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

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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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Increase Your Chance of Being Re-Hired as an Online Freelance Copywriter

Search for Freelancers, People

The online freelance copywriting industry is growing by leaps and bounds. More and more copywriters are realizing that finding online jobs is a lot easier than finding offline gigs.  This, however, means more copywriters will be vying for the same jobs. The competition is getting stiffer, so your overall work ethic, attention to detail and work habits must be fine-tuned.

Still, there is this sense that online commitments don’t have to be taken as seriously as in-person pledges.  Don’t make that mistake.  Copywriting projects are taken just as seriously by online employers as they are by offline employers

On that note, there are certain chinks in the armor of some freelance copywriters that turn employers off and which may be the deciding factor for rehiring you or recommending you over an equally qualified and similarly priced copywriter. Those bad practices include the following:

•You ask questions when the answers have already been laid out in the job posting

Read the job description and comments carefully before you ask the employer questions.  If it’s unclear or can conceivably have more than one meaning, then ask away.

•You ask for an extension at the last minute

Stuff that we can’t control happens to all of us. However, if you find that needing an extension has happened to you more than twice, forgo the gigs where the time constraint is likely to be an issue. You hurt the employer and you’ll begin to chip away at your reputation in the freelance arena.
•Offer to email an assignment long before a deadline to impress an employer, and then renege on that promise because the contract said you had more time.

 If you want to complete the assignment early, then do so, but don’t say you will unless you are going to follow-through. If your employer takes you at your word and schedules something based on that promise, you may be putting him in a bad position.  Yes, contractually, you have until the written deadline, but ethically, you’re wrong.  You don’t want that to be what an employer remembers about you. The same way freelancers discuss employers; employers compare notes when it comes to recommending freelance copywriters.

•Ask for half up front, do part one, then slack off for part two

Every leg of your project must be your best work.  Some freelancers have been known to put their best foot forward, initially, get paid, then slack off for the remainder of the project. Remember, the entire project represents your freelance brand.

•Ask basic questions that someone of your claimed expertise and skill set should know

If you hold yourself out to be a Tweet copywriter, then you should be very familiar with how Twitter works and with Twitter stuff.  Asking what he means by “hashtag” is not a good look.

•Hand in well-written fluff work product with filler phrases

Don’t use fluff, well-chosen words filler words and esoteric turns of phrase to meet a word count requirement because you don’t feel like exerting the energy to come up with something of substance.  Don’t kid yourself into thinking that just because you’ve included some and a few esoteric phrases, an employer won’t see through it.  She may not say anything to you about it, but in her mind, she’s saying, “never again.”


Request to be rated when your employer seemed dissatisfied

If your employer has demonstrated that you’ve disappointed him, especially more than once, don’t bug him to give you an online review or rating. What he has to say about you may do more harm than good. However, you have to clean up your act so that such work habits don’t become a permanent part of your routine.

  

Employers come to us because they can’t do it themselves or because they don’t have the time.  Let’s not disappoint them and risk our reputations by providing substandard work or by not living up to reasonable expectations.  Even if it is a pro bono assignment or an assignment for which you now feel underpaid (after contract), excellence is all you should be thinking and giving . . . nothing less.

Streamline Mobile Web Content Writing

Copywriting for today’s mobile readers demands quick, short and strong text.  Even though mobile users spend a lot of time idling and doing frivolous stuff on their mobile devices, they still want to do it in a hurry.  And they get agitated when they can’t do it in a speedy fashion.


Also, mobile users want only the information that is absolutely necessary for them to achieve their immediate goal.  Reading on a mobile device is hard enough as it is, but then when you have to scroll through an unnecessary number of words to get where you’re going, it’s maddening.

This increases the writing challenges for the copywriter.  The copywriter now has to think in terms of digesting a copy message, not writing it in the traditional sense.  When you are crafting mobile copy and you have second thoughts about whether text should be there, it’s probably best to omit it.

Freelance Copywriting Rates: Getting Paid What You Deserve

Freelance copywriting jobs can mean fast business and a nice chunk of change, even for the beginner freelance copywriters. Of course, this is if the newbie understands ways to strategically charge for their freelance copywriting services.  Setting a rate is often sticky and tricky, especially for beginners, because you don’t want to be forced to turn folks away and certainly want to get what you’re worth.

Why You Must Charge at Least $50 an Hour
Before we even begin, this is 2011.  Do not work for less than $50 an hour. If you plan to, keep your day job and stop freelancing, because it’s pointless, unless you are doing this just because you like the challenge and you don’t need the money.

Seriously, if you don’t think your copywriting talent is worth $50 an hour, wait until it is, then start your business. More than likely, if some little bird told you that copywriting is what you should be doing, then you are already worth $50. What “little bird” do I mean: You have proof that you get this copywriting thing and have proof on some level that you’ve got what it takes because a client told you, or you have repeat business from a client, or because you asked and were told your work product brought in business. The bottom line is, anything less than $50.00 is insulting.

