5 Steps this AWAI Member Took to Land Clients and Start Earning Handsome Fees
AWAI Member Ralph McGinnis spent most of his working career in the oil and gas industry on various pipeline construction projects.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, all those projects were put on hold.
As you can imagine, that put a slight dent in his bank account.
But it also freed up time in Ralph’s schedule. And because of that, he decided to attend a “sort of” business reunion with colleagues he had worked with over the past 20 years.
During the get-together, one of those former colleagues asked Ralph a simple question: What type of work are you doing these days?
Since Ralph had recently completed AWAI’s Site Content Audit mentoring and Certification, he replied, “I’m involved in website content, marketing, SEO promotions, and ad copy.”
Ralph’s answer was so intriguing, his former colleague wanted to know more about Site Audits. He also suggested the two set up a date to talk in more detail.
Little did Ralph know that the simple question would help jump-start his freelance writing career. You see, when the two finally caught up, Ralph’s colleague mentioned he was working with a client that had a website but it was in much need of help.
And who better to help this client than Ralph, since he was now an AWAI Verified™ Site Content Audit Specialist?
Now stay with me, because what I’m going to share next are the steps Ralph used to land his first freelance project. And they are steps you could easily follow to get new clients too.
Paid Project Step #1: Ralph got the contact information for the client from his friend. Then he reached out to the client and set up a time to chat.
Paid Project Step #2: During the call, Ralph asked a few questions that led him to discover the client was working with an agency but wasn’t happy for two reasons: (1) his needs were not being met, and (2) sales were plummeting.
That’s the moment Ralph realized this was a real opportunity for him to use his newly developed site content auditing skills to solve this client’s problems.
Paid Project Step #3: So Ralph recommended a full audit of the website, letting the client know he ultimately was looking for content areas he could improve.
Paid Project Step #4: When the Site Audit was complete, Ralph would make further suggestions on how best to move forward implementing the changes.
The client was impressed and was “sold right out of the gate.” But there was just one more thing Ralph had to do before he could start the audit of the content on the client’s website.
The client had a partner, and before he could officially give the green light to proceed, Ralph would need to get the approval of the partner.
The prospect also explained that his partner was hesitant to bring another person in on the project. After all, they had already spent money with the agency and it wasn’t working out as they anticipated.
His partner was also worried that Ralph might not provide “that personal touch,” and instead provide some kind of computer-generated report.
But, that’s not how Ralph operates. And that brings us to the next step in Ralph’s journey to snag the project.
Paid Project Step #5: Ralph took the time to explain to the business partner that he personally goes through the various pages of a website looking for content that can be improved, using a thorough checklist. And the report he provides is all done by hand.
And with that, he won the partner over. She cut him a check for half of his fee and the balance due when the audit was done.
Now, all of this happened within just three months of Ralph finishing the website content audit training. That’s how quickly Ralph landed his first client.
But that’s not all …
Turns out there’s so many different ways Ralph can help this one client out, it could mean more paid projects are waiting for him. As Ralph explains, “After looking through their website, I’ve already developed a number of ideas. They have a lot of potential, it’s just not there yet.”
As for going through the site content audit training, Ralph says, “I feel confident at this point that I can put together a report that clients will appreciate.”
And that confidence paid off quickly — Ralph had two more smaller clients lined up right away.
For Ralph, shifting his career from construction projects to doing Site Audits and copywriting has been one of the best experiences to date.
Ralph says, “I loved my work but they wanted me to do more and more, such as travel and go back to college. That was not my idea of what I wanted to do in life. I wanted something that will support my family and give me time and more freedom.”
If you too are ready for a career switch into copywriting but haven’t taken the first steps, Ralph offers a few inspirational tips to get you going:
1. Build on what you know. Use what you're good at as your foundation. Don't get stuck thinking that whatever you're not good at is going to be a showstopper because you can get help to work through it, such as taking one of the many training programs offered through AWAI.
2. Don’t let your limitations stop you. Know where your strengths are, and build your world around that first. Then get the help you need to grow in areas where you are limited.
Do you have any questions about getting started using Site Audits? Please share in the comments so we can help.
The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter
The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »