Make Them Remember You: Five Effective Techniques to Build Client Relationships

Guest Post by Chaleigh Glass

SBuild Client Relationships

The key to a good business often lies with customer loyalty, a thing which is often desired but not as easily won. To build a strong pool of returning customers, it is absolutely essential to know how to develop good relationships with clients. This is especially true of dental marketing and similar industries where the client’s health is on the line. Want to establish a memorable connection with your customers? Here are five effective tips to start you on your way:

 

Communicate

 

Over and over, the effectiveness of good communication proves itself in personal relationships, just as it does in business. It is highly important to not only communicate clearly, but to be willing to listen to your client in order to develop a strong working relationship. The client must be convinced that you are trustworthy, and the best way to do that is by keeping them well-informed and hearing them out when they have something to say.

 

Do Not Regard Clients on Merely a Business Level

 

Clients should be considered as more than a source of revenue. As another human being, they deserve respect and propriety. By treating your customers like people, you will be able to inspire a greater sense of trust and confidence in your company. To establish a good relationship with a client, get to know them a little bit, and ask them about their lives as they continue to return for your services.

 

Provide Rewards for Returning Clients

 

Many clients will be drawn towards businesses that offer good prices. Of course, for the sake of your business, it is not always possible to set the lowest rates. Still, you can offer rewards and special deals to long-term customers so that they continue to remain loyal to your business. While these things might be an additional expense, they can help develop loyalty within your past customers.

 

Always Be Attentive to Customer Needs and Complaints

 

If a client ever expresses a concern or complaint, it is extremely important to demonstrate good customer service, regardless of how unreasonable the complaint may be. By reassuring your customer that their concerns are heard and acted upon, they are going to be far more likely to purchase your services once again.

 

Put the Client First

 

Finally, one of the best tactics to maintaining strong customer loyalty is by putting them first. The best way to do this is to put yourself in their position, imagining what you would desire out of a company of the same industry.

 

Good customer relationships mean higher customer loyalty. It is always in your and your business’s best interest to have a consistent flow of returning customers so that your business can flourish.

Achieve Your Small Business Online Marketing Goals

Building Small Business
Image Courtesy of Renjith Krishnan

Every time I go online, which is all day long, there seems to be something new I need to add to my arsenal of online marketing information.  Marketing is what I do for others.  It’s also what I do for my own business, yet, even I sometimes get a bit dazed when I think about where yet another online marketing process will fit into the grand scheme of my business. So, I can just imagine how overwhelming it must be for those who realize online marketing and sales are important to your small business’s success, but it’s not your passion or strong suit.

Many small business owners understand that they need to beef up their online marketing strategies, but are not sure which tools or services they need.  You should know that the goal is to be found by your potential customers.  To reach this goal, you will need to increase your web traffic.   To increase your web traffic, and consequently your leads and conversions, you need to achieve higher placement on search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.  If not, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with potential clients and highlight your expertise.

In this article, I’d like to outline five basic tools every small business should utilize in an effort to realize its online marketing goals.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO’s effectiveness is frequently misunderstood.  The critical ongoing work of SEO requires building inbound links with proper anchor text and writing and posting intelligently keyworded content. SEO is all about creating content so compelling and engaging that your readers promote it by linking to it and/or sharing it.  This will increase your trust and your authority and helps those pages you want to rank well for particular keywords.

When your website is linked by another site, this is called an inbound link. Search engines use the number of inbound links to measure how popular a website is. Ranking high on web searches and generating new web traffic is a must when looking to attract new clients online.

More links means better search engine rankings and more site traffic.  This translates into more sales leads.

Note: The visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web are called anchor text (like the words “inbound link” in the preceding paragraph).

Content development (e.g., articles, short videos, audio snippits, blog posts, news feeds, etc.) is one of the three pillars of search engine optimization. Updating your site by adding new content allows you to rank for additional (high value, low competition) keywords and generate more website traffic. The Google Adwords Keyword tool, which will soon become Keyword Planner, is an easy-to-use tool you can use to figure out the value and competition levels of your keyword choices.

