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 3 – MARCH 2013

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/mar2013.html

 

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“COLD CALLING FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE (EVEN THE IDEA OF) COLD CALLING”

Grab the 38-page transcript of my info-packed teleclass with Wendy Weiss

(“The Queen of Cold-Calling”). Just $10! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/coldcallingteleseminar.shtml 

 

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IS “THE ‘WELL-FED WRITING’ RAMBLE” HEADED YOUR WAY THIS SUMMER?

I'm hitting the road in July, and seeking 12-15 groups to host me for

talks/workshops! More in “Coffee, Mints…” and at

http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ramble.shtml.     

 

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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 “Commercial Writing

Has Many Faces (as These Unusual Projects Prove…)”; “Trying to Make

the Transition from Employee to Full-Time Commercial Writer?” & more!

http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: WHEN NORMAL COPYWRITING RULES MAY NOT APPLY…

What Works for Some Clients May Fly in the Face of Conventional Wisdom

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: WHAT TO DO WHEN CLIENTS MOVE ON

NC FLCW’s Firsthand Advice on Preserving Ties to Old Clients (& Building New Ones)!

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: SOCIAL-SAVVY AND NEED WORK QUICKLY?

Chicago FLCW Offers Four Social-Media Strategies To Find Work Now!

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Rochester, NY Freelancer Posts to Professional Directory; Lands $50K in Work!

TIP: Toronto FLCW Observes “Wave of Future” That Could Spell Copywriting Gigs! 

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- IS “THE WELL-FED WRITING RAMBLE” HEADED YOUR WAY THIS SUMMER?

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

- 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: WHEN NORMAL COPYWRITING RULES MAY NOT APPLY…

What Works for Some Clients May Fly in the Face of Conventional Wisdom

 

Had an interesting exchange with a client recently. He was a medical

practitioner in the Midwest, who’d found my site through an organic

Google search (I’ve done very little SEO on my site, but what I have

done occasionally bears fruit, as it did here, on a brochure-mailer to

the tune of ~$1400).

 

He wanted to redo a mailer he’d been using to draw patient traffic to

his office. It’d worked well, but he wanted something newer and

fresher. One look at the existing piece, and I thought, smiling to

myself, “This’ll be SO easy to improve.” Way too much copy, poorly

written, typos, bad grammar, the works.

 

I got to work, slashing and burning, restructuring, cleaning it up,

adding a few patient stories. At one point, I told him I wanted to

trim it even more. He was a really nice guy, very open to suggestions

all along the way, but here, he replied (and I had to laugh):

 

“I understand why you want to cut the copy way down, but I’d actually

rather have more. The existing mailer, which is over-packed with

copy/info, is an amazingly successful piece (i.e., it’s generated lots

of QUALITY new patient appointments).

 

“Patients literally come in with it clutched in their hands. I kid you not,

some even highlight text in the piece that they want to discuss with me.

I know it may seem crazy but I swear it’s very powerful. In my experience,

in marketing my field, more copy is better.” 

   

Well. What do you know? We have our rules and formulas for our

field—what works and doesn’t, how to do/not do this, that and the

other. But, from time to time, weird anomalies like this pop up that

we need to listen to and respect.

 

Sure, typos, missing words, bad grammar and syntax are never

acceptable, but a client who’s been marketing successfully to a

particular audience for many years, has valuable information to share

about what works with that group, and we need to factor it in. I might

run this story in the blog to get your similar stories! Let’s eat…

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: WHAT TO DO WHEN CLIENTS MOVE ON

NC FLCW’s Firsthand Advice on Preserving Ties to Old Clients (& Building New Ones)!

 

Great piece on keeping track of clients who change jobs, from Forest

City, NC FLCW Chris Fuller (chris.fuller@performancewriting.com,

http://www.performancewriting.com). If you’ve cultivated a good

relationship with a client, and they valued your services before, they

no doubt will again (as will their replacement!) Enjoy.

 

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Last summer, I delivered an assignment to a contact at my biggest

client. She emailed back and essentially said, “Thanks for the work,

and oh, by the way, I’m leaving at the end of this week.” She offered

no other details, and knowing how things work with this particular

client, asking via her company email wasn’t appropriate.

