Success Story:
How Masters Member Beth Erickson Finds New Clients

[Last October Beth attended AWAI's Getting Clients workshop at our FastTrack 2000 Bootcamp. She writes:

"When I got home, I studied all the materials again. Then I figured, 'why not give it a whirl?' So, I drafted my own little direct mail package and mailed it to businesses in my area. I got a client from that mailing. I applied all my AWAI secrets to that first job … and it worked. I got a second job from them immediately.

Now, every 3 months I send 20 – 30 sales letters to various businesses in my area. I’ve picked up another 3 clients in the last 6 months. One of those clients is a large regional hospital that gave me 4 projects in one month. And, did I mention that I live in rural Minnesota? If I can find work here, AWAI students shouldn’t have any trouble finding work anywhere."

Now Beth writes her own e-letter for writers where she just recently featured articles on how to find clients.]

So how do you pick up freelance clients? Easy. Good writers are in demand, especially as the economy softens. Companies need writers that get results. And if your copywriting pulls in responses, you'll get work.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. To start attracting clients, run a small ad in your local paper. As your expertise increases, place more ads in surrounding area papers. Maybe you'll want to write a snappy classified ad in the business section.
  2. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. You'll meet the movers and shakers in your community and make invaluable contacts.
  3. Send out a direct mail piece. I use a quarterly newsletter and it never fails to turn up something. You can write a sales letter complete with a reply form and buckslip, or you can keep it simple.
  4. Set goals each day. Decide how many queries you'll send out – and then keep to your schedule. Sending one, three, five, or ten letters daily keeps the work flowing in at a consistent rate. (I've read that it takes a minimum of SEVEN exposures to your ad or sales materials before a client will respond.)
  5. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you're a stringer for your local newspaper, ask the editor if it's possible for them to run a small ad promoting your copywriting business. If you already have local clients, ask them to recommend your writing services to their friends.

If you have nerves of steel, you can call cold call perspective clients. I don't have nerves of steel so I haven't done that – yet. But I don't rule anything out until I've tried it once.

The possibilities are endless – and that's why this job is so great. The trick is to always have lots of irons in the fire. Find out what works for you … and then run with it.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: August 27, 2001

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