Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

The companion monthly ezine to the quadruple-award-winning how-to
guide, “The Well-Fed Writer.”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.  

*****************************************
VOLUME 13, ISSUE 2 – FEBRUARY 2014
Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002  
Read it online HERE.

*****************************************
2014 UPDATED EDITION OF “THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER” NOW AVAILABLE!
Check out various book AND ebook (multiple formats!) products/bundles!

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

*****************************************
NEW 1-ON-1 COACHING PROGRAMS: SAMPLE/SITE REVIEW & “SIDECAR”!
Low-cost peace of mind and guidance - Details HERE.
 
*****************************************
Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on "Can You Share Some
Examples of 'Useful" Commercial Writing jargon?"; “Why Commercial Writers
Earn More than Regular ‘Freelance Writers’”; “Here’s What
Long-Term Freelancers Do to Stay Disciplined. You?”; & More!

*****************************************

THIS MONTH’S MENU:

APPETIZER: REFLECTIONS ON 20 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS
Yours Truly Notes Stark Tech Contrast Between Then & Now, Sees Pluses to Both

II. “FIELD” GREENS: HOW TO REALLY CONNECT USING LINKEDIN
Marketing Communications Pro Supplements Invite Reply, Stands Out!

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: “CONTENT MARKETING” – A PRIMER (Part 3 of 3)
CO FLCW Explores Who, What, Why and How of New World of “Content.”

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
Midwest FLCW Shares Exploding Business (On Track to Hit $200K in 2014!)
TIP: CA FLCW Ups Her Quote After Reading Solid Pricing Guide, Client Signs Off!

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS
- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  
- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? Email ME.
- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!
- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin!
- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!
- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

*****************************************
*****************************************

APPETIZER: REFLECTIONS ON 20 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS
Yours Truly Notes Stark Tech Contrast Between Then & Now, Sees Pluses to Both

20 years ago, this past January 23 (if memory serves – which, more and
more these days, it doesn’t…), I picked up the phone and made my first
cold call. Now, I promise I’ll try not to serve up a “when-I-was-your-age-
we-walked-five-miles-each-way-to-school-barefoot-in-the-snow”
speech, but it was a whole different technological world there.

Few websites as yet, to send prospects to. Logging calls/outcomes in a
three-ring binder (there were rudimentary CRM programs, but yes even
then, I was low-tech…). List-building meant photocopying sections
directly from the Yellow Pages (i.e., graphic designers, ad agencies,
PR firms, etc.), and enlarging them for easier note-taking.

Yet, despite the apparently crippling disadvantages conferred by these
primitive tools, I was paying all my bills from copywriting, in under
four months. Now, all that isn’t a segue into, “If I could do it under
those conditions, what excuse do you have not to succeed?” Sure,
there are far more, easier and more sophisticated tools available to
you than I had—tools that can indeed make your business-building easier.

But, believe it or not, there were advantages to building a business
when I did. The main ones being, it was simpler, and you had far fewer
distractions. Prospecting meant calling, sending postcards/letters, or
going to networking events. Period. Now, it’s all that, plus LinkedIn,
FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and, the latest “you-absolutely-NEED-
this-to-succeed” tool as well. All activities with far more vague, unquantified returns.

Plus, all the time-devouring high-tech distractions (YouTube, Google
searches, linked URL’s from all the above, etc.) that make
concentration and focus such a challenge.
Back then it was far easier
to know where to put your time. Now, it’s far murkier. But the basics
worked then, and they still work now, and so much of the rest of it is
just unproductive, time-wasting noise. Heresy? Perhaps. And I’m okay
with that. Let’s eat!

*****************************************
*****************************************

II. “FIELD” GREENS: HOW TO REALLY CONNECT USING LINKEDIN
Marketing Communications Pro Supplements Invite Reply, Stands Out!

Got this great strategy from “a marketing/communications specialist
who works with large financial services companies” and wishes to
remain anonymous. Social media by itself, as this pro sees it, can
only accomplish so much. Check out his simple addition, AND the
results he gets. It’s just not that hard to stand out. Enjoy!

