November 24, 2014

Get Paid to Write Articles

Get paid to Write Articles & Make Money

Courtesy of Greenleaddesigns/freeditigalphotos.net

One of my favorite places to hang out online is in my various writing groups on Linkedin.com. One of the reasons is that there is never a shortage of great information being shared.  This week a member of one of the copywriting groups I belong to shared the following list which I think is perfect for new freelance copywriters and for those writers who are simply looking for a bit of cash flow. It’s a list of places online that pay writers for article submissions and tutorial contributions.  Take a look:

Crazy Leaf (Web Design Blog)

This web design blog accepts contributions on the following topics: tutorials, graphic design, web design, Flash, Photoshop, vectorial graphics, design inspiration, programming, print design, design resources, photography or just a “Top 10″ article.  Your article should be a minimum of 500 words and should include two images. Their pay rate depends on the length of your article as well as the quality.

Developer Tutorials (Cutting Edge Programming and Design)

If you are a writer who can create unique, high quality tutorials and list-based articles for web design, Developer Tutorials is the place for you! Their payments range from: $50-$100 per tutorial and $30-$50 for each list-based article.  If you submit a tutorial, it must be at least 1000 words and has to include illustrations.  A list-based article must target web developers or designers. They must include a solid description of each item in the list and screenshots or graphics when applicable. You will more than likely need a PayPal account, since they use PayPal  as their method of payment.

Dollar Stretcher (Living Better for Less)

Many writers are blessed with the gift of being financially savvy and good money managers.  If this sounds like you, then Dollar Stretcher is definitely a site you’ll want to check out. They are looking for articles that provide their readers with tips to save time and money. Payment is at the rate of $0.10 per published word.  Each article must be in the 500 to 700-word range.

Drop Zone (Skydiving Content)

Do you skydive?  Well then, you’re in luck. Drop Zone is looking for skydiving-related articles, including, general information pieces, reviews, event articles, press releases and photographic reports.  Writers must contact Drop Zone by email at editor@dropzone.com to discuss compensation.

Metroparent (Local Stories of Interest to Local Parents – SouthEast Michigan Moms)

Are you a mom, dad or have a child-related background or experience?  Check out Metroparent. They love well-written articles related to parenting.

Their payment structure is as follows:

Features 1,000-2,500 words: $150-$350, depending on complexity of topic and number of sources required to do the story justice;
Department columns: $50-75;
Parent Pipeline pieces: $35-50; and
Reprints: $35

Payment is upon publication.

Net Tuts (Web Developer and Web Designer Tutorials and Articles)

Yes, there are writers out there who are also techies.  And lucky for those of you who are:  Net Tuts wants extensive tutorials and/or screencasts on the following topics:

  • Javascript techniques
  • HTML / CSS techniques
  • jQuery or similar libraries
  • CMS’s – WordPress, Expression Engine, Joomla, etc.
  • Simpler PHP & Rails techniques

They also use PayPal, and the rate depends on the type of tutorial you submit.  Rumor has it, they pay $50.

PSD Tuts (Photoshop Tutorial Blog)

Do you like talking about photoshop?  This site wants tutorials or content that photoshop enthusiasts enjoy.  Send your tutorial or content to PSD Tuts, and get your contribution published.  You will be paid an agreed USD rate for each item published. They also accept offers, so, by all means, make one! They pay via PayPal or Moneybookers and, better still, they pay within the first week of the month following publication.

Rock Solid Finance (Strategy and Finance for Entrepreneurs)

Looking for another financial-related blog?   Well, here it is. Rock Solid Finance focuses on  corporate finance, fundraising and growth strategies.   If you enjoy teaching people to “make, measure and monitor” the money in their business, submit an article to Rock Solid Finance.  They make offers of either fifty bucks or two contextual backlinks.

SpyreStudios (Design Blog)

Depending on the type and the quality of your blog post, you can get $50 to $160 writing articles for the SpyreStudios web design blog.  That is, of course, if you like writing about typography, design trends, inspiration, CSS, HTML, WordPress, jQuery, minimalism and that sort of stuff.  This site is great for tutorials, posts/articles and how-to’s. And SpyreStudios uses PayPal.

WorldStart (Computer Tips)

Are you a computer aficionado?  WorldStart is for writers who are able to provide tips to their email subscribers about . . . yes, computers.  Payment depends on the quality of your article, its length, and the usefulness of the tip or topic.

