get something written, whether it’s a proposal, Web content, or a speech. He’ll be there when they do.
The big benefit of short reports is that they’re fast to write. Be like Jimmy, and get creative. The more visible you are to businesses which can hire you, the more gigs you’ll get.
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