*****************************************
Each time I receive an invitation from a friend or ex-colleague via
LinkedIn, I accept quickly, AND always follow-up with an external
email thanking them for the invitation.

I use this email to just get back in touch, give a short update of
what I’m doing/how business is doing, and then always finish with
“It’d be great to work with you again, so let me know if you hear of
anything.” The response? Nothing short of brilliant.

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is a great tool, but you can’t make
meaningful connections with just one click. You just can’t. Especially
if you always use that old favorite, “I would like to add you to my
professional network.” I mean, seriously, how hard is it to write
something, ANYTHING?

I’ve found this little bit of extra effort produces some amazing
results. I’ve been freelancing commercially full-time since February
2012, and almost everyone I've contacted using this strategy has
responded with, “Wow, that’s great, I’ll keep an eye out for you”; or
“Here’s contact info for our marketing person; definitely give them a
call”; or “We actually have some projects starting now; when are you
free for a coffee?”

I think being just a bit old-fashioned, in a world where people seem
to be more UN-connected than ever, is something that really stands
out, and has helped me turn a number of friends and ex-colleagues into
paying clients. It’s been an absolutely fantastic strategy for my
business and I’ll never stop doing it!

PB: I originally got the above piece in early 2013, so when I decided
to run it, I checked in with him and asked if there was an update
worth sharing. He wrote: “Business has been going well, almost too
well, in that I've had to start turning away projects, which I never
like to do. 2014 looks to be my best year yet!”

*****************************************
*****************************************

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: “CONTENT MARKETING” – A PRIMER (Part 3 of 3)
CO FLCW Explores Who, What, Why and How of New World of “Content.”

I’m delighted to serve up the final part of a great three-parter on content
marketing from Denver-area FLCW Matt Given. The term “content marketing”
is showing up everywhere these days, and in the December, January and
February issues, Matt explains what it is, why it’s important and how
to get your fair share of this lucrative and growing pie of work. Thanks, Matt!

*****************************************
In the previous two primers (December and January) on Content Marketing,
I offered up a solid foundation in the basics of this new discipline. In this
final installment, we look at where to find CM work. Part of the answer shouldn’t
surprise you at all. But, as you’ll see towards the end of this article, there are
specific alliances that can yield loads of work for quality writers.

First, let’s look at the types of companies that can yield CM projects.

Startups: Startups, especially in the B2B-technology space, are great
targets. These companies tend to need “everything.” I have worked with
several recently funded startups where the initial project included
web copy, several emails and landing pages, 2-3 white papers and case
studies, an E-book (or “Definitive Guide”) and the first several
months worth of blog entries.

Groups known as “Angel Investors” specialize in funding startups. I
have developed relationships with several AI groups, who commonly
refer me to recently funded startups. Part of my initial consulting
arrangement is to counsel these companies on CM strategy. If you’ve
worked with startups, you know that funding can be a tricky issue.
Hence, why I like to specifically target recently funded ones.

CM-Savvy Companies: As CM has proved its effectiveness, more and more
companies have gone “all in,” using content as a real
demand-generation weapon. These companies are easy to spot by simply
surfing their site. Do they have a blog? Do they offer content for
download like white papers and case studies? Are they offering
webinars? Can you opt in to their stream of content through a digital
form?

If you see these elements, the company is likely committed to CM. And
if they are, they need an ongoing supply of fresh, quality content, in
its different forms, to feed the CM machine. CM managers are like
hunters, in constant search of good quality content to deploy.

Within an org chart, or on a site like LinkedIn, look for job titles with
these keys words: Content Marketing, Demand Generation, Lead
Generation, Marketing Automation
. These job functions will be tasked
with executing a Content Marketing strategy, and will have budget for

content creation.

Companies In Transition: Many established companies are not doing CM
today, but should be. Sometimes, they’re ready, sometimes not. I don’t
typically spend much time trying to convince someone that CM is a
great way to grow a business. Rather, I want to find those interested
in getting started in CM, but, as yet, haven’t. The trick is to
understand the signs that indicate readiness. Which brings me to…

The BEST way to secure new CM projects: A little background on
marketing technology: In order to effectively deploy a CM strategy, a
company must integrate a layer of marketing technology called a
Marketing Automation Platform.

