I'm sending out the E-PUB on the first Thursday this month to steer clear of the holiday and the “back-to-work” Wednesday. Next month I’ll resume the first-Tuesday schedule.

 

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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 1 – JANUARY 2013 – HAPPY “WELL-FED” NEW YEAR!   

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/jan2013.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 “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 SERIOUSLY NEED GREENS, TIPS & 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: IS “THE FORCE” WITH YOU WHEN PROSPECTING?

The (No-Brainer) Secret to Not Sweating Over Each Promising Prospect! 

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: TRY MARKETING, NOT SALES: LET CLIENTS CHASE YOU!

MA FLCW’s Low-Key Presence in Industry Discussions Yields Steady Work!

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: READY FOR “FACE-TO-FACE COLD CALLING”?

OH FLCW Serves Up the “How-To” on Intensive Tradeshow Prospecting!

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

“Main Course” FLCW Shares Her Story of Meeting Adversity Head-On—and Winning!

TIP: Toronto FLCW Shares Lead on FR.EE (& Feature-Rich) CRM Program!

 

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: IS “THE FORCE” WITH YOU WHEN PROSPECTING?

The (No-Brainer) Secret to Not Sweating Over Each Promising Prospect! 

 

Recently, as I noted in an earlier Appetizer, I did a bunch of cold calling after hitting a slow patch in my copywriting business. Within a short time, not surprisingly, I was starting to get leads again (in my experience, once you’ve built a solid business, you never have to do as big a marketing push as your initial one; if lean times come, one good round of prospecting has always been enough to get things going again).

 

Suddenly I was fielding a ton of inquiries. One prospect for my book titling/back-cover copywriting service emailed to get a quote. I replied back with some numbers, but didn’t hear back (I figured he might not have visited my site (www.titletailor.com), where I do post prices, and was now a bit wigged out by the quote). I emailed him one more time to make sure he got my first one, and again, didn’t hear back. No big deal.

 

Then, a similar scenario popped up. Got a referral from one of my graphic designers to a woman needing web copy and names/product descriptions for 20-25 products (there it is again: the power of alliances with designers; see link above to my ebook on the subject). I gave her a quote, taking special care not to lowball her just because things were a little slow. Gotta have faith in not only your abilities, but the Law of Averages.

 

She replied back, telling me it was more than she’d counted on, and that she was going to check out a few other writers. I encouraged her do so, adding that she should ask any writer she was considering whether they had, not just “writing” experience, but “marketing writing” experience (which she definitely needed). BIG difference.

 

Then, I let it go, just like I’d let go of the first one. The key? I had so much brewing, I didn’t care about the outcome of any given lead. That’s where you want to be. If you’re fixating on one prospect, you don’t have enough going on. When your “prospect pipeline” is full, your lack of concern will translate to the right relaxed vibe to attract work.  

 

Guess what? About 10 days after sending the first guy email #2, I get a package from him with all the requested materials AND a cashier’s check for the full amount. A week or so after that, I get an email from Prospect #2 (about a month after last hearing from her), saying she was going ahead with me. Her 50% deposit check arrived five days later. It all works out. Just stay busy, and have faith in YOU and the process. Let’s eat!              

 

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PB NOTE: As noted above, I am in DIRE NEED of three E-PUB courses: GREENS (200-400 words; longer success stories, successful strategies that can be explained in fewer words, etc.); TIPS (100-200 words; a particularly useful site or blog (and why), service, tool, resource, ergonomic tip, etc.); and SUCCESS STORIES (150-300 words; good stories of how something went really well with a client, a prospecting campaign, an unusual/serendipitous way you landed work, etc.

 

You do NOT have to be a veteran to contribute; many great stories come from those starting out. NO KIDDING, if I don’t get some more stuff in the hopper, I won’t have enough to put together many more issues. NO exaggeration. If you like what I’ve been doing here since May 2002, help me continue it while you help out your fellow FLCW’s. Send submissions and ideas to peter@wellfedwriter.com, and check out the archived issues at http://wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml to make sure yours is a fit.  Thanks!    