You also have to consider that there will be factors relating to running your business and getting your projects completed that will take time and incur expenses, like marketing your business, administrative work and minor outlays that will eat into your $50 an hour.  That $50 when it’s all said and done, may end up really amounting to $25 to $35 an hour.

DON’T start out by undercutting yourself.  Word gets around, and it will be harder for you to raise your fees later. Equally important: It’s not about your price; it’s about your value!

Please note:  This is not the same as working pro bono to get experience when you have absolutely nothing to use to demonstrate your copywriting skills.

Flat Fees

For straightforward, run-of-mill projects, you can set a flat fee. A flat fee does not change. Charge a flat fee for example, when a client asks you to revise a flyer or create a sales letter and provides you with pretty much everything you will need to complete the job; or when you are asked to critique a web page or write a blog post, etc., for which you don’t have to do much research, and they are clear as to exactly what they want.

However, when you are uncertain as to the time it will take you to finish your client’s project due to uncertainty about the client’s objectives or you expect a series of delays and rewrites on their part, charge an hourly rate.  Also, tell your client there is a minimum for which they will have to pay. In other words, you tell them, for instance, the minimum is four hours even if it only takes you an hour. This is not uncommon in business.  Just make sure you are clear, up front and honest. And put it in writing!

When you set your copywriting rates, consider and apply the following important steps:

1. Justifying Your Copywriting Rates
People see the end result in their mind and don’t take into account all of the labor that goes into reaching that powerful result. Show your client the value they are getting for the money they are spending by detailing the individual tasks you have to perform in order to complete the assignment from the beginning of the project to the very end. Note the interviews, file organization, telephone calls, creating rough drafts, conferences, researching their competitors, reviewing background data and other material, editing, proofreading, redrafting, travel time, etc.  Incidentally, this specific information should appear on their invoice, as well.

2. The Type of Copywriting Services or Type of Project Can Influence Price
The type of copywriting project you work on can shape your copywriting rates.  A blog post, white papers, Facebook wall entries, brochures, newsletter articles, press releases, Youtube and PowerPoint scripts, radio ads, case studies, print advertising copywriting will require different types of preparation, the research methods and writing styles. Other necessary components that add value to your copywriting services, e.g., using HTML or designing a piece for search engine optimization mean you can charge more.

3. Subject Matter Can Affect Copywriting Rates
The topic will also shape your copywriting rates.  A blog post written on a general topic, for example, may be charged at a lower rate than a blog post focused on a specialized idea. If your background is in a specialized field such as law, medicine, fitness, non-profit, bio tech, finance, botany and you have esoteric knowledge that a general copywriters don’t have, that adds value to your service and thus your price should be higher.  Additionally, the more technical, involved and complex the writing is, the higher your rate can and should be.

Use the Following Price Ranges as a Gauge for Flat Fee Billing

Articles used as web content: $50 to $500 for a 500-word article
Press releases $100 to $600
Sales letters $200 to $2,000 per letter
Flyers $50 to 300
Case Studies $500 to $1,000
Print Advertisement $500 to $2000
Web pages $100 to $500 per page
Brochures $50 to $300 per panel

Use the Following as a Gauge for Billing Hourly

Beginner $50 – $75.00/hour ($100 for specialized background)
Mid-level $100-$200/hour ($250 for specialized background)
Veteran Freelance Copywriters $250-$450/hour (unlimited for specialized background)

If projects are ongoing, you can charge a lower copywriting rate than you would for an assignment where you are hired on one-time basis.

As you can see, there are many factors that account for the rate charged by freelance copywriters, so think hard and take everything into consideration before blurting out a price that committing to a contract you’ll be stuck and unhappy with.

Increase Your Visitor’s Interest In What You’re Selling . . . Refocus the Text on Your Website Pages

Freelance copywriters have a great deal to offer business owners – large and small.  In this Internet-happy market, this is where your website is supposed to work for you.  Yet, many copywriters sometimes forget this simple bit of wisdom:  Focus on the customer, not you – the copywriter.  Anything you say should mirror what you think your potential target customer would want to know in order to decide if you are the right copywriter.

They want to if you are the right copywriter for them.  Your website should tell your prospects how they will benefit by hiring you.  How you save them time.  Show them that you can capture the attention of the market they wish to sell to.  Prove to them you have the experience or know-how to write blog posts for them that will drive traffic to their websites.


The copywriting program you graduated from is neither here nor there. These are business owners (not law school admissions directors).  They are looking for writers whose web pages say:

• Can you sell their stuff to their customers?

• Do you have skills to change their customers’ minds about something?

• Can you assist in their social media efforts so that they can raise their company profiles and generate more leads and more clientele?

• Can they afford you?

•  Do you have the credentials that demonstrate you can do the job?

Your website content should show and tell your potential customers these the answers!