Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

The companion monthly ezine to the quadruple-award-winning how-to

guide, “The Well-Fed Writer” (http://www.wellfedwriter.com). Serving

up food for thought and tasty tips for the prospering FLCW*. Come on

in, sit anywhere and bring your appetite!

 

*FLCW, peppered throughout the ezine, stands for “Freelance Commercial

Writer”—anyone who freelances for businesses (vs. writing magazine

articles, short stories, poetry, etc.), typically earns $50-125+ an

hour, and is the sole focus of this e-newsletter. 

 

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VOLUME 12, ISSUE 4 – APRIL 2013

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/april2013.html  

 

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PARTNER WITH DESIGNERS FOR A LOW-EFFORT FLOW OF WRITING JOBS!

Details here: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.  

 

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NEW 1-ON-1 COACHING PROGRAMS: SAMPLE/SITE REVIEW & “SIDECAR”!

Low-cost peace of mind and guidance: http://wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.

 

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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “Commercial Writing

Has Many Faces (as These Unusual Projects Prove…)”; “Trying to Make

the Transition from Employee to Full-Time Commercial Writer?” & more!

http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: THE “SERIOUS” BENEFITS OF THE FREELANCE LIFE

Being There for a Loved One in Crisis Is the Biggest Gift this Path Offers 

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: DO YOUR PROPOSALS HAVE EXPIRATION DATES?

WA FLCW’s Firm Stance on Proposals Conveys Respect-Worthy Professionalism

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: “WELL-FED” BODY = WELL-FED CAREER

CA FLCW Sings Praises of Simple Diet/Exercise Changes to Boost Earning Power

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Bay Area FLCW Touches Past Clients with “a Little Love”, Gets 35% Response!

TIP: NY FLCW Shares His Cool “Staying-in-Touch” Email Approach!

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”! 

- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog   

- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I. APPETIZER: THE “SERIOUS” BENEFITS OF THE FREELANCE LIFE

Being There for a Loved One in Crisis Is the Biggest Gift this Path Offers 

 

The call came in on March 12th: My mother (84) had fallen and

sustained a serious, multiple fracture of her pelvis. A few days

later, I flew to Boston from Atlanta to be with her. Then reality set

in. Due to the severity of the break, her age, the unbearable pain

every time she was moved, and most importantly, her clearly worded

living will AND stated desire to not fight it, she made the decision

to enter hospice on the 22nd.

 

A week later, this past Friday, sitting by her bedside, holding her

hand (she’d been unresponsive due to medication for five days), she

took her last breath. While sad beyond words, to be with her like that

when she passed was a gift I’ll cherish forever.  

 

The backdrop to all this was the freedom I enjoy as a freelancer. In a

situation like this, the ability to pick up and go without a moment’s

hesitation and minus the necessity of asking permission of a boss, was

truly priceless. Yes, I had to shuffle things around with clients, but

needless to say, all said, “Take as much time as you need.”

 

We full-time freelancers each have our special reasons for loving this

life we’ve chosen and crafted. Maybe it’s the freedom of our schedule,

being there for kids, the ability to live life on our own terms, or

some combination. In this case, when life’s serious crises arise, you

can move, unimpeded, toward the place you need to be right then.

That’s a gift whose value can’t be measured. If your parents are still

alive, call them today and tell them you love them and you’ll always

be there for them. Truly. Let’s eat…    

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: DO YOUR PROPOSALS HAVE EXPIRATION DATES?

WA FLCW’s Firm Stance on Proposals Conveys Respect-Worthy Professionalism

 

Got this great multi-layered piece from the ever-wise Ferndale, WA

designer (ex-writer) Mike Klassen (http://www.mikeklassen.com). Not

only a clever suggestion from a procedural standpoint, but has the

added benefit of conveying (subtly) that you’re a confident, in-demand

copywriter who has to draw their line in the sand. Read and heed.    

 

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With almost 10 years of freelancing under my belt, I’m still

incorporating new ideas that I probably should have had in place from

the start. Just last year I started including an expiration date on my

proposals.

