If you had no copywriting clients and needed money today...

22 replies
Hey folks,

I know we see a lot of "emergency" posts in the WF, but not so many in the copywriter forum, as far as I can see.

We have this incredible skill, but being freelancers, there are some occasions where clients aren't knocking and bills need paying (albeit rare if you're a good writer and been in the game for a while, but even so, it happens.)

So, in those situations, what would you do to secure a check today... how would you utilize your skills to bridge the gap until the next client comes around?
#clients #copywriting #money #needed #today
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Talk to people.

    You can make a targeted list and get on the phone within a couple of hours. Get your down payment and you're set. What competition are you going to have?!

    If you're in this business or any business, you should have a leadgen system so this doesn't happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Talk to people.

      You can make a targeted list and get on the phone within a couple of hours. Get your down payment and you're set. What competition are you going to have?!

      If you're in this business or any business, you should have a leadgen system so this doesn't happen.
      Yep, the basics are often forgotten! Where would you find a targeted list within hours though? I assume you mean through advertising?
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  • For those who don't like hitting the dog and bone (telephone).

    Write and print up a Flyer promoting your ace Ad writing services (don't use the word "copywriter" many don't know what it means).

    Knock them out to bricks and mortar businesses.

    Wait for them to call you.

    If the Flyer is good they always do.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Write and print up a Flyer promoting your ace Ad writing services (don't use the word "copywriter" many don't know what it means).
      I've done a lot of testing using and not using the word copywriter.

      Here's what I found:

      When I didn't use the word, I got a LOT of responses. But very few of them were actually qualified or had a realistic budget for hiring me.

      When I did use the word, I had WAY fewer responses. But the responses I DID get were extremely qualified. I didn't have to educate them or convince them that copy was needed to sell their stuff.

      BIG difference.

      My advice?

      Don't position your copy to go after people that you need to educate - especially if you need money TODAY, like RIGHT NOW!

      Mark
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      Do You Want To Make 5 and 6-Figures A Month As A Freelance Copywriter? My Copywriting System Has Made Over 600 Million Dollars. Discover More

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      • Profile picture of the author splitTest
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

        I've done a lot of testing using and not using the word copywriter.

        Here's what I found:

        When I didn't use the word, I got a LOT of responses. But very few of them were actually qualified or had a realistic budget for hiring me.

        When I did use the word, I had WAY fewer responses. But the responses I DID get were extremely qualified. I didn't have to educate them or convince them that copy was needed to sell their stuff.

        BIG difference.

        My advice?

        Don't position your copy to go after people that you need to educate - especially if you need money TODAY, like RIGHT NOW!

        Mark
        I'm curious -- if you didn't use "copywriter" what did you use? I'm thinking of going with "sales writer" or "marketing and publicity writer" -- that way both informed and uninformed clients know what I do.

        "Copywriter" is such a tinny, weak word anyway, and inevitably people confuse it with "copyrighter" (as in "copyright").

        Even worse than not knowing what it means is thinking they know what it means and that it's something they don't need.
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  • Jason,

    I totally agree.

    Get 200 telephone "business" telephone numbers.

    Prepare an enlightening 30 sec pitch.

    Within a couple of hours or so - you'll have new clients.


    Steve


    P.S. Phone takes 2-3 hours.

    Flyers take 2-3 days.


    The secret to never being short of money is don't do this when you are short of money.

    Do it before the money runs out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    You can always make an irresistible offer. That's what the WSO
    used to be for, not just for 'normal' marketing' (in the old days.)
    Just be sure that you explain that this was a one-time deal and not
    your normal rate.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Interesting...

    Maybe it's a UK thing.

    Could be I haven't tested it.

    The key part to the Flyer is - showing how and why it is vital to run effective ads.

    Because that’s what brings the money in.

    Maybe a touch of educating but more importantly saying "their Ads will all be done expertly for them with one primary aim - to get sales, revenues and profits"

    This seems to resonate with the bricks and mortar clients.

    And they do respond.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Nick, this technique is called "eating your babies".

    I learned it at Oracle. I don't know if they still do it, but during Oracle's startup days, to make quota, Oracle salesmen were authorized to cut insane software licensing deals.

