NOTE: I'm sending out the E-PUB a few days late this month to steer clear of the post-Labor-Day email crush. The normal "first-Tuesday-of-the-month" 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.” 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.  

*****************************************
VOLUME 12, ISSUE 9 – SEPTEMBER 2013
HAPPY LABOR (ON OUR OWN TERMS) DAY!  
Publishing the first Tuesday of every month since May 2002  
Read it online HERE.

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

*****************************************
ATTN: BIRMINGHAM, AL JOURNOS/FREELANCERS – OCTOBER WORKSHOP!
I’ll be delivering a morning workshop on getting started in commercial
writing on Thursday, 10/10/13. Get all the details HERE.

*****************************************
PARTNER WITH DESIGNERS FOR A LOW-EFFORT FLOW OF WRITING JOBS! More Here...

*****************************************
CAN'T STAND WRITING "HYPE-Y" COPY? ATTEND THE "NO-HYPE COPYWRITING SUMMIT"!
COST: $0. Date: 9/23-9/27. Call in from home! ALL details HERE!


*****************************************
NEW 1-ON-1 COACHING PROGRAMS: SAMPLE/SITE REVIEW & “SIDECAR”!
Low-cost peace of mind and guidance. Get details HERE.
 
*****************************************
Check out The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG! Weigh in on “Why Aren’t You B2B
Writers Doing More of these Lucrative Projects?”; “Instead of Just
Sharing What You Do with Clients, Share Who You Are”; “What You Do
When You Do What You Do”; & more!

*****************************************

THIS MONTH’S MENU:

I. APPETIZER: NOTES FROM MY SIX-WEEK WELL-FED WRITING “RAMBLE”!
Back from 5000-Mile Drive Trip, Full of Adventures Numerous and Wondrous…

II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE 9-5 AS PORTFOLIO-BUILDER!
AZ FLCW Uses the J-O-B to Build Her “Book;” Leaves Many Smiles in Her Wake

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE 100K WRITING PRACTICE, and NO COLD CALLS!
NH FLCW Builds Thriving Biz HER Way, With Far Less Anxiety, Just as Much Succe$$  

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
IL FLCW Turns Unpromising-Looking Lead Into 18 Months of Steady Work!
TIP: 7 Proven Templates for Writing Value Propositions That Work

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 WRITER BLOG is Rockin!
- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Multiple Mentoring Services Serve You?

*****************************************
*****************************************

APPETIZER: NOTES FROM MY SIX-WEEK WELL-FED WRITING “RAMBLE”!
Back from 5000-Mile Drive Trip, Full of Adventures Numerous and Wondrous…

Forgive this less-than-strictly-business Appetizer! Just got back from
my mini-“Well-Fed Writing Ramble”: Six weeks of sightseeing and six
writing/publishing events in OH and on the West Coast. In a nutshell,
one week in Ohio, beginning 7/19, visiting family, and doing two
events, near Cleveland and Cincinnati.

By the way, in the first event near Cleveland (on self-publishing), I
collaborated with self-published nature photographer David
FitzSimmons, author of the amazing kid’s book, Curious Critters.
If you need an unusual gift for a little one, pick it up.

I then flew to Denver on 7/26 and spent 34 days driving a huge loop
through CO, WY, MT, ID, OR, CA, NV, AZ, UT, NM and back to CO), seeing
more breathtaking beauty along the way than I ever dreamed possible.
Six national parks, nearly 5000 miles driving, and four more events on
the west coast (Portland and three in the Bay Area).   

Check out the “WFRamblePhotoLog.pdf” (a compilation of four
photo-essay emails I sent to a few friends along the way) loaded up to
Box.net HERE. Just click the PDF icon when you get there!

It’s a cliché to say, “Why travel the world, when we have so much
beauty right here at home?” And while I SO enjoy seeing the world, I
discovered how true that is. And the sheer number of foreign tourists
I encountered (literally half or more of ALL the tourists I came
across) in places like Cody, WY, Yellowstone, the Redwoods, Zion,
etc., was prrof positive that THEY knew how good we have it here.

I get that most people can’t get away for a 40-day trip, but a week or
10 days? Just do it. Other than the events themselves, I did no work
on the trip. And while I got plenty of calls and emails for work while
away, I managed to push virtually all of them back until my return (as
long as six weeks away, in some cases). Clients are more flexible than
you might imagine. Course, the plate is mighty full now, but that’s
just fine. Let’s eat!

