3 Secrets for Jumping from $20,000 to Over $100,000

JB and TC are both great writers. But one makes well over $120,000 … and the other less than $20,000. Why?

You can bet there are a lot of variables in those two scenarios – most of which would have to be dealt with individually.

Still, based on my 35 years of copywriting experience, I’d bet that if you put two writers like JB and TC side-by-side, you’d find that JB has mastered follow-up.

Both can write effective self-promotion sales letters. Both get good responses to their information packets. And both are even really nice people, easy for clients to work with.

But any great baseball player or golf pro will tell you that follow-through is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

In my private mentoring program – “Bob Bly’s 12-Month Personal Freedom System” – I work personally with up-and-coming copywriters. “Follow-up” is where we spend a lot of time. Why? Because it’s where you nail down the assignment … and that’s where the money is.

There are three powerful secrets for follow-up. Individually, they work well, but combined, they’ve landed me millions of dollars’ worth of assignments.

Follow-Up Secret #1: Contact Management

I let my prospects determine the time and frequency of follow-up: “JD, what’s the next project you have coming up? When should I give you a call?”

Get a firm date and time out of them. Now, the follow-up call is actually an appointment to discuss working on a project together.

Here is the most important aspect of implementing this technique. YOU have to remember … and follow up … on these appointments with your prospects.

This is easily done using a contact-manager program like ACT! or Goldmine. It can even be done with a paper-based system (if you’re really organized). Regardless of how you do it, you MUST remember to call the prospect back at the appointed time.

Follow-Up Secret #2: The Monthly eNewsletter

Okay. Say your prospect says, “Call me back in 6 months.” What do you do in the meantime to stay in touch? The e-Newsletter.

Some call it an “e-Zine” or “Tips.” Whatever the name, it gives you a way to stay in front of the prospect without being pushy or irritating.

Your e-Newsletter can be sent out once a month or once a week (as long as you’re consistent). Then, when the next project comes up … or the prospect has an emergency need … your contact information will be right there in front of him.

Follow-Up Secret #3: Random, Sporadic Communication

In my daily readings I come across articles, reports, ideas, statistics, etc. Every now and then, a light goes off in my head: “Hey, Bob! JD would love this article. Send it over to him.”

So I tear it out of the magazine or newspaper (online stuff can be printed … much neater than tearing) and write a little note … something like: “JD – FYI. Bob” Then I drop it in the mail. Done.

It takes me just a few minutes and makes me a fortune.

Effective follow-up can be worth a fortune to you as well.

Just consider that NOT following up might get you about a 10% conversion rate. But using these three secrets can bring your conversion rate into the 30% range. On 20 prospects, this means a jump from 2 paying assignments to 6 paying assignments.

Let me give you one more “insider’s” insight. Knowing is the easy part. Doing is where most fail.

In other words, you need a system to follow up on yourself. Or a mentor to give you that critical nudge. When you have that, you’ll be in the big leagues … making $100,000 or more with the best of them.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: July 24, 2006

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