Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

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 10, ISSUE 8 – AUGUST 2011

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/aug2011.html

 

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NOW AVAILABLE! “PROFITABLE – BY DESIGN!” (EBOOK)

All the how-to on partnering with designers and creating a LOW-MAINTENANCE INCOME STREAM. http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “This Writer’s Clients Give Him a Check Every Month (Thanks to a Tough Economy…),” “Meet Someone Like This and Your Copywriting Business Will Soar,” and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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“THE WELL-FED WRITER” (2010 EDITION) HAS WON FOUR AWARDS!

To Order (FR.EE Bonus/U.S. Shipping): http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml.

 

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I NEED YOUR SHORT (100-200 words) SUCCESS STORIES for the E-PUB!

Landed a great client? Had a successful marketing campaign? Done something else that boosted your FLCW income? Send them to peter@wellfedwriter.com. 

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: DO YOU LOVE BEING A FLCW? YOU SHOULD…

Yours Truly Finds Even More Reasons to Feel Bullish on This Great Field of Ours!

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: USE STORYTELLING TO BREW UP MORE SALES

How Schlitz Beer Can Help Your Clients Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace!

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: WHAT’S YOUR LINKEDIN STRATEGY? (Part 2 of 2)

Idaho FLCW Shows Fellow FLCW’s Why LinkedIn Might Be Worth a Second Look

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New Masters Grad Stops Job-Hunting, Launches FLCW’ing Business in Minneapolis

TIP: Yours Truly Finds Cool Tool for Quick-and-Easy Copy Formatting

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

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

- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- 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: DO YOU LOVE BEING A FLCW? YOU SHOULD…

Yours Truly Finds Even More Reasons to Feel Bullish on This Great Field of Ours!

 

Had three things cross my path recently that give me a lot of confidence in my chosen profession (and yours as well?). Not that I haven’t been bullish for years, but on the off chance some of you guys are wondering… For starters, Oregon FLCW Mike Russell (http://pivotalwriting.com) sent me this, yet another piece on the cost of lousy writing skills, this time from the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14130854.

 

Not that I want to get giddy over the high price so many companies pay for the crummy writing skills of their employees, you understand. But as long as those skills are lousy, and as long as there are enough folks out there whose business’s success depends on good writing (i.e., it’s not just a nice thing to have, but something non-negotiable), folks like us will have work. Assuming we’re letting the world know we’re out there.

 

Following that was a conversation I had with a commercial freelancer who’d been at it for 22 years. He’d tapped me for a bit of coaching to get a reality check on several aspects of his business. AND happily informed me that business was booming and had been for a while. Real clients with real jobs and real money to pay are definitely out there.

 

And speaking of clients (and this was the third thing), I just picked up a new one a few months back. Good to work with and pretty high profile, to boot. The copywriting work they’d been getting from their writers up till then was surprisingly mediocre, and they’re delighted with what I’m bringing to the table. And it just underscores for me how much middling (and outright bad) writing there is out there, and how the clients you’d think would have access to all manner of crack copywriters, often don’t.

 

So, if you’ve got some serious writing chops, and are willing to work long and hard to build your name, you CAN make a go of this business. Your skills ARE needed out there. On that happy note, let’s eat!    

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: USE STORYTELLING TO BREW UP MORE SALES

How Schlitz Beer Can Help Your Clients Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace!

 

Another stellar – and classic – example of using storytelling in writing (one of my “broken-record” messages and favorite writing devices…). This comes from the web site (Resources link) of marketing/sales pro, speaker and author Joel Weiner (Joel@YourProfitWizard.com; http://www.YourProfitWizard.com). Joel is also a licensed facilitator for the "Get Clients NOW!" 28-day marketing program for professionals, consultants and coaches. How often have we run across clients who just don’t know how to set their businesses apart from the herd? Here’s one great way to do it. Enjoy!