Approximately 250 words-$25
Approximately 400 words-$40
Approximately 600 words-$45
Maximum length is approximately 800 words-$50

They use PayPal.

Writers Weekly (Blogging About Making Money from Writing)

Do you want to write about selling the written word?  In other words, are you interested in making money writing?  If you’ve read this far, you are.  Submit your 600-word article to Writers Weekly.

Writers Weekly pays $60 for non-exclusive electronic rights for your submission. For freelance success stories (approximately 300 words), they pay in the neighborhood of $40.   E-mail your query to angela (at) writersweekly.com.

In addition to getting paid to write, you can use this opportunity as a great marketing method, because these sites, which have many subscribers, allow you to include a link back to your website.

Final Note: Please contact the site owners first before submitting your articles, because most of the sites ask for a pitch before accepting your contribution.

Happy Writing,

Stacey

 

 

 

We have Top-Copywriter to thank for this score!

Looking to Get Into Copywriting? Here’s Some Advice from Veteran Copywriters

Wise Old OwlA new copywriter visited my linkedin.com Advertising Copywriting  group discussion and asked “What advice would you offer to someone who is looking to get into copywriting . . . ?”  I scoured the lengthy comments and came away with my top 12 responses below:

1. Start writing things: student newspapers, blog posts, anything.

2. If a company you’re applying to work with has a blog, read it and reference it in your cover letter.

3. Listen to the intended audience; listen to a client’s direction; listen to the tone of your writing.

4. In an age of social media, networking helps a lot.

5. Don’t give up.

6. Get to know your own voice or style.

7. The most important thing your portfolio has to do is engage and amuse the screener.

8. If you’re sitting at your desk feeling stupid, stop. That “stupid” feeling is a signal from your core self that you do not have the information you need in order to complete the task.

9. Visualize the person you are writing to.  See them as they go about their busy day, not really interested in what we have to say to them.

10. Pick up a copy of Bob Bly’s “The Copywriter’s Handbook ” — or at least check it out at your local library. It’s perhaps the best one-stop resource for new copywriters I’ve come across.

The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells

 

11. At its core, all marketing is about giving pleasure, reward, satisfaction, and fulfilling desire, or it’s about alleviating pain, or symptoms, or problems, or lack.
12. Get a website, promote your services and start to watch the clients slowly come in.

 

Join Advertising Copywriting on linkedin.com.  It’s a delightfully intelligent and insightful group of helpful professionals.  The above tips are just a glimpse into all that this wonderful group has to offer.

 

Happy Writing,

Stacey

 

P.S.  You can never have too much brilliant and valuable advice.

 

 

 

 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

Why Do American Companies Only Want Freelance Copywriters Who Are Fluent in American English?

American English (Flag) Hitting TargetCopywriters of all stripes are eager to jump on the American copywriting bandwagon. That’s a wonderful thing, since, compared to many countries, particularly emerging nations where many new copywriters come from, American companies pay well and there’s enough work to go around.

Quick Story: I recently placed a few ads on some online employment platforms and specifically requested that the applicants be fluent and able to write in “American English” simply because the vast majority of my target audience speaks American English. I received a number of responses from offended, foreign candidates who basically told me I should consider all English speaking applicants, that I was being unfair and that not hiring them was my loss . . .  What’s more, the respondents were not really fluent in English (of any dialect). For some reason the responders believe there is no difference between American English and all other English dialects. However, there are differences.  Very meaningful differences, especially when it comes to writing copy.

 

 American English – What’s the Big Deal?

Just like copywriters who speak American English, copywriters whose native (writing) tongue is not American English have to meet certain basic communications standards.  To be effective as a copywriter, you have “to get it.” You have to communicate in the vernacular of the American audience, which means having a sensitivity to the nuances,  knowing the transitional terminology, the idioms, spellings, usage, and phraseology that American markets are accustomed to reading in copy. There are also implied meanings that have power when you place them in the context of a few well-chosen words. “Just do it” is an example of this. It needs absolutely no more explanation other than those three words, yet Americans just get it.

Copy Must Sound Natural

Another factor is authenticity, sounding natural. American copywriters already struggle with pulling off authenticity, and marketers know this. So, imagine hiring someone whose second language is English and there’s no immersion in the culture to boot. Time is of the essence in marketing, advertising and copywriting, so there’s not a whole lot of room to catch writers up on the basics of American English and what I dub, the language-culture while you’re facing a deadline.  And, if a marketer has to then get someone to rewrite passages simply for American customers’ understanding, they have now hired two people to do the job of one; it’s counterproductive.

