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 8 – AUGUST 2013

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/aug2013.html

 

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ATTN: OREGON AND CALIFORNIA FREELANCERS & PUBLISHERS!

I've got four events in the next 10 days, including one TODAY

(Tuesday, 8/6) in Portland, OR, and three more in the Bay Area

starting this Saturday. Details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/seminars.shtml

 

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2014 UPDATED EDITION OF “THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER” NOW AVAILABLE!

Check out all the book AND ebook (multiple formats!) products/bundles!

(http://www.wellfedsp.com)   

 

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WANT TO BUY TWFW OR TWFSP IN BULK (AND SAVE BIG)?

Have a writer’s group, class or workshop? Buy at a discount, add a

profit center to your group! Buy more, save more. Details:

http://www.wellfedwriter.com/bulk.shtml  

 

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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 “Why Aren’t You B2B

Writers Doing More of these Lucrative Projects?”; “Instead of Just

Sharing What You Do with Clients, Share Who You Are”; “What You Do

When You Do What You Do”; & more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: THE FLCW SECRET—WORKING SMARTER AND HARDER

This Issue Showcases the Difference Between Serious Writers and Hobbyists

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE, AND KEEP GOING! 

IL FLCW Revisits Writing Dream, Fine-Tunes Approach, Builds Biz!

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: GETTING YOUR FILL OF WRITING REFERRALS?

WI FLCW Serves Up “How-to” Blueprint for Landing More Work From Your Network!

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Newbie TN FLCW Lands Big-Name Gigs (like Cap’n Crunch!) with High-Quality List!

TIP: Freelancer-Friendly, Low/No-Cost, Online Time-Tracking Tool from Australia!

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

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

- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

- 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: THE FLCW SECRET—WORKING SMARTER AND HARDER

This Issue Showcases the Difference Between Serious Writers and Hobbyists

 

As I was noodling over what my Appetizer message would be this month,

it hit me: the stories in this issue are a testament to what it takes

to make more money as a writer. And why we commercial writers do

better than the typical “starving writer” out there “whindering” (that’s

whining and wondering) how one can possibly make a living at $5 an

article (hint: you can’t).

 

As the following stories show, making a good living as a writer

demands we go way beyond just bidding on some project on an online job

board (along with dozen of other desperados, ensuring rock-bottom

rates). In one story (next up), it means thinking and strategizing the

best way to leverage a previous background, making a plan, working

that plan, correcting course when it doesn’t work, and not stopping until it does.

 

It’s about (in our feature) about getting more creative about how you

pull more business out of your network of prospects, clients and

creative partners. That takes planning, execution and follow-through,

not a “let’s-hope-for-the-best” attitude. In our Dessert course, it’s

about (in our success story) going against conventional wisdom, taking

massive action, and again, fine-tuning to work smarter and make even

more money.

 

Even our tip is about being a serious enough businessperson to seek

out the tools to help you maximize the income from your existing

workload. Each one of these showcases people treating writing as a

serious business. Not as just a semi-serious hobby that should pay

them a great living simply because they’re doing what they love. The

world doesn’t work that way, and these warriors of ours know it. Let’s eat!  

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE, AND KEEP GOING! 

IL FLCW Revisits Writing Dream, Fine-Tunes Approach, Builds Biz!

 

Got this inspiring story from Darien, IL FLCW Kim Schure

(http://www.write-world.com), about a dream pursued, abandoned,

rejuvenated, and finally fine-tuned for success. Lots of good lessons

here, especially about leveraging past career experience; about

talking less and listening more (hint: the old proverb about two ears,

one mouth, etc.); and most importantly, about sticking to it, when

things seem grim. Good for you, Kim!

 

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I always wanted to be a writer. Soon after college, I worked for a

small newspaper, though far from working on any of the interesting

breaking stories, I spent most of the time writing obituaries. After

seven years there, I told myself it was time to grow up and get a real

job to pay the bills.

 

I buried my writing dreams and went back to school to become an X-ray

technologist. After all, we all know the healthcare industry is

“recession proof,” right? Wrong. When I graduated, there were hardly

any jobs. All I could get was a registry position at a hospital, which

gave me maybe four days of work a month.

 

I was pretty depressed, but then my dream of a writing career

resurfaced, as I searched for ways I could write for a living. I even

wrote for content mills for a few months before I discovered

copywriting. It then hit me: I could use my knowledge as an X-ray tech

to break into a very specialized copywriting market.

 

I attended the Radiological Society of North America’s big conference

in Chicago—a huge trade show for radiology equipment and

manufacturing. My first few pitches were an absolute disaster. I

mostly talked about myself and showed my portfolio to uninterested

vendors. Then I changed my approach. I listened to the vendors, asked

about their products and whom they were marketing to. I also looked at

their brochures and asked them if they were interested in improving on the content.

 

I ended up landing my first few clients from that show and gained many

useful contacts. The most important thing to remember is not to give

up too early when starting out. It can be very discouraging at first,

but hang in there! I must have heard at least 200 “no’s” before I

received my first “yes.” Now after six months, I’m getting steady work

as a healthcare copywriter. My writing career is no longer a dream.

It’s a reality!

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: GETTING YOUR FILL OF WRITING REFERRALS?

WI FLCW Serves Up “How-to” Blueprint for Landing More Work From Your Network!

 

An exceptionally useful piece on the how-to of generating writing

referrals from Forestville (near Green Bay), WI FLCW and author Roy

Rasmussen (http://businesscommunicationtrainingacademy.com). Roy has

two decades of freelancing experience, with 600+ articles and four

books to his credit, including “Publishing for Publicity” and “Cloud

Computing Simplified for Small Businesses.” He is currently writing two

books on sales and business management. Thanks Roy—great stuff!