Social Media Marketing

Integrating social media marketing, e.g., Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, Facebook, blogging, Mashable, Reddit, Quora, Youtube, etc., into your marketing strategy can help attract new clients, grow your online brand and significantly improve your search ranking on Google. I always suggest just picking a few platforms and focusing your energy and time on maximizing your presence on them.

Local Optimization

Thirty percent of all web searchers are local. It’s expected that in the next two years, local searchers will outnumber nonlocal searchers.  Additionally, Google has shifted to focus much more heavily on local results.  Therefore, it is critical to optimize your website to improve your local ranking as soon as possible.  This can be done by doing things as simple as maintaining your Google+ profile and Google+ Local page that has been locally verified.

Search engines also look for how many places it’s listed. Having your listing consistently across a large number of directories tells search engines you take your business seriously.  It also increases the likelihood of your potential clients finding you.  There’s no telling where a person will be searching from, and even if it’s not a very popular website or network, (s)he can still potentially be a valuable lead.

Mobile Websites

Mobile search volume is growing so fast that experts expect it to surpass desktop search volume by 2014.  Your web visitors are not going to read microscopic type, scroll side to side to finish reading a sentence, or search high and low for a phone number while browsing on a smart phone or tablet.  Therefore, your site needs to be mobile-friendly. “Nearly every business needs to adapt to reach consumers effectively on any screen,” says Janine Warner, a globally recognized digital design and Internet trends consultant. At the very least, you may need to simplify your site design and create a mobile version of your website.

Newsletters

The simplest way to increase referrals from your clients and contacts is to regularly remind them of your business’s existence.  Each month, using services like Aweber, Constant Contact, iContact, MailChimp, etc., you can create a monthly or weekly e-newsletter for your firm.  These are all low-cost, but highly effective, email marketing services.  Your newsletter need not be elaborate.  The Internet is filled with ideas for content and information that you can include in your newsletters.

To bring in leads you have to succeed at building small business marketing strategies, but marketing campaigns don’t have to be as overwhelming as they may sound. By optimizing your marketing process and promoting your small business products or services online, you’ll be able to set up a recurring stream of leads so you can build your customer base and improve your bottom line.

Stacey Mathis Copywriting can help you complete the content writing and copywriting components of your online marketing goals and conceptualize a small business marketing strategy that will have a stronger impact on your business.

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!

Discover the Secrets to Attracting More Ideal, High-Paying Clients – A Free Webinar

how to find new clientsJoin me on June 6, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., at Fabienne Fredrickson’s free Client Attraction webinar and discover the step-by-step formula for attracting ideal, high-paying clients.  Getting clients doesn’t have to be a frustrating struggle anymore. Yes, it can be that easy to attract the types of clients you want to work with, and you will be able to do so quickly and consistently.

This is the ultimate shortcut, ‘step-by-step’ system that removes all the guesswork, waste and frustration out of consistently attracting all the ideal, high-paying clients you need, once and for all (even if you’re starting from scratch) . . .

Register for the free webinar by clicking HERE.

Want to Create A Winning E-mail Marketing Campaign? Make Sure You Grasp the Basics of Email Marketing First

email marketingSeventy-seven percent of small business owners report that e-mail marketing increased their revenue and that $1.00 spent on e-mail marketing $40.00 in revenue.* Many businesses are smartly discovering that e-mail marketing can be a vital part of their business.  It’s a great way to keep in touch with customers and to invite them to special deals for your freelance services (or products, if you have any). The information and tips in this article will explain some of the practices you should engage in or avoid to ensure the success of an ongoing e-mail campaign.

