What Does a “Golden Client” Look Like?

Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients.

I’ve seen the good, the amazing, and … the occasional dud.

In all of this, I’ve seen patterns. I’ve learned you can easily identify a “golden client” … often before you even approach them. Certainly within the first few communications, you can learn to spot really great clients.

What do I mean by a “golden client”?

I mean a client that …

  • pays you a reasonable – or even high – fee for your work,
  • respects you and appreciates your skills, time, and contributions,
  • understands you’re not perfect and is willing to work with you,
  • has high expectations that bring out the best in you,
  • resonates with your passion, purpose, and mission in life,
  • is in an industry and sells products and services that are congruent with your values and world view.

Wouldn’t it be GREAT to have an intake funnel that attracted these kinds of clients on a regular basis?

And, how would it be to have the ability to know all the key indicators of these kinds of clients, so you could verify you’ve got a great one on your hands?

By the end of this week, that’s exactly what you’ll have.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started …

First, let’s talk about clients that “get it.”

They “get” what you do as a copywriter … whether you’re writing direct-mail copy, web pages, social media, emails, white papers, etc … whatever it is, they get it.

And, when they get it … when the really understand … they value you and respect your skills and abilities.

Let me tell you how to instantly know if a potential client “gets it” …

They are already doing it.

That’s the ultimate litmus test.

Does the prospective client already mail high-performing sales letters, have compelling website copy, use good emails, and stay current on their social media?

If they do, it’s a sure sign they understand and get the value of your skills.

There’s a common mistake many copywriters make … they look for companies that “need” good copy … as witnessed by the fact that their direct-mail, website, email, and social media content stinks.

That’s a great way to get a client that doesn’t pay well and won’t respect you.

The reason?

Because it’s a universal truth that “like attracts like.”

Think of it like this …

Who is most likely to buy a Precious Moments figurine? Someone who has never heard of it … or someone who has two or three already?

Now, take it one step further … who is most likely to buy more Precious Moments figurines … someone who has two or three … or someone who has a collection of over 100?

When you think of it this way, it’s obvious to see that “like attracts like.” The more people buy Precious Moments, the more likely they are to buy more of those cute figurines.

What’s more, they’ll also buy Precious Moments cards, rugs, pictures, screen savers, mugs, and anything else that resembles Precious Moments.

Because of this, the first key indicator of a golden client is one that’s already rabidly consuming good copy.

How can you attract that kind of client?

There’s one simple thing you can do right now, with minimal effort …

Demonstrate that you personally “get it.”

Have good copy on your website, in your emails, social media, etc. Drink your own medicine.

When potential clients see your website or read your emails, they should think, “Hey, this writer ‘gets it’!”

This thought will give them confidence and comfort. They’ll be much more eager to work with you.

How do you ensure your copy is great?

Simply follow the expert advice of AWAI …

How does your headline and lead score with the Four U’s? (AWAI students know, of course, that the best way to improve any headline is to apply the “Secret of the Four U’s” … . is it useful, urgent, ultra-specific, and unique?)

Are you brief? Do you show, instead of tell? How about your promises … are they valuable? And, have you applied the “Power of One”?

Just crack open any of the AWAI courses and analyze your copy using the proven techniques of AWAI’s team of experts.

It doesn’t have to be the world’s best copy … but it does need to demonstrate that you “get it.”

Like will attract like.

To wrap things up today, I have a favor to ask … as you may know, I’m a bit of an egomaniac. I love comments, feedback and applause.

Each day, I’d love to hear how you’re using these suggestions. So, surf around the internet, looking at sites within your niche. Can you spot a “dud”? How about a “golden client”? Tell me about your adventures and insights by posting in the comments.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the second key indicator … I call this one the “Communication Test.”

Here’s to “getting it”!

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 »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: September 1, 2014

11 Responses to “What Does a “Golden Client” Look Like?”

  1. Joshua, I've put the lessons on this post and chapter 2 of the Accelerated program, I'm about to write the restaurant letter, and I found You as a great teacher (I hope you turn your eyes on me and let me do some spec for you) Meanwhile, I had been surfing to look for those great clients, with this post my search has improved more than you think, I know it won't be too long until I get my first client, and my first golden client too (maybe he/she is the same one) :)

    CecalliSeptember 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  2. Question: If they are already are using high performing direct mail, website copy, good emails and on top of it why would they be talking to me about working for them?

    Guest (Saundra Panagaris)September 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  3. My best clients already do direct mail and want to do it better. The most difficult clients are those least experienced in direct mail.

    One client got a complaint from a donor (my niche is fundraising) who said the piece we worked on was "too emotional". The client's response to me: "We must be doing something right". Other clients who don't get it would freak out and say we can't send mail like that again.

    It's no surprise this client is raising LOTS more money than others who don't get it.

    Guest (June Steward)September 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

  4. Hi Joshua! I have been looking forward to you doing the Writer's Life, because I know something of your story. I am working my way through one of the AWAI courses, so I can "get it." It's also great to know that being a Christian is not the kiss of death, in this new business that I want to enter. It's sometimes amazing what you can accomplish in a short time. The AWAI publications have shown me that I can avoid the content mills!

    KarenBSeptember 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm

  5. Kudos to you Joshua for your invigorating perspective on the "golden" client

    susie woodSeptember 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

  6. Hi, Joshua: This is my first day as a member, and am a little nervous. Thanks for this info - it's user friendly, and on the first day of almost any undertaking, we 'most all love a friendly face. Thanks. I look forward to exploring this new, challenging adventure. I read a quote recently - paraphrasing, It's not failure that stops you, it's FEAR of failure. The friendly people at AWAI are helping to get my butterflies to "fly in formation" at least, and that's helpful.
    Thanks again.

    Guest (Judy)September 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

  7. I bumped into the wall. I didn't know the wall stood in my way, shrouded in the mists of doubt.

    A long time playing with this, but this past weekend, I decided to pursue a particular niche, Hospitality Industry.

    Who pumps out more collateral than travel-related companies.

    This article tells me the companies I need to approach.

    And yes, I need to perfect my website, facebook page...

    Thank you Joshua.

    HerbSeptember 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  8. Hi Joshua,

    I am just beginning the copywriting adventure. I truly appreciate your insight and your eagerness to share and inspire others with what you have learned. This was a great post and confirms my thought to be true, that I need to do some work on my website in order to display that I "get it". Many Blessings Joshua

    Guest (Melanie Fischer)September 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  9. This might sound crazy considering I write on a daily basis but I need to thank you for pointing out THE THING I've been getting wrong all this time - I keep pitching clients who don't have what I want to write. And I keep being underpaid/under-appreciated. Like attracts like - they don't get it - & that explains why I've been struggling for so long now. So simple but so profoundly mind-shifting. THANK YOU! (yes I'm shouting that! :-)

    Jenn Flynn-ShonSeptember 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)