NOTE: I'm sending this out one week later than normal this month to steer clear of the holiday last week. It will be back on schedule (first Tuesday of the month) in August!

 

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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 11, ISSUE 7 – JULY 2012

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/july2012.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 “Are Long-Term, On-Site Gigs (Even in Hawaii!) Worth It?”; “Commercial Writing Clients with Money vs. Ones Without: Like Night and Day…”; and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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“THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER BLOG” IS NOW LIVE!!

Long overdue, but finally up and running. To weigh on the welcome post and subscribe, visit http://www.wellfedsp.com/blog

 

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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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SITE-HACKING UPDATE:

 

As many of you know, several of my sites (and blogs) got hacked recently, resulting in various mischief and mayhem (visitors being locked out, redirected to spam sites, receiving warnings, etc.). It’s been NO fun at all.

 

Thanks MUCH to those who let me know. Your feedback's been invaluable. Problem seems to improving, but we’re still battling here and there. If you've had trouble getting into any of my sites, PLEASE come back! We're definitely open for business...;)

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: YET ANOTHER HI-PROFILE WRITING FIASCO

Yours Truly “Cruises” Through One More Set of Clueless Communications Material

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: IMPORTANT TRUTH - HE WHO CARES LEAST WINS!

FLCW Gets Bad Vibes from Gig, Jacks Up Fee to Run Client Off; Client Says Okay! 

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE ONE-CLIENT/MANY-CLIENTS STRATEGY

Danish FLCW Has One Client with Multiple Divisions, Routinely Earns $150 an Hour!   

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

NJ FLCW Lands 3 New Clients Before She’s Even Finished Reading TWFW!

TIP: Grab a copy of Wendy Weiss’s F.R.E.E. Ebook: “The Cold-Calling Survival Guide”

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE GIGS 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: YET ANOTHER HI-PROFILE WRITING FIASCO

Yours Truly “Cruises” Through One More Set of Clueless Communications Material

 

So, I’ve got a “Cruise Card” on my windshield that allows me to sail through the tollbooth on one of our toll roads. A few days ago in the mail, I get a “Peach Pass” from the state – yet another windshield thingy (which, incidentally, I hadn’t ordered). And in a colorful, well-produced little folder that says, “Welcome, New Peach Pass Customer!”

 

Hmmm. Peach Pass. Seem to remember it being this thing that allows solo travelers to use the HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle) lanes during rush hour, for a fee. It tells me how to set up my account, but is it in addition to my Cruise Card? No clues in the folder. So, I call them, and get all the fodder I need for this month’s Appetizer.

 

The guy tells me that it replaces my Cruise Card. And where does it say that here? Nowhere. How would I know this? Um, not sure, sir. Sorry. OK, now I know. So, if I just go to peachpass dot com like it says, and follow the instructions, I’ll be good to go?  

 

Um, actually, it’s mypeachpass dot com. Then why does it say peachpass dot com? Well, it was a mistake and we told them about it, but they didn’t fix it before it went out. And how would anyone know this? I guess they wouldn’t. Sorry. Oooo-kay. Now I know.

 

So, MYpeachpass dot com, then follow the instructions, right? Well, um, not exactly. You sort of have to ignore those instructions, and instead (sound of rep delivering 100% different instructions than those in the folder). I’m actually starting to enjoy this.

 

After I get these brand-spanking-new instructions, the next step is to enter my account # and PIN. Well, I tell him, I have them right here in my password file. Um, well, sir, it wouldn’t be those. It would be… (sound of rep giving me completely new, unfamiliar, never-seen-before account # and PIN). I’m really enjoying this now.

 

Um, how would I know this? Never mind. So, let me get this straight. You send out this obviously expensive folder with my new Peach Pass, and not only is the most important piece of information missing, but ALL the information you DO provide is wrong. Um, pretty much, sir. Bet you’re getting a lot of calls like these. Yes, sir. Course you are.

 

Extreme example? Perhaps, but nonsense like this happens far more out there than it ever should (yes, this was the gummint, but the business world is far from immune). If they’d hired a good FLCW with the crucial “outsider’s” perspective, I daresay I’d have had to find my creative inspiration elsewhere. I’m telling you (like a broken record): Don’t put these companies on a pedestal. On that head-shaking note, let’s eat!

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: IMPORTANT TRUTH - HE WHO CARES LEAST WINS!

FLCW Gets Bad Vibes from Gig, Jacks Up Fee to Run Client Off; Client Says Okay! 

 

Got this interesting saga from a Northeast FLCW who wants to remain anonymous. It’s a great example of drawing your line in the sand, recognizing your value, and not letting clients use you as a doormat. He wrote initially:

 

Ever bowed out of a project while still in the negotiation phase? How did you do so gracefully, without offending the client and burning bridges? I’ve spent a month trying to work with a big company’s approval process, all for one brochure.

 

What really irked me was they asked me to be available on a certain date, I blocked out the time, turned down another project, and then they weren’t ready! Shows a total disregard for the value of my time.

 

I’m probably going to bail, as they’ve irritated me so much that I’ve accumulated too much contempt for the project at this point. And that’s never a good place to start from.

