This month, I'm sending the E-PUB out on Wednesday to put some time between Monday email blast, Election day, and today! Normal schedule will resume next month.

 

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 11, ISSUE 11 – NOVEMBER 2012

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/nov2012.html

 

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TERRIFIED OF COLD-CALLING PROSPECTS? WANT A DIFFERENT WAY?

“Warm Email Prospecting” is a proven, LOW-ANXIETY way to land clients faster, and more easily and consistently. Ends Friday (11/9) at 6 p.m. EST, so don’t miss out! http://warmemailprospecting.com/dap/a/?a=189&p=www.warmemailprospecting.com/land-clients

 

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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 “5 Reasons You Aren’t Where You Want to Be as a Commercial Freelancer”; “Why Aren’t You Still Working with that Client from 2008 (or Earlier)?” and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog.

 

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I NEED YOUR SHORT (100-200 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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THIS MONTH’S MENU:

 

I. APPETIZER: REFLECTIONS OF A HAPPY “COLD CALLER”! (IT’S TRUE…)

Yours Truly Hits the Phones, Has Fun, Makes New Friends, Stirs Up Business!   

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE CAB-DRIVING, PIZZA-DELIVERING COPYWRITER!

Vancouver (BC) FLCW Does What It Takes to Follow His Writing Passion!

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ATTRACTING NEW CLIENTS VIA EMAIL MARKETING

NY FLCW Serves up the Nitty-Gritty on a Strategy that Keeps the Phones Ringing!

 

IV. DESSERT: A Sweet Success Story/TIP Combo!

Aussie FLCW “Warm Calls” By Invoking Past Affiliation and Sees Doors Open!  

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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: REFLECTIONS OF A HAPPY “COLD CALLER”! (IT’S TRUE…)

Yours Truly Hits the Phones, Has Fun, Makes New Friends, Stirs Up Business! 

 

Guess what I’ve been doing lately? Cold calling…;) That’s right. Had a few clients go away for various reasons, and thought I’d hit the phones and stir things up a bit. Given how often and hard I beat the drum for this particular prospecting strategy, least I could do is practice what I preach. AND, offer up a few firsthand (yes, anecdotal) reflections…

 

1) Everyone’s really nice: Seriously. I only rarely even get a “neutral.” I always reference the list where I found them, as a point of identification. I had plenty of people say, “Thanks for the call!” One reason I’m getting a good reaction is because I…

 

2) Speak slowly, slower than normal speech. I modulate my voice to sound relaxed and low-key—like I’m just enjoying meeting some new people (which I am). And I smile when I talk – people can “hear” a smile. I AM relaxed, largely because I…

 

3) Use a Script: I know exactly what I’m going to say, and say the same thing every time. It’s far easier to relax and go with the flow of a conversation when you know your lines.

 

4) Call Tuesdays-Thursday. Don’t bother calling on Mondays. People aren’t paying attention. Tu-Th, from around 10 to noon, and then in the afternoon from 2-5, seem to be ideal. I did call on Friday a.m., but got more voice mail then. Speaking of which…

 

5) Mornings are better. I reached more then than the afternoons (when deadlines get closer). I was actually pretty surprised in general at how many people I actually reached vs. getting voicemail (~1 of 3). Can’t guarantee you the same, but I just scoff at the knuckleheads who say, “No one answers their phone anymore.” Plus, I’m tapping...

 

6) The Law of Averages: I’ve made ~140 calls in the past few weeks, and I’m seeing that odd but welcome dynamic playing out: Suddenly, I’m getting calls for work from OTHER clients I haven’t called (or heard from in a while). If you look at calling (or any sizable “outreach” effort) like an energy flow, it’s like that flow is coming back. The goal should always be to have SO many “possibles” cooking, that some have to pan out.      

 

I’ve booked two meetings, and plenty have told me to stay in touch. All in all, a successful outing. And get this: I’ve asked all of them how often they hear from copywriters. Overwhelmingly? Hardly ever! Just sayin’… On that happy note, let’s eat!

