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 11, ISSUE 12 – DECEMBER 2012

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/dec2012.html  

 

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THE WELL-FED “HOLIDAY BUFFET” IS OPEN (BUT ONLY UNTIL 12/20/12)!

Two dynamite “2-in-1” holiday gift packages (+ F.R.E.E Priority shipping) for you AND the aspiring FLCW’er on your gift list! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/holidaybuffet.shtml.

 

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THIS MONTH ONLY! “PROFITABLE – BY DESIGN!” EBOOK – 25% OFF!

Get all the “how-to” on creating your own lucrative, long-lasting and low-maintenance partnerships with graphic designers—and save 25%! But ONLY until 12/31/12! Details here: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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ATTN: WESTERN OHIO FLCW’S & SELF-PUBBERS! – I’M HEADED YOUR WAY!

I’m talking on self-publishing & commercial writing near Dayton, OH on 12/27/12.

Cost $5! Come join us—details at http://wellfedwriter.com/seminars.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 Estimating Copywriting Projects is Like Learning to Play Tennis”; “5 Reasons You Aren’t Where You Want to Be as a Commercial Freelancer”; and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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I DESPERATELY (YEAH, REALLY!) NEED ALL E-PUB COURSES!

Landed a great client? Used a successful marketing strategy? Tapped a lucrative market or unusual project type? Got a powerful biz-building tip? A cool success story? I need MAIN COURSES (500-600 words; query first), GREENS (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES (100-300). Send to peter@wellfedwriter.com.

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT!

Study Affirms the Fast Growth and High Satisfaction of Independent Workers

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE “COLD-CALL 180”—FROM LOATHER TO LOVER 

Budding FLCW Changes Tune on Cold Calling; Has New Tool in Biz-Building Box!   

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ARE YOU TUNED INTO RADIO OPPORTUNITIES?

MD FLCW (& Radio Host) On How to Maximize Radio as a Business-Builder! 

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips (Two-Fer!)

Bay Area FLCW Lands Gig Only After Her Planetary Chart Passes Muster with Client!

TIP: Ideas for Landing Work Are All About Keeping Your Radar Up!

 

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: GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT!

Study Affirms the Fast Growth and High Satisfaction of Independent Workers       

 

Recently got a tasty bit of good news about the freelancing trend from Portland, OR FLCW Mike Russell (http://www.pivotalwriting.com). According to the “State of Independence in America” Study (just Google that name), from MBO Partners: 

 

1) NEARLY A MILLION MORE: Since 2011, the independent workforce has grown from 16 million to more than 16.9 million and is expected to hit 23 million by 2017.

2) INDEPENDENCE IS SATISFYING: 71% of respondents indicated having high levels of satisfaction with their independent lifestyle, vs. 60% from the 2011 report.

3) INDEPENDENT WORKERS ARE LESS DAUNTED: Not only are more Americans choosing independent work life, they have less worry about finding new work, marketing their businesses, and sustaining an independent career into the future.

 

Yes, working for yourself takes strong stuff, but if you’ve chosen this path, you’re part of a huge and rapidly growing trend. And, all I can say is, “You want to be here.”

 

Sure, everyone’s got different obligations, and hence, different life options. But, if you know you’re really good at something (maybe writing?) people will pay a good wage for, then you will ALWAYS have more job security in self-employment than you’ll ever have in the salaried kind. One final note… 

 

Don’t rob yourself of this life by believing, “I don’t have the marketing personality, so I’ll never succeed.” As I say in the book (AND believe with every fiber of my being): “Being successful as a freelancer is far more about a PROCESS than a PERSONALITY; it’s far more about a lot of things you have to DO than some way you have to BE.” If you’re going to believe something, believe THAT. On that happy note, let’s eat!  

 

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STUCK FOR A GIFT FOR AN ASPIRING WRITER? Or yourself? The Holiday Buffet, offering “2-in1” gift bundles for you AND your “giftee,” is open until 12/20/12.  Check it out at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/holidaybuffet.shtml.

 

And don’t forget: my popular ebook on building profitable partnerships with designers, (http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml), “Profitable – By Design!” is 25% off until 12/31/12. If you’ve been waiting to save, grab it now! 

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE “COLD-CALL 180”—FROM LOATHER TO LOVER 

Budding FLCW Changes Tune on Cold Calling; Has New Tool in Biz-Building Box!