 

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Back in the 1920's, Schlitz Beer was languishing down in 8th place, out of the top ten brewing companies in the US. Then, they came up with an ingenious new marketing angle, which saw them shoot up from 8th, to 1st place in just 6 months—completely out-selling their competition! What did they do, and more importantly, how could you use the same tactic to make more sales?

 

Well, way back then, all the breweries were using the same basic message in their advertising: "Our beer is pure" All the breweries were brandishing the word ‘pure’ to describe how good their beer was. Unfortunately, the average beer drinker didn't have a clue what 'pure' really stood for.

 

Schlitz took the initiative, and started a marketing campaign that really made beer drinkers sit up and take notice. They didn't just tell people their beer was pure, they explained in great detail, exactly how their beer became so pure. They explained how:

 

- They drilled down two wells which were 5,000 feet deep, in order to go deep enough to get the best combination of water and minerals for their beer.

 

- They went through 1,623 different experiments over a 5-year period, so that they could find and develop the finest mother yeast cell, to produce the richest flavor.

 

- Their distillation process involved heating the water to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, then cooled down and condensed 3 times, so that it was completely purified.

 

- When bottling the beer, each bottle was steamed at 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, to make sure the beer was free of bacteria and germs.

 

- To finish off, each batch of beer was quality tested to make sure it was pure and rich before it left for sale.

 

When competing with other vendors offering the same or different solutions as you are proposing, you must differentiate yourself. One way, as in the Schlitz example, is to explain in detail the “process” you used to come up with the solution you are proposing.

 

Detailing the process is effective in creating value in the eyes of your prospect, because your competitors won’t do it. Why? Because they take the “process” as a given, since they do it day in and day out. Your prospect, on the other hand, doesn’t know the “process,” and explaining it creates value no other competitor will offer.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: WHAT’S YOUR LINKEDIN STRATEGY? (Part 2 of 2)

Idaho FLCW Shows Fellow FLCW’s Why LinkedIn Might Be Worth a Second Look

 

If you’re among the many out there who’ve said to yourself repeatedly, “I really need to figure out LinkedIn,” you’ll appreciate this great two-part LinkedIn primer from Boise, ID FLCW Cathy Miller (cathy@millercathy.com; http://simplystatedbusiness.com). In Part 1 last month (archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/july2011.html), Cathy served up the basics of getting started, while here in Part 2, she shows how to use LI to effectively market your freelance copywriting business. Enjoy!

 

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LinkedIn is a terrific resource for growing your freelance commercial writing business. Some consider the professional networking site too “old school” for their taste, but a lot has changed since its launch in 2003. You might want to give LinkedIn a second look.

 

When I started freelancing in 2008, I had one client - my former employer. Because I like to eat, I realized I’d need a few more. I explored my social media options and decided LinkedIn was a good fit. I have the free, basic account. To date, over 60 percent of my client relationships started with LinkedIn.

 

PART 2 – MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

 

LinkedIn takes pride in being a professional networking site. Diehard members shun other platforms as too social and where behavior is less than professional. Avoid hard-sell marketing and focus on connecting.

 

CONNECTIONS: Now comes the fun part: connecting with members. Personally, I don’t believe in connecting for the sake of numbers. When you do send a request, the first place the person visits is your profile, so make sure it’s a solid profile.

 

You can import contact lists to get started, but LinkedIn also offers "People You May Know" suggestions from information pulled from your profile. I love re-connecting with former colleagues and contacts. It’s like meeting your friends at the dance.

 

Three new projects were a direct result of reconnecting with former colleagues. By connecting, you see the connections of your contacts. You can ask your contacts for an introduction (up to 5 monthly on free accounts) to one of their connections. With an upgraded account, you can send an InMail, LinkedIn’s internal email, directly to their connection. If they don’t respond within seven days, the credit returns to your account.

