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 7 – JULY 2011 – HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/july2011.html

 

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

Everything you need to know about partnering with designers to dramatically boost your income. Details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! Weigh in on “This Writer’s Clients Give Him a Big Check Every Month (Thanks to a Tough Economy…)”; “Meet Someone Like This and Your Copywriting Business Will Soar…”; Stories Like This Prove Big Companies Don’t Always Have Their Act Together,” 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: HOLIDAY SAMPLER PLATTER

Kudos to Part-Time Heroes; TWFW Bad Link Fix; New Writer/Designer Ebook

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: ITCHING TO DITCH THE 9-5?

GA FLCW: Seven Targets You Must Set to Successfully Transition Out of Your Day Job

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: WHAT’S YOUR LINKEDIN STRATEGY? (Part 1 of 2)

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

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

IA FLCW Makes 1600 Cold Calls, Breaks Through, Says, “Persistence Pays Off!”

TIP: Low-cost Abode Acrobat-like programs + A PC/Mac Guru You’ll Want to Know!

 

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

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

- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

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

- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I. APPETIZER: HOLIDAY SAMPLER PLATTER

Kudos to Part-Time Heroes; TWFW Bad Link Fix; New Writer/Designer Ebook

 

This holiday, no surprise, always has me thinking “independence” – as in, breaking free from the 9-5. I’m coaching this couple: he works a demanding FT job 45 hours a week, they have two small kids, she’s working mainly the copywriting side of the business (and hard), while he’s been making some solid marketing in-roads with new clients. A juggling act extraordinaire. Their desire for a better quality of life and willingness to do what it takes always make me so proud of them and so humbled by their commitment. If you’re in that space, my hat is off to you, AND don’t miss Ed Gandia’s piece coming up next!

 

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BAD “Side Dishes” LINK in TWFW: A long-overdue correction on p. 8 of TWFW, where I provide a link to the “Side Dishes” – the additional web-based content I offer up at no charge. The extension reads “.html” when it should be “.shtml”. I get the rest of them right in the book, but missed that one! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/sidedishes.shtml       

 

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Speaking of independence, 4-5 years into my career, in the late 90’s, I was busy working on the first edition of TWFW, WHILE working my copywriting business full-time. Which left little time to do the ongoing marketing we should all do. But thanks to the golden partnership I’d forged earlier with a graphic designer (with whom I’m still working 12+ years later), virtually every month, like clockwork, she’d call with another job or two, freeing me up to work the book and my copywriting, and not have to market so hard. 

 

That’s the power of these partnerships, which I’ve chronicled in exhaustive detail in my new ebook, “Profitable – by Design!” It was a “game-changer” for my biz and can be for you as well. Details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: ITCHING TO DITCH THE 9-5?

GA FLCW: Seven Targets You Must Set to Successfully Transition Out of Your Day Job

 

Working a FT job but dreaming of building a FLCW’ing biz? I got this short, sweet and powerful checklist from Marietta, GA FLCW Ed Gandia, co-author of “The Wealthy Freelancer” and founder of International Freelancers Academy. Ed knows of what he speaks as he built a PT writing biz while working a FT job, and when he finally made the break to FT freelancing, made $163K in his first full year in the business!

 

How did he pull off such an impressive feat? With meticulous planning, persistence, and phenomenal time management. And he chronicled his whole “process” in a powerful ebook that’s earned rave reviews from countless buyers for several years now. Check it out at http://www.StopWishingandStartEarning.com. Enjoy! 

 

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It’s a classic dilemma. You want to launch a freelance business, but you’re locked into a full-time job. Hey, I know what that’s like!

 

I was there just a few years ago. And I wanted out BAD! So I put a plan in place that revolved around 7 key targets. Twenty-seven months later I said “Bye, bye!” to my boss and have been freelancing full-time ever since.

 

If you’re in a similar situation, here are the 7 targets you need to set and work towards:

 

#1: THE DAY YOU BREAK FREE. Think hard about when you want to be fully self-employed — your “opening day.” Everything else you do flows from this one milestone.

 

#2: FIRST PROJECT. Set the date by which you want to land your first paid project (if you haven’t landed one already). Landing that first paid project is the best thing you can do to boost your morale and self-confidence.

 

#3: INITIAL MONTHLY INCOME. This is the monthly income you want to start consistently earning during your moonlighting period.

 

#4: TRIGGER MONTHLY INCOME. This is the income level which, when you start consistently earning it, will “tell” you that you’re ready to make the leap.

 

#5: NUMBER OF CLIENTS. Decide how many clients you’ll need in order to feel you have a sustainable full-time business. For me, the magic number was 4 to 5.

 

#6: SAVINGS RESERVES: How much you want to have stashed away for slower months (and for peace of mind!). I was my family’s sole breadwinner, and I’m pretty conservative. So my target was 12 months of living expenses.

 

#7: HEALTH INSURANCE. If you live in the U.S., and won’t have access to health insurance through another family member, set a date by which you’ll have a health insurance policy in place. (Hint: start talking with a broker as early as possible!)

 

By thinking through these milestones and keeping them front and center during your transition, you will dramatically increase your chances of success.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: WHAT’S YOUR LINKEDIN STRATEGY? (Part 1 of 2)

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

 

Boise, ID FLCW Cathy Miller (cathy@millercathy.com; http://simplystatedbusiness.com) serves up this great LinkedIn primer. If you’ve said to yourself repeatedly, “I really need to figure out LinkedIn,” this is for you. Part 1 discusses how to get started on LinkedIn, while Part 2 will offer ideas for marketing your commercial writing 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 my freelance writing business in 2008, I had one client – my former employer. Because I like to eat, I realized I would 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.

