Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

The companion monthly ezine to the quadruple-award-winning how-to
guide, “The Well-Fed Writer.” 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 13, ISSUE 3 – MARCH 2014
Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002  
Read it online HERE!

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2014 UPDATED EDITION OF “THE WELL-FED SELF-PUBLISHER” NOW AVAILABLE!
Check out various book AND ebook (multiple formats!) products/bundles, HERE!

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PARTNER WITH DESIGNERS FOR A LOW-EFFORT FLOW OF WRITING JOBS!
Details HERE!

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NEW 1-ON-1 COACHING PROGRAMS: SAMPLE/SITE REVIEW & “SIDECAR”!
Low-cost peace of mind and guidance - HERE!
 
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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “From What Background
Did You Come to Commercial Freelancing?’; “Can You Share Some Examples
of ‘Useful’ Commercial Freelancing Jargon?”; “Why Commercial Writers
Earn More than Regular ‘Freelance Writers’”; & More!

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

I. APPETIZER: HELPING DESIGNERS DO REALLY GOOD WORK
Designer’s Unusual Offer Underscores Value He Feels I Bring to the Table  

II. “FIELD” GREENS: HOW I LANDED MY FOUR BEST CLIENTS
Boston FLCW on How She Snagged the Folks Who Pay Most of Her Bills

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: MARKETING CORNERSTONE CONCEPT #4
Yours Truly Shares Sales/Marketing Principle That’ll Make You a Better Copywriter

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
FLCW Lands Repeat Work from Fellow FLCW, Recovers From Slump in BIG Way
TIP: Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising (They REALLY Don’t…)

  V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS
- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  
- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? Email ME.
- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!
- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’!
- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!
- How Can My Mentoring Service Serve You?

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I. APPETIZER: HELPING DESIGNERS DO REALLY GOOD WORK
Designer’s Unusual Offer Underscores Value He Feels I Bring to the Table  

Had a conversation recently with a designer I’ve been working with
more of late (I landed him through cold calling—you know, that
prospecting method some “experts” say doesn’t work anymore?
Whatever.). He’d asked me to bid on a small project. I quoted him
$900, but since he was trying to convince a reluctant client to spring
for copywriting, he said he’d tell them $750, and just make up the
difference to me.

He’d do this, he said, because he knew they’d see the difference
it made in the piece, which would build the value in their mind, not
only of him and his skills, but in his advice on things like copywriting
as well. That’d lead to more work down the line, and less resistance
to copywriting (and its accompanying fees). AND, he really wanted
the end product to be a sample he’d be proud of showing.

I was impressed at his willingness to make up the difference, to
ensure the project ended up being as good as it could be. He said:
Crossing paths with a writer who’s reliable, dependable, easy to work
with, turns into clean copy, and most importantly, is really good at
what they do, is exceedingly rare.

He spoke about farming out writing work in the past to other writers,
only to be terribly disappointed. Sloppy, full or errors, little grasp
of marketing fundamentals, not on time, etc.
But then, he crosses
paths with someone like me, and it's very different. I say this not to
brag, just to show what's possible.

When he sees how my work improves his (which makes his clients happy,
locking them in for the long term, and making them less likely to balk
at healthy fees for design and copywriting), he starts seeing the
potential to do really outstanding work. Not just cranking out
projects—using lame client-supplied copy, because he hasn’t found a
really good writer yet—but work he’s proud of.

Doing good work: it’s what drives any quality practitioner. He/she
gets more creative fulfillment; you get a steady stream of work. A
beautiful thing.
And on that note, let’s eat!

For the scoop on “Profitable – By Design!” my ebook on successfully
building lucrative partnerships with graphic designers, click HERE.


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II. “FIELD” GREENS: HOW I LANDED MY FOUR BEST CLIENTS
Boston FLCW on How She Snagged the Folks Who Pay Most of Her Bills

Wonderful success compilation from Kate Headen Waddell, a Boston-area
strategic copywriter specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies,
blogging and other B2B marketing tools. Check out her web site and
B2B marketing blog.
 
Clients are the lifeblood of a FLCW. But where do great clients come
from? Well, after seven years of full-time freelancing I have seen
dozens and dozens of clients come and go for various reasons. But
after sorting through the chaff, I now have a steady list of only a
few (awesome!) clients who make up the lion’s share of my business.
Here’s how I landed each one:


1) TECHNOLOGY CONSULTING FIRM: This one small company accounts
for a good chunk of my annual income. I originally landed this client by
answering an ad on Guru (.com). I hear a lot of aspiring FLCWs turning
their noses up at online job boards like Guru and Elance (.com), but
if you have patience to dig through all the listings and a nose for
sniffing out the good clients, it can be a real goldmine.

2) LOCAL MARKETING AGENCY: Turns out a local marketing agency does
a ton of work for one of the world’s largest IT companies—and now they
hire me to do their copywriting. I got this client by searching for
companies in my area I believed might be in the market for copywriters
and sending out a blind email to the creative directors.

3) LARGE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SERVICES FIRM: This one was a
referral from a previous client. Turns out the brand manager frequently gets
overloaded and has a generous budget to hire outsourced help. Because
I impressed another client nearly 4 years ago (one I got from the same
blind email as client #2), he recommended me to her when he switched
jobs (and “thanks” to LinkedIn as well, for keeping us in touch).

They already account for a healthy portion of my income, and now the
brand manager has changed jobs as well. She placed me on the preferred
vendor list before she left (so I continue to get calls from them) and,
in her new position, she’s already reached out to me with work.