 

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Referrals are one of the surest sources of business for any

freelancer, but surprisingly few writers have a systematic

referral-generation strategy. Most wait for referrals to fall into

their lap. While it may work, when it doesn't, you can end up

scrambling. Avoid the anxiety by following these simple steps to

implement a referral-generation system:

 

1. Cultivate a referral-generating mentality. Many people don't ask

for referrals because they subconsciously feel guilty asking others

for favors. Instead, start thinking of referrals as a way to deliver

value to people who would benefit from your services.

 

2. Define your ideal referral. You'll have more luck finding referrals

if you know what you're looking for. Define your ideal referral by

narrowing down their demographic characteristics, their business

needs, what type of writing services they need, and their income

(revenue) level (make sure it’s a match for your services).

 

3. Partner with ideal referral partners. Define your ideal referral

partner. Who’s already in contact with people who fit your ideal

referral profile? Peter has an excellent program for partnering with

graphic designers, which is one way to implement this strategy.

 

Expand on this by identifying other ideal referral partners. For

example, I've gotten referrals from educational professionals, health

care professionals, publishers, blog administrators, IT professionals,

accountants, social media consultants, and sales trainers. Given your

niche, who’d be ideal referral partners for you?

 

4. Build a referral database. Creating a contact list of prospective

referral sources and contacts will help you focus your referral

generation efforts on the right targets. It will also help you manage

your activities for greater efficiency and productivity.

 

5. Create a referral incentive. What do people get out of referring

others to you? Can you offer a tangible incentive, such as a discount,

a commission, or cross-promotional support? If not, maybe an

intangible perk—perhaps the positive feeling they’d get from helping

you or their friends who’d benefit from your services?

 

6. Write referral scripts. Asking for a referral is the same as

extending any other type of sales offer, and the same copywriting

principles apply. Create referral scripts you can deliver via

face-to-face networking, phone calls, email and mail.

 

7. Set referral goals. How many referrals does it take you to get a

client? Make an estimate and use this as a basis for determining how

many referral prospects you should strive to connect with on a weekly basis.

 

8. Take action and track results. Start deploying your referral

scripts on the schedule you have set as your goal, and track the

results. Start small by asking your current network for referrals,

giving you something to build on. As you gain confidence and refine

your tactics, branch out and start prospecting for referrals from

other sources.

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Newbie TN FLCW Lands Big-Name Gigs (like Cap’n Crunch!) with High-Quality List!

TIP: Freelancer-Friendly, Low/No-Cost, Online Time-Tracking Tool from Australia!

 

More inspirational successes, this one from Memphis, TN FLCW Andrea

Price (http://www.compasswriting.com), a relative newcomer (two years

in) to copywriting. And she built her biz using that allegedly

outdated gizmo called “The Phone.” Just sayin’… (in case you’ve bought

into the silly claims that “Cold-calling is dead!” Tell that to her…).

 

But, take special note of how she (like Kim earlier) analyzed her

results and fine-tuned her approach for even more success. After that,

a great (and possibly free—read on) time-tracking tool from Down Under

brought to us by Aussie FLCW Sarah Mitchell (http://www.globalcopywriting.com).

 

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As a relatively new FLCW (full-time for just two years), I’ve managed

to land gigs with some pretty big names—3M, Tropicana, Case IH,

Quaker, and CVS Pharmacies, to name a few. My main marketing method is

cold calling (I’m approaching my 3000th call!)

 

I collect email addresses and keep in touch with prospects regularly.

Sooner or later, my phone rings and it’s somebody who needs, say, a

presentation written that’ll be given at every McDonald’s across the

country. My prospecting lists—which I get from the library—contain

info like industry, revenue, credit rating, etc. My first lists

contained designers and ad agencies chosen solely based on geography.

 

After making several hundred calls, I took a look at my results. It

turned out that the people who indicated a need for my services had

some things in common: they made more than $500,000 in revenue and had

an excellent credit rating. From then on, I only pulled prospects who

met these simple criteria. The result was a list of high-quality

designers and ad agencies who also happen to attract big clients.

 

I land plenty of less glamorous work, too. And I make far fewer calls

because I don't waste time on prospects who won't need me or can't pay

me. I've already brought in more work in the first half of this year

than I did all last year.

 

P.S. The Cap'n Crunch box I worked on should be in stores any day now.

 

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My resolution for 2013 was to improve the admin side of my freelance

copywriting business. I knew that meant sacrificing writing time but

was certain I was undercutting my own invoices by not keeping accurate

records. A friend told me about 88 Miles, (http://www.88miles.net/for-copywriters),

an online time tracking website developed in Australia.

 

I’ve used different time tracking tools over the years with varying

success. 88 Miles got my attention and kept it. Like the rest of them,

it’s easy to use. It also has terrific reporting features allowing you

to slice and dice reports according to projects, tags, and date

ranges. It can track projects against a budget so you know immediately

when you’ve gone over. You can get ‘snapshot’ reports displayed on

your screen. The technology is rock solid and always available.

 

I’m actually spending less time on admin than before I started using

88 Miles. It’s incredibly affordable at only $5 per month and that’s

for the complete product. You don’t get continually nagged to upgrade

to a better version. AND, if you log 40 hours a month or less, it’s

free of charge. As suspected, I wasn’t billing my clients enough but

now I am. Meaning that the program not only isn't costing me anything;

it's actually making me money!

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

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

- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

- 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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GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

While my call for submissions netted a TON of stuff a few months back,

I’m still a bit lean on success stories. Whether starting out or

experienced, if you recently had a noteworthy success (i.e., landed a

new client—perhaps in an unusual way—a new gig, new work from an old

client, or anything else that has a good lesson for your fellow

FLCW’s), send it on to peter@wellfedwriter.com. 100-300 words is great.    

 

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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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