1. Rather than purchasing or renting a mailing list, build your own from the ground up. You can do this by including opt-in forms on your website or blog, gathering business cards at conventions or other industry events, and encouraging your subscribers to share your e-mails with others, which can garner even more subscribers. Of course, I would suggest creating a downloadable piece of content, preferably with instructional information that your target audience will find of value to them. The idea is to trade your free content for their e-mail addresses.

2.  Always get permission! Unsolicited e-mail is not welcome, and in certain cases, can get your ISP blocked. The last thing you want is to be branded a spammer.

3.  Be especially careful when crafting your first three e-mails to new customers. A new customer should get an introductory e-mail inviting them to join your marketing list. Once they accept your invitation, the next e-mail should tell them about discounts or special offers they can expect to get now that they’ve signed up. The third e-mail should contain their first newsletter and their special offer.

4.  Make certain that it is easy for your recipients to opt out of receiving further e-mails. Not having a way to opt out can cost you customers since some of the people who wish to opt out might like your business and your products. They may simply wish not to receive e-mails. The process that you put in place should include asking for feedback as to why they are opting out. The information you receive can help improve your campaign.

5.  Try to make it as easy as possible for customers to unsubscribe from your e-mails. By not making it simple, they will feel like you are being too pushy and may be turned off from your product or business. Give them the option to opt out from some of your e-mails or all of them.

6.  Everyone knows that e-mail filters are getting more and more strict. Graphics and other things included in e-mails are blocked out, so a reader might not even see what you are trying to say. Therefore, a good piece of advice is to use plain text with a hyperlink to your site.

7.  Utilize engaging e-mails and target customers who are inclined to use or share knowledge about your services. Make sure you are also soliciting feedback from them. Getting feedback from targeted customers is key to knowing what you can do to make your marketing strategies even stronger and more effective.

8.  What worked for you before might not work for you the next time around. That is why it is vital to always look into new e-mail marketing strategies. Learn from others in your business niche, and always try out new methods to add to your arsenal of what works for your business.

It is a well-known fact that the use of the Internet has opened up an entirely new way for businesses to interact with customers. E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with loyal customers and to reach potential customers. Use the techniques and tips from the article above to create an e-mail marketing strategy for your business.

*Aweber Communications

Don’t Be So Quick to Dismiss Marketing by Direct Mail

Despite the prevalence of digital marketing – forums, podcasts, social media platforms, linksharing, the blogosphere and e-mail – many B2B consumers still prefer direct mail when it comes to marketing messages. For freelancers (especially newbies) direct mail may be something you should consider including in your B2B multichannel marketing strategy when marketing to prospects who are not inclined to open emails from senders they don’t know. Many recipients, even when they do know you, don’t even bother to open their emails because they get so many of them. This makes direct mail a nice surprise, sometimes even a welcome surprise.

Infographic about Direct Mail

One thing’s for sure, as a freelancer, you’ll certainly stand out, since freelancers’ promotional and marketing collateral is almost never sent via traditional mail anymore. That alone makes your sales letter or postcard stand out.

What’s more, you don’t need permission to send it.

 

 

 

 

Postcards Postcards“Postcards are an excellent way to increase sales with high-quality, targeted marketing. Use them as direct mail to stay in front of your customers and prospects with quick announcements, special offers and more. Design and customize postcards with your logo or photos, or you can choose from our wide selection of templates tailored to your industry. VistaPrint postcards are printed on heavy card stock and come with matching envelopes. Get high-quality, full-color printing on the front and back of your postcards and try our Postcard Marketing service ? where we print, address and mail your postcards for you. Like all VistaPrint products, you can create your postcards in minutes and receive them in as few as 3 days.”






Infographic provided by: B&B

12 ‘Appalling’ Copywriting Tips From David Ogilvy, Our Original Mad Man

David Ogilvy - Advertising CopywriterDavid Ogilvy, the original Mad Man, called his notes appalling; I call them invaluable!

April 19, 1955

Dear Mr. Calt: On March 22nd you wrote to me asking for some notes on my work habits as a copywriter. They are appalling, as you are about to see:

1. I have never written an advertisement in the office. Too many interruptions. I do all my writing at home.

2. I spend a long time studying the precedents. I look at every advertisement which has appeared for competing products during the past 20 years.

