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" – anyone who freelances for businesses (vs. writing magazinearticles, short stories, poetry, etc.), typically earns $50-125+ an hour, andis the sole focus of this e-newsletter. 

 

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VOLUME 9,ISSUE 11 – NOVEMBER 2010

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/nov2010.html

 

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TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! Weigh in on “Got This Fun, In-Demand andLucrative Copywriting Specialty in Your Writing Mix?”…“The Secrets to Landingand Keeping Repeat Clients…” and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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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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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: GARAGE SALE SIGNAGE 101

WhatWordsmithing Yard Sale Signs and Many Copywriting Clients Have in Common

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: ARE YOU CULTIVATING LONG-TERM CLIENTS?

Bay AreaFLCW’s Blog Comment Serves Up the “Repeat-Client Road Map” 

 

III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: THE POWER OF SUPPORTIVE NETWORKS

NH FLCWTaps (& Trusts) Her “Sisters,” Gets Twice Her Normal Rate

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

PA FLCW Isin the Money, Hits Financial Self-Sufficiency in Seven Months!

TIP:F.R.E.E. file conversion site: Word docs to PDF’s, the reverse and LOTS more!

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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: GARAGE SALE SIGNAGE 101

WhatWordsmithing Yard Sale Signs and Many Copywriting Clients Have in Common

 

So, a fewweeks back, my community had a 10-family garage sale. Eager to shed a pile ofaccumulated junk (hey, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…”), I joinedin. Somehow, I got roped into doing the signage that would get posted, 1) a fewblocks away, 2) at the complex entrance, and 3) inside the complex.

 

Well, Imade one mistake, which my copywriting experience should have helped me avoid,and which perhaps, explains, in part, why the event was pretty much a dismalfailure. But the experience yielded some relevant parallels to what we do.Perhaps it’s a tortured analogy, but hey, life lessons are everywhere! 

 

Afterbuying some fat markers, I got to work. On all the signs, I noted the sale wastaking place in “The Clubhouse of ____ Community.” Completely unnecessary, andit ended up cluttering up the signs. In retrospect, I realize I was likeclients I’ve worked with who want their marketing materials to tell far morethan the prospect needs to know at that point, and potentially lose readersalong the way.

 

Whenconsidering your audience for any written material (in this case, driverspassing by), you need to consider context. What do they already know? What dothey NEED to know, and when? And, what’s the goal of the piece? That’s a bigone.

 

Clientsoften want their brochures, ads, direct mail, web sites, etc., to sell theaudience on actually buying their widget, when, in most cases, all you shouldbe trying to do – and all you can realistically HOPE to do – is getthat prospect to take the next step (i.e., call, stop by, return the replycard, take the test drive, etc.).

 

The“context” in my case? I had signs in the three places noted above, and myaudience was in motion, with only a second or two to read anything. As such,the signs needed to be bold, brief and with a limited objective. Meaning?Meaning, my “one-block-away” signs didn’t have to deliver the reader all theway to the clubhouse door. All they had to do was get them TO THE NEXT SIGN (atthe entrance).

 

So theyjust had to read, “Garage Sale” and directions (i.e., “right here, then firstleft”). Then, the sign at the entrance, in addition to “Garage Sale,” couldprovide the date/time and a big arrow pointing in. Period. Again, enough to getsomeone to the next signs (inside), which could then point them directly to theclubhouse. All of which would have made all the signs simpler, cleaner andarguably, far more effective.

 

Just like,say, a direct mail postcard or ad that just needs to provide the basics of anoffer to stimulate interest (“Garage Sale!”), along with a web link(directions). Once at the link (entrance sign), landing-page copy that’s anatural extension of the subject discussed in the mailer/ad provides moreinformation (date/time). Finally, a link (arrow) to the desired action (finalsigns pointing to clubhouse).

 

May yourgarage sale be more successful than mine. On that note, let’s eat!  

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: ARE YOU CULTIVATING LONG-TERM CLIENTS?

Bay AreaFLCW’s Blog Comment Serves Up the “Repeat-Client Road Map” 

 

Just did ablog post entitled “The Secrets to Landing and Keeping Repeat Clients…” (www.wellfedwriter.com/blog). We all want those “regulars”– the clients who keep coming back, so we don’t have to constantly goback to the well for new ones. The first comment was so great, I had to shareit. This gem (excerpted) nicely sums up the fact that the process of landingand keeping clients starts with the first substantive conversation you havewith them. Thanks to Bay Area FLCW Kelly Parkinson (www.copylicious.com), for weighing in with this.Kelly’s a most talented writer in so many ways, and someone I’ve had thepleasure of seeing blossom over the past 5-6 years into quite the copywritingforce. Enjoy!  

 

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What’shappening during that first conversation, before you send the proposal? Whatkinds of questions are you asking? How are you positioning yourself as alonger-term solution, if that’s what you want to be? Are you just asking themfor the specifications of one project, or are you asking how this fits intotheir longer-term goals?

Are youtaking on projects, one-by-one, reacting to requests for what they think theyneed, or are you bringing their attention to a goal and making sure whatthey’re asking you to do fits into that? Is this about getting business, orhelping them to grow their business?

I’d alsotell them I work with people who are committed to consistently marketing theirbusiness, who want to work with someone who wants to help them grow. I’d say,“I’m curious, what kinds of things are you looking for in someone like me?”

PB: Ifyou’re just starting out or in the early stages, some of this may seem a bitintimidating. Fret not. Very few of us were in this place in the early days,but if this can get you there faster – where you’re looking morelong-term – that’s a good thing.