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: TRY MARKETING, NOT SALES: LET CLIENTS CHASE YOU!

MA FLCW’s Low-Key Presence in Industry Discussions Yields Steady Work!

 

Got this cool idea/success story from Hadley, MA FLCW, fellow author, and all-round good guy, Shel Horowitz (shel@principledprofit.com). Shel’s carved out two lucrative niches serving authors/publishers and the “green” market. This piece showcases a key way he lands business. It’s adapted from his award-winning eighth book, "Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green" (http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com). Shel’s also the author of “Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers”  (http://www.grassrootsmarketingforauthors.com). 

 

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I'm a big believer in setting up marketing systems so that clients contact me, and I don't have to come across as pushy—just helpful and available. It's so much easier to do business when the client thinks it's his/her own idea. I close a LOT of business by letting clients control the sales cycle. Here’s one way I do it…

 

My largest source of new clients over the years has been a certain email discussion list of small-press publishers. I’ve made it a practice to ask people who’ve used and been delighted by my services to mention their satisfaction to the list (some of them do so with no prompting from me). Over several years, list members have heard dozens of people exclaim about my skills in writing promotional materials, even on tight deadlines.

 

Some of these publishers may go months or years between new titles, but when they have a new book coming out, they need to find someone to write their publicity. I post frequently and helpfully to this group, and many of my posts subtly demonstrate (often by using examples from client work I’ve done) the advantages of having press releases professionally written—something that’s particularly true in the book industry, where it’s very hard to get press coverage through “ordinary” press releases.

 

At the end of my post is my signature, an electronic business card that mentions my writing services, along with contact information and the slogan, “I make the world INSIST on learning why YOU’RE special.” (To keep it fresh, I do change the signature every once in a while, or use one of the many alternate versions I’ve developed.)

 

This list brings me thousands of dollars a year with zero monetary investment. It often starts with a very small job, perhaps a single press release—but as clients realize that my approach really helps them market more successfully, they come back for many other projects. Some of the people on this list have done many thousands of dollars’ worth of business with me, and again, my marketing cost for these clients was zero.

 

One client was skeptical about whether my approach was actually better than what he’d been doing on his own. So he ran a test, sending out a press release I’d written to one group of journalists, and one of his own press releases to another. He reported back to the entire list that my release had pulled six times as many responses as his own effort. He has since come back to me for many, many projects, and I'm sure the glowing reports he gave helped other clients decide to contact me.

 

No, most commercial freelancers don’t write for publishers, but try mapping this strategy onto your niche areas of expertise. Do your clients have industry forums they contribute to regularly? If so, find out what they are, and weigh in in a similarly low-key, helpful, promo-free way. You might just be surprised at where it can go!

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: READY FOR “FACE-TO-FACE COLD CALLING”?

OH FLCW Serves Up the “How-To” on Intensive Tradeshow Prospecting!

 

Great piece on how to successfully work trade shows (in lieu of cold calling) from Cincinnati-area FLCW Tammy York (www.landsharkcommunications.com; Tammy is also the force behind bonbonmommy.com, her blog that helps moms understand how to manage a freelance writing business with kids at home). Love the how-to detail she offers. Heck, makes me want to do a little research, jump a plane, and see what I can stir up. Not for everyone, but clearly a viable strategy. Enjoy!

 

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I’m not a fan of cold calling. Really, who is? I do, however, live in a metro area and can get cheap flights to most anywhere there are tradeshows. Recently, I went to Atlanta and Orlando. Not for fun. For some “face-to-face cold calling.” I found the tradeshows by picking a few non-sexy niches (i.e., trash removal, steel manufacturing, recycling, etc.), looking up the associations, and the tradeshows they have.