3. I am helpless without research material—and the more “motivational” the better.

4. I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.

5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every conceivable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into the room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)

8. I am terrified of producing a lousy advertisement. This causes me to throw away the first 20 attempts.

9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

10. The next morning I get up early and edit the gush.

11. Then I take the train to New York and my secretary types a draft. (I cannot type, which is very inconvenient.)

12. I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft. After four or five editings, it looks good enough to show to the client. If the client changes the copy, I get angry—because I took a lot of trouble writing it, and what I wrote I wrote on purpose.

With the exception of number 9 (because I can’t drink and write) and number 11 (because I can type, and I’m already in New York), I often follow this or variations of this method.

I’d advise you to do the same, unless you already have a system that works.

There Really is a Content Marketing Crash Course with More Value and Info than You’ve Ever Dreamed Of

Content Marketing - SEO sign board

Are you sick of saying “This year I’m going to increase my revenue,” but still haven’t figured out a way to do it? Is being in a better financial situation than you were in last year on your list of personal goals?

Making more money in your small business than you did last year is quite possible. The answer is to find a way to dazzle your prospects, wow your customers, and bowl over competitors. The answer dear readers, is content. Content, as you may have heard, truly is king, and MarketingProfs University’s Content Marketing Crash Course will give you a hands-on plan for creating lead-driving, business-building content that connects with customers, again and again. You’ll learn everything from what changes to make in key marketing efforts, like customer engagement, to how to create content that drives sales.

 

Register Now

For each class, you’ll have access to:

• the class lecture (streaming media)

•the slide deck (PDF)

•the audio track (MP3, so you can listen to the lectures on other devices)

•a transcript (PDF)

•and a “cheat sheet” (PDF)

In addition to the above tools, as a Content Marketing Crash Course student, you’ll also receive close to $1,000 in FREE course materials and More!

There aren’t many places where you’ll get practical, information-packed, real-world, proven tactics with expert guidance from a leading and respected marketing authority in a crash course.

The Kickoff class broadcasts December 6, 2012

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http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Start Your Freelance Copywriting Life Off Right

Start Now ButtonIn June and July of 2006 I committed to doing three things: (1) buy and read Bob Bly’s book The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells; (2) buy and read Steven Slaunwhite’s book Start& Run a Copywriting Business; and (3) start a freelance copywriting business by September 2006.

And I did.  Starting my own freelance copywriting business was easier than starting a small business typically is because I started off right – emotionally and managerially.  I quickly embraced my new reality – that launching and running this copywriting business was going to be a fun and challenging experience, but that starting off right meant, I needed to fix my mind-set.  Although this business was going to be a big and important part of my life, it was going to have a life of its own; it would be my freelance copywriting life, and I needed to be prepared for everything that promised to come with it (you know, the highs and the lows:  the first huge client payment of $2,500.00; then the frozen computer on the day of a “can’t miss” deadline; the ecstatic customer with the glowing testimonial about your work and who sings your praises to powerful decision makers; then the late arrival of your business cards before your meeting with JP Morgan Chase’s marketing team . . . and you have none left – you know that stuff).

So there.  Strapped with my borrowed, yet reliable mantra “Just do it” and these few tidbits, I stepped out on faith:

•Don’t let poisonous folks whisper in my ear, even the well-meaning ones;

•Develop and follow a simple strategy and stay focused;

•Don’t let things get overly complicated and stay focused;

•Allow only one captain to steer the ship – me – and stay focused;

•Keep tweaking things along the way when they need modifying;

•Launch this thing, and learn the rest along the way . . . WHILE STAYING FOCUSED.

And I did.  And I still am.

Following are practical business reminders I learned that helped me tremendously in starting my freelance copywriting life off right and keeping it right, and I am confident you will find them helpful too:

Your Passion . . . Not!

