Landing B2B Clients – How to Generate a Steady Stream of Income Working as a B2B Writer

The number one question asked by copywriters launching their career or trying to break into a new niche is “How do I find clients?”

The notion of self-promotion is a bit overwhelming. At least it is at first. But once you put a proven system into place, a couple of things will happen. First, you’ll see that self-promotion isn’t as difficult and scary as it seems. Second, you’ll discover that if you do just a little self-promotion every day, you’ll almost always have work, and that’s a beautiful thing.

That said, here are two proven systems you can use to market yourself to B2B companies.

#1: The Two-Step Mailing Process

You may recall that Bob Bly mentioned this self-promotion system in last week’s interview. It warrants a closer look, because if you follow it closely, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed. Bob knows people who use nothing but this method and consistently are offered more work than they can handle.

First, use your copywriting skills to write a one- or two-page “sales” letter introducing yourself and your services to a prospective client. Remember to focus on the benefits you bring, offer some proof of your skills, and finish with a call to action. The call to action is a request for your full information kit. You can ask the prospect to call or email you to request the kit, or you can ask them to return a reply card that you include.

Second, put together the information kit. My kit includes not only a one-page cover letter that repeats the benefits I mentioned in my sales letter, but also a one-page professional profile that details my copywriting experience, a page that lists some of my clients and the good things they’ve said about working with me, two work samples (just the headlines and leads), an article that I had published in Target Marketing, a schedule of my fees, and a “getting started” questionnaire.

There’s no one right way to put an information kit together, so customize yours to make it work for you. Maybe you don’t have work samples yet, but you have written a timely article on B2B copywriting. Or maybe you have a couple of case studies that show the positive results you’ve delivered to other clients.

Next, do some research on the companies you’d like to work with. Your goal is to find an address and a contact name for each one. Often, the contact name is available on the company’s website. And if you’re using a directory, the contact name is almost always included. If you can’t find it, simply call the company and ask.

Finally, send out your sales letter. When you receive a request for your information kit, send that. Track what you’ve sent and who you’ve sent it to. If someone has requested your information kit, follow up with a brief phone call or postcard – and keep following up every three months.

Set a goal to send out four or five sales letters a day. Use this system consistently and the work will soon start rolling in.

#2: Phone and Follow Up

If you don’t like to do mailings – or if the postage and printing costs put a strain on your budget right now – don’t despair. Bob also has a way to successfully market yourself over the phone.

First, call the company you’re interested in and ask to speak to the marketing or creative director. You want to be sure you are connected with a decision maker – someone who has the power to engage your services.

When you get on the phone with that person, politely introduce yourself and ask: “Does your company hire freelance copywriters?”

If the answer is yes, then ask:

“What’s the next project you have coming up?”

“When should I give you a call regarding that project?

Often, when you contact a company, you’ll find they don’t have an immediate need for your services. Don’t let that derail your efforts. By using this method, you’ll be certain to call them back when you know a need is coming up … and they’ll be expecting your call. In the meantime, send them your information kit, so they’ll know a little more about what you can do for them.

These two systems are straightforward and easy to implement. It’s just a matter of using one or both of them consistently and persistently when marketing yourself to B2B prospects, and it won’t be long before you land your first project. You might even find yourself booked solid.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: April 29, 2008

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