 

Update: I ended up telling them that due to an increased workload, I needed to increase my fee. I upped it significantly, figuring there was no way they’d agree to that, and then they’d go away and I wouldn’t look like the bad guy. But, they said, “okay.” Ha!

 

So I’m almost done with the project, and yes – there has been a bit of a frustration factor with it. But it was easier to tolerate knowing that I was getting paid substantially more. Just goes to show that saying is true: the person who cares the least holds the power.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE ONE-CLIENT/MANY-CLIENTS STRATEGY

Danish FLCW Has One Client with Multiple Divisions, Routinely Earns $150 an Hour!   

 

Denmark-based FLCW Anne Neilsen (http://language-arts.dk/en/home/) sent this great piece on a risky strategy she’s used since 2006 to stay busy and exceptionally well-fed: one client. But not really one, as you’ll see. No, most of us don’t have her situation, but nonetheless, I found it interesting, filled with good lessons, and a reminder that big companies everywhere have ongoing needs across the spectrum. Enjoy!

 

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This may be a strategy you wouldn’t want to try at home, but it’s worked for me ever since I became a FLCW in 2006.

 

I do not advertise, I do no cold calling or marketing of any kind, and I have one company who’s my only customer. And at the age of 61, my phone is ringing all the time, and I’m making more money than I ever have in my life. Consistently. From Day 1 until today.

 

I am based in Denmark, and my story began when I took a 20-month leave from my job as a newspaper journalist to try out a temporary position at the corporate communications headquarters of a large Danish company with worldwide reach. My job was to write for and help edit the English-language employee magazine.

 

I learned a lot about the company, and vice versa. I did a little freelancing for them on the side after returning to my newspaper job, until one day they offered me a freelance assignment that was so sweet that I quit my job altogether and started my business.

 

To begin with, I was just writing for Headquarters, but big companies have tons of departments, units, and divisions that all need someone who can read and write. When they need someone to do a brochure, a newsletter, coach other writers, create content for their internal website, whom do they call for a name? Corporate Communications. And so it’s CorpComm that does all my advertising for me.

 

I know it’s risky to have just one main customer, but I feel as if I have many. Some departments have used me a lot and then petered out. But then others come along and pick up the slack. I have helped write a corporate history book, written a funny play for a marketing event, coached untrained writers, written tons of articles, and translated portions of the company’s Annual Report.

 

Right now I’m editing articles for a regional company magazine based in Turkey and helping to create a talent-recruiting booklet. My hourly wage is about $150.

 

If I were younger, I might be doing things differently. But right now I’ve got enough saved up so that I don’t really have to worry about losing my one big fish. If that were to happen, I can pretty much just retire and live on savings until my pension kicks in at 65.

 

Thanks for a great book (TWFW), which I recommend regularly to others.

 

PB: Very cool. For this company to hire her so regularly, for so many varied tasks, and at such a high rate, underscores how few resources they have access to (or are aware of!). Don’t assume a big company has a ton of writers in their stable. They may not!

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

NJ FLCW Lands 3 New Clients Before She’s Even Finished Reading TWFW!

TIP: Grab a copy of Wendy Weiss’s F.R.E.E. Ebook: “The Cold-Calling Survival Guide”

 

Got this enthusiastic account of early success from Mount Laurel, NJ FLCW Nikki Bailey (bailey.nikki@gmail.com). Love it when a plan comes together! And after that, a great new (and NO-charge) resource from “The Queen of Cold Calling.” 

 

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I haven’t even finished reading your book and I already have three paying clients! I’m writing photo descriptions and web content for a WWII vet who’s spent years compiling photos from his service aboard a Liberty Merchant Ship. My gig writing a menu of tasty treats for a local caterer required me to taste everything on the menu – poor me! 

 

I have an undergraduate degree in communications and a graduate degree in religion, which helped me write a spirituality-infused marketing article for a local yoga studio. I have a graphic designer friend creating a website and business cards for me in exchange for writing some marketing material for him. This rocks!

 

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If you like the idea of setting appointments with real prospects faster and more consistently, check out a new (and no-charge) ebook from my friend, colleague (and recognized authority on lead generation, cold calling and new business development) Wendy Weiss, a.k.a. The Queen of Cold Calling.” 

 

In her newest ebook, “THE COLD-CALLING SURVIVAL GUIDE,” Wendy shares her secrets to getting face-to-face with highly qualified prospects. In fact, she claims she’ll have you setting appointments within 24 hours of reading it. You’ll learn how to:

 

Š       Identify real prospects fast

Š       Grab your prospect’s attention in the first few seconds

Š       Get more appointments and more sales in today’s tough selling environment

Š       Overcome fear forever

Š       And much, much more!

 

If you’re looking to connect with more good commercial writing clients, this great resource can help get you there. Download it here: 

 

https://wendyweiss.infusionsoft.com/go/911/WFW/

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE GIGS 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 GIGS 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 TIPS AND SUCCESS STORIES!

Got a tip (web site, software, new strategy, etc.) or success story you’re willing to share? I’d love to see it (150-200 words for Tips, 100-300 for success stories). Send 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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