You only have seconds to grab a prospective customer’s attention. You then have to hold their attention.  There is a higher chance of generating copy that does not resonate with the target audience when they are stuck trying to interpret what the text actually means.  If the customer is spending those few precious seconds trying to grasp your meaning, you’ve lost them.

To my fellow copywriters who would like to get more copywriting projects from American businesses, marketers, ad and PR folks, I would simply recommend studying basic English and intermediate American English.  In doing so, you can also pick up cues on the culture, including the faux pas.

As to the free route to improving your American English, I would suggest that you:

 

●Listen to and study American song lyrics, but not rap, because the language is too trendy and esoteric, unless your niche market is hip hop.

●Read American blogs

●Read American popular culture online magazines (People, TimeOut NY, Vanity Fair, etc.)

●Join and participate in LinkedIn groups. There are many LinkedIn groups that cater specifically to copywriters, but you don’t have to limit yourself to groups for copywriters.

I don’t recommend Twitter and Facebook because the slangy, abbreviated words and the intentional misspelling writing style would only be more confusing. It confuses Americans too.

Some Good Sites to learn American English Include:

 

http://www.learnamericanenglishonline.com/

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/

http://www.englishpage.com/

http://www.englishdaily626.com/idioms.php

 

Books on American English

The following books come highly recommended from my colleagues – American copywriters on Warriorforum.com and other American writers:

 

The Elements of Style (4th Edition)

Speak English Like an American (Book & Audio CD set)

The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment

McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, 3rd Edition

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed

English Grammar: Language as Human Behavior, Second Edition

 

Grasping American English like an American Can Be Done

One writer I know, who I was eager to hire is Hungarian; she lives in Hungary, and Hungarian is her first language.  However, she writes American English better than a lot of American copywriters I know.  My point is, it can be learned. My other point is, however, “learned” is the operative word.   It can’t be faked.

7 Common Mistakes New Freelance Copywriters Make that Could Cost Them Business

One of the luxuries of being a nube copywriter in the day of the Internet is that you get to learn from the mistakes of others.   There’s always a slew of experienced folks who are willing to share the mistakes they’ve made so that you don’t make them.  That’s what this post is all about.  Listed below are the top seven mistakes new freelance copywriters make:

1.  Being lax with your own marketing because business is good

It’s lovely when your freelance business is bombarded with so many clients that you need to create a wait list of some sort. But, as veterans know, business ebbs and flows. Because it does, you have to prepare for times when clients aren’t ringing your phone off the hook. When you are new to freelancing, it’s easy to go into panic mode, especially if it’s your only source of income.  It’s hard to stay focused and be productive when you are in that mind frame.  This is, however, a crisis that can be averted.  Market your freelance business, including networking, with the same seriousness you do when business is good.  For a whole host of reasons a current client can become a former client. Even worse, an anchor client may need to make copywriting and marketing less of priority and put your contract on hold. Don’t wait for this type of thing to happen.  Keep marketing.  Keep networking.

2.  Not keeping up with the trends in your field

Technology, social media and the reality of consumer control are forcing businesses to stay in a constant state of alert because they change every day.  As a copywriter, you need to make time in your schedule, even if it’s just an hour, reading up on the latest “best practices” and the latest technology that is relevant to marketing and to your particular niche. Clients are becoming more sophisticated in their knowledge of, well, everything.   As a professional  your clients look to you for guidance, so you need to keep up. You want to be able to intelligently discuss a client’s needs and answer his or her questions.  You want to be able to offer the most ideal and relevant solutions to their problems.  If you feel you are too busy, add an hour in your weekly schedule and read during down time, like when you are waiting to be called in the doctor’s office.  Successful freelancers make time for relevance.

3.  Forgetting to follow up

When a potential client or a referral source gives you a call . . . follow up.  When a former client or an old friend you know calls your business line . . . follow up.  When you meet someone at a networking function off or online, especially if they express interest in copywriting . . . follow up.   This is your bread and butter.  These are potential ambassadors, evangelists.  You want the word on the street to be, “Oh, yeah John the copywriter is very responsible.   Building strong business relationships is important to growth or staying afloat for that matter.