*****************************************
*****************************************

II. “FIELD” GREENS: THE 9-5 AS PORTFOLIO-BUILDER!
AZ FLCW Uses the J-O-B to Build Her “Book;” Leaves Many Smiles in Her Wake!
 
Great piece from Phoenix FLCW Donna Batchelor,
which speaks to anyone still
working for The Man, while building their
freelance business on the side. Not a new idea, but more validation
that one of the best ways to build your “book” while working 9-5 is
WITH your own company. Good work, Donna!
 
*****************************************
For those who need to build their portfolio, your current job is one
best resources going. I work for one of the top five financial
institutions in the U.S., while working my plan to be a full-time FLCW.
 
I mentioned to my manager that I love to write, and would appreciate
the opportunity to cover any business writing needs for our team. She
put me to work, and to date, I’ve written a few internal product
bulletins, two blog posts on our external customer blog, an
installation guide, product comparison guide, corporate letter, two
user emails, and more. When we called customers for feedback on one
initiative (and mainly the communications I’d written), they ALL had
positive comments, saying it was clear, concise, and not too much.

Best of all was seeing my first blog draft come back from Corporate
Communications and Legal with barely any edits! In fact, CC didn’t
change anything, only reordered a few sentences (which I agreed with).
Legal made one or two clarifications, but that was it. Talk about a
confidence-booster!
 
My immediate manager was—and continues to be—grateful for a resource
on her team who loves to write and takes on any writing needs. Our
marketing communications partner is happy that I always write first
drafts as that takes a load off her plate. I’m building up a stack of
material I can use for writing samples. As if all that happiness
wasn't enough, the overall writing and approval process goes more
smoothly and quickly because first drafts are written by someone who
loves to write and is good at it. My writing (and love of it!) is
having a positive impact. I'll have that portfolio in no time!
 
*****************************************
*****************************************

III. MAIN “MEAT” COURSE: THE 100K WRITING PRACTICE, and NO COLD CALLS!
NH FLCW Builds Thriving Biz HER Way, With Far Less Anxiety, Just as Much Succe$$

Durham, NH (Boston-area) FLCW Kate Waddell is a strategic copywriter
specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies, blogging and other
B2B marketing tools. She sent me the wonderful piece below on blazing
her own business-building path—one that was a fit for her temperament.

If you, too, break out in a cold sweat at the thought of cold calling,
but have big financial goals as a FLCW, you’ll find a kindred spirit
in Kate. Now, I’ve never been a fan of the online job sites as a way
to build your business, but if you do it the way Kate and a few other
smart ones have, it can work. Read and heed.

*****************************************
OK, so I DID make ONE cold call. But I'll get to that later… After
years of waiting tables and being just sure there was something better
out there, I stumbled across “The Well Fed Writer” on Amazon and
ordered a copy. Prior to that day, I never even knew "copywriting"
existed as a profession and that other than needing to be a solid
writer, there were few barriers to entry.

I was hooked. I was terrified. I really wanted to make it work, but I
had no contacts. I read and re-read the section on making cold calls.
I made a list of contacts. I wrote a script. I made the first call. I
nearly threw up and/or blacked out at the same time (luckily I only
got the guy's voice mail). This would never do.

Not being one to give up easily I realized I had two options. 1) Get
really good at making cold calls or 2) Think of something else. I
opted for 2. It turned out to be the right decision for me, because
several years and several dozen clients later, I am making six figures
without having to promote my business anymore at all. Which means YOU
can do it to. Here's what I did….

First, I signed up for Guru and Elance and a few other
freelancing sites. Yes, on these sites, you have to kiss a lot of
frogs, but if you've got nothing but time and pathological fear of
cold calling, kissing frogs doesn’t seem so bad. A few tips for these
types of sites:

1) Be Professional. Take the time to create a professional profile and
stick to professional pricing. There are a lot of cuckoos on these
sites, but you can weed them out very effectively by charging at least
$50 an hour.

2) Listen to Your Instincts. If the client seems a little wacky, run
the other direction. I didn't listen to my gut a few times when I was
starting out and got stuck with a few crazy clients who made my life
miserable and a few who even stiffed me. Not fun.

3) Learn to Sniff Out Quality Clients. When you see a project that
looks legit and is offering a reasonable fee go for it with everything
you've got! Remember that there are a lot of wacky freelancers out
there too, but you can set yourself apart with a professional proposal
and a fee that’s in line with industry standards.