A MAP works along side a Content Management System (CMS) like
Wordpress. Simply put, an MAP enables a company to execute a
lead-generation strategy of which CM is a significant part.

I like to describe a MAP as the “plumbing” for marketing activity. It
helps a company build landing pages and forms, track specific website
visitors, manage content downloads, and track leads. Many companies
will use consulting firms, known as “integrators” to help install a MAP.

Some of the more popular MAPs:

•    Eloqua
•    Marketo
•    Pardot
•    Sales Fusion
•    Net Results
•    Act On
•    Hubspot

By far, the best prospect for writers seeking CM work is a company
who's recently purchased a MAP.


Those that have are definitively committing to a CM strategy. The
local sales reps for these platforms are my best source for referrals.
The consulting firms that integrate these platforms are also a great
source, as most of them specialize in the technical integration of the
platforms, but not creating the content that inevitably must fuel the
strategy. Google, LinkedIn, and your local Chamber are great sources
to find these referral sources.

There’s plenty of CM work out there if you know where to look. Happy hunting!

*****************************************
*****************************************

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
Midwest FLCW Shares Exploding Business (On Track to Hit $200K in 2014!)
TIP: CA FLCW Ups Her Quote After Reading Solid Pricing Guide, Client Signs Off!

Got the following exceptionally excited email from a FLCW and good
friend in the Midwest. He’s been freelancing for 5 years now, and to
say he’s hitting his stride is quite the understatement.

He’d sent me this just as a friend, not to share with the world, but I
convinced him to let me use it (minus his name) as a wonderful bit of
inspiration for all of us. Yes, this business and opportunity are real. Believe it.
Following that is a cool tip/book recommendation from San Diego FLCW
Louise Julig. Thanks, Louise!

*****************************************

Hey Peter, just had to shoot you a quick email. My freelance business
is just insane right now! I’ve gotten 4 good leads from my website (which
I optimized for the search engines, given my writing specialty) in the
past week, all of which will probably result in business.

I had three prospect calls today (about 1.5 hours total!) and nailed down a
prospect I’ve been talking to since November for a long-term retainer
agreement.

I should come close to hitting $200k this year. That’s INSANE! And
I’ll still work at my pace, take 5-6 weeks of time off, and have a
blast doing it! I really don’t brag like this to anybody, but I know
you like hearing freelance success stories. And I had to brag to
somebody after a day like today!

*****************************************
Figuring what to charge is a challenging aspect of being a FLCW, as
indicated by a previous post on TWFW Blog. While pricing confidence
comes with experience, no two jobs are ever the same, so it can be
difficult to base estimates on past work.

I find I consistently underestimate (and then, underbid) how much time
a “new-to-me” type of work will take. While TWFW provides some pricing
guidance, I discovered a whole book on the subject: “What to Charge:
Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants
,” by Laurie Lewis.
The author lays out a methodical, repeatable process for figuring out
what to quote for any job.

(PB: In April 2013, Laurie did this guest post for the blog on keeping
track of time).

The first time I used the process, I saw my gut instinct of what to
charge was too low. I sent the prospect an estimate based on new
calculations from the book, secure in my reasoning and aware of my
absolute bottom line should they want to negotiate down. Happily, the
client approved the quote, and I was happy I didn’t sell myself short.

*****************************************
*****************************************

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS
- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  
- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? Email ME.
- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!
- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin!
- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!
- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

****************************************
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 HERE.

*****************************************
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 ME.
100-300 words is great.     

*****************************************
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” (200-400 words), TIPS
(100-200) and SUCCESS STORIES (150-300) to ME.
Archived issues HERE.  

*****************************************    
The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’!

*****************************************    
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!

*****************************************
HOW CAN MY MULTIPLE MENTORING PROGRAMS SERVE YOU?
For details and testimonials, visit HERE.

*****************************************