How Open To New Writers Are Information Marketers?
I have a consulting client in my Private Client Group who I advise, but do not write copy for. (At this stage of his business’ development, he needs help from writers more affordable than I am.)
He is an information marketer in the health and fitness categories, selling to gym and fitness center operators. He creates consumer advertising, books, newsletters, etc., for those operators to use in their local markets. He is a bright young man with a young, fast-growing, but still small business. Last year, it topped a million. This year, it has doubled. And, there is a sound plan to get it to $10 million before its fifth year.
He has reached out to AWAI members, once being at an AWAI Job Fair, and he regularly advertises on monster.com, elance.com, and other sites. But, he has never been approached proactively by a freelancer. He has to hunt for them.
This is true in part because you might never know he exists if you weren’t told where to look for him and how to know he was a good, potential client when you saw his advertising. It’s also true because, in general, freelance writers are abysmal at marketing themselves — especially to the not-so-obviously-seen information-marketing industry.
In the past six months, he has, through his efforts, attracted about two dozen freelancers who have submitted samples, gotten interviews.
Most, he says, proved utterly unqualified. To quote his harsh assessment, most not only couldn’t write a sales letter, they seemed not to know what one was.
Still, he gave four paid audition assignments. Of the four, he has given two more than one assignment, and of the two, believes he can develop one and use her for on-going, endless series assignments, initially for what he considers his C-level work.
He is writing his A-level work himself, and still searching for freelancers for his B-level work.
I consider him very typical of hundreds and hundreds of small and up-and-coming information marketers. If his top C-level copywriter sticks with him, learns more as she goes, improves, gets results, she and he can grow apace together.
She can move up from C to B assignments, and C to B money. To date, she’s only been paid about $10,000. But, I guarantee he will be delighted to pay her ten times that sum each year.
The evident fact is that a client like this exists, is open to new writers, and will hire out of a pool of candidates he evaluates. And, he is certainly going to wind up using several freelancers of different experience and capability and compensation levels. By 2012, he’ll be paying at least one six-figures, at least two five-figures.
There are huge numbers of him. They comprise what I call the information-marketing industry.
In that industry, there are also much bigger, more established companies, but most of them still have open doors for appropriately knowledgeable and skilled writers, and are always evaluating new talent.
There is abundant opportunity here for top pros commanding six-figure project fees and royalties like me. There is abundant opportunity for mid-price journeymen. There are abundant opportunities for beginners with talent and initiative.
It is a clannish, tribal, and, in many ways, odd and unusual industry largely populated by owners of strong personality and demanding nature who brook no nonsense and are quick to slam the door on anyone coming forward obviously unprepared. Unfamiliar with the nature of the industry. Ignorant of how these businesses work.
But, for the copywriter or writer properly prepared to deal with information marketers, there isn’t any better kind of client I know of or can imagine.
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