 

If the proposal isn’t signed and returned within a given time

frame—normally two weeks—it’s no longer valid. Assuming the desired

timeframe is still available, I’d need an updated proposal. There are

a few things a proposal expiration date does for you:

 

1. Prospects/clients won’t be able, intentionally or unintentionally,

to take seemingly forever to make a decision.

 

2. You avoid the prospect/client who comes to you months down the

road, waving your old proposal, expecting you to honor the price and

turnaround time you outlined earlier.

 

3. You show the confidence of a businessperson who takes your time

seriously and, thus, so should any business that wants to work with you.

 

To avoid wasting anyone’s time before contacting me, I include the

following bit of text on my site:

 

“All of my projects—magalogs, books, training material, etc.—take

time. So I only accept a small number of jobs at one time. In my

project proposals, I include a proposal expiration date of about two

weeks. That’s not to pressure anyone into signing quickly. Because my

project calendar can fill quickly and months in advance, I can’t leave

proposals open-ended and still be fair to those who are ready to move

forward. From time to time, this doesn’t sit well with someone

thinking of hiring me. That’s OK… I completely respect that. It just

means we’re not a good fit for each other.”

 

Again, it’s not about pushing people faster than they want to go or

“showing them who’s boss.” It’s about respect for your time, and

acknowledgment that your schedule is just as important as theirs. As

Peter has said, we should be peers with our clients, not in a

lord/servant relationship, which many newbie freelancers suffer from.

 

Adding a proposal expiration date, and explaining why, is one of the

smartest things I’ve done as part of my sales process. It weeds out

the tire kickers and procrastinators, it establishes respect for my

time, and it shows I’m confident in how I run my business.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: “WELL-FED” BODY = WELL-FED CAREER

CA FLCW Sings Praises of Simple Diet/Exercise Changes to Boost Earning Power

 

Palmdale, CA FLCW Pauline Magnusson (http://www.paulinemagnusson.com)

shares an important piece here covering a subject absolutely crucial

to success, but one that often gets short shrift in “business”

discussions. But, as someone who’s wrestled with back issues most of

my life, I can personally attest to the power of exercise and diet to

make you more productive and successful as a copywriter. Your health

and how you feel is truly the engine of your business, and never forget it.

 

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One of the routines that’s made a huge difference in my productivity

and income as a FLCW has little to do with writing or marketing. It’s

not the first thing most people think of when they search for “making

more money from home with words.” But it’s critical.

 

I’m talking about self-care—specifically paying attention to diet and exercise.

 

When I began my writing business a month before my fourth child was

born in May 2012, exercise was the last thing on my mind. Since I felt

a bit like a beached whale, it was challenging. Plus, there didn’t

seem to be enough time to fit it in with marketing, writing and other

necessary business activities. AND being a wife and mom, of course.

 

But as weeks and months of sedentary work wore on, I felt increasingly

sluggish. While it was easy to blame it on not having lost the baby

weight, I knew that the grazing on poor quality snacks and long hours

of sitting were taking their toll.

 

I began to examine the words “Well-Fed” around the same time I

accepted an assignment as a blogger for a natural health website.

Instead of thinking of them in terms of quantity of food, I started to

research ideas related to quality of diet and began making changes

toward a blend of the Paleo and Nourishing Traditions styles of eating. 

 

Without making any other changes, the weight started to come off. 

 

With that change in place, I looked at finding ways to keep active

during my day. Research I’d done for a series of articles for a

chiropractor revealed alarming stats about the effects of sitting all

day. Apparently it’s associated with a shortened lifespan, and there

are stats to back it up.

 

I started setting a timer at the top of the hour for 45 minutes. When

it beeped, I’d take a break, stretch, grab a glass of water, and do a

few sets of exercises with dumbbells. 

 

As I began to research short exercise routines, I came across Tabata—a

4-minute, high-intensity exercise routine that packs some serious

cardio and muscle-building benefits. You can find variations that use

a lot of equipment, little equipment, or—if finances are tight because

you’re in start-up mode—nothing more than your own body weight.

 

No, I haven’t suddenly become rich and supermodel-thin with little

effort. But, as I’ve tweaked my diet and committed to exercise during

my day, carving out that time to take care of myself has made an

enormous difference in my productivity—and my earning power—each day.