4) INTERNATIONAL MARKETING SERVICES FIRM: This one was a referral
from the same client who referred me for #3. My former client changes jobs
a lot, and he’s always happy to recommend me to his new team. I am now
the go-to copywriter for all of their sales assets.
 
Remember: it only takes a few great clients to make your business, and
referrals can be especially powerful if your clients tend to change
jobs frequently. So keep digging, and be sure to use LinkedIn to keep
in touch with contacts!

PB Note: When I followed up with Kate to get the OK to use the above,
I asked her how things were going. Her reply: “I’m beating them away
with a stick. :)”
Gotta love that.

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: MARKETING CORNERSTONE CONCEPT #4
Yours Truly Shares Sales/Marketing Principle That’ll Make You a Better Copywriter

Websites that are wildly unclear about what the company does or sells.
How-to manuals that assume far too much knowledge and understanding on
the part of the reader.
Brochures and sales sheets that leave readers
with more questions than answers. Emails that have you scratching your
head as to their meaning.

Pretty much every day occurrences for all of us, right? And at the
heart of all of them—and many other scenarios—is a principle so
important, I unhesitatingly add it as #4 to the big three of
sales/marketing (IMHO, anyway): “Who’s the Audience?”; The
Features/Benefits equation
(arguably, this new one is related to these
first two); and USP (Unique Selling Proposition), all outlined in
detail in Chapter 3 of TWFW.

What is this foundational principle? The Curse of Knowledge.

While I first encountered the idea of TCOK in the wonderful book,
Made to Stick,” (Chip and Dan Heath; buy it), according to Wikipedia,
“The effect was first described in print by the economists Colin
Camerer, George Loewenstein and Martin Weber, though they give
original credit for suggesting the term to Robin Hogarth.”

Its definition (also from Wikipedia)? “The curse of knowledge is a
cognitive bias, according to which, better-informed people find it
extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of
lesser-informed people.”

 
Understanding and deeply internalizing this principle will pay huge
dividends for your commercial writing practice (or any business)—in
how you present your business to the world, how you interact with
clients, and how you help clients market their businesses. Why?
Because the effect of this principle is at the root of so many poorly
executed communications materials, as well as marketing/advertising
campaigns in general.

It can potentially rear its ugly, clueless head in:

1) How you showcase your own copywriting business on your web site, or
in your marketing efforts, whether direct mail, email, cold calling, etc.

2) How you communicate with clients and prospects while working on projects.

3) How your clients communicate with their employees, prospects and
clients, with you potentially aiding, abetting and exacerbating the
problem with your copy.

What’s the magic incantation to lift this curse? Simple. Not easy, but
simple. Any time you’re in any situation, where you need to
successfully convey information to someone else (i.e., in all the
scenarios described above), ask yourself this question:

If I knew absolutely nothing about this subject (very possible), was
in the middle of doing something else when I crossed my path (highly
likely), and had a short attention span (a given), would I “get it”
quickly?
And if not, rework it until you can say yes.

And no, your audience won’t always be totally lacking in knowledge
about a subject, and may in fact, be able to devote more than a
miniscule sliver of their attention to the piece of writing in front
of them, but it’s far wiser to assume they’re ignorant and distracted
than the reverse.

It’s not easy to put yourself in a position of ignorance when, in
fact, you are so close to something, but it’s an exceptionally
valuable skill to develop. Look for me to run this same piece as a
blog post soon; I’d love to get your input! On that note, let’s eat!  

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
FLCW Lands Repeat Work from Fellow FLCW, Recovers From Slump in BIG Way
TIP: Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising (They REALLY Don’t…)

Got the great success story below from a FLCW who wishes to remain
anonymous. He positioned himself perfectly to land overflow work from
a fellow writer, who, to this day, continues to send him ongoing “dream”
gigs! May we all be so lucky! After that, a lighthearted link that reminds
us to keep what we do in perspective. AND, keep common sense handy
close by when so-called “experts” start talking like this. Enjoy!

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After a two-year slump, my business really picked up last year, aided,
I think, by specialization. I’ve operated in a specific niche for years,
but last year a fellow writer who's a big name in my field started handing
more and more projects to me. He even handed off a client—a GOOD client!

Although I continue to seek work outside the niche, the projects pay
well, come with great background material (or are easily researched
online), and—best of all—they continue to find me. I flat-out LOVE not
having to look for work, especially after two years of relative
scrounging. So, business is better than it’s been in years.

Update: The arrangement with the fellow writer above remains alive and
active to this day. I received an assignment from my fellow freelancer
today, in fact. I only wish I had a few more clients just like him,
but I guess that’s what marketing is for!

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Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising - Enjoy!

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS
- MORE WORK WITH LESS EFFORT? Ebook Serves Up the “How-To”!  
- GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? Email ME.
- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!
- The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’!
- 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 HERE!

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GOT ANY SUCCESS STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
While my call for submissions netted a TON of stuff a few months back,
I’m still a bit lean on success stories. Whether starting out or
experienced, if you recently had a noteworthy success (i.e., landed a
new client—perhaps in an unusual way—a new gig, new work from an old
client, or anything else that has a good lesson for your fellow
FLCW’s), send it on to ME.
100-300 words is great.     

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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 me HERE.
View archived issues HERE

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The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin’!

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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!

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HOW CAN MY MULTIPLE MENTORING PROGRAMS SERVE YOU?
For details and testimonials, visit HERE.

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