October 31, 2014

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.

 

 

 

 

 

FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Three Steps to Writing Great Tweets for Your Clients

Copywriters aren’t being hired just to write long form sales letters anymore. Mobile marketing and Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are creating the need for short, interesting and engaging messages.

As a copywriter, here are three things you can do to write awesome tweets and other short messages for your client’s marketing campaigns . . .

First – Start With a Long Message

Instead of trying to create a super short, super awesome Tweet, give your creativity a chance to breathe and write something that’s 50 to 60 words long. Trying to write a great message in just a few words is a lot harder than writing an entire paragraph. If you start out trying to say something short, engaging and compelling, you may invite writer’s block.

Initially, give yourself plenty of words to work with instead. Let your thoughts flow freely. This is where your creativity will work its hardest. You can compress your message, edit it and become obsessed with perfection later. Starting with this approach could also help you come up with enough material for several smaller messages.

Second – Now, Say What You Just Said in 20 Words or Less

Once you’ve got a good body of thoughts written, start taking out all the weak words like: sort of, actually, virtually, possibly, somewhat, really, kind of, etc. Also, look through your message and take out the word “that” wherever you can manage without ruining the sentence structure.

Third – Work on Something Else for about 24 Hours

Once you’ve got something that’s nice and short (or if you’re stuck with just a few extra words and can’t seem to compress it anymore), find something unrelated to do for a day if time permits.  Coming back to your project after having slaved over it gives you a new perspective on it. It helps you determine whether you’ve written something worth keeping or if it just sounded good in the moment and needs to be rewritten.

Practice Tweet Writing Everyday – There’s a saying that goes: “The best time to repair your roof is when the sun is shining.” Likewise, the best time to learn to write good Tweets is when you’re not under the pressure to deliver on a deadline. Make a daily practice of compressing your messages into 20 words or less. Find a few ads that you really like and see how short you can make them without diluting their most engaging quality.

For example, a message like this one…. “This is the most amazing business management application on the market! You’ll fall in love with their user-friendly interface and the inquisitive data analysis tools.  The real-time collaboration features aren’t too bad either!” …can be compressed into this: “Want simple business management with Intuitive, real-time interaction? Check this out…” If you practice compressing other people’s messages into 20 words or less, and if you start your writing process by giving yourself 50 to 60 words to work with, you’ll be able to crank out high quality Tweets and dazzle your clients.

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.

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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.

 

7 Tips on How Not To Use Twitter for Your Freelance Copywriting Business

 

Social Media - Twitter for Business Networking

Sharing Too Much Personal Information

Posting personal information is fine, but within reason.  As freelance copywriters, i.e., small business owners, we are building our brands.  This is probably not the best platform to share a tweet about last night’s hangover  and hurl-fest – not that you could tell that in 140 characters anyway . . . but I digress.

The ideal practice is to keep your business Twitter account separate from your personal Twitter account.  However, if you have already built up thousands of followers on your personal Twitter account and the information you and your followers have tweeted is not too offensive, then it’s probably okay to keep using that account, but tone it down and make your future tweets more palatable for your business followers. If you can’t do that, I would seriously suggest starting a business account and build from scratch.

Risqué or Tactless Profile Photo

Yes, you want to use a good photo of yourself. I’m not the most photogenic person in the room, so I certainly understand that some of us have to work with what we have.  Nevertheless, you do have control over how you take the photo.  That really cute pic of you on the beach in a two-piece is probably not a good choice.

Ignore Your Follow Status

When  you notice after a month or two that people you are following are not following you back, unfollow them.  On Twitter, as a business owner,  you don’t want to appear desperate.  It’s not a good look.

Ignore Your Followers

Twitter is a social media networking platform.  “Social” and “network” mean mutuality.   Set aside some time a few times a week so you can reply to your followers’ tweets.

Ignore Twitter’s Search Feature

One great way to find out what’s going on in your industry is to simply search for the keyword (e.g., your field, your niche). You will find many Twitter folk/colleagues and potential clients.  There are also many social media and Twitter tools that can enhance process.

Constant Direct Solicitation of Business

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We are on Twitter for business purposes, but remember, networking was never about constant solicitation.  Like networking offline, networking online, via social media, is about building relationships and building trust.  Do not bombard your Twitter followers with tweets that ask for business.  Interact with your followers. Show interest in what they do and they have to say.  After this, it’s okay to occasionally share links about your services.  If you are offering free products and services, then you can increase the frequency, but don’t overdo this either.

Don’t Sound Like a Real Person

People use so many automated tools that they forget the true purpose of Twitter. There is nothing wrong with using Twitter tools; heck it’s cost-effective and saves time. But don’t let these tools replace the human being behind the door.

Twitter can be quite effective, but you have to understand how to and how not to use it in business.  Use it wisely.

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Use These Twitter Tools to Enhance your Freelance Copywriting Business Experience

TwitterYeah, yeah, yeah, you already know that you should be using Twitter for your freelance copywriting business.  All business owners know that.

But, how many of you are familiar with the tools that abound that can enhance your user experience.  Tools that save you time. Tools that tell you when you’re being talked about. Tools that automate your Tweets and SO MUCH MORE!


Tweetbeep Like Google Alerts, Tweetbeep tracks Twitter conversations that mention you, your business or your products and services.  Alerts are sent to you via email.

FutureTweets If you have something you want to Tweet in the future, but you think you may forget to do it, use FutureTweets.

Socialoomph has several Twitter productivity tools.  It allows you to track keywords and replies. You can schedule tweets, send welcome direct messages, and a lot more.

Tweetdeck  gives your Twitter experience more flexibility and allows more advanced users to gain valuable insight into what’s happening at this very moment on Twitter. It’s a personal dashboard and provides a powerful interface over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online presences. At the same time, it provides tools to easily organize and filter real-time information.

Seismic is a scheduling tool comparable to Tweetdeck, but is more mobile-tweeting-friendly.

Pluggio, originally called TweetMiner, is a web-based service for organizing many timelines.  You can check out many streams without being a follower of the owners.  You can use to spot information you want to comment on or retweet.

LetterMeLater allows you to send emails to anyone you wish, with the ability to have them sent at any future date and time you choose.  You can use it to schedule tweets via e-mail.

Digsby keeps track of what your followers are doing at all times – everything your followers are doing.  From your browser, it gives you a real time look into your Twitter account.

Tweetgrid provides a dashboard of Twitter searches that update in real time. Helps you monitor multiple topics at once.

Hootsuite is the leading social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks.  You can manage multiple social profiles; schedule messages and tweets, track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic.

Posterous is another tool that is useful for scheduling tweets via e-mail.

URL Shorteners

Maybe you know and maybe you don’t, but when you have a link that you want to include in a Twitter post, you can always shorten it by clicking on any one of the following links and loading your loooong URL. Hit the “shorten” or “shrink it” button and Voilá!  You have  an abbreviated version of your url. Go ahead test it.

bitly.com 

ow.ly

 is.gd

Goo.gl

Cli.gs

Xr.com

To.ly

Go2.me

dy.fi

tiny.cc

Twitter just got more exciting, now, didn’t it.

 

Stacey O. Mathis