 

As a commercial writer, you want to go where your target businesses hang out, and LinkedIn offers that. In March 2011, LinkedIn hit 100 million members and claims participation by all of the 2010 Fortune 500 companies.

 

YOUR PROFILE: Imagine you open a door and see a dance going on with all your dream clients. You’re dying for an invitation. Consider your LinkedIn profile as your ticket to that dance. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll ask you to dance, but it will get you in the door. Once that door is open, the rest is up to you.

 

Recently, LinkedIn introduced new features that add tremendous value. Even if you already have a profile, check to see if you are taking full advantage of all it has to offer.

 

HEADLINE – At the top of your profile is your basic info that answers the question, “What do you do?” It is the first thing prospects see when clicking on your profile. You only have 120 characters to make your point, so consider it that crucial first impression.

 

WEBSITES – Under the Headline is a place for entering up to three links (e.g., website, blogs, RSS or portfolio). You can change the default headings to your keywords or some other description. For example, instead of using the default “Blog” heading, I changed one to “Business writing blog” and the other to “Health care blog.”

 

Following the Headline is a “Summary” and “Experience” section where you expand on your business information and prior experience.

 

KEYWORDS – Think keywords when you review your profile. Sprinkle your “Summary” and “Experience” with the keywords for your business. That's how members find you.

 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION – You have an option to make your profile public or private. Making your profile public creates more search engine juice for your business.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS – Have some quality recommendations on your profile. Ask clients or former colleagues who are on LinkedIn. I like to craft unsolicited recommendations for clients I work with. It builds strong relationships, but only if you keep it real.

 

ADD-ON APPLICATIONS - If you haven't checked out LinkedIn in a while, you might have missed the newer applications. Here are just a few examples:

 

Š       BLOG POSTS: updates your profile with a feed from your latest post

Š       POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS: uploads or embeds presentations to your profile

Š       PUBLICATIONS: adds a link to your publications; I received two new clients this year because they linked to one of my publications.

 

If you're a newbie without a huge portfolio, adding blog posts and your best copywriting samples draws attention to your work. Experienced freelance writers benefit by reaching untapped prospects in your niche market.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 next month, where we’ll use LinkedIn to market our businesses!

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

IA FLCW Makes 1600 Cold Calls, Breaks Through, Says, “Persistence Pays Off!”

TIP: Low-cost Acrobat-like programs + A PC/Mac Guru You’ll Want to Know!

 

Got this way-cool success story from Oskaloosa, Iowa FLCW (who says you have to be in a major metro to succeed?) Andrea Price (Andrea@compasswriting.com; http://www.compasswriting.com). Andrea, a grad of my Well-Fed Group Coaching program, hit the phones hard, and didn’t stop until they started ringing back! Enjoy. 

 

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First I made 100 calls. Then I celebrated my 500th cold call. I passed 1000 calls without many results and began to wonder if this was going to work. I made so many cold calls I got tendonitis in my dialing thumb. But I kept calling.

 

Along the way, I rated each contact based on their level of interest in my work. I checked in regularly with my highest-rated contacts via email, follow-up phone calls, and postcards. And I continued cold calling, sometimes for six hours a day.

 

Shortly after making my 1600th cold call, I sent a direct mailing to my best prospects. Within one week of sending out my mailing, I had over $10,000 worth of estimates out. The projects have been steady ever since. Now my phone is the one ringing.

 

Just recently I landed a gig writing taglines for Scotch tape (THE Scotch tape). I’m so excited, and I don’t think I could have done it without all the knowledge I gained from The Well-Fed Writer and Well-Fed Group Coaching. Cold calling really does work. Next time, I’m getting an auto-dialer!

 

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TIP: Low-cost Acrobat-like programs + A PC/Mac Guru You’ll Want to Know!   

 

As I was putting the finishing touches on the new “Profitable – By Design!” ebook, I ran into some PDF issues with the document. I turned to my trusty computer guru, Atlanta-based PC/Mac pro Wheat Williams (http://www.wheatwilliams.com). I’ve been working with Wheat for four-plus years now (he originally handled my PC-to-Mac-transition).

 

If your PC/Mac crashes, or is giving you fits in any way, you need Wheat in your corner. Exceptionally knowledgeable and thorough, and he always gives great value for his time. AND he can work with you wherever you are by linking remotely (with your permission) to your PC or Mac. You’ll thank me for this (and see Wheat’s great offer below!).        

 

Below is some info I asked him to share on the tool he used to help fix my PDF. It IS only for Mac, but see my note after his comment about a fab tool for PC’s.

 

Wheat: To correct Peter’s PDF issues, I pulled out Smile Software's PDFPen (Mac only), a $60 utility (http://smilesoftware.com/PDFpen/) that does many of the functions as the Adobe Acrobat Pro ($450). You can make spot corrections to typos, add or change hyperlinks, correct and straighten scanned PDFs, re-order pages, split and merge multi-page files (create books with new page numbering or changed chapter order) crop pages, delete paragraphs, redact, add a scanned signature, copy and paste content out of PDFs into other programs, and much more.

 

PB: If you’re on a PC, and have considered Adobe Acrobat (for $300+), check out http://www.nitropdf.com/, which offers virtually the same functionality for $100.

 

Also, Wheat’s made EPUB readers a great offer: If you contact him, mention me, buy one hour of his time (which can be used over time), and you’ll get a second hour free!

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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’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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