“Starving Writer No More!”
An Evening with Peter Bowerman, Author of: The Well-Fed Writer
I. Commercial Writing: Introduction
• Redefining “Freelance Writing” (My Story)
• Why this Business Makes Sense: A Microcosm
• Six Weeks in the Life of a Commercial Freelancer
• What Will You Be Writing?
• Why Self-Employment Makes Sense in Today’s Economy
• Leverage Your Background (What You Know)
II. Why Be a Freelance Commercial Writer (FLCW)?
• Eternal Demand & Scarcity of Good Writers
• B2B, B2C, Internal
• You’re Paid for ALL Your Time Vs. Other Freelancing (i.e., magazines)
• Minimal Investment/Negligible Overhead
• Healthy Income & Great Lifestyle Benefits
III. What Does it Take to Be Successful?
• Writing Ability (But Not As Much As You Think…)
• Ability to Market Oneself
• Ability to Make the Client’s Satisfaction Your #1 Job
IV. Getting Ready For Self-Employment
• Step One: New Attitude About Money
• Like to make $75/hour? Uncomfortable asking for that much?
• Strategies for Creating a Portfolio From Scratch
• Pro Bono
• Team Concept - (Hit Arts Schools)
V. Where’s The Business?
• END USERS (EUs)
• Corporate America - Hit “MarCom”/Corp. Comm./Marketing/Sales/HR
• OTHER Less-Contacted Departments
• HUGE Small-Medium Sized Business Market – Largely Untapped
• Not-For Profits
• MIDDLEMEN CLIENTS (MMs)
• Hired by EUs, who in turn hire freelancers; like to stay lean, responsive
• Hit Creative Directors, Asst. CDs, Account Execs, Project Managers
• Graphic Design Firms - Smaller/Little In-House Staff
• Don’t Ignore the “Lone Rangers” or Staff Designers
• Marketing Companies
• Ad Agencies
• From huge to tiny
• PR Firms
VI. Technically Speaking
• Computer, Printer, Word, Fax or Fax Software (or eFax), Internet Access
• Web Site – Not Mandatory, BUT will make marketing infinitely easier
VII. Marketing Your Business
• Live “The Law of Averages” (Reality: 75-80% won’t be interested)
• Compiling Your List
• The Yellow Pages, Book of Lists, Chambers
• www.switchboard.com, www.theultimates.com/yellow/
• Face-to-Face = More Business - “1 in 10/1 in 3” Rule
• The Calling Script: A Tool for Focus (in book)
• Psychology of Cold-Calling - Why it can seem so scary…
• Control the Controllables - Action or Results?
Direct Mail, Email and Websites
• Direct Mail Campaigns
• Targeted Campaigns For $60 (including postage)!
• Postcard Houses – Roughly $200 for 1000 cards (+ postage)
• www.modernpostcard.com, www.tu-vets.com
• E-Mail Marketing - Dos & Don’ts
• Get Permission
• Do an Opt-In Customer Newsletter
• www.intergritywriting.com, www.minerva-inc.com
• Keep It Brief AND Worthy of Their Attention
• Simplifies Your Life & Grows Your Business Faster
• Keep It Simple, Few Fancy Graphics, Easy to Get In & Out
VIII. Developing a Marketing Mindset
• Sales & Marketing Fundamentals
• Audience: What’s the First Question – Always?
• The Features/Benefits Equation
Features are all about a product/service and the company selling it. Benefits are about the customer, what’s important to them and how that product/service addresses those issues. Always begin with benefits, follow with features.
• Telecommunications Industry – Marketing Re-direction
• Beautiful Billboards
• Cell phones, DSL, etc. – What do you really care about?
• Clients want to talk features, steer toward benefits
• ¾” Drill Bits…
• USP – Unique Selling Proposition
IX. How Much Do I Charge?
• Hourly vs. Project Pricing: Pros and Cons
• Once It’s Flat, Live With It - No Whiners (Be a Pro)
• Hourly Rates (Min. $50 to $125+)
X. It’s NOT the Economy, Stupid!
• Few “Creatives” Will Consistently Do Calling, DM & EMM
• Do It and You’ll Make $ in ANY Economy
• If You Think It’s a Good Time…(my story)
XI. Q&A - Open Discussion