Don’t wait for that mythical fixation called “your passion.”  Some of the most happily successful people have found it.  Most happily successful people, it’s safe to say, have not.  What the two groups of happily successful folks have in common, however, is: they have a knack for what they do and they find enjoyment in some aspect of what they do.  If you wait for this passion thing to materialize, you may never get that freelance copywriting business off the ground.

Perseverance and the Threat of Rejection

One of the most common hindrances to perseverance is fear of rejection.  I don’t like guarantees, but this one is unmistakable, so I’m going to share it. You will experience rejection in one form or another.  If dealing with rejection is a challenge for you, then from the outset, you have to find a mechanism to help you cope with it.  It could be anything from Yoga to meditation, from training for a 5K to venting in a supportive online community.  Whatever you choose, just monitor the strategy, because if it’s not working, you need to tweak that plan.  And, speaking of supportive online communities – there are loads of them out there for copywriters and freelance copywriters from linkedin copywriting groups to warriorforum copywriting threads.  It behooves you to join one or more. Besides being comforting, they can be quite informative,  and great places to get educated feedback on copy drafts you’ve done, or to simply hang out, “coffee clutch” or network.

Make Good Habits a Habit

Contracts

Unless you are crafting a flyer for your grandmother’s church picnic, use a contract.  An elaborate contract is the safest bet, but a simple contract can work also, provided all of your bases are covered. Heck, if her church has a board of directors, you may want to use a contract for that church picnic flyer too.  Nothing personal grandma!

At the very least, your contract or agreement should contain:

♦the date of the agreement;

♦your name and address, the name and address of the business hiring you and the signer’s name;

♦a detailed description of the project, including the medium and format of the work;

♦the number of pages, if it’s a print document;

♦the various parts and stages of the project;

♦the number of edits and revisions you will allow;

♦the dates of delivery for each stage of the project, if more than one stage;

♦your fee and its due date(s);

♦a list of terms and conditions; and

♦both parties’ signatures.

Keeping Records – Phone Calls

No one remembers everything, especially when you are busy.  When you speak to a client, particularly if you verbally agree to do or not to do something, it is a very good idea to memorialize the phone conversation in a follow-up email. This serves a number of different purposes. It jogs yours and your client’s memory. It solidifies what was said. It helps you recall what you said you’d do or not do. It creates a paper trail in the event something happens and you need proof.

Keeping Records – Billing

If you do nothing else, spare yourself some stress by having some place to drop your receipts and records of incoming payments. If this is too much of a hassle for you and the thought of even doing this much organizing stresses you out, then use as few ways to make purchases as possible.  For example use one credit card and one Intuit Merchant or Paypal account. This way, when it’s time to sit down with your accountant, all of your financial information is in only one or two places. The ideal solution is to keep your files organized in off-line or online folders, categorize them and use one of the gazillion simple accounting software programs out there like Lessaccounting.

Networking and Marketing

Yes, I used to hate this too – networking.  But, I soon learned that I was really good at it. I still don’t love it, but it works wonders and brings me in a lot of business, sometimes more than I can handle alone.  Whether you do it online or off-line, marketing your business is a must. And don’t be fooled into thinking you only need to market when business is slow.  Any self-respecting freelance copywriter will tell you that the optimal time to market your business is when you have customers coming in the door.  This way, you are more likely have  steadier stream of income.   And, by the way, marketing your freelance copywriting business needs to be a big percentage of the time you spend on your business – around 35% of the time.

In addition to networking, there are myriad ways to market your business:

-Article marketing.  Write and publish a few articles on sites like ezinearticles.com or goarticles.com.  Include your URL in your resource box.  The resource box is a section at the end of published online articles where you get to promote yourself and your business;

-Bartering.  You can, for example, offer to consult with a business that agrees to plug your freelance business in their newsletter;

-Cross-promotions.  You promote a local business on your site in exchange for them promoting yours;

-Distribute a press release on a few free press release directories like Press Method (www.pressmethod.com); Free Press Release Centre (http://www.free-press-release-center.info/); SB Wire (www.sbwire.com);  or PR.com (www.pr.com), just to name a few;

-Free classifieds (e.g., craigslist); and

-Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin).

