If It Walks and Quacks Like a Duck, It’s a … ?

It’s a duck, right?

Marketers are looking for professional writers.

They don’t want newbies and they don’t want amateurs.

They want professionals.

The reason should be plain to see …

Their job is to make money for their company. They do that by selling things. Things get sold through copy or a message of some sort.

If they hire a shoddy, unreliable, sad little copywriter, stuff won’t sell, they lose money, and have egg on their face.

So, they need professional copywriters.

Your job is to help them see YOU as a professional. (And, you are! Any AWAI-trained writer is top of the class … especially compared to 99% of the other writers out there.)

Rebecca explained on Monday how these marketing directors need YOU …

And they’re actively looking for you all the time. But they’re having a hard time finding you.

That’s because they’re looking for a strong, powerful, majestic eagle … and most copywriters are waddling around and quacking like a duck.

You need to stop quacking and start soaring.

Ingredient #3: Look Like a Professional.

One of the most valuable lessons I ever learned from Bob Bly was that clients would make split-second decisions about me based on my website.

So, the best thing you can do to look like a professional is to have a simple, professional-looking website. This site should instantly communicate your skills, reliability, and credibility.

The good news is this kind of website is very easy to create.

You can set one up with WordPress in less than four days. (Rebecca has a GREAT program on doing it), or you can hire someone for less than $500 to do the technical work for you.

It’s a good idea to have a few key elements on your website to help send a subliminal message that you’re a professional and can be trusted. Each of these can have a specific psychological impact on your clients.

Here are some of the possibilities (but don’t worry if you don’t have all of these elements when you’re just starting out) …

  1. Intro Letter – Let me know who you are, what your background is, why and how you write. This is a personal piece that builds relationships with prospective clients.
  2. Testimonials – This is the track record and proof piece. Show them that other people know, like, and trust you. (For some extra help with this, check out this article by Steve Roller on how to ask people for written testimonials to help promote your business.)
  3. Samples – All professionals have writing samples. Let them hear your voice! Even if you’re just starting out and don’t have any actual samples, there are still lots of things you can use to beef up your writing portfolio. Check out this article by Julie Hassett for some great ideas on how to get started, even if you’re still working a full-time job.
  4. Price List – In my view, car salesmen dicker and barter … professionals have set fees. This isn’t for everyone, but I prefer to have pre-established rates for most of my services. I believe it lets clients see that I mean business.
  5. Clients and Experience List – This is more credibility and proof that you’re a pro!
  6. Contact Page – Make it VERY easy for prospective clients to get in touch with you.

If you will use your website as a focal point of your marketing efforts … and set it up using these six elements (one page per element), then clients will automatically assume you’re a professional.

It won’t automatically close the deal for you … but it will open the door and give potential clients a great deal of confidence in you.

There’s no better time than now to get started. Review your website (if you have one) or map it out (if you don’t have one). Try to add as many of these six elements as you can. It’s time to soar!

One other request … share your insights and soaring experiences with all of us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you and how your confidence is growing.

You’ll need that confidence for the next ingredient in our “closing high-paying clients” recipe, which I’ll gladly tell you about tomorrow.

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: June 11, 2014

4 Responses to “If It Walks and Quacks Like a Duck, It’s a...?”

  1. Good points here, but I would like to see you expand on the "Clients and Experience List" category. I'm not sure what you're thinking here.

    Wally MountzJune 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm

  2. Joshua, Great article, but for one thing, be new to copywriting and having a website, I don't have any of the thing you mention.
    And lest I get hired I won't have.

    Guest (Larry Cole)June 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  3. Good stuff if you have done this sort of thing or are in a position to. My problem: I don't work for anyone and have no way to ease into the sort of writing you talk about. All I've ever written are legal briefs (and a few magazine articles years ago). Do either of these lend themselves to a "portfolio" to show my writing skills?

    GeorgeCJune 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  4. Hi Joshua! I am very much a newbie, who needs to do all of the things you said. My confidence is growing though, because I am learning so much. I even got a boost from a rejection! The editor was kind enough to say that I have a strong voice and that I am already skilled at writing in a conversational manner. She has no idea how much that means to me, since she's someone I admire. She was even kind enough to give me suggestions. I have to learn to do those things!

    KarenBJune 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm


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