How to Use the “Pushing” Method to Attract Writing Clients
By Beth Scott | May 8, 2017
In my last article, we discussed the preparation methods that will help you find, get, and keep copywriting clients. If you’re following along, you now have a regular routine or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place, you’ve automated as much as possible, and you’re mentally prepared for success.
Now, it’s time to get proactive. By that, I mean actively finding and closing clients.
There are two main methods of acquiring and converting client leads, pulling and pushing. When you pull, you use inbound marketing ideas to pull people (gently, of course) toward your content, down your funnel, and into a sales call with you. We’ll cover that in depth next week. Today, we’ll focus on the push method, where you’re actively researching, targeting, and pitching clients and guiding them into the idea of working with you.
Does that scare you? It’s a terrifying concept to a lot of us who’d rather spend time — well, writing. But it’s an incredibly effective way of drumming up business.
Cold calling — or cold emailing — is one of the oldest, and most effective, ways of finding clients. There’s a reason you still get cold calls — they work! For copywriters especially, pitching your services and turning an unsolicited contact into a golden opportunity is … well, it’s actually your job. You’re selling your services how you would sell any other product.
Begin by drawing up a list of companies you would love to work with and reach out to them. Always contact the decision maker (e.g., the head of marketing, rather than the CEO), and use their name in your greeting. Respect their time, but don’t self-deprecate. If you get stuck for what to say, there’s thousands of scripts and email templates online to inspire you. One I love is this proven four-part template from email expert Jay White.
Online job boards can be a hive of excellent clients, but approach with caution. No two are the same. Before you jump into any one, know that you’ll be rewarded with greater success if you spend some time observing others’ posts, their frequency, tone, and success rate. Don’t just copy and paste a standard request for work.
I’m a member of one of the largest writing job boards on Facebook, and one of the most common mistakes I see is when a someone writes a long, story-driven post about an event in their life, or an opinion they have. You want to demonstrate you can write, of course, but when it comes to pushing clients, less is more. Go for brevity, straightforwardness, and leave them wanting to find out more about you.
I’ve had great success using ‘hooks’ from my own personal life to garner sales. When my kitchen window broke and I discovered the repairs would cost a slightly eye-wateringly large amount, I quickly constructed an offer which I could comfortably fit into my schedule, took a snap of my window and posted it up on my favorite job board with the title ‘Help!’. I didn’t put a limit on offers, and I eventually got multiple successful enquiries, which means I paid for my window three times over!
In terms of other popular online writing boards, I’ll be honest … I’m a member of Upwork and PeoplePerHour, but I’ve never gotten a job through them. I’ve never put in the effort. Those job boards, and others like them, are supremely competitive, and I’ve been lowballed on price every single time I bid for a job. I’ve had much better results reaching out to people — not even to ask for work, but simply to create a connection, tell them I admire what they’re doing, and that I enjoy their updates. You’d be surprised how far this gets you!
That said, many writers I know continue to have success on these job boards, or use them as a platform to upsell clients into their higher-priced services. So, please don’t abandon them if they’re already working for you. However, if you’ve had little success, it might be time to introduce yourself offline.
We spend a lot of time online in the digital world, so it’s great to get outside now and then. You know what’s better than sitting in your favorite cafe watching the world go by? Sitting in your favorite cafe closing a client!
If you find a local company you’d love to work for, invite the decision maker out for coffee. Don’t deceive them, let them know you want to pitch — but that you’ll foot the bill. Refreshingly old-school, right? Everyone loves getting out of the office for a while, and if you don’t get the job, you’re only slightly out of pocket.
I’m really lucky to have a lot of big-hitter marketers and CEOs in my friends list. After observing them hiring and firing so many of my competitors, and asking them why they eventually stuck with me, their answer was refreshingly simple: all clients want to hear is that you can produce results, you can think independently, and you’re reliable.
That’s all. The qualifications for pushing the highest-paying, millionaire clients into working with you are as simple as having a couple of good testimonials, being able to tell them why your copy will work versus the other guy’s, and delivering before a deadline.
You can do that, right? Of course you can!
And, I’ll help you make it easy. In next week’s article I’ll be showing you how to set up a self-sustaining content “ecosystem” to pull clients toward you and keep you on track.
This article is part the series: Attracting Clients with Systems
- Part 1: Get and Keep Writing Clients with Systems, Automation and Mindset
- Part 2 (this page): How to Use the “Pushing” Method to Attract Writing Clients
- Part 3: Where to Go for Life-Charging, Energizing, Career-Enhancing Writing Breaks
- Part 4: How to Use the “Pulling” Method of Attracting Writing Clients
- Part 5: How to Foster Great Copywriting Client Relationships