Stay Relevant

Take your eyes of the marketing media road for more than a month and you may feel completely lost when you turn your attention to the trends again.  Between social media, mobile media, cloud this and cloud that, the marketing media environment is growing by leaps and bounds!  It’s imperative that you keep learning. As a part of your routine, subscribe to (and read), a few newsletters or blogs that keep up with the trends of copywriting, freelancing and best small businesses practices. To keep on top of what’s trending, you can monitor Twitter hashtags like #smallbusiness using any number of free tools like Hootsuite.

 

Check Yourself

Check your site and make sure your information is still relevant. Make sure your links all work. Sometimes, unbeknownst to you and for a number of reasons, a link will suddenly die. This happens with WordPress blogs on occasion, so check them periodically just to be sure everything’s in working order.

Check your online business image.  Make sure you’re not tagged in that photo you took at your cousin’s wedding with the chandelier on your head where you’re drunk and dressed only in your bra or boxers. Put security limits on the accessibility of your personal Facebook page(s) so that only folks you want looking at it can see it.  Business people will definitely go searching for your personal Facebook page. So, if you’re doing anything on your personal social media page that could offend your customers and make them go elsewhere in search of a different copywriter, put some blocks in place.

Part of checking yourself, includes checking your competitors.  You want to stay a  step ahead of them or appear to anyway. There is competition out there for almost every copywriter, but particularly for narrowly niched ones. If you are one of 10 copywriters in your niche, definitely keep your eyes on your competition. One way to legally spy on them is by using Google alerts and Twitter alerts by signing up with sites like Tweetbeep.  You can use these sites to have emails sent to you when Google or Twitter finds things like web pages, news articles, blog posts,etc. that match your search item (i.e, your competitor’s name and the name of their business).  It only takes about 3 minutes to set each of them up initially, and they’re both free.

Oh yeah, and do this: Unfollow small fries who aren’t following you back on Twitter. Don’t look socially desperate.  If they don’t respect you enough to follow you back, unfollow them.  You don’t want to be one of those Twitter members who is following 500 people, but who only has 90 people following them back. Businesswise, that’s not a good look.

Even with its ups and downs, the freelance life, as so many people will testify, can be a great experience, and the best way to do that is to start out right. Go in with the proper mind-set and with realistic expectations.  Decide you are going to give it your all, but that you are not going to lose yourself in it.  Whether you choose to do it full-time or part-time, if you have the knack for it and enjoy copywriting and want the freedom that comes with self-employment, get your mind-set, make sure you have a plan you can live with . . . then JUST DO IT!

Happy writing,

Stacey

P.S. Some of the blogs and websites that keep up with the trends of copywriting or freelancing or small business best practices are as follows:

http://contentverve.com/

http://www.nickusborne.com/

http://blogs.targetmarketingmag.com/

http://www.marketingwords.com/blog/?cat=4

http://www.WonderBranding.com/

http://www.seocopywriting.com/blog/

http://blog.crazyegg.com

http://www.awaionline.com/blog

http://directanddigitalmarketing.com/

http://www.psychotactics.com/

http://blog.smallbusinesscopywriter.com/

http://contently.com/blog/

http://www.perrymarshall.com/

http://simplystatedbusiness.com/

http://sparksheet.com/

http://thewordchef.com/blog/

http://www.mpdailyfix.com/

http://www.webinknow.com/

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/

http://www.copyblogger.com

http://blogtyrant.com

http://smallbiztrends.com/

http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/

http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com

https://be.freelancersunion.org/blog/

http://freelanceswitch.com/blog/

http://freelancefolder.com/

http://www.warriorforum.com/copywriting-forum/

Escape from Cubicle Nation

Copylicious Direct Creative Good Copy, Bad Copy

Harrison Amy Copywriting

Jeff Sexton Writes

Men with Pens

The Well-Fed Writer Blog

Words That Begin With You

The Freelancery

Freelance Unleashed

Dr. Freelance

Profitable Freelancing

Guerilla Freelancing

Ajeva Freelance!

