Archives for category: Entrepreneurship

If you’re a copywriter or even a consultant, sometimes this business can seem pretty challenging.

There are periods of time where it feels like you’re in the wrong business…right?

We’ve all been there.

Perhaps you already have all the clients you can handle, and are living the elusive  “copywriter’s lifestyle” promised in that one sales letter for that one copywriting course (you know, “Retire This Year And Make More Than…”).  If so, congratulations…it feels great doesn’t it? 🙂

If not, I’ve got 3 key secrets to “getting” clients that have worked very well for me, and one actual method you’ll be able to use to generate leads for your copywriting or consulting business.

1) Quit trying to “sell” them on your services.

Don’t get me wrong, copywriting as a business is certainly a sales and marketing profession. But there are so many people that need your services, and so few solid copywriters out there, that you don’t have to “sell” your services at all. Nor should you.

If you find yourself in front of the correct prospect, but it feels like you’re “pushing” your services onto that prospect…you’re doing the type of “selling” I’m talking about, and you need to re-adjust your approach.

Instead, keep the focus on them, and their business. Ask questions, and focus on listening really carefully to their answers. The less talking and more listening you’re doing, the higher chance you have of securing a new client.

Silence is sometimes the best “seller”, as it encourages your prospect to “fill that silence” with more information. You can use this info to demonstrate the fit your services have for increasing profits in their business.

2) You have to place high value on what you’re doing with prospective clients.

You have to believe deep down that your services are the most valuable way for a client to increase profits. I know that sounds simplistic, but the surprising fact is, most copywriters seem to have a “low self-esteem” when it comes to promoting their services. Prospective clients can read right through this, no matter how hard you try to hide it, or “fake confidence”.

The client needs you, period. If your gut is telling you they don’t get that, move on to the next prospective client as soon as you can.

Having a deep, burning conviction for what you offer to your clients “transfers” itself through your interactions with them, it’s contagious, and makes securing clients a TON easier. But you don’t want to spend time trying to help those that won’t help themselves…

3) Don’t invest a lot of time educating prospective clients who don’t seem to “get it”.

If you’re speaking to a business owner who doesn’t understand the value of the words you produce for them…invest a little time (very little) to provide examples of what is possible if you work with them. If they still don’t get it…move on. There are PLENTY of potential clients who NEED you right now.

A wise mentor of mine once taught me that you don’t have time to work with those business people who have to think about going to the hospital when their business is having a heart attack.

Now on to the “gravy”…

Here’s an actual method to get more copywriting clients than you can handle…

For this method, you can actually stay online, but you’ll also have to use the phone to talk to people (who by the way, for the most part are already using copywriters, so they need and can already relate to what you’re offering).

Go to Response Magazine’s “Buyer’s Guide” website at
http://directory.responsemag.com/_RTVMAIN.HTM (link opens in a new window, but if it doesn’t work at the time you visit this post, just look for the “online buyer’s guide”), then click on “Find Companies by Name” or “Find Companies by Product Category”.

BLAM!

You have a list of potential clients (with complete contact info) that actually buy products and services in the direct response industry. They understand marketing, most hire freelance copywriters (or know someone who does). Who knows, some might be looking for a copywriter right when you contact them.

Call through the list (there are email addresses too, but phone is best), asking for the creative director or marketing communications director (or just the person in charge of hiring freelance copywriters).

Then ask, see if they have a current or future need for your help. A few might talk about getting your samples right on the spot or hire you…some will take your information and use it another time.

Obviously, in one blog post we can’t cover every possible detail about this…so if you feel you need that “spark” contact me for a quick session…mention “I read the blog post” when you contact me and I’ll work a very special rate just for you for a two-hour session.

Click here to get my contact info and schedule or inquire about a session. Don’t worry, I don’t bite (unless I need to so you can get results). 🙂

I review a LOT of websites, offers, ezines, products, businesses and on and on when it comes to Internet Marketing (most NOT in the Make Money Online niche).

I haven’t seen enough marketers start to “let go” of their businesses yet.  And this mindset will slowly begin to erode the “shell” you’ve hidden behind in your business…then kill that business in the next 3 to 10 years, guaranteed.

What do I mean?

Well, it’s a deep concept usually reserved for my coaching clients…but I will attempt to give the “bird’s eye view” here in this post.  And before you dismiss this as simple, or not applicable to you, you need to think of 2 questions first:

1)  Am I really conducting business this way?

2)  Am I sure this doesn’t apply to me?

Onward.

“Letting go” of your online business means, in simple terms, that you don’t have anything involved in your business processes or marketing that give the impression you want to take control away from the visitors, prospects, or customers/clients that help you grow that business (notice I didn’t say “your customers” because they aren’t yours or mine…they’re people).

And that means you have nothing that gives that impression.

Here’s a list of concepts that help you “let go”:

  • Transparency.

