From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Finding Leads

This week, we have a very interesting question about finding leads, as well as correspondence from two more members who have gotten their first paying assignments.

But before I get to them, I have to print my first editorial correction …

Last week, I ran the links many of our readers have sent for their copywriting e-zines. I incorrectly attributed this one – which is actually a link to Dennis Rome’s e-letter. My apologies, Dennis.

“Here is the link to my website … where folks can sign up or download my monthly newsletter: www.romegraphics.com.”

– Dennis M. Rome

Now, onto the question about drumming up some leads …

“Scott, thank you for your quick feedback on my sales letter.

“I want to take the Masters program, but I will need to finance it with funds I generate through copywriting. Can you point me to some of the most foolproof ways that you know of to stir up some leads? I want to be sure that I cover all the bases. Thanks.”

– Jon J.

Jon, I don’t know that there is any completely “foolproof” way to get copywriting assignments. It will always depend on how skillfully you approach the potential client – and to some extent on your timing too.

As you know, we recently introduced a new tool to the program – www.directresponsejobs.com. It is meant to ease the transition from member of copywriting to full-time copywriter. Right now, there are over 125 jobs posted on the site – and they are strictly for our members.

However, getting leads is a bit different than landing assignments. Having a ready supply of leads is really a matter of expanding your network. You have to meet more people and provide them with some useful information

How many active professionals would you say you’ve met in the last month?

You can double, even triple, this number – and have fun doing it.

Become an active member of your local Chamber of Commerce. But, you have to do more that just sign up. You have to attend the events and circulate yourself around. And don’t even think about going without a pocket full of business cards! They are a necessity. (We explained why in a previous article, Using Old, Forgotten Business Cards to Develop Your Client Base.)

My local Chamber of Commerce holds a breakfast once a month. If you walk around that banquet room for even a short while, you can feel the buzz of business relationships being cut from the rough. All that … and you got free breakfast too.

Congratulations to two of our members who wrote in to share their good news! First up, Bill B. …

“Scott, I just wanted to let you know that what I’m learning in the AWAI program is already paying off even though I’ve not yet submitted my final assignment – I’ve been too busy working on paid assignments! I’m truly impressed with the incredible support offered by you and the rest of the AWAI staff! There is a lot of hype on the Internet, and I was very reluctant to try the program because it sounded ‘too good to be true!’ Quite frankly, I didn’t want to be disappointed.

“Well, I’m here to tell you – I’m not disappointed! In fact, it has exceeded my expectations by a huge margin!

“I’ve been working on an assignment for Agora Publishing and am also working on my first DM package for a client in the health food industry. I’m also working with an agency to get some projects going. And the only thing I’ve done is this: What the program tells you to do!

“I’m very excited about my copywriting career and the freedom I will one day have as a result of taking a chance with AWAI! Thank you so much!”

– Bill B.

And here’s what Mike had to say …

“Cashing in on your network is quick and easy. I have been telling various people I have networked with over the years what I am up to, and a casual conversation I was having led to a real paying assignment. $3,000 for about 1 week’s worth of work. I’m coming up with an email and direct-mail sales campaign. And there will be more work on the heels of this project.”

– Mike

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!

Scott

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 2, 2005

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