 

I responded by thanking her for all the work she’d sent my way, adding

that I enjoyed working with her and if the opportunity arose at the

next stop along her career path, I would welcome the chance to do so

again. We exchanged another brief message or two and that was that.

 

Fast-forward to early November. I noticed on LinkedIn that my contact

had a new position, and that she’d just viewed my profile. Before I

know it, she’d asked about my availability for a project. I completed

the project and got rave reviews from her team.

 

Right away, I get four more assignments similar to the first one, along

with some initial discussion of setting up a retainer agreement after the

first of the year. I also get introductions and conversation with some other

members of the team. Takeaways:

 

1) People move around. Develop appropriate one-to-one business

relationships with your contacts, building a high enough level of

comfort so they’ll let you know when they’re making a move. Calling a

contact’s office and being told they no longer work there is a one-two

punch to the gut.

 

2) Connect via social media with your contacts. LinkedIn is a great

way to build client and service provider relationships, but others may

work just as well for you. If you see your contact has landed a new

gig, a quick note of congratulations can go a long way.

 

3) Resist the temptation to press for details about their departure.

If they’re comfortable telling you, they will. Do inquire about whom

to contact for future assignments, particularly if the person

departing is your only contact. Which leads to . . .

 

4) Develop multiple contacts with your client. If your only contact

leaves unexpectedly, is laid off, or is shown the door, you don’t want

to be left scrambling. When someone leaves, don’t start a discussion

about their departure. If it’s relevant, you’ll hear about it.

 

In today’s extremely fluid business world, building and maintaining

good working relationships with contacts can lead to new opportunities

for you when they wind up in a new place. You can ease the uncertainty

and anxiety of their new position by being a familiar and reliable

resource they can call on when help is needed.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: SOCIAL-SAVVY AND NEED WORK QUICKLY?

Chicago FLCW Offers Four Social-Media Strategies To Find Work Now!

 

Matthew Brennan (http://www.matthewlbrennan.com), a Chicago based FLCW

offering corporate writing services to businesses and organizations,

serves up this great primer on ways to quickly ferret out commercial

writing prospects and gigs through social media. Some great ideas

here, even for the novice social-media practitioner.   

 

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A lot’s been written about the long-term importance of developing a

strong social media following. And while the long-term benefits of

social media may not pay your bills next month, when you need work

quickly, there are still a few ways to go prospect hunting via the

social networks without alienating those you contact.

 

Here are four short-term strategies for finding work via Twitter and

LinkedIn:

 

1) TWITTER DIRECTORIES: Someone once told me that Facebook is for

talking with the people you know, and Twitter is where you locate the

people you SHOULD know. I couldn’t agree more. One easy way is through

Twitter directories. I use Twellow.com regularly to find design firms,

small businesses, and other ideal clients to partner with. The site

allows you to find other Twitter users via geography or by the

services they’re listed under. This gives you a wide selection of

potential contacts suited to your search.

 

2) TWITTER SEARCH: You can also use Twitter to find the people who are

seeking you. Its 500 million users are churning out data 140

characters at a time, on a regular basis. Searching phrases such as “I

need a copywriter” in the Twitter search engine uncovers a list of

people who have strung those words together in a tweet. Two cautions

on this however. While I have found a few clients this way in the

past, it can be difficult to find people who are willing to pay your

rates. It can also uncover a list of freelance websites that encourage

you to underbid to get a job—something I wouldn’t recommend.

 

3) TWITTER CHATS: Chats are a great way to get to know people with a

similar interests, who may eventually be able to point you to work.

They work by simply placing the same hashtag word in all of your

tweets, so the right group of people finds them. They are usually

geared around a particular subject, and it’s best to stay on point.

You can start following and introduce yourself to the best business

contacts to widen your net.

 

http://socialmediatoday.com/kevin-fawley/407822/20-game-changing-twitter-chats

offers a good article on the subject.

 

4) LINKEDIN GROUPS: LinkedIn groups are another excellent way to

quickly meet like-minded business professionals and potential clients.

