Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

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 10, ISSUE 11 – NOVEMBER 2011

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/nov2011.html

 

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MISSED THE COLD-CALLING TELESEMINAR WITH WENDY WEISS on 10/12?

Or were you there and would love a recording/transcript of your own? Get both (and for a budget-friendly price!) at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/coldcallingteleseminar.shtml.

 

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

I’ve done it for most of my 18-year career. Get ALL the how-to detail in my new ebook. Details here: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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NEW! "THE ONE-HOUR SAMPLE REVIEW” – INEXPENSIVE REALITY CHECK!

Struggling in your biz (or starting out), and wondering if your writing skills are up to snuff? Low-cost peace of mind here: http://wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.

 

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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “When Does Part-Time Copywriting (vs. Full-Time) Make More Sense?”, “What’re Your Grammatical Pet Peeves”; and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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“THE WELL-FED WRITER” (2010 EDITION) HAS WON FOUR AWARDS!

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

 

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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: ARE YOU MISSING WRITING JOBS RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE?

Landing Jobs in Unexpected Ways Reminds Us to Keep Our Radar Up Everywhere!

 

II. GREENS: DON’T LIKE HYPE-Y COPYWRITING?

Neither Does This Copywriting Guru and Here’s Why (Plus Tips on No-Hype Writing!)

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: CLIENT’S COMPANY MERGING?

NC FLCW Shares Lessons on Managing Clients Who Are in the Midst of a Merger

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

“Clients from Hell” Site Sure to Have You Laughing & Nodding in Recognition!

TIP: UK FLCW Serves up How-to & Benefits of Your Own “Twitter Newspaper”! 

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- NEW! Cold-Calling Teleseminar Recording & Transcript Now Available!

- MORE WORK 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: ARE YOU MISSING WRITING JOBS RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE?

Landing Jobs in Unexpected Ways Reminds Us to Keep Our Radar Up Everywhere!

 

Some years back, I landed a year’s worth of work from a big charity (probably $10K, all told), after a serendipitous chat I had with a friend in a social setting. We knew each other, but not professionally, and once she discovered what I did, it was a few short steps (and yes, beating out the competition) to a pile of work.

 

A few months back, I ran a piece about a FLCW making contact with a prospect while playing online Scrabble! (archived at http://wellfedwriter.com/ezine/june2011.html). I recalled all this when I got a note from another FLCW, who wrote:

 

“On and off, I erroneously get phone calls meant for another local business. Today the sales/marketing person called me to see what could be done to resolve this. As we were talking, I asked him what their business does. They do tech stuff: web design, databases, maintenance, support, etc. I have a lot of tech writing experience, so I told him that. He said they’re always looking for good writers, so I’ll be staying in touch.

 

You never know when you might run across a potential lead, even in an unconventional way. The experience reminded me that potential business really is everywhere around us, and that when we just put the word out about what we do, and assuming we have the skills, the work often can easily come our way.”

 

How true. We often get so focused on prospecting only in the “right” places, that we overlook opportunities right under our noses. Doesn’t mean we should turn into obnoxious self-promoters, aggressively hitting up our friends at every turn. But keeping our radar up for opportunities in non-business settings, is never a bad idea! 

 

Stay tuned for a blog post on this subject. I’m sure there are tons of stories out there of work landed through unconventional avenues. On that happy note, let’s eat!

 

ATTENTION: I REALLY need your short (100-300 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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II. GREENS: DON’T LIKE HYPE-Y COPYWRITING?

Neither Does This Copywriting Guru and Here’s Why (Plus Tips on No-Hype Writing!)

 

Got this great Marketing Minute (to subscribe: http://www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm) from Marcia Yudkin, about why she shies away from “hype-y” copywriting. If you feel the same way, you’ll find a kindred spirit here. And be sure to check out the great articles at the bottom, including one outlining six no-hype copywriting tips. Enjoy!  

 

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“I was looking for a no-hype copywriter. Glad I found you!”

 

This note from a new client got me thinking about why so many professional people have a visceral “Ugh” response to a certain style of promotional writing and do not want it representing them or their company.

 

* They feel uncomfortable with an aggressive, circus-barker tone.

 

* They don’t want to rile customers, getting them hot and bothered over something straightforward.

 

* They don’t want to be goaded into the showmanship of Lady Gaga when they feel like The Guy Next Door.

 

* They abhor any flirtation with trickery.

 

* They shudder at the vulgar, in-your-face language often favored by “attention at any cost” marketers.

 

Instead, they want writing that earns attention in an honest way, connects with readers, fosters a relationship of trust and mutual respect, and portrays them as themselves.

 

If you’re nodding your head, recognizing yourself in this description, stick to your preferences.  You deserve copy that persuades with both pizzazz and integrity. Customers who respond will be the kind of folks you’d choose as friends.

 

ON THE WEB:  Read Marcia’s analysis of hype here, and an article of hers on six techniques of no-hype copywriting here:

 

http://www.1automationwiz.com/app/?af=744790&u=http://www.yudkin.com/hype.htm

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: CLIENT’S COMPANY MERGING?

NC FLCW Shares Lessons on Managing Clients Who Are in the Midst of a Merger

 

Got this cool piece about dealing with fallout from company mergers, from NC FLCW Chris Fuller (chris.fuller@performancewriting.com, http://www.performancewriting.com). Chris is President of Performance Writing & Public Relations, and founder of The Career Cobbler (http://www.careercobbler.com), a blog for those working their way through the new economy. His piece offers good advice about a common scenario. Enjoy!