 

Got this encouraging account of an initial foray into cold calling from Chicago FLCW Mark Underdahl. It’s not about smashing success (yet); it’s about getting beyond one’s aversion to a historically proven prospecting strategy, and discovering you’re capable of it after all. Course, none of this surprises me. When you’re a professional calling other professionals about a professional service YOU’RE offering, it’s a whole different ballgame than your garden-variety…ahem…“telemarketer.”  Thanks, Mark!

 

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I always used to HATE cold calling. It could be the #1 reason why I didn’t continue with the few sales jobs I had in my work history. In fact, when I read your thoughts in TWFW about cold calling, I thought, "Well, that’s a method I can skip."

 

However, your book still went on to encourage it. So then I figured it can’t hurt, and maybe I should try it. Your approach was way different than I had seen before. I wasn’t getting business any other way, not even a lead. I took your basic presentation, tailored it for me, and after a few tries, it felt really natural—something I couldn't seem to master in other situations. In short, I’ve actually ENJOYED the process.

 

Now, I’ve only made fewer than 30 calls, and over half of them graphic designers. I got five leads, all of whom agreed to keep me on their list. I emailed a few of them four samples. That's obviously not translating into jobs just yet, but for me, this is very encouraging. Thanks again for this book. I know I'll refer to it constantly. It's given me even more ideas for services to offer, that I'm pretty confident I can do.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ARE YOU TUNED INTO RADIO OPPORTUNITIES?

MD FLCW (& Radio Host) On How to Maximize Radio as a Business-Builder! 

 

Great piece on getting the most from radio appearances from Baltimore FLCW (and radio host) Wendy Meyeroff. When Wendy first contacted me with this idea, she wrote: “I’m amazed at how many people, especially small-business owners, do NOT take advantage of this opportunity, and if they do, how ill-prepared they are. Guesting on radio is great for finding new business. It's a tool often overlooked, especially now with social media. It can cost little or even nothing.” And Wendy’s looking for guests! 

 

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I started hosting a radio show in August 2011, called “Piggy Bank Promotions” (http://www.piggybankpromotions.com). The show is designed to help small business owners and so-called “solopreneurs” market their businesses as effectively as their much better funded competition, but on tighter budgets.

 

Sitting in the host’s chair at PBP (instead of pitching ideas, which is what I’ve done on the PR side) has shown me what it takes to be a successful radio guest. So here’s a simple 10-point checklist to get you on the air and make your advice worth listening to:

 

1) GO LOOKING FOR THE GIG: Sounds obvious, right? But don’t bet on it. I can’t tell you how many small business owners dismiss the value of radio as an extremely cost-effective way to promote their business.

 

2) FOCUS ON LOCAL MARKETS: Odds are, you’re not ready to go national, so just Google “radio, (your city)” and you’ll find a list to start with. On your first few shows, you may be more nervous, so if you’re with a small local outlet and you goof up, it’s easier to learn there and move ahead, and THEN be ready for a major audience.

 

3) CONTACT THE RIGHT WAY: I love talking to people, but don’t generally have time. Because I typically ask people to reach me by email, you’re not going to make friends by calling me. Reach a talk show host in their preferred manner. 

 

4) PICK A SPECIFIC TOPIC: I get too many generic pitches like, “I can talk about Social Media.” Yeah, so? Which aspect of social media? So you can discuss LinkedIn. OK, fine, but what about it? Starting and moderating a LinkedIn group? 5 specific tips for gaining recognition as a LinkedIn leader? Hosts prefer specific topics.

 

5) PREPARE A BACKGROUNDER: I always send upcoming guests an email reminder of the show’s date and call-in info, and ask for a bio (2-3 sentences) along with several questions they’d like me to ask. If a program doesn’t ask for that, just send an FAQ’s sheet. They may use some, or it might spark some ideas in their mind about what to ask.

 

6) DO NOT BAIL ON THEM! Once you’ve booked a date, keep it. You never know when I’ll get bigger. Piggy Bank has grown by 300% since it launched and besides, I have a CBS colleague. Together, there are options that can bring you 25,000 listeners.

 

7) BE PREPARED: Even if you can prepare questions ahead of time, expect segues, additional questions, perhaps interruptions. Have extra info to give, like stats or examples to embellish your talk, but don’t sound like a commercial. Remember they’ll mention your bio and your contact info.