 

Tradeshows often sell expo-only passes for a fraction of the cost of attending the show with all the perks. The expo-only pass will get you on the expo floor with all the vendors—vendors who paid money to display, which means they have money to spend on marketing. The more expensive the tradeshow booth, the greater the likelihood the president, vice president, or marketing director will be at the booth.

 

Typically, you’re not allowed to sell while on the floor and doing so could get kicked out. But, you’re not there to sell; you’re there to connect. Be nice, quick, and gone.

 

To prepare, I print up about 1,000 business cards and 500 follow-up postcards. I pack four outfits that don’t wrinkle, and a comfortable pair of shoes. I get to the expo early, and am one of the first in the door when it opens. I pick one side of the room and begin going up and down the aisles. I never interrupt a conversation, just mark the booth number and stop back by when I’m near that area again.

 

I make between 300 and 800 contacts per show. I gauge their level of interest (hot, warm, ice princess), determine if they’re the decision makers, ask them questions about what they’re doing and what they would like to be doing marketing-wise. I ask them if I could have their business card so I can send them some samples of projects that might help them out. I trade business cards with them. I make notes in my notebook and continue on. The whole conversation takes less than 2 minutes.

 

For lunch, I pack a Kashi breakfast bar, apple, and a refillable Nalgene water bottle. I do this for two reasons: tradeshow food is disgusting and I want to maximize the time I’m on the floor. On breaks, I always sit alone at a table and then offer the free seat to someone needing one. I have met presidents of multi-million dollar companies and they have graciously introduced me to their PR person as someone they would like their company to work with. Talk about a great referral!

 

At night, I treat myself to a nice dinner before heading back to my hotel room, entering the data from the cards and filling out the address portion on the postcards I stamped before leaving for the show. At the end of the conference, I drop the postcards in the mail before getting on the plane. The next touch point is a follow-up call and then a follow-up mail. Then I put them into my standard call/email rotation.

 

This last conference was a week long and cost me about $1,200 (expo-only passes, clothing, shoes, new briefcase, printing, airfare, hotel, tips, shuttles, and food.) I will be closing a few deals before the end of the year that will more than cover the costs of going to the conference. In fact, I’ll have enough to pay for our family’s Disney vacation.

 

Plus, now I have an extensive email-marketing list to work. I’m also working through requested follow-up calls. Sure, they may not buy from me right now but this is a six-to-nine-month pipeline that will generate income for me in 2013, and a significant portion of my income for 2014. Yes, I plan that far in advance. You should, too!

 

PB Note: Don’t miss Tammy’s short, sweet and inspiring account (in the Dessert section) of building her business through sheer hard work and determination!

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

“Main Course” FLCW Shares Her Story of Meeting Adversity Head-On—and Winning!

TIP: Toronto FLCW Shares Lead on FR.EE (& Feature-Rich) CRM Program!

 

Below, Tammy York (who provided this issue’s great “Main Course” on tradeshows) shares her uplifting account of hunkering down to make her business a reality. After that, a great lead to a CRM program (customer relationship management; to keep track of all your contacts), from a FLCW who wishes to remain anonymous.

 

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Peter: Your book gave me an understanding of freelancing, along with the courage to quit my fulltime job so I could stay home and raise my children. I saved up six months of income working freelance jobs and walked away from my job. It was the best day EVER!

 

Then all three of my hefty clients folded or were bought, the AC unit fried, the dishwasher died, and the washing machine became a sieve. I dug my heels in, powered through, and now seven years later, I am a well-respected and well-paid writer and author. I would have never gotten this far without hard work, late nights, and enough caffeine to kill a horse.

 

PB: How badly do you want it? As badly as Tammy apparently did?

 

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Peter: I recently found a great CRM program from Zoho (http://www.zoho.com). 

And they’ve got a free version that’s very robust. It offers a suite of tools including invoicing that I'm sure other budget-minded FLCW’s might appreciate.

 

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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” (200-400 words), TIPS (100-200) and SUCCESS STORIES (150-300) 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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