    Here's what you do:

    Go to existing or previous Clients you have a relationship with. Make them an irresistible offer of some sort. Something they can't refuse.

    The only catch is they pay upfront. Like today.

    If you normally would write a sales letter for $5000, today you'll write the same sales letter for $1000, cash in hand.

    If they're not ready for your services yet, tell them if they prepay you'll do the same work later on.

    There's no shame in this. Like you say, it can happen to anyone. I've done it multiple times in different scenarios.

    It works.

    It works because they know you won't flake. They know what they're getting. They know they're getting a deal. As long as the Client knows this is a special once-in-a-blue-moon situation, it doesn't harm your future pricing or the relationship.

    In fact, if you level with your Client what your predicament is, it creates a stronger bond.

    Sure, you're eating your babies. But that's the price you pay for being desperate.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      As long as the Client knows this is a special once-in-a-blue-moon situation, it doesn't harm your future pricing or the relationship.
      Yes it does - very much so. You price yourself at $497 or whatever and that will be an albatross hanging around your neck. Much better to work on positioning and branding from the start.
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    • Profile picture of the author charbrown
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      This technique is called "eating your babies".

      Go to existing or previous Clients you have a relationship with. Make them an irresistible offer of some sort. Something they can't refuse.

      The only catch is they pay upfront. Like today.
      - Rick Duris
      Great idea Rick, but eventually you have to pay the piper. If you over use this strategy, you create a huge backlog of work for yourself that could interfere with your ability to get new clients and keep feeding your pipeline.

      Other than that, your idea is excellent.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    Yes it does - very much so. You price yourself at $497 or whatever and that will be an albatross hanging around your neck. Much better to work on positioning and branding from the start.
    Positioning and branding doesn't insulate one from a cash crisis. Business is rife with examples from well known brands who have cannibalized future sales to weather a financial storm.

    As for your albatross comment Mal, maybe I didn't make the mindset clear enough.

    This is a one-time thing. You know it. The Client knows it. He knows what you're worth on the open market. He's paid it before. He appreciates your work. He knows why he's getting a deal. He knows after this project is over he'll pay previous rates.

    It's the alignment of the stars he's getting a big break. Odds are he'll take advantage if it's irresistible enough.

    These are your terms, not his.

    But will he try to take advantage of you again? Well, he'd be crazy not to inquire, wouldn't he? And then it's up to you if you want to do the deal.

    I always come back to the core mindset--it's you who makes the rules. It's only an albatross if you allow it to be an albatross going forward.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Make contact with past clients and contacts and let them
      know you've come across a breakthrough which has gotten
      x results in x amount of time in x situation.

      Then say you can see how it can be applied to their business.

      You are now the guy/gal who brings the latest breakthroughs
      which keeps them on a growth curve.

      Not some person pestering them for work.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Nick,

        In the beginning of my business career I was fortunate that the person who taught me copywriting skills and finding clients always made it mandatory that I never stop marketing

        I too ask the question what if I needed a check today. His answer to me was somewhat rude then but looking back he was dead on.

        His answer was this, "If you need a check today then you do not have an active and ongoing marketing system in place feeding you leads and you will not last long as a freelance copywriter without constantly struggling."


        I was not a complete believer in the beginning because I knew more...arrogant imbecile was I. I finally got tired of waiting for the next customer to come along, relented and buckled down and forced myself to actively market my copywriting services as part of my daily business operations. That changed my income flow.

        So my question to you is what is your daily marketing activity and if it's hit or miss and you're wondering how to get a check today when will you turn the corner and buckle down?
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    some great advice in this thread, thank you all. I think it's pretty hard to fail when you have:

    1. A track record
    2. Outbound prospecting
    3. Inbound lead gen

    One thing I've relied too heavily on for my career is referrals. It's worked for years, but those times when things go quiet for a few weeks is always like a thorn in your side. Time to rethink my business.

    Oh, and here's another one to add...

    4. An exit offer for people who can't afford you, but can afford to teach themselves
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
    Hi All,

    I noticed this thread and thought I would chime in.

    This is a hard question I am often asked from new copy cubs and new copywriters who don't know how to sell their own services well or have a marketing plan in place.

