NOTE: This month, I’m sending out the E-PUB on the first Wednesday instead of the first Tuesday, to steer clear of the "day-after-the-holiday-weekend" email crush! Normal schedule will resume next month.

 

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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 9 – SEPTEMBER 2011

Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read it Online at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/sept2011.html

 

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NOW AVAILABLE! “PROFITABLE – BY DESIGN!” (EBOOK)

All the “how-to” on partnering with designers and creating a LOW-MAINTENANCE INCOME STREAM. http://www.wellfedwriter.com/partnerwithdesignersebook.shtml.

 

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“COLD-CALLING FOR THOSE WHO HATE (EVEN THE IDEA OF) COLD-CALLING”!

F.R.E.E. Teleseminar with Wendy Weiss (“The Queen of Cold Calling”), October 12, 2011 (4 p.m. EST). More details coming soon (and in the Appetizer), so stay tuned!

 

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Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “Are You Guilty of ‘Esoterrorism’?” “This Writer’s Clients Give Him a Check Every Month (Thanks to a Tough Economy…),” “Meet Someone Like This and Your Copywriting Business Will Soar,” 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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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: FR.EE TELECLASS ON COLD-CALLING FOR WRITERS – 10/12!

Hate Even the IDEA of Cold Calling? “The Queen of Cold Calling” Wants Your Ears!

 

II. “FIELD” GREENS: 3 COOL WAYS TO USE LINKEDIN GROUPS

SEO Pro Shares How She Uses LinkedIn Groups to Build Her Biz/Solve Problems

 

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAVEAT      

Montreal FLCW Reminds: Social Media Will Never Trump Face-to-Face       

 

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

OR FLCW Sets Her Writing Sights on Sportswear Giant and Scores!

TIP: Excerpt & Book Giveaway: Best FR.EE Online Tools & Apps!

 

V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WRITING JOBS 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: FR.EE TELECLASS ON COLD-CALLING FOR WRITERS – 10/12!

Hate Even the IDEA of Cold Calling? “The Queen of Cold Calling” Wants Your Ears! 

           

So, I recently heard from yet another happy soul who’d had a really positive cold-calling experience. Like so many, he’d built it up to be this horribly petrifying experience bound to leave him traumatized for weeks, if not longer. And lo and behold, once he picked up the phone, what do you know, “It wasn’t that hard! And people were actually nice! And no one yelled at me! And I even got some interest!” Is there an echo in here?  

 

No, it’s far from the only way to build your business (think direct mail and networking – both grapevine and in-person, for starters…). AND, yes, it can be, as they put it so elegantly here in the South, a big-ass waste of time. IF it’s done haphazardly, without a good strategic game plan or serious thought given to the ideal client you want to reach.

 

It can also be less productive if you don’t craft a strong benefits-oriented “verbal tagline” to deliver to a prospect that quickly gets their attention – one that speaks to what’s important to them (i.e., “I help companies craft marketing materials that communicate powerfully to their target audience and drive the desired action…”).

 

But when done right, and done enough, it works, because the Law of Averages is ironclad. And, let’s be clear: contrary to the ridiculous assertions of some out there, cold calling is not dead. Far from it. I know, you so desperately WANT to believe it’s dead so you can cross it off your list as a bona fide way to build your business. Well (as they also say in the south), that dog won’t hunt. And one woman who laughs heartily at the very idea of its premature demise is Wendy Weiss, a.k.a. “The Queen of Cold Calling” (http://www.wendyweiss.com).

 

Heck, Wendy’s built an entire mini-empire around the practice of phone prospecting, which, if it were indeed expired, would be an awfully neat trick. Well, I corralled Wendy into doing a no-charge teleseminar geared toward copywriters on Wednesday, 10/12, at 4 p.m. EST, entitled “COLD-CALLING FOR THOSE WHO HATE (EVEN THE IDEA OF) COLD-CALLING”. Details will be coming soon, but for now, put it on your calendar!  

 

A key focus of Wendy’s talks are the myths surrounding cold calling, most of which most of you are likely laboring under. It promises to be an enlightening and demystifying session. And while you may never become a cold-calling evangelist, at the very least, you’ll see it in a new light and see fit to make it part of your marketing arsenal where it belongs. Oh, and by the way: this teleclass is not some “promo teaser” for some hugely expensive cold-calling workshop. Wendy does have a kick-butt info product, but it’ll set you back little more than a decent dinner out, and with FAR more value. Stay tuned!     

