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Testimonials

Table of Contents

Sample Chapter

Introduction…………………………………………… 1

  • The Joy of Doing What You Love
  • Sharing My New Career Excitement (and Success!)
  • No Contacts, No Experience, No Writing Background (My Story) -- No Problem!
  • A 20-year Veteran Says: "I know of no other area of writing so lucrative, yet so easy to get started in."
  • Leverage What You Do Know

Chapter One
An Enviable Lifestyle…………………………………. 7

  • A Comfortable, Not-Unusual Week Nets $2000
  • Lifestyle Benefits Most Would Kill For
  • Creative Work, Good Money, Your Schedule
  • How's Your Quality of Life These Days?
  • Imagining It -- The First Step!
  • Type A Not Required
  • Self-Sufficiency In Four Months

Chapter Two
Why Be a Freelance Commercial Writer (FLCW)?……13

  • Eternal Demand for Your Talents
  • "Downsizing" and "Outsourcing" -- Key Trends
  • Scarcity of Good Writers
    • Quotes From Clients Say It All!
  • Minimal Investment/Negligible Overhead
  • A Huge Variety of Work -- ADD'ers Rejoice!
  • Not Enough Good Writers -- You Are Needed
  • Very Healthy Income
  • A Hit at Cocktail Parties (Only Half-Joking…)
  • What's Your Story?
  • Downsides (True for Any Writer, Actually…)

Chapter Three
So, What Does it Take to Be Successful?.………………31

  • Writing Ability -- But Not As Much As You Think
  • Ability to Market Oneself
  • Discipline -- I'm Lazy, Believe It Or Not
  • Technical Expertise -- If I Can Do It…
  • Flexibility, Curiosity, A Non-Conformist Nature
  • Easy to Get Along With -- Your Secret Weapon
  • Assertiveness -- Take a Stand for Quality
  • Ability to Ask Lots of Dumb Questions
  • Humility, A Quick Study, Discretion

Chapter Four
Ready For Self-Employment?…………………………39

  • Attitude is Everything - Original, Eh?
  • Get Mental, Make Money
  • You Give The Raises Around Here
  • Getting Your Finances In Order
  • Creating a Portfolio From Thin Air
  • Pro Bono, the Team Concept, Start-Ups

Chapter Five
Where's The Business?…………………………………49

  • End Users and Middlemen -- Pros and Cons of Both
  • Corporate America -- Learning to Love Them
  • Graphic Design Firms -- A Primer
  • Don't Ignore the "Lone Ranger"
  • Ad Agencies, Marketing Firms, PR Firms
  • Event Production Companies -- They Need You
  • Writers Agents and Brokers: Your Pals
  • Where to Find These Lovely Bill-Payers
  • Use What You Have -- And You've Got Plenty
  • "Spec" Work -- Your Game, Your Call

Chapter Six
Let's Get Started!……………………………….………61

  • It's All About Getting Noticed
  • Prospecting from A to Z
  • Reality Checks, and Surefire Success Strategies
  • Your Calling List: The Librarian is Your Friend
  • Your Calling Script: Focus, Don't Freak!
  • Building a Shrine to "The Law of Averages"
  • Get Out and Meet Your Market
  • Creating A Company Brochure: The Nitty-Gritty
  • The Writer's Bookshelf

Chapter Seven
Technically Speaking…………………………..……….77

  • I Repeat: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
  • Life in "Cyberia" - Fun With Computers
  • PC, Printer, Phone, Fax, and Internet. Period.
  • PC or Mac? -- How To Choose
  • Good Fax and Contact Management Programs
  • The 'Net -- An Awesome Tool
  • Working Smarter and Less -- Interested?
  • Back-Up Everything, Always, Constantly
  • Handy Phone Features As Sales Tools
  • Major Technical Prowess Not Required, But…
  • Great Gadgets and Gizmos!

