In his own words:
How To Succeed In Your Copywriting Career With The Gun To The Head Method
Then I became a freelance copywriter with a one-man advertising agency. Problem was, as a young guy with broken English, I couldn't get clients. So, what I did is I came up with an irresistible offer.
I was calling business owners and saying, you know what, I am a copywriter, and I saw your ad in the Yellow Pages. What they didn't know was that I contacted them because they were running half or full page ads so I knew how much they were spending on the ad.
I would tell them that I didn't have a lot of experience, but I was willing to rewrite their ad, and if they weren't happy with it, they didn't have to pay me. But if the ad worked, they would pay me $500 to $800.
Not everyone said Yes, but I got enough saying Yes that I started building my own little client base. It was do or die copywriting. Or gun to the head copywriting.
If I didn't work, I didn't eat. It was how I honed my craft. With experience, I found which ads worked and which didn't. I noticed patterns.
Boosting Freelance Copywriting Cold-Call Results
This is based on my experience trying to drum up business over the phone.
I've seen some folks despairing over their marketing efforts, and I wanted to share something that worked for me.
Believe me, I understand the despair.
At first, cold calling was miserable for me.
I spent hours downloading lists from InfoUSA, organizing them by time-zone, and plugging away on the phone.
Read the rest of John Soar's post here.
Peter Bowerman of "The Well-Fed Writer" fame advocates cold calling so much for copywriters, he has a 1000 Cold Call Challenge in his book. Oh, by the way, this is what Bob Bly has to say about Peter's book:
"...the best advice on how to make more money writing for corporate clients I have ever read."
Bob Bly, Copywriter, Author of 75 books, including
Secrets of a Freelance Writer
Carol Tice is another heavyweight in the copywriting realm and she has 5 courses in her Writer's Den which advocates and teaches cold calling.
My personal take on cold calling is it is faster and a lot more fun than waiting years to build a reputation. Yeah, you have to compile and cherry-pick a list, make the calls and follow up, but it works a hell of a lot faster than any other method. But, when you call and make a follow up appointment and everyone is super nice to you (I've never actually had a bad experience, at all) you'll feel like a million bucks.
My personal take.