Where to Find an Avalanche of Hidden (Plus Lucrative) Writing Projects
Many writers have their eyes on shorter projects. Often, though, they assume shorter pieces mean less money.
Not true! Sure, 40-page sales letters might net $5,000-$20,000. But the combination of short B2B writing projects can add up to the same payday. How’s this possible?
Not Just What, But When
B2B sales cycles are longer because B2B products usually cost more. And buying decisions often involve multiple people, who need to read multiple pieces of copy.
In fact, B2B projects might involve two or three times more copy than consumer products. Instead of one long sales letter, B2B copy is delivered using different content over periods of weeks to months.
B2B copy covers different stages of the buying process. In the first stage, Awareness, the buyer looks for a solution and potential vendors.
He then enters an Evaluation Stage, examining technical specifications, product functionality, and product performance.
The buyer also evaluates the vendor company’s reliability.
Finally, the decision to buy — or not — is made.
Throughout this process, the buyer consumes many pages of copy. Without good content, the sale would never happen!
Steps in the B2B Buyer’s Journey
Let’s look at a mythical B2B buyer, Best Custom Products (“Best,” for short), and how they consume copy written by a freelancer for software vendor Techsoft.
Best must replace their bill of materials (BOM) software that creates lists of materials needed to manufacture products.
Best’s CEO, Angie, is lead decision-maker. But her team helps evaluate the purchase. The team includes:
- Chief Information Officer, Jeff
- Chief Financial Officer, Lee
- Two assembly-line supervisors, Mark and Juanita
Step 1: Lead Generation
CIO Jeff researches online. He sees a Techsoft ad offering a free white paper titled, “How to Avoid Line Shutdowns from BOM Errors.” Techsoft’s freelancer knew this ad’s purpose is getting prospects interested in learning more.
Jeff enters his contact information and downloads the white paper. The white paper copywriter knew the piece must generate leads. By focusing on a problem and solution, the white paper calls to prospects researching a potential purchase.
Jeff has now become a lead. And Techsoft uses Jeff’s contact info to continue communicating with him.
Meanwhile, Angie reads an article written by Techsoft CEO Clay Armstrong in an industry magazine. In the article, Armstrong addresses the BOM software problem Best has. Angie requests more information. Angie is now a lead also.
But Armstrong didn’t write the article. A freelancer ghost-wrote it, as well as the information packet Angie received as a follow-up for expressing interest and providing her contact information.
Step 2: Features and Benefits
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) copy focuses mostly on benefits. But B2B copy also provides information about product features. B2B content that doesn’t include both will fail.
The information packet Angie received contains both product features and benefits, and she reads it carefully before passing the information to the team.
Jeff forwards the white paper he downloaded to the team, along with articles and a link to videos he received in an email from Best. (More writing projects done by a B2B copywriter!)
While Mark and Juanita explore the software’s functionality, Lee compares the software’s features and cost against other vendors using comparison charts on the Techsoft website.
Jeff’s also concerned with …
Step 3: Credibility
A sales letter must provide proof and build credibility. In B2B sales, where the price can run into millions of dollars, it’s critical to back up claims and show successful track records.
Techsoft provides case studies that document success stories from other clients verifying claims about the software. Case studies written by a B2B freelancer.
Angie knows the CEO of one company featured in a case study. She calls her associate, who gushes how software eliminated assembly line glitches.
Jeff then reviews a SlideShare presentation with documentation of the software’s functionality. Meanwhile, Mark and Juanita watch a video showing how the software works on the assembly line.
The team meets for four months, discussing information they’ve received from all the vendors they’re considering.
Satisfied that Techsoft’s software performs the most optimally, the team looks for final assurance …
Step 4: Guarantee
As in long-form letters, it’s important to include a guarantee to remove as much risk as possible from the purchase.
A strong guarantee tells the prospect the company is confident in their promises.
Techsoft’s guarantee, written by their freelancer, provides compensation if the product doesn’t perform as promised.
It’s the strongest Angie has seen. Along with her team, they decide to take the next step …
Step 5: The Sale
The copywriter’s job isn’t over yet. More content is needed! (More writing projects for their freelancer!)
When the sales representative meets with the Best team, he provides a sell sheet on the software, more case studies, and an article addressing a concern.
After a final team meeting, they purchase the Techsoft software.
After the purchase, the Techsoft representative provides infographics detailing software implementation. He also provides access to videos explaining everything needed for conversion.
By providing additional helpful content at the time of sale, the customer is reassured the purchase was a good decision.
We’re not done yet …
Step 6: Customer Nurturing
Each month, the Best team receives the Techsoft newsletter with helpful articles and stories of happy clients.
Since the B2B copywriter convinced Techsoft to start a newsletter, their leads and sales have mounted … well worth what they’re paying a freelancer each month to write it.
Throughout the preparation and conversion phases, Best continues to receive content reinforcing the value of the software.
Step 7: Closing the Circle
After a few months, Angie gets a call from the Techsoft CEO. He’d like to feature her in a case study.
A happy customer, she’s thrilled to have her story told. It lets her to shine among her peers … and clients.
She gets a call from Techsoft’s copywriter and realizes her company, Best, could use case studies, too. She offers the copywriter a paid project!
And so the demand for copywriters continues to multiply …
One Client, Many Writing Projects
You might think B2B companies have staff copywriters to write their content. In reality, they have too many projects and need freelance copywriters!
In-house writers often lack expertise in white papers, case studies, and the like. They hire freelancers to fill the void.
And successful companies frequently have more work than staff writers can handle. Companies use freelancers to balance workflow … especially during new product launches, mergers and acquisitions, or in periods of rapid growth.
Freelancers also bring fresh perspectives to a company’s marketing. They can identify gaps in the marketing and provide copy to attract prospects and turn them into customers.
At every stage of the buyer’s journey, companies rely on professionally written content to move the buyer forward. And all of that content adds up to one big payday after another for a B2B writer who can deliver it.
Best of all … you can be that B2B copywriter, creating recurring writing income for months on end.
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