This means your business and your activities aren’t hidden behind your monitor.  That’s right, people are going to eventually quit doing business with people they can’t see everything about.  For those of you who think hiding behind an anonymous name on chat boards and forums is “cool” and thinking that you can do business that way, well, you’re done.

  • Risk Reversal (real risk reversal, not the wimpy kind).

True risk reversal involves a “more than solid” guarantee of your product or service.  Instead of wimpy “30-day” guarantees…try a 12 month double your money back if this doesn’t work guarantee. Your sales will go up, your refund rates might too, but not as much as your sales.  In some cases, your refund rate doesn’t go up, it goes down. 🙂  Let that sink into your head for a minute.

  • Putting yourself out there (in promotions, not related to transparency).

Are you afraid of putting yourself out there?  Afraid of adding some controversy to this mix?  So long as your doing things legally, ethically, and morally…you should be fine.  So get your promos where people will see them!

  • Policies and service that are totally in favor of the people who give you money. (who gives a &*&*& if they buy a digital product from you, get a refund, then keep the product.  Products and ideas are a dime a friggin’ dozen…so make a new one).

If people work up the trust to buy from you, or become a lifelong customer, what are you going to do to keep earning that trust?  Yeah, yeah, there are some crappy customers out there who might scam you…but it’s the smaller percentage (less than 2%)…so really, what are you going to focus on?  The 2% who aren’t honest and won’t make you money?  Or the 98% who are honest and will make you a TON of moolah (if you work hard to keep that trust)?

  • Delivering on your promises when people give you their hard-earned money.

There are a few “big” “goo-roo” companies in the “make money online” niche that have made hefty promises with newsletter offers and such, then failed to deliver (I’ve tested them all, and only ONE actually met all of the promises they made).

If you have a product to deliver, deliver it BEFORE you bill the next month’s payment (and yes, you can…there’s NO excuses here).  If you make a promise to a customer, honor it…period.

And…

If a client/customer wants a refund or needs something to take care of them, do it…without question.  If you feel you’re being taken advantage of, refund their money and move on to people who will do business fairly with you.  Just remember that’s a 2-way street…not just a one-way street.

Your refund policies mean nothing to the customer, and while that may sound like a BIG, fat wrong thing to you…you’d better get used to it and just take care of them, even when it seems like they’re being idiots.

  • Participating in Social Media.

This is a big one, letting go of your business also means participating in it…as social media will take a larger and larger role in the growth of businesses both online and offline in the near future.

Quit hiding behind your monitor, and talk to people.  This is an interactive medium, not a one-way communication tool.

There’s obviously way more I could add to this DEEP subject, but this should give you a start towards thinking about “letting go” of your online business.

And obviously, I’m not perfect in a couple of these areas myself, but I have plans to improve my shortcomings NOW…because I realize the survival of my businesses will depend on it.

The survival of your online business will depend on it as well…so get to it!  Start to “let go” right now. And don’t give me some “wimpy-wad” excuse why you can’t…you can.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff

P.S. I’m at work on the first of my “manifestos”, titled “Rules, What Rules?”…which is a guide to empowering you to live life and build your business the way you want to, because there aren’t “rules” that govern how you should do that.

It should be completed within the next 60 days or sooner.

Sometimes, it is really hard to see an opportunity through all of the “clutter” out there.

What am I speaking of?

A mentality amongst entreprenuers online that there is too much competition out there to be profitable in this online niche/business/affiliate marketing opportunity etc…

Know what I say to that? Pfui.

You really can create a business, even when competition is at it’s highest.

Here is today’s lesson on how to “separate yourself from the crowd in a crowded market.”

Let’s use affiliate marketing as today’s example…

What usually happens when you sign up for an affiliate opportunity that is popular? Do you really think that affiliate opportunity, if it is a viable business, will be sold by anyone besides you?

Of course it will. Good affiliate opportunities seem to “catch on”, and be sold by everyone on the planet.

Right?

So what are you to do? Give up and let everyone else make all the money?

Here is a little secret…

Of the thousands of people that sign up for good affiliate opportunities…

75% of them are making hardly any money at all. That’s right, hardly any money at all.

Why is this?

Well, it lies in the reason many people sign up for affiliate opportunities in the first place. As human beings, we want an “easy” way to make money. In other words, we possess a greed gland.

So we sign up for the affiliate program, confirm the email, and make the crucial mistake that will put us in the 75% category…

We do what everyone else is doing to sell the affiliate program/product/service.

Wanna see through the online clutter?

Wanna join the top 25% of any affiliate program?

Here is the secret:

Add your personality to the materials in the affiliate program. Make the materials they provide your own. Make it seem like the offer came from you.

Even better…

Test graphics, copy, and email marketing…and really make the whole product seem your own.

In other words…do what others won’t do and get results that others can’t get.

Period.

Work at it. Separate yourself from all of the clutter.

So, how does this apply to business in general?

Even if you own an offline business, there is never too much competition. You just have to be creative, get off your butt, and do what other business owners won’t do to separate yourself from the crowd.