 

I’ll take being that kind of “Well-Fed Writer” any day. 

 

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Pauline Magnusson is a work-at-home content marketer and blogger who

enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of words to

provide value for their audiences. When she’s not writing for clients,

you can find her harassing her own tribe to become better writers as a

homeschooling mom of four. 

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Bay Area FLCW Touches Past Clients with “a Little Love”, Gets 35% Response!

TIP: NY FLCW Shares His Cool “Staying-in-Touch” Email Approach!

 

Got this fun success story/marketing idea from Bay Area FLCW Angie

Colee (http://coleecreative.com). On a whim, she decided that people

get too many cards at Christmas, so she was going to send out

Valentine’s Day cards to “touch” past and present clients. Can’t argue

with her results!

 

After that, in a similar vein, comes a great tip from Wesley Hills, NY

FLCW Alan Zoldan (www.a2zmicromarketing.com) about a classy,

low-pressure way to check in with a prospect you’d been in touch with earlier.

 

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I knew that reaching out to past clients is much easier than

continuing to prospect, but I’ve always been hesitant to do so. Since

I don’t have a newsletter, I always feel that a random call or email

would come across as pushing for business (I think I think too much).

I’d want to reach out but stopped short whenever too much time had

passed. Surely that client had forgotten all about me and will wonder

who this email is from. Or they’ll see it for a marketing attempt and

sneer at my efforts.

 

Despite the fears, I finally decided to do a re-engagement campaign of

sorts…with Valentine’s Day cards. I figured hey, who couldn’t use a

little love on this contentious holiday? I wrote cards to each and

every one of my past and present clients. It took me a few days and a

lot of cramped hands. A few people I debated including, but, in the

end, everyone on my list got a card, no matter how long it had been

since we spoke.

 

Well, turns out people love hand-written Valentine’s Day cards! I got

a whopping 35% response rate from my mailing, and I am still getting

random emails here and there from recipients who have been busy but

remembered my card and really enjoyed it. And three weeks after the

mailing, a client I hadn’t interacted with in more than a year called

me with a project that paid for the mailing more than 10 times over!

 

The verdict? It’s never too late to get back in touch, especially if you

send a hand-written card. If you have fallen out of touch, now’s the

time to reach out—no excuses! You could be leaving money on the table.

 

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Let’s say a prospect has responded to one of your promotions or

perhaps was referred to you. You’ve had a nice discussion, perhaps

you’ve sent a few samples, and the upshot is, “We have no immediate

project, but we definitely want to work with you.”

 

And then, a resounding nothing. I put all of those leads in my “Warm

Prospect” file and “gently simmer” them every few months, by keeping

in touch. I might either call or send an email, but the gist of my

message is:

 

“We touched base a few months (or weeks) ago, but we haven’t yet had

the pleasure of working together (I don’t know about you, but working with

me is inevitably a  pleasure), and I was wondering if now might be a better

time to knock on your in-box. I  thought we had a good discussion a

few months ago and you said that my samples were excellent, so I was

hoping that now might be a good time to break the ice.”

 

If it is, your client will probably remark on the amazing coincidence

of your call. And if not, at least you’ve created a fresh impression in a

positive and professional way. You might want to inform said prospect

about some of your recent achievements, but be brief about it.

 

By getting to the point and keeping your tone upbeat and professional,

you will have made yet another positive impression. A few more of

those, and you might even walk away with that ever-challenging first project.

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”! 

- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog  

- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? New Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!

That’s not hype. It’s how my business has worked for the better part

of 18 years, thanks to some juicy partnerships with graphic designers.

The result? 1-2 jobs virtually every month with little or no effort on

my part. And I put all the how-to details down on paper. Check it out

at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

 

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AWAI COPYWRITING (& OTHER) COURSES: Register Here, Get Your Choice of

Bonus CD Program! Six-Figure Copywriting, Graphic Design, Internet

Writing, Fundraising, Health Market and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/awai.shtml.

 

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HOW CAN MY MULTIPLE MENTORING PROGRAMS SERVE YOU?

For details and testimonials, visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.  

 

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