From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Bad Business Bureau

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing Memorial Day weekend with family and friends. It seems that the week before Memorial Day was a very productive one for our members. I received emails from several members whose hard work on the accelerated program turned into paying assignments. I’ll share two of them with you in a minute – but first, here’s a tip from Joanne S. about how to find reputable clients that you can build a successful career around …

"Hi, Scott. Just wanted to drop a note and send along this tip to members looking for copywriting and design opportunities.

"I’m always on the lookout in my own mail for clients. If they’re sending out direct mail, I consider them a prospect. I do a Web search and check to see what other info I can get on the company. If necessary, I make a call to get the marketing or creative director’s name – and then send along a promo letter.

"Recently, I received a DM package for a book about America’s cash giveaway secrets. I did a search and couldn’t come up with much. Digging deeper, I stumbled across a website – – that’s a posting site for people who have complaints/warnings about dealing with certain companies. The company I was trying to get information on had a number of very unfavorable postings on the site’s Rip-Off Report – i.e. people sending in checks and not receiving the book.

"We all know there’s a lot of garbage and scams out there. As a promising copywriter, I would never want to associate myself with the bottom feeders. If you don’t know anything about a company, this is a quick way to check out just how they do business."

– Joanne S.

Joanne, your letter provides us with a very useful tip – because it’s very important that you believe in the product you’re selling. I’m sure many of our members haven’t heard of this site. They’ll be able to use it to identify companies and products they’ll feel good about writing for.

But you also touch on a philosophical aspect of success that AWAI feels strongly about: Success and wealth come from doing work that is mutually beneficial to you, your client, and your client’s customers. Does your work create value? Or is it destructive?

If you engage only in positive, career-building work, you’ll be successful. That means not wasting your time on destructive activities like selling products that you know are frauds.

Next, some good news – and a question – from Mary H.

"Scott, I will be re-submitting my final lesson again soon. And I got my first writing job!! I ghostwrote an introduction to a marketing book. And it was accepted FIRST DRAFT! You can imagine I am pretty excited. And I have to thank you all for the encouragement, as that gave me the incentive to get busy on this!!

"The reason I am writing is to ask for a copy of a contract that I could use. Something including a clause on the royalty aspect. Do you have anything like this? I want to apply for some jobs doing copywriting of sales packages, but don’t know how to elicit the correct agreements. If you could point me in the right direction, I would REALLY appreciate it."

– Mary H.

Hi, Mary. First, let me congratulate you on your first paying assignment. I looked at your assignment scores in our database (hope you don’t mind) and I can tell that you’ve been working very hard at becoming a copywriter.

Now, to answer your question …

For openers, go back and re-read Will’s article in today’s issue. That will give you a general idea of what you should be trying to accomplish in terms of a written agreement with your client. Plus, we have a kit that includes a standard agreement/contract for copywriters: "Freelance Writing Success in s Box." This companion program was designed with a ton of feedback from our members. A large number of those who take the copywriting program have never worked for themselves, and many of them told us they were looking for just this kind of information.

There are a lot of ins-and-outs to starting and running your own business, "Freelance Writing Success" will show you how to navigate your way through all the technical aspects, so you’ll have more time to spend on the business of writing. You can learn more about this resource by clicking here:

And, finally, one more bit of good news …

"Tonight, I’ll be working extra late. I have a query order to fill. I have been contacting a self-compiled list of charities and, in less than a week, I have a positive inquiry! I have my manual beside me as I apply the Accelerated program Installment 11 to the samples I have created. Thank you for all your support. Wish me success."

– Gillian

Great job, Gillian! We ALL wish you success – and, of course, you have our ongoing support.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


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: May 31, 2005

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