4.  Not keeping track of your receipts, invoices and client payments

Staying organized is one of those aspects of business that people take least seriously.  Why?  Because they can always do it later.  Besides, they only need to have it all together by April 15th or some quarterly tax deadline.  If anything can zap the energy you’ll need for completing copywriting assignments and drumming up business it’s record keeping.  Make it easier on yourself by starting out in an orderly way, and it will save you so much ajada.   You don’t have to be insanely meticulous, but a few basic housekeeping tricks will go a long way.  Keep a folder entitled “2013” or whatever the current year is and when you get a Staples receipt or something from Amazon, print it out and dump it in there or save it to an Expense folder on your computer, but keep everything in the same place so you are not looking in 10 different locations when the time comes. Do the same thing for your client’s payments. You can organize them later, but it really helps when everything is one place.  Open an invoice directory and set up one sub-directory per client and keep their invoices in there or do it off line. You don’t need state-of-the-art software or apps. They help, but don’t let not having them stop you from keeping your records in basic order.

5.  Being lazy

Let’s keep it real. We all want to relax and should relax.  But, not when you have deadlines to meet.  Not when you are supposed to be churning out your best work – which is always.  When you freelance, particularly when you first start, it’s easy to forget that the money you saved up to start this venture may not always be there.  You have to hustle.  But, if this is your passion, and I believe it should be, then the grind should  not be as bad as it would be for someone who is not really interested in copywriting and is doing it for all the wrong reasons.  Having said that, you can lay down and watch a Law & Order marathon when you have work on your desk.  Your effort or lack of effort will show in your work product and this will come back to haunt you.  People don’t refer business to someone whose work or obvious work ethic they don’t admire.  If you have to take a break and re-energize to get motivated again, then do so, but don’t allow laziness or even complacency to become your rule; those habits are too hard to reverse.

6.  Not using a contract of some sort

Even if you trust the person who is about to become your client, use a contract or at least a clear, detailed quotation agreement.  This helps when there is some disagreement later on down the road about expectations.  You always want to have something in writing to refer to prevent any misunderstandings.  Try not to promise anything that is not spelled out in your contract, no matter how tempting it is to be Mr. Nice Guy or Gal.

7.  Charging too little

Check or ask on the copywriting forums and places like the copywriting groups on linkedin.com what you should be charging for the type of copywriting work you do or want to do.   You don’t want to low-ball yourself.  When you do, it typifies the quality of client you’re going to get – cheap, hagglers, etc.

Once you get  your freelance copywriting business off the ground, sidestepping the mistakes will get easier.  All freelancers make mistakes – newbies and veterans.  I’d love to hear some of the mistakes you’ve made and what you learned from them.

A Web Designer Asked: How Can You Tell If You Have Either a Good Copywriter or a Bad One? Copywriters of All Stripes Raced to Answer This Question

A web designer recently asked a question in “Advertising Copywriting” and “Copywriter’s Beat,” two very popular copywriting linkedin groups.   He quickly received a large number of answers.  The question was:  “How can you tell you have either a good copywriter or a bad one?”Good Copywriter versus bad Copywriter

I combed through all the answers in each group and pulled together a list of my 10 favorite responses.  I believe this will be quite helpful to new freelance copywriters as you develop your portfolios and your copywriting skills.

1-“A track record of delighted customers who are happy to recommend the writer to you.”

2-“Are they reaching your target audience? It’s good to keep in mind that your internal people/colleagues may be good at evaluating the copy from the ‘representation of the business’ perspective, but not necessarily from the customer perspective. A good copywriter will be able to balance that delicate line. Also, response to feedback and if you don’t understand something, they should be able explain in a non-defensive manner. As with any subject, you’ll get what you pay for, as well!”

3- •”Talk to them about your target market to see if they understand it.
•Evaluate their work in the medium you want to use. There are slightly different writing requirements for print and social media, for example.
•Take up references, preferably in a similar industry.
• If you like what you have seen so far agree on a small, paid assignment. When you brief them, if they are any good, they will ask lots of questions about things like your target audience, the messages you want to put out, the offers you have, the style that’s most appropriate, the word count etc. Personally I put a lot of work in at this stage to make sure I really understand what is required
• Evaluate the copy you get back. If the copywriter is good I would suggest it should be at least 80% what you are looking for. Your time is valuable. You want to be able to brief the writer and let them get on with it, rather than getting involved in orchestrating lots of rewrites.”

