In this hyper-competitive business world, business owners are exposed to various types of marketing from vendors and service providers, all clamoring for their attention.
You need to position yourself as an expert in the eyes of a potential client so you are “front of mind” when they need your services. This also allows you to charge what you’re worth, and establishes a workload you’ll never be able to catch up with if done correctly.
Following are 3 ways you can get started positioning yourself as an expert (so you can get paid like one):
>>>>> Write a blog.
It’s surprising to me that more copywriters don’t write and maintain a blog. In this day and age, maintaining a database of content that readers (and potential clients) can review is essential.
You can also promote your services through your blog (sparingly), but you have to build the readership to a level that can support promotion of your services. In addition, you will need to write to your potential clients, NOT to other copywriters if you want this strategy to be effective.
>>>>> Write a “bait piece.”
A bait piece is simply a document of some type that demonstrates your expertise, in this case it could demonstrate your copywriting expertise.
Now, if you’re a marketing copywriter, a bait piece could show that you understand the marketing process, and provide some valuable information to your potential clients which they can use in their businesses.
If you write another type of copy, like internal employee communications, you might write a short piece explaining the benefits of an internal company newsletter (i.e. increasing morale, distributing information, etc…).
In any case, this piece could be as short as a tip sheet showing “5 ways to do _________,” or as long as a full ebook covering a topic at length. There is no magic length to a bait piece, it needs to be long enough to provide valuable information, and short enough to get your point across (valuing your potential client’s time).
>>>>> Offer a complimentary consultation (initially).
A very common way to position yourself as an expert with a potential client is to offer a free initial consultation. Simply set aside 30 minutes to an hour and offer a pre-written “session” with a client, offer a diagnosis of a particular situation in their business (like how their marketing is going), or simply offer to answer specific questions the potential client has for a pre-determined period of time.
The key here is NOT to hold back with your information.
After the consultation is over, immediately move to scheduling work with the client. Assume they want to do business with you so long as the consultation went well.
And don’t use this strategy for long, or for long periods… as it does attract a “freebie-seeking” type of client, and your fees might have to reflect that.
I recommend you read a book titled “The Obvious Expert” for more ways to position yourself as an expert in the eyes of your clients. It’s an invaluable tome for this topic.
Until the next time we look in the mirror together,