 

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II. “FIELD” GREENS: 3 COOL WAYS TO USE LINKEDIN GROUPS

SEO Pro Shares How She Uses LinkedIn Groups to Build Her Biz/Solve Problems

 

I periodically run an “Easy Web Tip” from CA-based web optimization/SEO pro Katherine Andes (to get her tips regularly, visit http://www.andesandassociates.com). Her stuff is always quick and useful. I learn something every time, and it’s the kind of stuff that can make you look really smart in front of a client. In this piece, she details the specific ways she uses the LinkedIn “Groups” feature to her benefit. A good follow-up to Cathy Miller’s two-part primer on LinkedIn (see the July and August 2011 issues archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml). Enjoy!

 

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While LinkedIn has really proven its value for me, what’s benefited me most are the Groups. You can join groups associated with your field, interests, and professional needs. I use Groups in three ways:


 

1. To Connect with Potential Customers.
 I join groups where my potential clients hang out (i.e., furniture and flooring dealers and local business groups). I follow discussions and contribute posts when I have something to say – usually discussing helping businesses with their websites. I don’t try to sell, just network and build relationships.

 

2. For Professional Support.  I join groups with other SEO copywriters/content developers. When I have a professional problem I can post a question to the group. Because some of these groups are very large, the “crowd-sourcing” aspect means I’ll get good cutting-edge answers, which enables me to better serve my clients.

 

3. To Solve Unusual Problems Inexpensively.
 Last year, while working on a web site built on the tricky Joomla platform, something went wrong with the navigation. Found a Joomla support site where a fellow said he could help me for $85. Reasonable, given this problem had been vexing me for a week. 

 

But, how about LinkedIn (where the help is free)? I hopped on LI, joined a Joomla group and posted my problem. The next morning, there were several replies in my inbox, most of which I couldn’t understand. But one answer from a “Mohammed in Egypt” looked simple enough. I followed his steps, and within a minute my problem was solved. How cool is that? I'm in California and in less than 24 hours a fellow from the other side of the world helped me for free.

 

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III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAVEAT      

Montreal FLCW Reminds: Social Media Will Never Trump Face-to-Face       

 

Canadian Nick Usborne (http://www.nickusborne.com) is one of the good guys in our field. He’s a go-to expert in general commercial writing, online copywriting, monetizing web sites and smart use of social media, and has created solid, info-rich programs for all the above. I came across this article of his a few months back. I know Nick is a social media fan, but not in the fawning, irrational, “it’s-the-only-marketing-strategy-worth-pursuing” way so many seem to be, and this piece epitomizes that. Enjoy!

 

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Let me preface this by saying I’m a big fan of social media as a business tool for freelancers, or for any other kind of solopreneur or business. The smart use of social media can be a great way to connect with people in your industry and reach out to potential customers, clients or partners. However…

 

The smart use of social media involves achieving absolute clarity over how you use it, when you use it and how much time you spend using it.

 

An extreme example… You could easily spend hundreds of hours on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, build up to 10,000 connections, and derive zero benefit from your efforts. As I watch some people tweeting dozens of times a day, I think, “Why? What’s his strategy? What benefit is he deriving from all this time spent? What’s his ROI?”

 

Create a social media strategy. Decide why you’re using it. Set goals, then spend your time on achieving those goals. Track the time you spend on social media, and make sure you’re getting a good ROI. Now let’s talk about lunch…

 

Imagine you have lunch with colleague, peer or old client. Or an existing client. Or a possible, future client. You spend a couple of hours over your meal. That’s 120 minutes of face time and talk time. A little talk about family stuff. A little moaning about the economy. A then some talk about what you are doing, the clients you have, the kind of work you are picking up, the kind of work you hope to be doing soon.

 

Maybe at about minute 89, your lunch guest says something like, “Hey, I should hook you up with my pal Frank. He’s the marketing manager over at Xyz Corp, and I know he’s looking for the kind of expertise you offer. I’ll get you guys together.”

 

That took 89 minutes. How long would it take you on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin?

 

Regardless of the time spent, consider the power of the referral. An introduction through LinkedIn is very nice. But it has nothing like the power of someone saying, “Frank, you should talk to Nick. I have known him for years and the other day we were having lunch, and he was talking about this new service he is offering.”