4-“Everything you need to know about a copywriter will be evident by their portfolio. If their work is good. They’ll be good. And vice versa.”

5-“A good copy writer is first of all a good listener.”

6-“I, personally, think empathy towards clients and consumers is one of the most important prerequisites for a strong copywriter, and it makes them genuinely curious about the world around them. Conceptually, this should help your creative tailor specific messages for specific audiences. I would go through their portfolio and then decide whether or not you actually like their work. Is the messaging effective? Last, I’d look at their styling.”

7-“I think every communication you have with a copywriter tells you about him or her. Are they clear, concise and thoughtful in their email messages, for example? Or are there misspellings, improper punctuation, wrong tense, etc? If it’s there, that’s going to tell you something about the product they’ll deliver for you.  I have samples of many different types of projects on my website, covering everything from trade show presentation scripts to press releases. But I also like to remind my clients that EVERYTHING on my website (with the exception of clients’ testimonials) is my writing. I want them to see not only how I sell for my clients, but how I sell myself, as well.  In short, a good writer is a good writer. You don’t turn in on and off. You do it in everything you do, or you just don’t do it well enough.”

8-“Read things the copywriter wrote. Did you get to the last line? Did you want more? You found a good copywriter. I speak to this on my homepage at www.feldmancreative.com and offer what I feel is an insightful paper on the subject. ‘Find the Right Copywriter.’ ”

9-“Good copywriters can sell themselves first, sell you second, and sell your product third.”

10-“I would say, no such thing as a stupid question, if a copywriter is asking, then they are trying to fully understand your brief and needs, and may just raise things that you haven’t though of or realised.”

There are just so many wonderful and valuable reasons to be a part of linkedin.  It’s not simply a social media site to use when you are out of work.  This list is just a tiny representation of the plethora of helpful information linkedin has for new and veteran copywriters.  Register, join groups and join the conversations!

 

Stacey

9 Groups in linkedin.com that Welcome Job-Hunting Freelance Copywriters

Being a copywriter means being creative.  Not only should copywriters strive to be creative in the projects to which they are assigned, but you should be equally creative when searching for gigs.  I have come across 9 linkedin.com groups that post jobs and have compiled those with specific request for copywriters.

Target Marketing

Read their profiles, in their own words:

1. Advertising Copywriting – This is a group for advertising copywriters and everyone interested in the copywriting craft.

2. Advertising Creatives – This group is for all creative advertising professionals -  Art Directors (AD),  Copywriters (CW),  Creative Directors (CD),  and professionals who work in creative media, creative planning, or anything else creative.

3. Marketing Communication – Marketing Communication is defined as messages and related media used to communicate with a market via advertising, social media, branding, direct marketing, graphic design, affiliate marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales promotion, online, mobile apps, crm, seo, search, events, pr, tv, cim and marketing jobs. The group is for Marcom professionals.

4. MarketingProfs – MarketingProfs is a community of marketers centered around smart, quick, and actionable know-how and discussions.  More than 360,000 subscribers read their newsletters and blog, attend their events and seminars (both live and virtual), and participate in the MP discussion forum.  All marketing professionals are welcome to apply to join.

5. Copywriters – This group is all about how to find copywriting jobs.

6. Digital Marketing – Digital Marketing is one of the most exciting and dynamic groups on LinkedIn for digital marketing professionals. Group discussions cover the depth and breadth of the digital marketing landscape and include topics such as social media marketing, mobile marketing, search engine marketing, online PR, email marketing, online advertising, measurement and web analytics, best practice digital marketing and more. They provide updates to the latest white papers and industry reports to keep you updated on trends, innovation and best practice digital marketing.  They also organize an exciting events program of  conferences, social and networking events to bring the digital marketing community together.

7. E-Marketing Association Network – This is the largest and most active Marketing Group with 396,000+ members. Managed by the eMarketing Association, the worlds largest Internet marketing association, it is open to all interested in Internet Marketing.  They focus on social, eMail, search and web marketing.

8. Copywriters Beat – This group is for copywriters and bloggers or anyone interested in the art of marketing copy.

9. Copywriting Classifieds – This group is a subgroup of Advertising Copywriting.  It was created exclusively for the purpose of advertising skills and services.  The discussion board of this subgroup is open for any posting about a blog, services, upcoming events. In short, it is the perfect forum to market yourself.

