7 Proven Ways to Find Your First Client

In past issues of The Golden Thread, we've featured success stories from students who have tried everything from mailing their own direct-mail packages … to students who jumpstarted their careers by finding a mentor or coach.

There is no one right or wrong way to sell yourself to an editor or client – but learning from those who have gone before you and applying their techniques to your client search is a great place to start. Take these seven for instance …

For Beverly Huttinger, it was as easy as sending in an assignment in to the AWAI Masters Program. Beverly's assignment was so good it was selected to test online and in the mail against a long-standing control for an overseas investment and retirement newsletter.

Monica Day reports that she's had some success with online websites such as creativemoonlighter.com.

Peter Fogel and Krista Jones both chose to take AWAI up on our call to challenge our existing control. Both submitted a headline and lead to us first and both have written several additional pieces for us since.

Cathy Cairns and Beth Erickson drafted sales letters to sell their services and mailed them to prospective clients. Beth was inspired after attending one of the AWAI bootcamps, but Cathy had already received seven assignments from Nightingale-Conant before she attended a bootcamp last year. Beth also credits her success to her copywriting coach, John LaBine.

Kammy Thurman used her resourcefulness and sent a cover letter and resume to a client that wasn't even advertising a writer's position. She expressed her interest to write for them – and, it turns out they did, in fact, need a writer.

And just last week, I told you about Peter Dobbs, who met his first client at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. That's something to keep in mind for those of you who live in small towns and want to start writing locally.

Something else to consider: Find a mentor or get a coach. AWAI has a list of programs to fit every need, whether it's help with your writing or just help finding clients. The best way to determine which program is right for you is to send an email to Member Services (memberservices@awaionline.com) and tell them what you're looking for.

We just added several new coaches to our Board who have a lot to offer in terms of helping you get your career off the ground or bringing you up to the level where you want to be.

All these techniques are great – and we know they've worked for one (if not more) students in the past. Hopefully, they'll work for you too.

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: March 17, 2003

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