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE CAB-DRIVING, PIZZA-DELIVERING COPYWRITER!

Vancouver (BC) FLCW Does What It Takes to Follow His Writing Passion!

 

Got this wonderful success story—full of lessons—from Vancouver, BC FLCW Angus Lynch (angus@writecopy.net, www.writecopy.net). I’ll let Angus tell it. Enjoy!

 

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Peter: In 2008 I’d just finished a business degree and was naively sizing up employment options. Then the financial collapse hit. My job search went nowhere fast, so I assumed the dual profession of pizza guy and cab driver. I was 23 years old.

 

That’s when I came across the term “copywriter” in a Google search. I formed a crude version of a freelance business, and soon was searching out jobs over networks like Elance and Freelancer.com (not recommended). The first few months are all about building your portfolio, and I did three separate pro-bono assignments to help things along. Thankfully, I kept both my pizza and cab jobs.

 

Then I got lucky. A college friend snagged a gig with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (VANOC), and tipped me off to an eight-month position as “Publications Coordinator.” I used my writing portfolio (and his reference) to get the gig, and moved to Vancouver. VANOC not only helped sharpen my skills; it gave me some excellent samples.

 

When the Olympics ended, I wasn’t quite sure whether to pursue freelancing or go a different way. That’s when I came across TWFW, and a week later I was devouring the first two editions. I’d started driving a cab again to pay the bills, and would bring the books on my shifts to read in between fares.

 

I attacked cold calling full-force. Vancouver is home to tons of boutique marketing and advertising agencies, so I had plenty of prospects. And by the way, calling marketing agencies is easy because they’re quite familiar with copywriters. The goal is to get a name and an email address so you can send your portfolio. That’s it.

 

Within six months, I was self-sufficient, and felt a sense of accomplishment unlike anything I’ve felt before or since. I even had to hire friends to help me when the workload got too heavy.

 

At the beginning of 2012, the isolation of freelancing caught up with me, but once again, I used my portfolio to snag a part-time position as a copywriter at a technology firm here in town. I now split my time 50-50 between freelancing and in-house work.

 

I nearly gave up several times, but your books always kept me going. They’re incredible resources that prepare you for all the hurdles, big and small, that you’ll run into along the way. The original WFW sits beside me as I write this, stuffed full of sticky notes!

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: ATTRACTING NEW CLIENTS VIA EMAIL MARKETING

NY FLCW Serves up the Nitty-Gritty on a Strategy That Keeps the Phones Ringing!

 

For those who hate the idea of cold calling, got this wonderfully useful piece on email marketing from Wesley Hills, NY FLCW Alan Zoldan (http://a2zmicromarketing.com). Alan’s a seasoned pro who knows how to keep his pipeline filled. We can all learn a LOT from him. Read and heed!   

 

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A mentor once cogently explained the difference between sales and marketing. Sales was when a person knocks on doors or calls up people, in order to turn prospects into customers. Marketing was when you enticed those prospects to call you.

 

These days, I get that to happen via periodic (every two months) emailing to a carefully compiled list: Creative Directors, Marketing Directors, graphics designers and web designers. My emails are short, creatively illustrated, and not all about selling “me” (such a one-note message would turn people off—especially when received again and again). 

 

So, whether it’s a picture that cleverly plays off of my subject line, or some interesting trivia, I try to be entertaining. And it seems to work. Almost all of my non-referred new business has resulted from this strategy—and at an almost negligible cost!

 

Is it spam? I believe not. My admittedly non-legal opinion? I am, in effect, "applying" for work. I feel it’s legit to approach another business with a service they’re likely to need.  Secondly, my recipients are free to opt out at any time—and I state that clearly at the bottom of every email. Moreover, I never rent or sell my list. Finally, all the names come from directories, phonebooks, blogs, and other public sources.

 

Perhaps the proof is in the pudding: I have received only two accusations of spamming over eight years—out of many thousands of emails sent. The vast majority, however, continue to get my e-promos, and more than a few have told me they enjoy and appreciate my a2zmicromarketing promos—so much so, that they are already sold on my qualifications by the time we actually talk!