Keep in mind that these groups, as with all social media are designed for just that – to be a social networking tool.  So, take time to add to the discussions, offer advice, ask questions, become a part of the mix. You’ll get something of value out of it. I do every time I participate, and so do the other members.

Additionally, I know I said this is about groups on linkedin.com, but I have found that Twitter is also a great source when looking for freelance copywriting jobs.   Just remember to enter your search as a hashtag, e.g.,  #copywriter.  There should be no space between the # and the word “copywriter.”   You can also enter #freelancecopywriter.   Again, there should be no space between “freelance” and “copywriter.”  Lastly, when you use Twitter for business, be mindful of the Twitter protocol.

Happy job hunting guys and good luck!

 

Stacey

Get That Freelance Copywriting Business Off the Ground Already

How successful you will be as a freelance copywriter is determined by how committed you are to making it happen.  Your first priority is get that this is not a hobby.  If it is a hobby, that’s fine, and you really don’t need to read this post.  If you are freelancing for a living or to help make ends meet, you must look at this like a business . . . because that’s exactly what it is.  Lots of money can be made, but if you don’t take it seriously, and realize that your time is money, then the level of income you bank will match the level of focus you commit.

Create a Schedule

The next thing you need to recognize is that everything has the potential to take longer than you plan for it to take.  Consider this as you allot time for items in your schedule.  Whether you freelance on a part-time basis or a full-time basis, all of the necessary activities get included in your schedule, including your marketing activities.  Each of your educational or marketing activities should be represented in your calendar with specificity.  Don’t just enter “marketing.”  These activities can include article marketing, cold calling, Tweeting, Linkedin, Facebook for business, attending offline networking functions, blogging, speaking engagements, trade conferences, instructional/industry webinars,  teleconferences, etc.).

Make every effort to only deviate from your schedule if you need the time to work on a project. Monitor and measure your marketing results. If one marketing strategy is working, employ it more than the ones that are not working or that are not as effective.

Start Building Your Portfolio

Each time you finalize a piece of work for a client, grab a copy and add it to your portfolio (and you should be building a portfolio online and offline).  These are your credentials.  Show them off.  If you have nothing to put into a portfolio, create your own marketing materials and add them to your portfolio.  Your own website, if you  created it, is a credential.  Start writing and publishing articles about your niche market. This takes about one to two hours, depending on how involved you get in the subject matter.  Publish these articles to popular online article directories, e.g., goarticles.com and ezinearticles.com.  Post these articles to your own site as well.

Distribute a Press Release

The business world loves niches.  This is not to say that you can only write for your niche market, because, quite frankly, a talented copywriter can adapt, learn and write for any market.   But since niche markets are easier to leverage, let’s concentrate our efforts on them.  So, if you have chosen a niche market and you are one of the few specialist in this area, or if you uncover some unique and marketable skill in this area that you have that others do not, write an SEO press release letting your target market know that you exist and where they can find you.  Submit it online to free or for-profit press release distribution sites.

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Etc.

This is called “social” media for a reason.  Be there.  If you are going to set up automated Tweets for example, and never appear on Twitter, what’s the point of having a Twitter account for your business. That’s not marketing.  Marketing online is about being social. It’s about building relationships. It’s about building trust.  Your potential clients and potential referral sources cannot establish rapport with an automated gizmo.  If you plan to use these tools to enhance your business, but you want to do so in an automated way, you may want to rethink their function and purpose.

As to networking on Linkedin, join a few groups and initiate discussions or offer comments on discussions.  Be seen.  Be heard.  Become a familiar face on your social networks.  Success follows Trust. Trust follows familiarity . . .  It’s a process, but it won’t work if you don’t work it.

Be Easy to Find and Easy to Reach

Make sure all your information is on every marketing tool you use. It should prominently be on your website, in your email signature, on all of your social media accounts.  Also, make sure that you have a dedicated phone service, or virtual phone service to get calls that you are unable to answer when they come in.  Lastly, set up some way of automatically responding to email inquiries that come in.  Then make sure you check your emails regularly so you can respond promptly.  People are not going to wait for you forever.  Yet, they are inclined to wait a little bit, if you have some mechanism to temporarily address their inquiry in a professional (not personal) way, elements of good customer service.

Virtual Office Phone Service - Free 15 Day Trial!