    (Or in many cases a customer oriented sales letter to SELL THEMSELVES and THEIR SERVICES WELL.)

    Now I don't know about you guys and gals but I remember when I first started out over 16 years ago with my own fledgling online business and was hungry for copywriting and web design work.

    My copywriting career was launched from a chat room when I was chatting with a top copywriting guy who complained about having too many copywriting projects to do!

    He took me under his wing to do those extra projects he dreaded writing copy for... or for clients were too cheap for him to bother with.

    Now I don't know about you but I have plenty of work and am booked out for months at a time now but it wasn't always that way...

    The reason why is I have a good rep with a strong marketing campaign and I worked hard for years to perfect it. I sometimes think I should pass on these extra projects to other writers but I don't want to have one of my good clients get sub-standard copy. But I do recommend other writers if I can when I am booked too full.

    Just so you know....

    I coached only one copy cub last year, and Jeremey Hunsicker is doing quite well as a full time copywriter and is very happy with his new writing career!

    When Jeremey started out he wanted to know how to build his copywriting business and although he had plenty of sales experience -- just not writing experience or experience selling his services as a writer.

    I suggested he rewrite his sales letter for his copywriting business with the CLIENT in mind. His sales letter was 'copywriting focused' not focused on solving problems for the client.

    Once he rewrote his copywriting sales letter for his services (with my recommendations and critique) he started to get more leads and over time he built a thriving business. I coached him on simple methods to build his rep and many are listed below.

    (Note: You can check out my own copywriting site for a what I mean by this particular type of client focused writing. The copy is humorous and meant to be that way... But please do not swipe it as it is copyscape protected and I would know.)

    Anyway...

    To dig up some new ideas for how to get those BIG NEW CLIENT CHECKS coming in...

    How about a couple of these?

    1. Hire an outsourcer to find jobs for you and give them a spif for doing so. I know many Fiverr members would love to do this if the referral fee was high enough to make it pay for them.

    2. Hire a sales person on a 50/50 split, who is out of work. Split the income from the sales letter so you pay them AFTER you are paid and the work is done. There are tens of thousands of sales people out of work and THEY have time to beat the bushes for new jobs while you keep writing and doing what YOU DO BEST.

    3. Post on Craigslist in different cities your services. Post a job for other people to find you copywriting work and pay them when they get a new lead for you.

    4. Create a Facebook account and post your services abiding by Facebook's TOS.

    5. Same with Linked In, and become members of other Marketer's groups for the types of copy you write so you get the inside track on new projects before other copywriters even know the project is open for bids!

    6. Contact your local college and let a college student bang on the doors of local businesses with your flyer. (That means you DO have to have a good flyer too.)

    7. Get a decent website up that is SEO optimzied to get free traffic and get new leads for free.

    8. Call all your old clients and give them a 25% off a rewrite for writing copy for split testing!

    9. Call your local organizations (churches and charities too) and see if they need their website copy spiffed up!

    10. Contact ANY OLD CLIENT or find new Clickbank and Forum Special Offers sellers and do a copy project for a reduced fee for 2014 as a New Years Gift! (and with a reduced price as incentive to hire you in the future...)

    The list is almost endless if you start thinking out of the box.

    If nothing else call/skype/email all your old copywriter/marketing buddies and see if they have any extra copy work they don't have time or don't want to do!

    One last thing...

    I do remember how hard it was to pay the bills years ago when I first started out with my own online business -- and so know I am not just blowing smoke here -- I know it is NOT easy when you are new and just starting out.

    If you problems getting new projects -- it MAY BE YOUR OWN FAULT...!?

    Especially if you have a 'negative vibe' when you contact new leads or pick up the phone or skype or write that email requesting help for finding new projects.

    **SO BE SURE YOUR HEAD IS ON STRAIGHT AND YOU ARE IN A POSITIVE MODE OF THINKING AND FEELING BEFORE YOU CONTACT A LEAD OR PICK UP THE PHONE IF NOT LET THE ANSWERING MACHINE GET IT UNTIL YOU ARE FEELING POSITIVE!***

    Because you can sabotage your efforts with a negative comment to a new client!

