“Why don’t they pay me more?”
“How can I get my foot in the door to prove myself?”
“What the heck do clients want?”
Good questions. Even veteran copywriters ask these questions, especially since it seems harder and harder to reach the real decision-makers.
That’s your first clue: the real decision-makers. To begin getting your foot in the door, that’s who you need to target.
After that, you need to make sure that your skills are a match for what that newly-targeted client does.
It’s pretty simple, when you think about it.
First step? Go to their website. Read it, every blasted page.
Do you see holes in the website? Copy that you could improve?
Does it sell the company and its products or services powerfully, persuasively, and with real personality?
The answer is… probably not.
Here’s a tip: You don’t know if your prospect is looking to revamp their website, but it’s a very good place to start.
Most business websites are not updated as often as they should be, and the business owners or managers know it.
The prospect of doing a complete overhaul is intimidating, even to the most intrepid entrepreneur. Most prospects don’t write and launch websites as a business.
To them, their website is just another piece of the infrastructure, like the coffee machine or the carpet. Hence, unless they are 100% Internet businesses, it’s usually on the short end of resources.
Which spells opportunity for you. Updating copy (not design) is relatively easy, even for the most clueless prospect.
Crafting a new concept/rationale with a working headline and a couple paragraphs of copy — sent to the decision maker, whom you’ve identified through your research — is a good way to get your foot in the door.
It shows your prospect that you’re already thinking hard about their business, you’re involved, and you’re a partner they can count on.
Whoa!, you say. What about my time? I don’t want to give it away! The client won’t respect me!
Well, if you give too much, that’s true. Think of this as a tease… because it is.
And when you balance two to three hours of research and preliminary concept writing against the big prize — rewriting their whole website (which is what you are after), or other juicy projects that are lurking behind the façade of their homepage — well, it’s not a whole lot of effort.
Think of it this way:
Build a list of 50 target businesses. Spend 4 hours a week (half a day) wooing one of them, 50 a year.
Assume you convert at least 20% of that hand-picked list.
That’s 10 new clients. Assume each one brings you $10,000 in work — a modest amount, if you’ve targeted correctly and matched your skills with their needs.
For most freelancers, 10 clients are probably more than you can handle. And, for most freelancers, $100,000 a year would be a good haul.
You can build a thriving business in one year with this one strategy.
Published by guest author, Master Copywriter Lea Pierce, who is also a First Mate in the S.S. Treasure Hunt, offering wisdom and guidance to our Crew members.
© 2013 Lea Pierce, All Rights Reserved