 

Think about that—people who have been sufficiently impressed by my copywriting and self-marketing ability so that they actually write back or pick up the phone. The replies are not always about work; sometimes it’s just a note of praise—“Great email, Alan! I have no immediate need, but I will definitely keep you in mind.”

 

And once I hear from a prospect, that notches up the level of our relationship. I can refer to the fact that we corresponded. I might even pick up the phone!

 

Every marketer knows that frequency is a key component of any promotional campaign. You have to hear about it again and again and again before you might be moved to act.  In today’s world of communications overload, where out of sight means out of mind, your regular emails can be the sure cure. And getting a low/no response doesn’t mean your efforts have been in vain. You’re sowing seeds—seeds that may take years to become fruitful clients. So it’s worth cultivating some patience as well.

 

Some tips for more effective e-marketing:

 

1) BE EXCEPTIONALLY INTERESTING. If all you’re doing is selling your services, you will wear out your welcome fast. Besides, that’s what everyone else is doing, so you don’t want to be buried in that pile of (yawn) also-ran’s.  Write a clever subject line. Use an eye-grabbing photo. Think differently.

 

2) MIX IT UP. Try different approaches, but dare to let your own personality shine through. Dare to be innovative, off beat, and intriguing. You can’t be all things to all people, so why even try? Part of the fun of being your own boss is that you get to represent yourself any which way you want.

 

3) MAKE YOUR LIST AN “A-LIST.” For me, that’s Creative/Marketing Directors and graphic/web designers. Do your homework. Research relentlessly—phone books, LinkedIn, industry directories, trade journals, etc. Full Disclosure: in developing my own mailing list, I have been known to pick up the phone – not to cold call anyone, but merely to request the name and email address of the Creative Director, Marketing Director, etc.

 

Happy planting!

 

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PB NOTE: Speaking of email marketing, don’t forget to check out Ed Gandia’s solid “Warm Email Prospecting” program, which promises to help you land clients faster, more easily and more consistently – minus the fear and anxiety. Get all the details at: http://warmemailprospecting.com/dap/a/?a=189&p=www.warmemailprospecting.com/land-clients. Program closes on Friday 11/9 at 6 pm EST, so don’t miss out. 

 

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IV. DESSERT: A Sweet Success Story/TIP Combo!

Aussie FLCW “Warm Calls” By Invoking Past Affiliation and Sees Doors Open! 

 

Got this very cool combo tip/success story from Western Australia FLCW, Mark Schneider (mark@westernwriter.net, www.westernwriter.net). In this issue, we’ve talked about cold calling (mine and Angus Lynch’s in the GREENS course), and email prospecting (Alan Zoldan), and now we’ll touch on warm cold calling. So as Mark did here, make sure to capitalize on every advantage you have!

 

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Cold calling works, no doubt about that, but one thing I’ve recently discovered is that “warm calling” works wonders!

 

I’ve recently returned to freelancing after spending a year in one of those strange “job” things. Like many of you, I found the regular 9-to-5 grind just wasn’t me, though I learned a lot about the urban development industry in the UDIA, the industry organization I worked for, and made a lot of excellent contacts.

 

When I returned to freelancing I put them to good use by phoning all 200-odd members of the organization, and the results have been very, very encouraging.

 

Just by mentioning the UDIA, I immediately got a warm and receptive response to my call. It’s still early days, but I’ve already picked up a number of good clients and put in quotes for work for many more.

 

I’ve discovered it’s BRILLIANT for getting past the gatekeepers. When the oh-so-efficient receptionist asks one of those questions: “Ah yes, and why are you calling, please?” or “And who are you calling from?” I just answer: “I used to be the communications manager with the UDIA.”

 

For some strange reason they always put me through to the boss. It probably helps that I sometimes mumble the “used to be” bit, but it hasn’t failed me yet.

 

If you have prior contacts and experience in an industry, it’s worth wringing every drop of value you can from them!

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- 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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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 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” (200-300 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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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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