Here’s Why This Type of Copywriting Pays Handsome Fees
- Hidden writing opportunities revealed
- Larger companies have bigger marketing budgets
- You can write all kinds of paid projects
- Easy ways to find clients
- This B2B expert is going to take you under his wing
Right now, there’s a huge demand for copy and content writers in the Business-to-Business (B2B) market. And no one knows this market better than Master B2B Copywriter Steve Slaunwhite.
Steve has been part of the B2B industry for over 22 years. He is an award-winning B2B copywriter, marketer, author, and popular workshop leader. He has won multiple awards, including the prestigious ACE Award for Direct Mail Copywriting and 2016 AWAI Copywriter of the Year. He’s also the author of five books, including The Everything Guide to Writing Copy (Adams Media) and co-author of The Wealthy Freelancer (Penguin).
If you want to ratchet up your writing income, there’s no better way to do it than becoming a B2B copywriter. In fact, Steve just announced a new live training program, where he is committed to personally teaching 75 eager writers how to become professionally trained B2B copywriters, capable of handling the most in-demand projects. You can find out more about the program here. (But hurry, sign-up closes tomorrow!)
Those B2B projects add up to lots of money, enough that you could earn six-figures a year.
In this interview, I asked Steve to give us an inside peek into the world of B2B copywriting.
Q: I come from the consumer side of copywriting. So I’ll be honest, and admit, in terms of copywriting, I never thought about the Business-to-Business world. But I suspect I am not alone in overlooking it. Is this something you hear often?
A: Yes, most copywriters I talk to don’t even know this market exists. It’s not surprising since this particular market isn’t well-defined. Let me tell you a story about this market so you can understand it more clearly.
A few weeks ago, I had a copywriter contact me. She told me her goal is to write for real estate agents. Her husband is one and she’s helped him with his website copy and other marketing materials. It seemed to make sense for her to write for real estate agents, after all, there are thousands of real estate agents who spend money on marketing.
But then I had another thought. You see, I actually do a lot of work for real estate agents. And in a tongue-in-cheek way, I said, "I have thousands of clients who are real estate agents. And in fact, there are probably thousands of clients out there who use my copy all the time. They use my blog posts, and website copy, and social media posts that I write for Realtors."
She was stunned, "Are you kidding me? You have thousands of real estate clients?"
She was even more puzzled when I said, "No. Actually, I have never worked directly with a real estate agent. I've never had a single real estate agent as a client. And yet, thousands of Realtors use my marketing copy all the time to help attract clients and grow their business."
Q: Wait a minute, I’m not sure I’m following along properly. There has to be twist to this story, Steve.
A: Yes, there is. Then I told her what I really do. I explained that I work with clients who target Realtors. For example, I have one client who has a newsletter program they sell to real estate agents. They also have a social media program that they offer to Realtors to give them social media posts and articles for their website.
Although my copy is used by thousands of real estate agents, I'm only working for one company. However, I indirectly work for the real estate agents who are customers of my one client.
Q: This is an example of an interesting niche market for B2B copywriters — working for companies that target small business entrepreneurs in very specific categories.
A: It is, because I get to help and serve a huge group of small business people. But rather than marketing my services directly to each one, I'm working for companies that target them.
Q: In essence, that becomes a benefit. In other words, working for a larger business that has a bigger budget — and that can afford writers. Plus, there’s the satisfaction of helping small businesses and solo professionals by using your copywriting skills.
A: Absolutely. But also consider that my clients include companies that sell to other types of small businesses as well. It’s a great niche market that a lot of people don’t think about.
Q: Can you give us another example of how this plays out?
A: Sure. Let's say, for example, you want to write for self-employed accountants or small accounting firms. That's a great market. You can write directly for self-employed accountants and accounting firms.
But one of the challenges you’re going to face is that a lot of these firms don’t have a huge marketing budget. So you'll have to get dozens and dozens of these clients in order to make a go of it.
However, if you find a company that sells marketing programs or some other product to accounting firms and write for them, you are writing for accounting firms indirectly. You’ll get the advantage of working with a larger company that has a bigger budget. And yet, you’re still serving the type of company you like.
So think about marketing to the companies or writing for the companies that market programs and products and business-building services to the small niche markets you’re thinking of targeting.
Q: By targeting larger clients, you wind up getting paid more while at the same time, your writing is seen by hundreds … thousands of other people. It would seem then, that in the B2B niche, you might not need a lot of clients to earn a good living. Is this the case?
A: Yes, that’s another big advantage — you don’t need a lot of clients. If I was writing for real estate agents directly, I'd need a lot of clients in order to make a go of it. But when writing for companies that target your ideal market, you don’t need that many clients.
In fact, I only have three clients that target real estate agents. They're not my only clients. But they represent well over half my business.
Q: So, you don’t need that many clients to be paid well for your writing, which is good for you. And, I would imagine it requires less effort and less marketing on your part as well?
A: Exactly. You can focus on doing what you love rather than constantly marketing yourself and trying to get more clients.
Another interesting advantage of writing for companies that target small business is you’re writing a lot of content because most these companies will have a very active blog. They'll be creating e-books and educational material to help promote their services to that small business niche. And who's going to write that content? Well, you might have an opportunity to write it!
Q: So not only will you be writing all the sales copy, website copy, and emails to help promote their programs, you may also be writing all of the interesting content they use to help promote their products and services to the small business niche?
A: Yes. Basically, it doubles your opportunity for getting writing gigs with these types of companies. And here's an unexpected advantage. You might actually get involved with writing the product they're selling.
For example, let's say you're working for a company that targets dentists. And this company has a template newsletter program they offer to dentists so they can send out a newsletter to their community.
You may get involved not only in writing copy and writing content, but also writing that newsletter, which in essence is writing their product.
I did a whole program not too long ago for a company that offers template websites for Realtors. I wrote five or six versions of websites for them, including homepages, bio pages, and service pages. The individual Realtor will customize it to fit the needs of their business, but it gives them a place to start.
Q: What kind of businesses makes the best clients for copywriters in this hidden niche market?
A: I found that companies that sell to very specific small business niche markets are ideal.
For example, good prospects are companies that sell products and programs and services to dentists, professional speakers, or wedding planners. Look for a company that sells marketing programs, business-building programs, seminars, training programs, or software products to a very specific niche.
Another tip is to look for a company that offers business-building products. Companies that offer time management software, seminars and workshops, or high-level coaching services are all good prospects.
For the most opportunity, look for clients that are dedicated to the niche market where the market isn't just a side business.
For example, a software company that offers general time management software and then as a side business has a customized version for dentists wouldn’t be a great prospect. What you want to find are companies that are totally dedicated to a niche market because they will be the best prospects for you.
And finally, look for nonprofits and associations in a niche market you’re targeting.
For example, I worked with an association client last year who offers professional development programs, business development programs, and workshops to owners of natural health stores. That's their only niche market.
I wrote their e-books, their blog, sales copy, and much more. So there are good copywriting opportunities with associations as well as traditional companies.
Your takeaway: The B2B market is full of hidden opportunities. Follow Steve’s recommendations and soon enough you’ll be getting more than your share of well-paid writing assignments.
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