 

Everyone Around You Should Know This is Your Job

By “everyoneˮ I mean, your children, their friends, your neighbors, and if you work, your co-workers.  Other people tend not to take the freelancer’s time very seriously. You have to gently, but firmly, make sure they get it.  Set aside time to handle your freelance work (whether it is writing a project or handling an administrative task like repairing your hard drive with your computer geek.  Once you set this time aside, everyone has to respect it.  Your neighbors can’t drop by for coffee to chat.  Your kid’s friend can’t pick your brain about and issue he is having with his mom.  If you have a day job, but do this at lunch time, don’t coffee clutch just because a co-worker wants to share the latest gossip.  This is your time, your professional time. You would not do this (I hope) to your employer if you worked for someone else, so don’t do it to yourself.

Work Administrative Tasks Into Your Routine

There aren’t many of us out here who enjoy reconciling invoices, tracking accounts receivables, filing research printouts, cleaning our email inboxes, but it has to get done.  When you let these responsibilities pile up, they can hamper your progress, because the stress that knowing it needs to get done can weigh on your mind.  Make them a part of your regular weekly schedule and deal with them a little at a time.

Offline Networking Works Well Too

Don’t sleep on offline networking.  Very often, when people physically see the small business owner they are considering delegating their copywriting project to, the trust factor is expedited and the bond gels at a faster rate than it does online. This is especially important when you are new at this.  Once the initial word of mouth has momentum, the trust element will later transfer over to your online business which, itself, will then pick up speed.

I highly recommend joining a serious business networking groups, like BNI, or your local Chamber of Commerce or a resourceful Meetup group (not just any Meetup group). These are just some of the many, many networking groups out there.

These groups have meetings where, as a member or guest, you will have an opportunity to give do an elevator pitch or a presentation about your freelance copywriting business. Once they get to know you and your work product, members will begin hiring you and recommending you to their friends.

You Simply Need to Just Go For It

A freelance practice is within your reach. I started my business by just going for it.  I bought two books, read them cover to cover and just went for it!  And I haven’t looked back.  If you consistently work this business, success will follow, but you have to be willing to continue marketing your freelance practice, even when you have a full roster of clients.

 

Good luck!

 

Stacey Mathis

P.S.  These two books I read to start my business were: The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells and Start & Run a Copywriting Business.

 

8 Top Linkedin Networking Groups for Freelance Copywriters

business networkingWe are in what can be an isolating profession – writing – freelance writing at that. For this reason alone, it is important that we reach out to our fellow freelancers, our copywriting/creative writing siblings (so to speak).  Whether it is for support, job referrals or business advice on improving our freelance businesses, we need to network.
Even if you are not a member, I am sure that, by now, you’ve heard of the social/business networking site linkedin.  If you are not a member, you should be, and you can sign up for linkedin here.

The following are the top groups for their respective categories. They represent those groups that I believe can be of huge value to freelance copywriters right now, as reflected by their membership numbers. So, in their own words, I present the top eight:

Creative Intensive Network – For All Advertising Creatives

This group is for all creative advertising professionals. If you’re an Art Director (AD), Copywriter (CW), Creative Director (CD) and work in creative fields.

 

Copywriters Beat

This group is for copywriters and bloggers or anyone interested in the art of marketing copy.

 

Post Freelancer Jobs

This group is for those looking for freelance assignments. It is for event and exhibition organizer copywriters, web-designers, graphic designers, photographers, sales & marketing professionals.

 

Copywriter

This group is set up for self-employed (freelance) copywriters who simply want to “help each other.”

 

The Confident Copywriter

This is the premiere group for new and accomplished copywriters alike, to meet and share valuable information to bring their careers to the next level.

 

Freelance Professionals

This group is for freelance copywriters, IT 3D modelers, animators, architectural designers art directors, editors, proofreaders, film/video/multimedia professionals, graphic designers, illustrators, interior designers, journalists, marketers, photographers, programmers, stylists, PR professionals, agents, web designers, and finance and legal freelancers.

The Freelance Writers’ Connection

This group is here to connect with community support, provide networking opportunities and mutual expertise in freelance writing. The goal is to advance the members’ individual writing careers while connecting members with each other in meaningful relationships.

 

Creative Designers and Writers

This is a group shared with artists, creative designers, animators, game developers & creative writers. It includes four active subgroups for web graphic design, writing (science fiction fantasy), art lovers (painting sculpting), and professionals in 3D animation computer games (Special Visual Effects VFX, CGI Motion Graphics).