Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

Serving upfood for thought and tasty tips for the prospering FLCW*. Come on in, sitanywhere and bring your appetite!

 

*FLCW,peppered throughout the ezine, stands for "Freelance CommercialWriter" – the designation for anyone who freelances for businesses(as opposed to writing magazine articles, short stories, poetry, etc.), andtypically earns $50-125+ an hour. 

 

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VOLUME 9,ISSUE 6 – JUNE 2010 (Issue #98: August will be 100!)

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/june2010.html

 

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"THEWELL-FED WRITER" (2010 EDITION) HAS WON FOUR AWARDS!

Check outthe Awards Gallery at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/wellfedawards.shtml

To Order(FR.EE Bonus/U.S. Shipping): http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml.

 

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AUGUSTGROUP COACHING NOW ENROLLING (w/NEW ENHANCEMENTS!)

Details andtestimonials at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.       

 

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STAYINGBUSY IN A TOUGH ECONOMY? I WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORIES!

I’ll becollecting success stories – from 50 to 500 words – for a specialsection of the ezine. Send them to peter@wellfedwriter.com.

 

AND, I NEEDALL USUAL COURSES. I'm low in ALL departments and would love to get yourstrategies, tips and features. See "Coffee" for more details and wordcounts. 

 

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ONE SALESLETTER, 77 RECIPIENTS, $80K IN NEW COPYWRITING BUSINESS??

All thedetails: http://savagemarketing.com/64000/cmd.php?af=761186

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: MOST CLIENTS ARE NICE! (WHO KNEW?)

GroupCoaching Participant Corrects His Own Irrational Perceptions of “Ogre”Clients 

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: “DRIVE-BY PROSPECTING” LAUNCHES BUSINESS!

IL FLCWCanvasses Area, Cold-Calls, Builds Biz, & Takes Clients With Her to FL!

 

III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: GOODBYEJOB, HELLO EX-EMPLOYER!

FLCWAdvises: Tap Your Own Employer to Help Prime to Pump to Self-Employment

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New ColdCaller Has Prospects Thank Her for Calling (and for Following Up)!

TIP: NCFLCW Shares F.r.e.e. Simple Accounting Software by QuickBooks!

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- GROUPCOACHING! August Series Now Filling & Offers New Enhancements!

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I.APPETIZER: MOST CLIENTS ARE NICE! (WHO KNEW?)

Group CoachingParticipant Corrects His Own Irrational Perceptions of “Ogre” Clients 

 

When you’restarting out as a commercial freelancer with no experience in the field, it’snatural to get a bit intimidated by this high-stakes writing field. Byextension, it’s easy to imagine snarky, demanding clients who routinely chew upand spit out newbie copywriters, leaving them bruised, battered and neartears. 

 

AND, you’dbe wrong. Fact is, most clients are pretty nice people. Sure, there are somepills out there, but in my experience, they’re the exception, not the rule.Course, it helps to be really good at what you do, exceptionally well prepared,and flexible.

 

In my lastcoaching series, one of the attendees, Green Bay (area), WI FLCW Roy Rasmussen(http://www.publishingforpublicity.com),as part of his feedback on the series, sent me a funny piece about this verysubject. He wrote:

 

“I got alot out of the calls, probably most importantly, a big confidence boost.Particularly helpful was your suggestion to think about big-name clients asregular people rather than putting them on a pedestal. When you said that itdrew my attention to something I’ve been doing subconsciously. 

 

“When Ithink of ‘big-name clients,’ I mentally picture some far-off skyscraper on WallStreet with a crowded, tense meeting room high on the 100th floor presided overby a Donald Trump-style executive ready to fire me at the slightest excuse.

 

“What’sironic about this is that I used to write in a bank headquarters and was on afirst-name basis with many of the executives, and I experienced no intimidationin that actual environment, in contrast with the imaginary mental picture I'vesubconsciously built up. So realizing that helped me put things in perspectiveand gave me a confidence boost.”

 

PB: Thefolks you’ll work for in our field are no different than the business peopleyou’ve no doubt crossed paths with in past/present jobs. Remember that. Mightjust give you one less thing to angst about. On that happy note, let’s eat!