 

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III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: THE POWER OF SUPPORTIVE NETWORKS

NH FLCWTaps (& Trusts) Her “Sisters,” Gets Twice Her Normal Rate

 

Great storyfrom Merrimack, NH FLCW Wendy Thomas (wethomas@gmail.com),about…well, several things. First, the power of a strong support network tohelp you realize your worth. And, of course, proof there are clients out therewilling to pay healthy rates for good writing. If you don’t smile at this one,you don’t have a pulse. Enjoy! 

 

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The SavvySisters – a collection of six bright and talented women over at www.savvyb2bmarketing.com met during a multi-week onlinemarketing/writing seminar. Online friendships which started in workshop forumsgrew into a group desire to create a blog from which we could showcase ourcollective business expertise.

 

Even thoughwe are from all over the United States, through emails and Skype calls, we wereable to effectively launch our blog, which has since received much recognition.Along the way, we've also been able to connect with each other on a personallevel cheering for jobs well done, and consoling over losses. Over the lastyear the group has become a virtual family of supportive sisters providingmarketing as well as personal advice and inspiration for each other.

 

Recently atone Savvy Sister’s baby shower, I asked each of the attending sisters,Stephanie, Jamie, and Kate about writing rates for a process documentationproject I was trying to get in on. Although I have extensive experience inTechnical Writing and Instructional Design, I’ve recently been focusing onnewspaper and magazine writing. I wasn’t sure what to charge and I wanted andvalued their opinion.

 

Stephaniesuggested $100 an hour, Jamie came in at $85 and Kate at $75. I was thelow-baller at $50. “You are so worth $100” said Stephanie. “I've seen what youcan do.” said Jamie. Me? I’m thinking, “Hey it’s just me, I’m nothing thatgreat.” 

 

The nextday, I went in for the interview. What the company wanted of me could amount toyears of non-stop work. Huge amounts of interviewing, needs and task analysisgalore; here was a technical documentation project with the goal of processstandardization throughout an international company. Absolutely my cup ofhi-tech tea.

 

Theinterview is looking good. I ask all the right questions. I knew I could dothis work and I do it well. It comes time to talk money. “I can’t possiblyaccurately estimate a project this big,” I tell my interviewer. “I’d have to gowith an hourly rate. And for what you’re asking, for those kinds of high-levelskills, my rate is $100 per hour.”

 

I have toconcentrate on not losing eye contact because all I want to do is look away– caught in my lie. Then it dawns on me. You know what? My Savvy Sisterswere right: for the skills being requested, I was nothing short of a kick-buttcandidate. And worth every penny of that $100 an hour rate.

 

“OK,” theinterviewer replies, “Sounds good.”

 

We shakehands, get some paperwork squared away and I leave with the understanding thatwork on this project starts within the next few days.

 

I’m stillreeling from my newfound sense of personal value. By listening to and reallyhearing what my friends – whose opinions I greatly trust – had tosay about my skills, I was able to come to terms with a greater financial andself-worth.

 

There’s amoral to this story, but the trite one of “Ask and you shall receive” is just alittle too obvious. Instead this story comes down to this: don’t take thesupportive power of online groups for granted; with the right combination ofpeople, they can be a powerful resource where experience, advice, motivation, andpersonal inspiration can be shared.

 

Whenpeople, and in this specific case some pretty talented and caring women, cometogether in support, amazing outcomes are often the result.

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

PA FLCW Isin the Money, Hits Financial Self-Sufficiency in Seven Months!

TIP:F.R.E.E. File Conversion Site: Word Docs to PDF’s, the Reverse, and Lots More!

 

Recentlygot this short and sweet success story from Phoenixville, PA FLCW Carolyn Frith(www.carolynfrith.com). In case any of you wondered if itwas indeed possible to become financially self-sufficient in, well, roughly sixmonths (the subtitle of TWFW), here’s one answer. Note her use of BNI, whichmany people rave about, others less so. All depends on the chapter, butobviously, it worked for Carolyn! Enjoy! 

 

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Peter: Justwanted to thank you. Your book gave me the tools and inspiration I neededto become a freelance writer. It’s been seven months since I launched andI’m self-sufficient; that includes paying for my equestrian habits. I have ahorse that likes to eat twice a day and get new shoes every fiveweeks. And it would have been six months but my largest customer let theirwhole accounts payable group go on vacation in August! 

 

So far mostof the business is coming through networking with BNI (www.bni.com).  I started by cold calling, but the business from networkingtook over and I didn’t have time for the calls any more. If I run into adry patch though, I’ll start calling again.

 

PB: Gotthis update from Carolyn today (one month after receiving the note above):

 

Peter:Things are still going well.  I just landed another new mid-sized clienttoday (180 employees). Most my clients have been small so it’s nice to seethem trending up in size. Of course, it helped that the person who hired me wasmy boss in a former life. 

 

By the way,I don’t just go to BNI. I’m a BNI fanatic. You can substitute for otherpeople when they can’t make their chapter meetings. When you sub, you don’t payanything additional. Last week I ended up attending three BNImeetings in different towns, each at 6:45 a.m. (I threw that in because I knowyou’re not a morning person). So, with this kind of effort, I’m now gettingreferrals from three different chapters.

 

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Came acrossa pretty cool resource for f.r.e.e. file conversion without the need forexpensive software – www.zamzar.com.If you’ve ever wanted to convert a Word doc to a PDF, OR the other way around(OR dozens of other possible scenarios), check it out. They do have more robustfee-based options, but the basic functionality is no-charge. I DO think youshould spring for Adobe Acrobat at some point, as you’ll find countless usesfor it, but if you’re not keen on the $300 price tag just yet, this can tideyou over!

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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'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 (500-600 words; query first). ALSO, sendyour "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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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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AWAI COPYWRITING(& OTHER) COURSES: Register Here, Get Your Choice of Bonus CD Program!Six-Figure Copywriting, Graphic Design, Internet Writing, Fundraising, HealthMarket 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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