    If you are in the rotten mindset of thinking...

    "Oh woe is me I will never get a job, and I'll get behind on my bills, and I'll lose my car, I'll get be forclosed on my mortgage, my kids won't eat, my _____ (you name it -- ANY BAD THING) will happen and I will ____ myself!!!

    Well maybe that is a little over the top, but you get my drift here.

    Get Energized, and Get Excited about Getting that Call/Email/Text from a Client who wants to hire you for DOUBLE what you normally charge!

    SIMPLY DO THIS!

    WRITE IT DOWN AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    There is a great book out by Jenriette Anne Klauser - titled "Write it Down Make It Happen - Knowing What You Want and Getting IT!" (NO I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE).

    I strongly recommend people buy as it will totally surprise you with what you will learn and how it will RADICALLY change how you think about your success -- or dismal lack of it.

    A funny thing is...

    I bought this book years ago when I was experiencing some life problems and needed some good advice and wanted to boost my profits and reduce my work load (I was selling myself TOO CHEAP!)

    Old Henriette wrote about how "we are the creators of our thoughts, feelings and emotions -- what we THINK AND BELIEVE WILL HAPPEN, GOOD OR BAD."

    I wrote out my list that year and found it a year or so later inside this book when I was going to read it again for inspiration!

    The COOL THING WAS...

    Of the 10 things I had listed I wanted to do, 9 of the 10 I had already accomplished!

    And the 10th was on the way!

    I was so surprised I felt breathless as I read each item all the while knowing I had done each one this past year!

    Ain't that a kicker!

    So write down the GOOD THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IN THE BRAND NEW YEAR 2014!

    Heck, I've got to stop writing this right now!

    .... I need to get my OWN 2014 SUCCESS LIST DONE!

    Good luck to all in 2014!

    Regards,

    Jennie Heckel
    Sales Letter Copywriter
    Signature
    ******* WSO & JV ZOO COPYWRITER -- VLS & SALES LETTERS PROVEN TO CONVERT ******* Get Higher Profits From Launches That SELL! Proven Copywriter with 17 Years of Copywriting Experience. Contact Me Via Skype: seoexpertconsulting Copywriting Website: http://www.VideoScriptCopywriter.com

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    • Profile picture of the author splitTest
      Those are great ideas, Jennie. Wish you the best in 2014!
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      • Profile picture of the author splitTest
        Wow -- valuable, actionable stuff in there. Thanks again!

        hope 2014 "pays it forward" for you
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    great post Jennie, thanks for the refresher! It can be easy to forget all the ways to market yourself when you haven't needed to for so long!
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    • Profile picture of the author Craigleads
      Thanks for such a helpful post .....Jennie
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      • Profile picture of the author withjay
        Great tips in this post - this is what I have personally done. I had an online business that got hacked and I had used somewhat shady tactics to get to the position my site was in (my bad).

        My revenue stopped so I had to either get a job (not really an option in my book), or hustle the hell out the net to pick up some work while I worked on my next project.

        1. I Mastered A Niche
        I decided that there will always be people who want to date, casually get together, trade stocks or whatever, but I already went to the gym and played sports anyway. I started reading up full time about health and fitness and learning about the niche. I started participating in forums and blogs instead of just passively reading them.

        2.I Started Reaching Out To People
        I started to contact the owners asking if they wanted any content written. This is easy. Just go to your search engine and type in a niche you know about and start to contact them. DON'T just send a canned message - web masters know spam when they see it.

        It wasn't necessarily sales copy, sometimes it was just articles, but if you have a bit of penmanship then you can get a very high CTR with a strong call to action at the end of an article. Some web masters just view articles as a quick SEO method, but the ones who spend the extra to get a good copywriter will get a double whammy of SEO and sales from them.

        3. I Learned More To Help My Clients More
        Instead of just reading Ogilvy books all day I started to learn about how to drive traffic. Not just on-page SEO stuff, but actual tactics such as guest posting, forum posting, blog commenting, 2.0 properties, link wheels (probably should have steered clear of these) etc.

        When my clients came to me wanting content, I could help advise them on the best way to use that content to drive traffic.
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