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: “DRIVE-BY PROSPECTING” LAUNCHES BUSINESS!

IL FLCWCanvasses Area, Cold-Calls, Builds Biz, & Takes Clients With Her toFL!    

 

Got thisgreat piece from Tampa (by way of Chicago) FLCW Eileen Randle (eileen@EileenRandle.com), about an unorthodox prospecting approach thatdelivered the goods and helped build a business (and for the record, not sayingI’d recommend it or NOT recommend it!). And her clients loved her so much thatwhen she moved from IL to FL, they happily continued to work with her! Enjoy.

 

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Peter: Istarted freelancing in 4/08 and seriously wondered if I could make a living atit. When I read The Well-Fed Writer six months later, I realized my focusneeded to be on writing (my core expertise) and I – AND my clients– have never been happier.

 

So, Istarted by driving through the big corporate parks near my home. I wrote downcompany names and addresses as I passed them (real high-tech, eh?), thenresearched them online. With the larger companies, frequently the only actualname I could find online was the PR contact, so I started with them. Heck, ifthey weren’t looking for a FLCW, then maybe they could put me in touch withanother department that was. HR? Training? Marketing? Communications? That wasmy pitch and it worked well.

 

In earlyJanuary 2009, I made about 60 calls. One ended in a well-honed voicemail leftfor the Media Relations contact I pulled from a company press release. Shecalled back saying that although she did use freelancers, she didn’t have aneed currently. Turns out she was the VP of Communications. You never know whoyou’re talking to!

 

Afollow-up chat in March and another in May led me to a nice $1000 per week inregular work for the next six months. All the follow-ups helped me begin arelationship that, when it officially started, we both knew was going to work.

 

Myhusband’s job is relocating us from Chicago to Tampa, and although many of myclients are happy to continue our relationship long-distance, I have theconfidence my business will thrive in Florida – thanks to cold-calling!

 

Update:Two weeks into my life in beautiful Florida, and haven’t begun my localcold calling because I’m staying busy with work from all my Chicago clients!I’m proud those relationships are strong enough to continue longdistance even though some initially contacted me BECAUSE I was local.Looking forward to growing my business here!

 

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III.MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: GOODBYEJOB, HELLO EX-EMPLOYER!

FLCWAdvises: Tap Your Own Employer to Help Prime to Pump to Self-Employment 

 

Got thisgreat success story from a West Coast writer who prefers to remainanonymous.  She claims her successwas good luck, but I disagree. Sure, she had some things going for her, but shestepped up in a big way. And no one makes a six-figure income on “sheer goodluck.” Just being modest, we have to assume! Enjoy.

 

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I suspectnot everyone scratches and claws their way to prosperity. I have huge respectfor those who do. I, on the other hand, made $78 shy of six figures in 2009through sheer good luck. (PB: Not sure I agree, but humility IS a goodcharacter trait).   

 

When Iresigned after 12 years from a health care organization in 2002, green in thegills from over-exposure to corporate life, I had inhaled TWFW and gave myselftwo months off before launching a freelance business. I was on fire. I wasready. Then, my best-laid plans went awry: my husband was laid off. I found asurvival job as a communications manager with municipal government, whichnearly killed me. Escaped after 18 months to become communications manager fora health and safety company, where I lasted two years before finally burstingonto the freelance scene in 2006.

 

Here’s theclincher: all I had lined up when I quit was a project management gig for aconsultant I’d met while in municipal. It would barely pay expenses, and wasill suited to my personality. Nevertheless, I wanted out of the corporate worldso badly that I left my employer with no expectations of writing for them on afreelance basis.

 

Surprise:the minute I tendered my resignation, they came to me. In response, I wrote upa PowerPoint proposing a retainer to do recurring projects like e-newsletters,annual reports, articles for their print publication, etc. But, other factorsplayed to my advantage. The new manager who was replacing me, forexample—the person I now work with most closely—has strengths andtalents in other areas AND continues to be hugely appreciative of having mywriting skills on tap. How lucky am I?

 

Also, afterresigning, I had the good fortune to have my previous municipal employer callme to help THEM out. Then the retired president from the health care employerbefore THAT served as a glowing reference for a competitor, so I picked up evenmore work.