 

8) IT’S OKAY TO SAY, “I DON’T KNOW”: You can’t be an expert in everything. But if you have ideas where listeners can get the info they’re seeking, that’s great.

 

9) CAN YOU PROVIDE ANY OFFERS? For example, on the PBP website, you’ll find articles you’re welcome to download and keep, plus a short booklet on how to do some of your own PR. Giveaways can be solid handouts (e.g., an ebook) or even a service (like a 30-minute free consultation or review).

 

10) DO THE FOLLOW-UP: If the show’s pre-recorded, ask when it’ll air. Then help promote it through your LinkedIn, website, Twitter and/or Facebook pages (also great for pre-show announcements.) After, send a thank-you to the host and/or press liaison. Always ask if you need to get special permissions to use the recording as a giveaway.

 

The bottom line: as small business owners, we can’t just expect the clients to come to us, no matter how good we are. So don’t ignore this great promotional outlet. Good luck!

 

Wendy Meyeroff is the owner of WM Medical Communications, Inc., in the Baltimore area. She has been providing copywriting, custom content and marketing strategies to national clients since 1987. Her wide range of expertise in health communications includes solopreneurs, hospitals, Health IT, non-profits and Fortune 500. For more information, visit http://www.wmmedcomm.com.  

 

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PB Note: Wendy’s looking for guests of two kinds on PBP—people…

 

1) With knowledge on a specific marketing tool that even the small biz on a tight budget can embrace. For example, “5 tips on using LinkedIn effectively”; “Judging if YouTube is right for you”; “Choosing/using a graphic designer”; “When doing web ‘on the cheap’ hurts more than helps,” etc.

 

2) Who can talk about business/lifestyle resolutions that give you time or free up money for marketing. We had one guest on time management, another on caregiving.

 

Pitch Wendy at wendy@piggybankpromotions.com (put “PBP idea” in subject line).

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips (Two-Fer!)

Bay Area FLCW Lands Gig Only After Her Planetary Chart Passes Muster with Client!

TIP: Ideas for Landing Work Are All About Keeping Your Radar Up!

 

Big thanks to Bay Area FLCW Linda Jay Geldens (http://www.LindaJayGeldens.com) for the following combo kooky success story/tip. Can you top this? I’d be surprised. And her tips on landing new work point to keeping your eyes and ears open and your radar up. There really IS work all around us if we just take the time to notice. Enjoy!

 

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Hi, Peter: I recently got a new client with several big editing projects, some of which will involve quite a bit of writing. What makes this story interesting is the unusual requirement I had to meet in order to secure the gig: the author asked potential editors and writers to email their birth dates (day, month, year), plus the time and the city or town of their birth, if known. 

 

Apparently, the editor she’d worked with last year had a harsh, hurtful style, and was completely out of sync with her “writing psyche.” This year, the author decided to base her choice on her astrological advisor’s review of the competing editors’ astrological facts, to ensure that hers and the editor’s planetary charts were in alignment! 

 

Fortunately for me, everything was copasetic between our charts and I got the job.  We're actually having a lot of fun working together. Still, I bet that only in California would I have to jump through such an out-of-this-world hoop to secure a free-lance job!

 

Here are a few examples of creative approaches I’ve used to find interesting clients:

 

1) I once attended a computer conference in Silicon Valley; the Apple Computer internal newsletter was prominently featured on a table at the back of the room. My well-trained editor’s eye zeroed in on a plethora of errors in the text. I set up an appointment with the editor, and simply said, “You need me!” as I placed my edited pages in front of him.  He hired me on the spot, and I was the Apple Computer internal newsletter’s freelance editor/writer for over a year.

 

2) Occasionally I email companies (in a humorous, tactful way) about mistakes I’ve spotted on their Websites, mentioning the fact that I'm an experienced proofreader. This tactic has led to a few assignments.

 

3) The CEO of a training company was the featured speaker at a professional dinner I attended. Intrigued by her ideas, her humor, and her delivery, I walked up to her after the talk and asked if I could work with her team as a freelance writer and editor. That’s how I became her go-to person in the editorial arena six years ago, and I still am.

 

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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? Ebook Serves Up “How-To” (& for 25% OFF!) 

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. Get all the details (and for 25% off until 12/31/12) at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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I’M DESPERATELY 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 MULTIPLE MENTORING PROGRAMS SERVE YOU?

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

 

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