Chapter Eight
The System Is the Solution……………………..………91

  • The Beauty of Systems: A Unique Approach
  • Make It Easy Or It Won't Get Done
  • Be Open To Receive, Grasshopper…
  • Easy Resumes and Letters
  • Sample Letters/Resumes (I'm So Good To You…)
  • Getting and Copying Samples of Your Work
  • Your Fax: A Huge Time-Saver and Money-Maker
  • Targeted Direct Mail Campaigns For Under $60?!
  • Direct Mail: Step-By-Step From Mind to Mailbox
  • Tips For Maximum Efficiency
  • Client Meetings: Procedures and Protocol
  • Conducting Phone Interviews: A Crash Course

Chapter Nine
How Much Do I Charge?…….…………………….……115

  • In the Beginning, It's Paid On-The-Job-Training
  • By the Hour vs. By The Project: Pros and Cons
  • Your Hourly Rate (At Least $50 to Start…)
  • Avoid Premature Estimation (Or You'll Be Sorry…)
  • Find A Mentor for Pricing and Other Mysteries
  • Get Them To Talk First and Make More Money!
  • Discounted Meeting/Research Time? NO!
  • Be a Pro, Not a Doormat
  • How Important Are Contracts? Opinions Vary
  • The "Bid Letter" Might Be All You Need
  • Sample Contract, But Get Your Own Attorney

Chapter Ten
Happy Paydays!…………………………………….…….133

  • First Rule: Stay Current · Invoice in Stages -- Sometimes, It's Only Fair
  • Trust is Nice, But Still Cover Your Butt
  • Tracking Deadbeats: Get Your Money the Nice Way

Chapter Eleven
The Ebb and Flow of Work………………………….…..139

  • Feast or Famine -- Surely A Communist Plot
  • Figuring Out Your Personal "Work Style"
  • You Can Handle More Work Than You Think, But…
  • The Big Kahuna -- Long-Term Deals: Ins and Outs
  • When The Wave Hits, Ride It!
  • A "Typical" Day is Anything But Typical

Chapter Twelve
Clients and Other Fascinating Species…………………..145

  • The Dream Client -- Oh, Wouldn't It Be Nice?
  • Clients Looking for a "Massage"
  • Clients With Limited Budgets -- Keep the Radar Up
  • Winning Over "I Don't Need A Writer" Clients
  • Clients Who Want You to Take Dictation
  • When They Say They Want Creativity…Be Prepared
  • Handling Clients Who Think They're Writers
  • Multiple Decision Makers: Keeping Control
  • Ignorant Clients: Different Strains

Chapter Thirteen
Dos, Don'ts, and Don't Forget's…………………………153

  • Never Miss A Deadline
  • Remember: The Client Is The Boss
  • Use Every Advantage You Have
  • Pick A Specialty…Maybe
  • Sow The Seeds, Get Referrals
  • Remember: Nothing Is Forever
  • Luck (and the Lazy Client) Favors the Visible
  • Go Out and Meet Your Market
  • Don't Go "Direct"
  • Follow Up After Meetings and Phone Calls
  • Listen More, Work Less
  • Send Note Cards
  • Save Your Junk E-mail
  • Keep Your Word, Earn Your Money
  • Partner with a Designer and Other Writers

Chapter Fourteen
What Will You Be Writing?………………………………..173

  • A Crash Course, But You Can Write, Right?
  • "Who's The Audience?" -- The Eternal Question
  • The Sad Truth: Cry All The Way To The Bank
  • Business Letters, Ad Copy, Marketing Brochures
  • Hi-Level Proposals, Corporate Identity Pieces
  • Event Scripting
  • Scripting: Video, CD-ROM, CDi, Radio Spots
  • Speeches
  • Questions That'll Make You Look Brilliant
  • Trade Articles, Newsletters, Direct Mail
  • Writing for the Web
  • Technical Writing

Chapter Fifteen
The Home Stretch………………………………………..203

  • Where Are You Right Now?
  • One of Two Groups
  • Bad Days At The Beach
  • Getting To Someplace You Want To Be
  • Once You're Committed…Miracles

Appendix A………………………………………………..207

  • Sales Letters
  • Sample Contract
  • Sample Brochure
  • Sample Direct Mail Piece

Appendix B………………………………………………...221

  • Writing Samples

Appendix C…INTERVIEWS……………………………..251

  • For Women Only!
  • At-home Moms/Writers Speak Up!

Index……………………………………………………….271

 

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