Marketing Yourself 101
You can be the best copywriter in the world, but if you can’t market your skills and get clients, then your skills are lost. What you need to do is to learn how to sell yourself and your talents. Furthermore, you need to learn about the ways and methods of going about this. The good news is that it’s not hard to do, it just takes a little practice and grunt work to get going, but once that’s achieved, then you’ll be off to the races … so let’s get started.
Many, especially when starting out, make the mistake of trying to sell their skills, by asking “how they can be of help.” This is a major no-no. Do not try to “sell” your skills by saying, “I am a copywriter. How can I help you?”
This is not selling. In fact, it’s not an effective tactic to use because you are asking the client/prospect to “work.” This is a bad maneuver because it means you are asking them to take a giant left-turn, drop everything, and think hard about how “your” copywriting skills can be of service. I literally got an email like that a few weeks back from someone and it was very quickly off to the digital trash box. I have no time or interest in side-tracking just to find work for someone who is asking me “how” they can be helpful to me. Nonsense, it’s a black hole I’m not going down … and let me be clear that your prospect isn’t going that way either.
However, all this is not being said to discourage you, rather it is to save you mountains of time in not having to go through the painful process of figuring all this out.
Here is what you should do instead …
You should focus directly on the benefits you bring to the table.
For me, I like to focus on time, and how I can save time for my clients and prospects. Whatever media I choose as the method of contacting them, you can be sure that the crux of my message will focus on the benefit of time. My ability for them to save time by handling their work overflow. In doing this, you must also keep it relative to their business, which brings us to our next point …
Research … Do it
Do the research about your prospect, client, and industry niche. It is essential. Learn about all the fine details, as much as you can. Learn about the niche, possible issues of concern, and even the positive points. Become deeply immersed in it all. And after you have done this, keep on doing it. Any given niche is live and hungry. Things are always changing, and as the “trusted expert,” you must stay in tune with all of it.
Also this is how you will really connect with potential clients. By talking about the benefits you bring in, and by connecting with them on the exact same level. Their business efforts and work at hand.
By having this background as a base, it allows you to connect and speak the same language, address the same concerns, talk about possible projects that are relative to you both. It can even help make your approach personal and friendly. Really, what you are now doing is bringing value to the table, by being the trusted expert.
How to Reach Out and Connect
Okay, we now understand the matter at hand, the background essentials, and the importance of connecting as the trusted expert. Therefore, it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty. The actual reaching out and connecting.
The following are three basic ways to get the message out about “You” and your highly-tuned skills as a B2B copywriter. Saddle-up “Hired Gun,” it is now time for action.
Email — Sending out a cold email can be a little spooky. However, it doesn’t have to be. The secret is to not be the self-toting jerk with the megaphone. Just be yourself, be friendly, maintain a professional business manner, and as we covered before … focus on the benefits you bring to the prospect. Make that the theme of your email and it will be well received.
Direct mail — If everyone and their grandmother is going digital and using the Internet to get out there and connect, then you will rise like a phoenix from the flames, to the top, and really get noticed by using direct mail. Just stick to the main points as we covered above, and reap the rewards of direct mail power.
Social media — Some will say that this is just foolish. Social media is for being social, getting clients or trying to search for clients via social media is a joke.
The funny thing is, I agree, but only when it is a shotgun effort, without direction, and clearly displays a lack of thought and process. On the flip side, when I have stuck to the above key points, become highly focused, and directly targeted specific handpicked prospects, then I got copywriting projects from decent clients. This is not my personal preferred method, but if you do it right, it does work.
The email newsletter — Everyone is doing it, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. After you have “connected,” it is time to stay in touch regularly. Once a month is a good time frame to go with, but test it. Your niche might be different.
Since everyone is doing it, it is good to be a bit different. Now you and I are very different. This is great, it is the magic point. Be yourself and bring some personality to your newsletter. But don’t write a letter “To Mom” here. Keep a business mindset and focus. For example, did you get a new computer for your copywriting client work? Talk about that. Show you are happy and excited, and let some of yourself show. That is your introduction and icebreaker. Then get down to business and your main message. Wrap it up and put it in your email autoresponder series, set the date to be sent and go.
The Full Picture
In closing, take all of the information that has been laid out, and pull it all together. Then it is time to take action. Seriously, it is now time to put on your cape, and be the knight in shining armor for your new clients-to-be. After all, if you don’t saddle-up and take action, then you will sit in stagnation and go nowhere. So be brave and take that first step. The first one is always the scariest … after that, it falls into place and gets easier and easier. Not to mention, when you start to get results and interest from real prospects who then become clients, your momentum will really start to build.
Find what “works” for you and go with it.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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