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-- A Marketing Checklist for Freelancers and Consultants
A Marketing Checklist for Freelancers and Consultants
By Brian S. Konradt
Marketing can be as simple as engaging in a one minute
conversation with another person or as complex as a $3,000
direct mail advertising campaign. Everyone has done some type of
marketing in their lives # including you. You may have sold
things at a garage sell # that's marketing. Maybe you
recommended a friend to see a movie, which she did. That, too,
is marketing. At your last job interview, you talked about
yourself and how you and your experience could benefit the
company # and you got the job. That's marketing.
But marketing is more than selling a product or service or
yourself # basically, it's getting the person or prospect
interested in what you're selling. And that's not so easy #
unless you know exactly how to do it.
Most people know how to market # but not everyone knows how to
market effectively. When you mail a prospective client a piece
of your promotional material advertising your availability as a
commercial copywriter who is seeking work and don't get a
response, then that's marketing. But when the prospective client
responds to your promotional material and requests additional
information that leads up to work, then that's marketing
Marketing is probably the most ignored and neglected function
of operating a profitable commercial copywriting business.
Copywriters ignore or neglect marketing because of the following
* Marketing must be done on a continuous # if not daily #
basis. That eats away 20-30% of your time each day. Instead of
working eight hours each day for clients, you really work five
or six hours each day for clients.
* Marketing is non-billable time. When a freelancer stops
working on his client's project to do his own marketing, he does
not get paid for his time.
* Marketing costs money and can exhaust your time. A popular
complaint among freelancers is the lack of time to shoehorn
daily marketing into their daily schedules. Working on lengthy
projects, meeting deadlines, keeping in touch with clients and
managing a business can place a lot of strain on the writer.
Because of time constraints, many copywriters market their
services in short, quick "spurts" # that is, they mail out huge
amounts of promotional material at one time when only necessary.
* Beginners often quit their marketing efforts too soon
because they're not soliciting responses immediately. And
established professionals neglect daily marketing because it's
non-billable time and their existing client-base may be
funneling in referrals and repeat work, so why market? Whatever
you do, never stop your marketing, even if you have plenty of
clients, lots of work and several paychecks in the mail.
Stopping your marketing at any time can cause sluggish sales,
lack of clients, and, potentially, a bankrupt business, in the
coming weeks or in the future.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Your business does
not grow, flourish or live without marketing. Once you
understand how to market effectively, you'll increase your
chances of running a successful, profitable copywriting business
(or any business), guaranteed.
Here's a checklist to market any service or product effectively:
* Marketing is repetitious. For your marketing to create
impact, build rapport and establish relationships with your
prospects, your marketing must be repetitious # there is simply
no other way. Plan on promoting yourself to the same prospect at
least five times before you anticipate a response.
* Marketing must interest the prospect about your product or
service, not just sell it. If you can't stir up interest about
your service or product, the prospect will junk your promotional
material in the garbage.
* Marketing must be performed continuously, not infrequently.
Avoid marketing in spurts. "Marketing, to be effective, must be
done on a continuous basis # not when you feel like it or when
you need to do so," says corporate copywriter, Joan Berk. "When
you market in spurts, you put yourself at a risk of having to
wait for the results and scrambling around to find work to meet
payments. If you market each day # or at least every other day #
it's much easier to manage, keep track of your results, and you
won't put yourself in a state of panic when you lose a client or
fall short of a project. You'll have many inquiries, leads and
referrals on tap."
* Marketing creates impact gradually # not immediately.
Anticipate sluggish results the first time you market your
services, but don't quit due to poor results. Marketing, to
create impact, builds up gradually, over time, not overnight.
* Marketing does not focus on the product or service # but
focuses on the benefits of the product or service, or, in
essence, how the service or product can benefit the prospect.
* Marketing focuses on soliciting a response from the
prospect, not just the work. If all you do is ask for work, most
likely you will not get it the first time around, no matter how
qualified you are. To increase the chances of the prospect
outsourcing work to you, you must also try to solicit a
response, not just the work. Have the prospect contact you to
receive your free business newsletter, or a free consultation,
or to review a piece of his material for free. When you solicit
a response, it brings you closer to securing work from the
prospect. Responses are nearly as important as getting the work
* Marketing sells solutions, never your writing services.
Prospects don't care how creative and professional you write.
They only care about one thing: how your skills can solve their
problems. That's it. If you can't help the prospect solve his
problem, you won't get the work.
As you put together an effective marketing plan for your
business, remember the following key points:
First, all marketing strategies come down to one type of
marketing: networking (or some form of networking). Securing a
client is a person-to-person confrontation. It involves finding
out the prospect's problems and needs, and then fulfilling them.
That's one reason why networking is the best type of marketing
Secondly, you never sell your services to prospects # you sell
solutions to their problems. They don't care how well you do
something # they only care what type of results you can produce
for them that'll solve their problem(s).
Finally, marketing must be repetitious to create rapport and
establish a relationship # these are two essential elements that
turn prospects into paying clients.
Brian Konradt is the owner and operator of FreelanceWriting.com (http://www.freelancewriting.com), a free web site for writers
who want to master the creative and business sides of freelance
writing. Mr. Konradt is also the owner of BSK Communications and
Associates, a communications and mail-order business based in New
Jersey that operates MasterFreelancer Web Store
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Tags: Sales and Marketing