Question: If you were starting out and had no references or a substantial resume, how would you go about finding paying customers for your services?
To answer your question, I'll assume you're a junior copywriter or marketing consultant.
When I first started out and didn't know a soul, I'd open the yellow pages and cold-call the business owners. I'd go to networking events and try to get business. (Sucks!)
Sometimes I'd do a little ‘switchcraft’ and call the companies who sent me direct mail letters.
Before I had a track record, I wrote a lot on a results-oriented basis. This is also know as a ‘sink or swim’ or ‘thrive or starve’ approach.
I'd write an ad or sales letter for a client, with the guarantee that if the ad didn't work, I didn't get paid. If the ad did work, I'd receive a flat fee.
Once I'd proven myself as a credible, conversion-oriented copywriter, I switched to requesting compensation based on a percentage of the sales. Ultimately, I changed to a flat fee, plus a percentage.
It wasn't easy. It's a good thing that ‘thin is in’ because I've been through a lot of lean and hungry months. I got ripped off so many times I can't even count them. Understand. . . I'm not saying this is what you should do, but that's what I DID.
In the beginning, you have to be pretty much shameless and willing to check your ego at the door. Be prepared to take on any kind of job for any kind of price. You want to make yourself damn busy. You want the law of supply and demand to work in your favor.
Your goal is to build up a portfolio of satisfied clients as quickly as humanly possible.
If it soothes your wounded ego, think of the process as ‘earning as you're learning. ’ By taking a wide variety of jobs, you'll not only hone your skills a hell a lot faster, you'll also build up a reputation as someone who's ‘earned his chops. '
And don't forget to collect testimonials.
Success breeds success.
Ultimately, just like me, when you're in demand, you'll be able to name your own price and do business on your own terms. If a prospect has a problem with how much you charge, you don't need to have a problem with them.
All you have to say is, NEXT!'
Don't worry, if you're good at what you do, you don't have to ‘settle for less. ’ (If you're not good at what you do, and aren't striving to make yourself better, you have no business being in business. )
Here's another plus about providing good value: your clients will tell other people about you. You won't have to go looking for clients; clients will come looking for you. That's the position you want to be in…at the head of the ‘receiving line, ’ picking and choosing your clients.
Your skills are in demand. The business world needs good copywriters. And good copywriters are rare. So the pro's in this profession are always in high demand.
As a marketing consultant or copywriter, you're better off if you don't have to engage in actively persuading prospects to hire you. You're in a much more powerful position, of course, if they come to you.
An excellent way to make yourself the ‘go-to’ writer that everyone wants is to establish yourself as an expert. Writing a book, creating a website and speaking at events are all excellent ways to gain a reputation as ‘Miss Information’ or ‘Mr. Know-It-All. '
Question: What's an easy way to deal with lingering doubts and questions about an offer with the best ways to create urgency and compel people to act now?
As any good copywriter or marketer will tell you, overcoming resistance is essential to closing a sale. And as any successful copywriter or marketer may keep secret, there are essentially 5 foolproof ways to create a sense of urgency.
1) Limited Time
Time waits for no man, and neither should your offer. Set a time limit to send a clear message that says, ‘You must act NOW. ’ Be sure to state a very specific deadline. Dont say ‘This offer will expire soon. '
Do say, ‘This offer will expire on July 20, 2004’ or ‘This offer will expire at midnight on June 12th’ or ‘This offer will expire in 10 days. ’ I think you know what I mean.
2) Limited Quantity
What do diamonds, vintage wine, and a triple-play in baseball have in common? They're valuable because they exist in limited quantity. Give your ‘Widget’ the same value by advertising that only a limited number of these Widgets were produced. Or say that only a limited number of these Widgets will be sold.
Again, be very specific. The above example should really read: ‘Only 341 of these Widgets will be sold at this special 38%-off discount price. '
For a double-whammy, add a little financial incentive to your limited quantity offer: ‘Only a limited number of these Widgets will be sold at THIS special price’ or ‘Only a limited number of these FREE BONUES will be given out. '
People want to feel special and like they're getting something that other people aren't. Thats why the ‘golf club members only’ deal work so well. . .
I've got an ego, you've got an ego, and you can bet your sales message that your prospect has an ego. Appeal to it with offers that say, ‘This deal is ONLY for action takers. ’ and ‘This deal is ONLY for successful people. '
People like things that are popular and they trust what other people like. . . even if they don't know those people. It's the reason that restaurateurs always put customers in the front windows. . . you don't want a prospective diner looking in on a bunch of empty seats. . .
People like to be part of the ‘popular crowd’ and they also don't want to experience the pain of being on the outside looking in. So stir up the pain and remind your visitors what they will miss out or lose if they dont act now.
These two tactics are a one-two punch that will knock consumers right out of their lethargy and right into your offer.
About The Author
Dan Lok is the World’s First Quick-Turn Marketer, with a proven track record of selling over $17.3 million dollars of merchandise and services. He’s the rebel copywriter who’s created hundreds of money-making ads and sales letter for over 39 different industries. Go to: http://www.askdanaquestion.com .