If you’re writing for money, you know that writers go through periods of feast or famine. Either you have too many projects, or too few. A few days ago I was chatting to one of my writing students, Laura. She’s a brilliant writer, but lacks confidence in her abilities. Laura is also very shy. Her shyness not only prevents her from making the most of her opportunities, but also from seeing that those opportunities exist.
A couple of her best clients let her down, so she asked me to come up with a quick program for getting more clients fast. Julia suggested that this would make a good blog post; many freelance writers have periods when the work isn’t coming in.
So, here we go. This little program will get you more clients.
1. Be Clear About What You Do, and Promote It.
Start by casting an eye over your website. Is it 100 per cent CLEAR what you do? Often it isn’t, because the writer himself isn’t sure of the audience he’s targeting.
Tip: if you get lots of queries from prospects who expect you to write for peanuts, your targeting isn’t clear. Think about your ideal client. Target everything towards that client.
Creating a tagline for yourself helps you and everyone else to be clear. It can take a little time to come up with a good tagline which makes an emotional connection, as I suggest here:
Remember that both a tagline and slogan should inspire an emotion: what emotion do you want to create in your customers? Consider De Beers’ tagline: A Diamond is Forever. Because of that tagline, diamonds became a symbol of love and commitment, and now a diamond is seen as the perfect gem for an engagement ring.
Once you’ve created your tagline, use it everywhere – on Twitter and other social media networks, in your email signature file, and all over your website. Use it in person too; practice saying it aloud until you can repeat in in your sleep.
2. Decide on Two Promotional Venues Each Month, and Create a Plan.
Are you marketing your services consistently? “Marketing” isn’t just advertising. Marketing is everything. It’s a good idea to keep the basics of marketing in mind, specifically the “4 Ps” of the marketing mix – product, price, promotion and place.
Choose two ways to promote your services each month. You could choose tactics like: press releases, local media advertising, blogging, guest blogging, contacting past clients, writing a newsletter, direct mail, email outreach, and on, and on. There are a million and one ways you can promote your writing services.
However, as we’ve said, keep the 4Ps in mind. What new products could you create? Could you change the prices on the services you’re promoting this month?
Let’s say that this month you’ve decided to promote using press releases. Using the 4Ps, you decide: you’ll create a new package of Web content services, you’ll set a good fee for them, and you’ll promote them to medium sized businesses in your state by creating three press releases.
You make a list of what you need to do. You schedule every task on that list, so that you’re devoting at least an hour a week to your plan. Then you carry out your plan.
Next month, you create another plan. If you need help with this, you can contact me.
3. Reach Out Daily: Keep Your Order Book Full.
We’re writers. We communicate. We reach out. If you’re in a situation like Laura’s and you need clients fast, it’s always because you’ve failed to reach out to people. You can reach out to anyone and everyone: past clients, potential prospects, colleagues…
Have fun with this. Your version of what’s fun is up to you. For me, it used to be creating lots of queries for publications and websites. For Laura, it’s getting in touch with past clients, and a network she’s created on social media sites. Reach out to at least one contact daily. It doesn’t take much – how long does it take to send a tweet or a brief email message?
Reaching out ensures that you keep your order book full.
When you’re writing for money, you need ways to ensure that you have lots of projects lined up. Clients can let you down: they cancel projects, or vanish off the radar. Whenever you’re stuck in a famine situation, put these three tips into effect. They work… and you’ll be writing with a full order book before you know it.
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.
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