http://www.creativefreelancerblog.com/

How to Use Twitter to Market Your Freelance Copywriting Business

Some freelancers have said that a number of their biggest contracts have come through Twitter. It’s certainly the lucrative flavor of the day in marketing for numerous businesses (big and small), so I recommend you work it into your freelance copywriting business model. This list is by no means completely exhaustive, but it will undoubtedly steer you in a direction that can bring first-rate results to your freelance copywriting business. Social Media Core of Internet Networking and Twitter Marketing

Follow People Who are Likely to Need Your Services

Sign up for sites like Twellow, which lists its users by categories. You can simply add your twitter handle to a few of the categories you’re interested in. If you want to do copywriting for recreation and sports entities, you can follow people and businesses in that category. Other members can find you through a keyword search. People will begin to follow you back and read your tweets!

Use Your Tweets to Engage the Prospects, Not to Constantly Sell Your Services

Twitter is about socializing and building relationships. It’s not a platform for you to bombard your followers with sales pitches and the like.

Share your take on last night’s game or Apple’s latest gadget; however, don’t forget, this Twitter profile is connected to your business, so you do want to post tweets that are business-related. You can do things like inform your followers of a current event in the industry (news that, of course, would interest them) or share a quick anecdote or light humor or link to an article or blog post you’ve read. If you have a business blog, you can share the blog post title and the link and ask your followers to check it out.

Also, keep an eye out for followers who retweet your posts. Don’t forget to give them a shout-out, a “thank you.” Take a few minutes each day to comment on others’ tweets and to retweet ones you feel are worthy of sharing.

And yes, if you have an offer, you can let your followers know, but don’t overdo it; it’s a turn-off and will negatively impact your business.

Tweet Daily – Ideally at 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm or Thereabouts

I recommend these three times of day, because you stand a better chance of reaching folks during optimal Twitter reading periods who are in different time zones. This does not have to be as time-consuming and overwhelming as it sounds. In fact, this can be accomplished in under an hour. Solo practitioners have mastered the art of tweeting regularly. Sign up for a free service like Hootsuite.com. Pick one hour a week to write 15 tweets (3 for each business day of the week). Use online trade blogs and magazines, tips found in interesting blog posts (your own or someone else’s) to help you come up with ideas for tweets. Load them and schedule them on Hootsuite.com, and you’re done sending out tweets – for the whole week.

Create a Page on Your Website or Blog Where Your Followers Can Download Helpful Information

People love free, useful content. Every now and then, take some time and write a short 7-10 page report about something likely to interest your Twitter followers. Sign up for an email marketing service like Aweber or Constant Contact so that your report can automatically be sent to an interested party, i.e., a subscriber. You can also go on elance.com or guru.com and hire someone else to write it if you don’t have the time to write it yourself.

Put a Link to Your Resource Page on Your Twitter Profile

If you have some free stuff you can offer to site visitors, load it to one page, a Resource page. You come across as more of an authority when you have valuable, downloadable content. Never use your Home page unless you have a specific reason for sending readers to your Home page. Send them where they are more likely to stick around. People go to departments stores to look for useful departments; they don’t hang out in the lobby or the entrance way, because… well, what would be the point.

So, go ahead, try it. Now that businesses are starting to “get it” they are coming up with countless methods for leveraging this dynamic tool. You can too.

 

Happy Writing

Stacey

 

P.S. You may want to try these other helpful Twitter tools.

P.P.S. Read more on steps for writing great tweets for yourself or your clients.

 

 

 

 

 

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