 

Your 10,000 social media connections are weak, vague, misty, fleeting and ethereal. These people don’t really know you. They have no reason to go out of their way to help you. They’re not your real friends. They don’t care about you. But when you get to know someone over the years, and have lunch each month, and hear about how their kids are doing at school, that creates a very strong connection.

 

How much time do you spend on social media each week. 6 hours, maybe? That’s three lunches. Which would be the better use of your time? For most of us I think the answer is to do both. Just don’t get so tied up with social media that you forget the power of real-life, personal relationships.

 

For information on how to use social media strategically, with clear goals in mind, check out: http://www.nickusborne.com/social-media-expert.

 

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IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

OR FLCW Sets Her Writing Sights on Sportswear Giant and Scores!

TIP: Excerpt & Book Giveaway: Best FR.EE Online Tools & Apps!

 

Great success story from Portland, OR FLCW Amber James (www.ajamesediting.com), who went after what she wanted. Who are you listening to? How about yourself! After Amber’s piece are several great f.r.e.e. tools from San Diego-based Beth Ziesenis’s (a.k.a “Your Nerdy Best Friend”; www.askbethz.com) new book, “Upgrade to FR.EE: The Best Fr.ee & Low-Cost Online Tools & Apps” (http://amzn.to/Upgrade2Free).

 

Beth’s kindly agreed to give away two copies of this excellent and exceptionally useful reference to a few creative E-PUB readers. Check out the entry details below! And even if you don’t win, check out the book at the link above. You’ll thank me!   

 

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When I decided to become a FLCW, I simultaneously decided I wanted to write for a particular sportswear giant out here in Portland. Ideally, I thought I'd like to be hired as a regular employee, and freelancing for them would only be second best. Having met the right people, at the right time, and done good work for this company since 2008, I finally, FINALLY have a regular, monthly, freelance contracting gig with them! 

 

It’s pretty much the best of both worlds: I provide content every month for a specific content team, get paid monthly, and still maintain the flexibility of being a freelancer. This is the kind of copy I love to write (short and punchy) and it’s even about a topic I’m interested in: women’s running. Having been a collegiate sprinter and then becoming a FLCW, I have literally combined two passions into one. This wasn’t planned. I didn't even think to ask for this perfect project. All this wonderfulness has convinced me beyond a doubt that it’s possible to combine two seemingly unconnected interests into reliable, soul-fulfilling income. I’m also an aspiring short story writer. Stay tuned!

 

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THREE FREE TECH TOOLS EVERY WRITER SHOULD HAVE

 

As a commercial freelancer, you must fight off a world of distractions so you can be focused, productive and organized every time you sit at the computer. Here are three free tech tools that every writer needs to make computer time more productive.

 

1) Evernote (www.evernote.com): Think of Evernote as your online idea binder. Once you set up a free account, you can throw websites, notes, files, snippets of text and more into your binder to access from anywhere – your computer, tablet, smartphone, etc. When you get a few moments to write, everything you need is just a click away.

 

2) NutshellMail (www.nutshellmail.com): As a writer, establishing a presence on social media sites is essential, but who has time to check every site multiple times a day to interact? Set up a free account with NutshellMail, and your latest interactions from major social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will be organized and delivered to your inbox at any interval you request.

 

3) Jing (www.techsmith.com/jing): Tired of writing out feedback and updates to clients? Use this handy fr.ee.bie to take a screenshot of your work, then annotate with arrows and notes (e.g.; “The typo’s right HERE!”). Or record a short video of your screen while you scroll through a document or website with your feedback as a voiceover.

 

Beth Ziesenis is “Your Nerdy Best Friend,” offering advice on the best free and bargain tech tools to improve productivity and simplify your life... without breaking the bank.

 

WIN THE DEFINITIVE TECH TOOL GUIDE!

Want more free tools? “Upgrade to Free: The Best Free & Low-Cost Online Tools & Apps” (http://amzn.to/Upgrade2Free) shares 300+ tools, including Peter’s own decidedly non-tech favorites! And I’m giving away two copies! Email giveaway@askbethz.com by 9/20/11, and in five words or less, tell me why you deserve a copy! Winners will be announced in October EPUB. Even if you don’t win, check out the book!

 

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V. COFFEE, MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- MORE WRITING JOBS 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 WRITING JOBS 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 MENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

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

 

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