These 10 strategies cost nothing, or close to it. They’ll save you money… and put money in your bank account, too!
1. Look in the business section of your local paper for the names of people who have been promoted, hired or rewarded by their companies. Write a short congratulatory letter (refer to the specific achievement to make it personal), and enclose two or more of your business cards (one for the person to keep, the others for him or her to give to others). By the way, your business cards DO include complete information about what you do, don’t they? If not, redesign them today! Just a title, such as “Freelance Writer,” is too vague. List what you can do (newsletters, brochures, ads, etc.) and add a blurb that highlights the main benefit you offer.
2. Scan magazines and newspapers for articles that are of interest to one or more of your current clients or “hot prospects” (people you’ve talked to but have not worked for yet). Clip the articles and send them to the prospects with an attached, handwritten note stating something like, “Hi, Alice. Thought you might be interested in this. Please keep me in mind for your future writing needs! Regards, Henry.” This strategy gives you a reason to remind your clients and prospects about you. It’s a way to keep your name in their minds. The use of snail mail and a handwritten note gives this tactic a personal touch. This is much more effective (and less obtrusive) than sending interesting tidbits via e-mail.
3. Create an alliance with graphic designers. Writers sometimes need graphic design work or have the opportunity to refer their clients to artists. And artists frequently need good copy that their clients cannot or do not want to supply themselves. Contact local graphic designers and ask them about their businesses before you talk about yours. Let them know that you may have an occasional client who could use their services. After the conversation gets going, you can mention your services. Follow up by sending a personal letter and several of your business cards. (One for the designer to keep, and the others for the designer to give to clients who may need you someday.)
4. Join an organization, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the local advertising club. Face-to-face networking is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business. Put your business cards in your pocket and always give two or three to each person (one to keep and one or two to share).
5. After you join an organization, volunteer and be active. Get noticed by taking a visible role in committees or events.
6. Call 5 to 10 people you know — friends, relatives, coworkers, folks at church, etc.–and talk to them about what you are doing as a freelance copywriter. Let them know you are available for work if they happen to hear of anyone who can use your services. Sometimes we think our “inner circle” knows what we do and can therefore refer us to others. More often, though, these people have only a limited idea of our capabilities. Change their misperceptions today!
7. Start your own newsletter or e-zine. Make sure at least 75 percent of the copy is information people can use — not marketing hype about you. For example, write articles on “Better Business Writing,” “The Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When You Write a Business Letter,” or “Advertising Copy That Sells.” Show your expertise in most of the newsletter, then highlight the benefits of your writing services. Remember to add a call to action (what you want the reader to do next, such as call you for a free consultation).
8. Contact a bookstore and offer to teach a free seminar about writing. Use a recently published book as a resource, and have lots of copies on hand for participants who are interested in purchasing the book. You’ll benefit from the free publicity and the store will benefit from the free promotion of the book.
9. Call four ad agencies and ask to speak to the creative or copy director. Be ready with a 30-second introductory pitch about your services and how you can benefit the ad agency. Ask for either a meeting to discuss the agency’s needs or permission to send a package with some of your writing samples.
10. Try to get in the newspaper or on the radio or local TV. Many media outlets actively seek guests who have something interesting to say. Develop a topic idea that will showcase your talents as a writer while also making for a good story or segment. Contact local reporters, radio hosts and TV producers with your idea.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathy Poole has been a Prosperous Writer since she launched her highly profitable freelance copywriting business in 1985. She is also a Writer’s Coach who empowers other writers to prosper in this opportunity-rich field. Kathy gives writers the confidence, knowledge and action plans they need to start, run and grow their own lucrative copywriting businesses – much sooner and more easily than they could by themselves. For information, resources, more articles and a complimentary Special Report, visit http://www.prosperouswriter.com
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