 

GROUPS: I joined GROUPS in my niche and participate with absolutely no sales pitching - just sharing information. It is similar to the good side of forums. The idea behind GROUPS is sharing ideas and receiving help through discussions. Some GROUPS are page after page of sales pitches. In my opinion, the key to the success of the GROUP is the manager or owner. If you find a well-managed group, the networking benefits are huge, especially if you are new to freelancing and building your credibility.

 

You can also join writers’ GROUPS where you share information on our industry. I find the freelance writing community to be one of the most generous.

 

ANSWERS: This application provides answers to business-related questions in over 20 categories. You can get answers here or earn recognition as an expert by answering questions. I love to use this section as a way to get blog topics or product/service ideas.

 

SHARE/FOLLOW US BUTTONS: LinkedIn offers a variety of buttons you can add to your site where readers can share your content or connect with you.

 

COMPANY PAGES: There is a new COMPANY PAGES feature I just started using. What I like is that it's not just for the biggies; solo freelance writers benefit, too. You can list your products and services, add logos, videos, and other content marketing. It accepts recommendations for your business.

 

LinkedIn is an excellent source for new clients and referrals, and when done right, offers a great showcase for your work. Maybe it’s time you took a second look.

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New Masters Grad Stops Job-Hunting, Launches FLCW’ing Business in Minneapolis

TIP: Yours Truly Finds Cool Tool for Quick-and-Easy Copy Formatting

 

Got this great success story from budding MN FLCW (but well on her way!) Grace Myers (grace@gracemyerswrites.com; http://www.gracemyerswrites.com; and Grace blogs at http://www.gracemyerswrites.com/Blog.html). Who says you’ve got to work for The Man right out of school? Inspiring. And following that, a nifty web site that’ll help you neatly and instantly format any document. Enjoy!

 

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I was one of the many unemployed and jaded recent graduates. I’d just earned a MA in literature from a prestigious university in the UK and came back to Minneapolis, my hometown, with high hopes of putting my writing to use. But where? The only jobs I could land were internships intended for college sophomores before the recession hit. 

 

I made the most of it and took on as many writing projects as I could. All the while, I was getting paid NOTHING and being told “we need someone with more experience” or “this job would be ideal for someone right out of college” at interviews for full-time jobs.

 

My frustration led me to begin small low-paying writing jobs on the side (you know, to afford to do something fun once in a while!), but the experience was invaluable. I gained the confidence to put myself out there as a writer. Best of all, I realized that through freelancing, I could stop waiting around for a magical job opening and start a career. 

 

I landed my first big gig when my dad told me about a former colleague at 3M who needed help creating a brochure. I sent her a quick message on LinkedIn and she invited me into her office. I was shocked when she was more concerned with convincing ME to take on the project than examining my portfolio. I resisted the urge to blurt out my excitement to take on the job! Once I began, the brochure expanded in scope several times, turning out to be a much larger project than I thought when I first signed on.

 

Getting to this point has been hard work. And now that I have established a few steady clients, I find that what I enjoy most about freelance writing is the challenge of shaping my business. I’m working hard to figure out what area I want to eventually specialize in. Five years down the road, do I want to teach seminars? Write a book? Hire junior writers? This is a great career I can carve to fit the life I want. And in the meantime, I get to keep expecting more for my work and for myself. How cool is that?

 

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Here’s a nifty tool for when you have to format copy to fit in a set space (i.e., 50 or 75 or 100 characters wide), whether for a blog post, ezine, email blast, etc. Check out http://www.formatit.com. Course I’m probably the only person alive who wasn’t aware of this, but in case you’re in that boat, and you find yourself doing it manually and laboriously (and doing a lousy job of it), here’s an easy (and instant!) solution.

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

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

- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- 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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I’M SERIOUSLY LOW ON ALL WELL-FED E-PUB COURSES!

Got a great strategy, approach or specific expertise you’re willing to share? Turn it into a Feature (MAIN COURSE) for the EPUB (500-600 words; query first). ALSO, send your “GREENS” (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES (100-300) to peter@wellfedwriter.com. Archived issues at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.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 MENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

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

 

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