Get Clients Without All the “Selling”

What if there was a way to have your phone ringing off the hook with clients … without marketing, cold calling, selling, or “pounding the pavement” … how quickly would you put it into action?

Wall of Famer Mike Klassen discovered how to do just that.

He attended AWAI’s Bootcamp in 2004, where he first met Katie Yeakle and Lori Haller. From there he submitted a spec assignment to Katie.

Says Mike, “Almost all my business (and it’s increased every year) has come without selling myself. Katie was impressed with my spec, and passed my name on to Dr. Al Sears, who then in turn gave my name out to other companies. Lori Haller also gave my name out to companies who needed a graphic designer. Since that Bootcamp, I’ve had more than enough work.”

So, if the way to land clients without marketing yourself is through word of mouth, how do you get one or more of your current clients to do that?

You need to be more than just a graphic designer or copywriter. You need to become a valued resource in your client’s eyes. Here’s how you do that:

  • Always have your client’s best interest at heart. This means you’ve got to do more than just write the copy (or create the design), collect your fee and move on. You have to think of yourself as your client’s business partner. Do this by sharing information and insights with clients. Perhaps spotting profit opportunities they might be missing out on and being a good sounding board for possible marketing ideas.
  • Constantly educate yourself. One of the easiest ways to become a valuable resource to your client is by being knowledgeable. Learn everything you can about marketing and the direct-response industry. This means going to seminars, reading books, taking courses, and regularly reading trade magazines. For example, one trade magazine you might read is Inside Direct Mail – just one of the resources you can turn to in order to find out what’s working and what’s not. Or check out no-cost resources like The Golden Thread, Early to Rise, Copy Protégé, and John Forde’s Copywriter’s Roundtable.
  • Make copywriting or graphic design your top priority. Even if life gets in the way – full-time job, family obligations, and relationships – you’ve got to make the time to study, learn, and gain the skills you need to succeed. Think of it as your second full-time job. Because otherwise, you’ll probably never make the time.

If you haven’t already, make the commitment to sharpening your skills and learning all you can about marketing and the direct-response industry. Don’t let excuses get in the way. If your own success is important to you, then it needs to become a top priority.

That, combined with having your client’s best interest at heart, will set you apart from the rest. And pretty soon, clients will be passing your name around … bringing you a steady stream of work in the years to come without doing an ounce of “selling.”

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: December 2, 2008

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