If finding clients is on your mind, ask people in the group what

they’ve done in the past to stir up interest. You can also join local

Chamber and small-business groups where you may be able to find people

specifically looking for writers. Most groups also have a “promotions”

tab where you can post an ad for your business.

 

Happy hunting!

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

Rochester, NY Freelancer Posts to Professional Directory; Lands $50K in Work!

TIP: Toronto FLCW Observes “Wave of Future” That Could Spell Copywriting Gigs! 

 

Award-winning Rochester, NY freelancer and bestselling author, Marcia

Turner (http://www.marcialaytonturner.com; her book, “The Unofficial

Guide to Starting a Small Business” was named “One of the “Best

Business Books of the Year” by Library Journal), shares a great

strategy she used for landing some BIG jobs. What professional

associations are you a member of (or could join) to do the same thing?

 

Following that is a great tip from Canadian (Niagara area) FLCW Lou

Anne (a.k.a. L.A.) Reddon (http://lareddon.com) about a very promising

trend that could potentially lead to all sorts of juicy copywriting

opportunities. Enjoy!

 

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In the last several years I’ve been a member of several organizations

catering to writers and small businesses. I join such groups to

network with fellow writers and to improve my skills, be they business

management, publishing, or writing-related. But it wasn’t until I

founded an association that I learned the value of member directories.

 

I established the Association of Ghostwriters (AOG;

http://associationofghostwriters.org/) in 2010 to raise the visibility

of the ghostwriting niche and to provide an online meeting place for

fellow ghostwriters. I hoped that by working together we could

collectively attract more clients.

 

Immediately, inquiries started coming in to the site from prospects

seeking ghostwriting help; I regularly send them to our members via

email as I get them. But last year I decided we needed an online

member directory so visitors could do their own searching.

 

Within a few months, members reported they’d been contacted by new

clients through the directory, and were landing gigs worth tens of

thousands of dollars. Though I’d been too busy with my own client work

to add my own entry, I fixed that immediately.

 

In my directory listing, I highlight what I think clients would likely

appreciate: my business writing experience, the major publishers I’ve

worked with, the magazines I’ve written for, and a few of the books

I’ve written under my own name.

 

Almost immediately, this past December, I started getting emails from

would-be clients who found me in the directory. I’ve since picked up

two big projects worth $50,000+ solely from my listing. And not

because I’m the association’s executive director: I don’t mention that

in my listing. I am on equal footing with every other member.

 

After seeing the value of being included in one member directory, I

made a list of other organizations to which I belong, and made sure I

was in their member directories. If one listing can bring in $50,000+,

imagine what multiple listings may bring?

 

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Have you noticed? Professionals (engineers, architects, dentists,

chiropractors, lawyers, etc.) are starting to create businesses to

help other professionals in their field market themselves. They’ve

identified a huge knowledge gap among their compatriots.

 

Professionals have expertise in their specialties, but many have

absolutely no idea how to create content, brochures, blog posts or any

of the other items that we, as FLCW’s, could help them with. Another

problem is that the Internet is eroding their practices.

 

Thanks to all the do-it-yourself legal forms and online advice, people

no longer want/need to pay expensive retainers. Many large firms now

have in-house marketing departments. Smaller firms will have to

outsource to keep up.

 

If you have any kind of background, experience or interest in such

fields, you could find opportunities either freelancing for these

professionals or for the marketing firms supporting them. Visit

http://www.therainmakerinstitute.com/team.html. Look how many

full-time copywriters!

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- IS “THE WELL-FED WRITING RAMBLE” HEADED YOUR WAY THIS SUMMER?

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

- 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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IS “THE WELL-FED WRITING RAMBLE” HEADED YOUR WAY THIS SUMMER?

So, I’m shaking my life up a bunch this summer with a two-month road

trip, promoting a new book, an existing one, AND a message of “writing

prosperity.” And I’m on the hunt for 12-15 groups across the country

that want to host me for a workshop or talk. I’d love to meet you and

your crowd! Details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ramble.shtml  

 

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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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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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