Go Beyond Writing Skills to Succeed
I'm warning you now: you might not like my topic this week.
In fact, it might make you angry.
If you thought all you had to do to enjoy the writer's life was to become a really good writer, well, it's not quite that simple.
That’s why, this week, we're going to take a slight detour from writing. But don’t worry … everything I'm going to talk about is a complementary skill to writing.
"I'm a writer," I can hear you saying. "Why do I need to develop complementary skills? And what are these skills anyway?"
Your talent for writing is very important.
But what I've experienced over the past three years has shown that communicating effectively with prospects and clients is just as important.
You have to make a good first impression to get someone interested in your services. You need good listening and probing skills for client meetings. You must position yourself correctly in the proposal to land the project. And you need to be bold in following up in order to retain more projects.
Develop these skills and you will put yourself head and shoulders above the average copywriter.
Now, don't worry. My series this week isn't about "selling yourself."
These aren't theories or untested ideas.
They're real-life examples that I've had and descriptions of my experiences.
It all started with what you might call a "baptism by fire" …
It was a week after Bootcamp 2008, and I had an appointment to meet with a friend who had a growing sales training business.
I expected a one-on-one meeting in his office. Instead, I was the featured speaker that day at their monthly company meeting.
They wanted to know my ideas on email marketing, direct response copywriting, and maximizing their website for SEO.
I thought quickly on my feet, came up with some good ideas, and ended up working with them on a number of projects over the next six months. They even referred other business my way, helping me jumpstart my business.
There are four takeaways here:
- First impressions count. A lot.
- You have to take control of a client interview even when you're not completely sure about what you're doing.
- Your ability to communicate what you do and how it fits their needs is a crucial learned skill.
- Your non-writing skills can have a bigger effect on your business than your writing skills.
This week, I'm going to show you how to communicate better with your clients. You'll find out what a prospect looks for the first time they meet you … how to conduct a good client interview … and what to include in a proposal to land the project.
I'll also show you how to get more work and glowing testimonials when you're done.
You can make a good living as a freelance writer with good writing skills. However, you will elevate yourself into six-figure territory faster if you also build up these complementary skills.
I would also like to invite you to weigh in this week with your own experiences or questions.
Are there any client situations you find intimidating? Anything you wish you would have known getting started? Any advice you would give to aspiring writers? You can let me know in the comments below.
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 »