 

Lookingback, my success so depended on being forced back into the work world for twomore terms. My last two employers became two important clients.

 

So my storyis a combination of luck, a good reputation with past employers, word of mouth,and more good luck. I’ve never really had to market my services. God help me ifmy world crashes and burns, as I won’t know how. I will say this, though:writers who are thinking about leaving an employer to go freelance have to bebasing that on something: i.e. confidence in writing skills that are in turnvalued by an employer. My message to them: you’re just around the corner froman enormous opportunity. Milk it.

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

New ColdCaller Has Prospects Thank Her for Calling (or for Following Up)!

TIP: NCFLCW Shares F.r.e.e. Simple Accounting Software by QuickBooks!

 

Got thefollowing testimonial for cold calling (and direct mail phone follow-up) fromanother FLCW who prefers to remain anonymous. I love how this person had theirwhole perception of cold calling completely rewired based on the responsereceived.

And Iwholeheartedly second the advice on follow-up – it’s crucial. Enjoy! 

 

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So, I didmy first cold calls this week. Turns out it’s not the dreaded nightmare I’denvisioned. I’ve actually had prospects THANK me for calling. Go figure. Andone person said that not only does she have future projects for me, she knowshalf a dozen other people who probably do, too! There’s a secret to coldcalling: I sort of have to psyche myself up to do it, but then once I getstarted it’s almost hard to stop. It’s like you get on a roll and keep sayingto yourself, one more call, one more call.

 

And here’sanother interesting thing I found: it makes absolutely no sense to send outmailings if you don’t follow them up with a phone call. Before, I was sendingout mailings to prospective clients with no follow up, and getting a slightlybetter-than-zero response rate. Now, if I send a mailing to someone, I callthem in a week to see if they received it. It’s amazing how often they say, “Ihave your letter right here and was planning to email you.” Despite their goodintentions, that probably never would have happened, but my follow-up callstarted the conversation.

 

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Got thisgreat tip (about F.R.E.E. stuff!) from Forest City, NC FLCW Chris Fuller (chris.fuller@performancewriting.com, www.performancewriting.com). Enjoy!

 

Possiblythe only thing writers hate more than cold-calling is dealing with finance,taxes, and the record-keeping that goes along with them. I’m a one-personbusiness, and I’m always on the lookout for free or low-cost tools to help memanage my business. In case anyone else is in the same boat, I can recommendIntuit’s QuickBooks Simple Start. It’s a no-charge way to use their service,with the option to upgrade to a paid version later.

 

SimpleStart is a beginner’s version of their well-known accounting software. Eventhough it’s scaled down, it offers lots of features, such as invoicing, cashmanagement, customer and vendor management, and plenty of reports. Download af.r.e.e. version at http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/free-accounting-software.jsp. If you outgrow it, you canpurchase a full-featured version and import the Simple Start data you’veaccumulated.

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- GROUPCOACHING! August Series Now Filling & Offers New Enhancements!

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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AUGUSTGROUP COACHING (WITH NEW ENHANCEMENTS) NOW FILLING!

In thestart-up stage of your commercial freelancing business? Looking for guidance,confidence and camaraderie? Check out Group Coaching August series nowenrolling! For all the details, new enhancements, and a pile of glowingtestimonials from past participants, visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.

 

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I'MSERIOUSLY LOW ON ALL WELL-FED E-PUB COURSES!

Got a greatstrategy, approach or specific expertise you're willing to share? Turn it intoa Feature (MAIN COURSE) for the EPUB (400-500 words; query first). ALSO, sendyour "GREENS" (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES(200-300) to peter@wellfedwriter.com.Archived issues at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml. 

 

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TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog 

 

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MISSED MYTELECLASS? "Thriving as a Freelance Commercial Writer"

 38-PAGE e-Transcript! $12: www.wellfedwriter.com/jan07tstranscript.shtml.

 

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AWAICOPYWRITING (& OTHER) COURSES: Register Here, Get Your Choice of Bonus CDProgram! Six-Figure Copywriting, Graphic Design, Internet Writing, Fundraising,Health Market and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/awai.shtml.

 

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HOW CAN MYMENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

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

 

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