 

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I’d been thinking about taking the commercial writing plunge for a while, but when my employer eliminated my job just over three years ago, I dove in. I soon landed my first client, a vendor I’d worked with in my previous position.

 

They eventually became my biggest client. They were great to work with, provided interesting assignments, paid well and on time – in short, the perfect client. But after about 18 months, the work started slowing down, and then stopped altogether. 

 

I learned that a competitor who was losing customers to my client decided, if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em! Although the product line would continue, all marketing was halted until the merger was complete. So, with my first, biggest, and best client being devoured by the competition, my first reaction, of course, was to panic.

 

Fortunately, that phase didn’t last very long. I knew the acquiring company and thought they might also make a good client. While the merger was being consummated, I kept in touch with my contact to see how things were progressing, as well as to stay on his radar until the pipeline opened again. I also made a point of cultivating a couple of new clients during this dry spell.

 

At this point, you may be thinking, “What about contacting the acquiring company directly?” That may be beneficial, but it may also backfire, depending on the circumstances surrounding the acquisition. Because I was familiar with both companies, I knew that contacting the acquiring company would have been problematic. My advice to anyone else would be to know your client well, and learn more about the other company before contacting them directly, lest you unwittingly step into a minefield.

 

As it turned out, my contact called me a couple of months later with an assignment, which I made a point of delivering very quickly. Soon afterward, he asked about my availability for a conference call with his new bosses from the acquiring company.

I put my best foot forward, and was given one assignment, then another, and another.

 

Fast-forward another 18 months, and I’m now working on a substantial multi-part assignment for a different division of this large company, as well as getting regular assignments from the division I began working with three years ago. Their total billings should exceed $20K this year, a nice boost compared to the pre-merger days.

 

If a client of yours is acquired by another company, it can be a bit unsettling, but it can also mean a great opportunity IF you do the right things, including:

 

1) Stay in touch with your client, but don’t be alarmed if they’re distracted. They’re likely to be as concerned about keeping their job as you are about keeping their business.

 

2) Have the future in-laws over for dinner. No, not literally, but do get to know the other company involved in the transaction. If it isn’t immediately apparent, determine which company is the acquirer and which one is being acquired.

 

3) Use some of the time you would normally spend on their assignments to figure out how you can best serve the merged entity, so you’ll be ready when the opportunity arises. Use the rest of this time to seek out new clients, in case there’s no immediate work for you after the deal is done.

 

Mergers and acquisitions happen every day in the corporate world. As freelancers, we can use these occasions to grow and strengthen our businesses, instead of worrying about whether we’ll have a job when the dust settles. I like the sound of that.

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

“Clients from Hell” Site Sure to Have You Laughing & Nodding in Recognition!

TIP: UK FLCW Serves up How-to & Benefits of Your Own “Twitter Newspaper”! 

 

Had a reader send me this great site showcasing true head-shaking client experiences. Though it caters to graphic designers, what we do is close enough to what they do to make it relevant to our world as well! Check it out at http://clientsfromhell.net/.  

 

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What will they think of next? How about “Twitter Newspapers.” Got this intriguing tip from UK FLCW Doug Jenner (doug@bestwords.co.uk, http://www.bestwords.co.uk) about putting together your own edition of this new direction for Twitter. Enjoy!

 

Peter: I came across this very cool idea for setting up your own automatically generated “Twitter newspaper.” It’s called http://paper.li, it’s a f.r.e.e. service that composes the latest tweets from a twitter stream into a digital newspaper.

 

Every time the paper is published, a tweet is sent automatically from your Twitter stream. Main contributors get a mention, so they love you. Plus, you get more Twitter traffic and you tend to pick up more followers.

 

It's great for raising your copywriting profile, connecting with fellow professionals and adding some value. My creation, “The Copywriters’ Daily” (composed from tweets of those in my personal copywriters list) looks like this:

 

http://paper.li/BestWordsmith/1308767312

 

paper.li is also a useful tool to help you become known as an expert in a specific sector. The paper I run from my 'foodies' list looks like this (“The Foodies Daily”):

 

http://paper.li/BestWordsmith/food-10

 

If you run Twitter accounts for clients, you can set up papers for them. You’d start by following people appropriate to their industry/sector. You tweet useful links, you contribute, and soon you build a small following for your client.

 

You then select appropriate contributors for your client's newspaper, you set up a list, and, away you go again. My client was impressed when he first saw The School Food Daily, and we'll probably be looking to link it into his current PR campaigns:

 

http://paper.li/cucina_kitchen#

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- NEW! Cold-Calling Teleseminar Recording & Transcript Now Available!

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

- THE WELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS YOUR SUCCESS STORIES!

- 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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NEW! COLD-CALLING TELESEMINAR RECORDING & TRANSCRIPT!

Missed the great 10/12 cold-calling teleseminar with Wendy Weiss? Or did you make it, but would love to score a copy of the recording and full 38-page transcript? We covered a LOT of ground in nearly 70 minutes, and the feedback was excellent. Check it out at (and for a song!) at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/coldcallingteleseminar.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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I’M SERIOUSLY LOW ON SUCCESS STORIES!

Landed a great new client? Starting out and have happy news to share? Been successful using a particular strategy, approach or specific expertise you’re willing to share? Turn it into a success story (100-300 words) or TIP (150-200). Send them 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 MENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

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

 

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