4) Don't Compete on Price. Don't compete on price. Don't compete on
price. Charge a reasonable fee (based on $50-100 an hour) and be
confident that a legitimate client will gladly pay it for a good copywriter.
I’ve had plenty of people choose me over the "other guy" because his fee
was so low, it made them wonder if he knew what he was doing.

(PB: Absolutely true. Good clients—the kind that appreciates the value
a copywriter brings—will NOT be impressed by a low fee; it’ll likely
have the opposite effect).


While sorting the wheat from the chaff on freelancing sites can be a
difficult chore, one of my best clients to this day is one I found on
Guru, so it was definitely worth it.

Second, I decided to send cold emails instead of make cold calls.

1) I used Google to find a list of target companies that looked like
good prospects for me.

2) I searched the company website (and sometimes the web) to find the
contact info for people with the job titles who would likely be in
charge of hiring freelancers (marketing managers, product managers,
directors of marketing, etc.)

3) I crafted very short, to-the-point emails, introducing myself and
offering my services as a copywriter (PB: Brevity is key. How little
patience do YOU have for long emails? Prospects are no different)
. I
directed them to my website to find out more information and read
samples. Note that I did NOT attach anything to the email, as this can
get you caught in the SPAM folder.

The response was instantaneous and overwhelming. Busy marketing
execs respond very well to emails. After all, they can decide quickly if
they’re interested in learning more, click right over to my website,
and reply to me—all with a few keystrokes.

So while to be a successful FLCW, you do have to find, talk to and
sell your services to clients, you can find your own way to do it that
works for you—no oxygen bags required.

PB: Check out this update from Kate… “I continue to be crazy busy and
have even started turning new clients down because I don’t want to
work more than 40 hours a week! ;) Actually I am about to have my
biggest year ever, and I haven’t gone out and looked for a client in
over three years. I’ve taken on a few new ones in that time, but
they’re referrals who call me. I am constantly grateful and
appreciative of the lifestyle I have, which includes getting to spend
lots of time with my two young daughters while still having a career.
I owe a large part of it to you and your book.

 
*****************************************
*****************************************

IV. DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips
IL FLCW Turns Unpromising-Looking Lead Into 18 Months of Steady Work!
TIP: 7 Proven Templates for Writing Value Propositions That Work

A solid success story from FLCW David Kent, who hails from Woodridge, IL.
Note that this client lasted 18 months. That’s often the way it goes in our
business: clients are rarely forever, but each one, no matter how long
we have them, teach us things, and give us confidence to land more.
Thanks, David! And after that, a link to, “7 Proven Templates for
Writing Value Propositions That Work”
from Norwegian champion of
entrepreneurship, Tor Gronsund. Enjoy!

*****************************************
Peter: I have a good story about landing a B2B copywriting client and
retaining him for 18 months. I was doing some cold calling, and a
friend in industrial sales, looking for a position with this
particular client, gave me a lead.
 
It was their HR office manager and I called. She steered me to their
VP/Marketing, and I left him a message. While he initially called me
back to tell me he didn’t have any writing needs, less than two weeks
later he called back with a white paper project.
 
Well, that was a great technical piece AND a marketing piece, so I
could now bill myself as a technical copywriter. Fast-forward through
several more white papers, press releases, a case study and a bunch of
editing and proofreading of collateral. I now had a history of
technical and direct response copywriting with these people and they
were no doubt my best client. I had work every month.

In January 2011 I flew down for a great, two-day onsite business
meeting with them at their expense, and came away from that with a
brand-new project.
 
Unfortunately, a late 2010 sales slump caused them to have to retrench
in February 2011, and they had to let their outsourced staff go. But
all in all, this was a wonderful client and great, steady source of
revenue from my writing, and it was all due to something I hardly
considered much of an opportunity.
 
The manager and I are close friends and have had frequent phone visits
since 2011. More contacts and networking have been mined since getting
to know this company, and he and I still toss ideas around. I’m
looking for just a few more like him!

*****************************************
Ever stumped as to how best to describe a client’s product or service
to highlight the value to potential prospects? Came across these
simple, useful template tools, compiled by Tor Gronsund, to simplify
the process. You still have to figure out what sets a product apart,
but seeing these constructions should make that easier as well.

*****************************************
*****************************************


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 WRITER BLOG is Rockin!
- AWAI Copywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get Bonus CD!

- How Can My Multiple Mentoring Services Serve You?

****************************************
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.

*****************************************
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.     

*****************************************
The WELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin!

*****************************************    
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!

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

*****************************************