It’s Monday — that means it’s time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

This week will be all about client-getting…

This isn’t the “official” announcement.  I’m nailing down a couple details.  But I’m about to announce a big members-only webinar for BTMSinsiders members, introducing a brand-new client-getting system I’ve never taught before.

Even better, I’m doing it “in the trenches” style where I’ll actually be using and applying it in a niche where most people don’t know me from Adam…  Getting high-value clients cold…  And giving you an opportunity to “look over my shoulder” as I do it, make mistakes, and so on.  This will be part of the ongoing value added through BTMSinsiders.

If you’re already running a service business, this will give you an opportunity to double-check your client-getting system, and find ways to generate even more consistent demand.

If you’re trying to get your freelance or service business off the ground, this will give you a blueprint for on-demand client generation to get you going much faster.

Either way, if you’re not yet a member of BTMSinsiders, now is a good time to sign up.  That way as soon as I “officially” announce the webinar, you’ll be able to register and grab your spot.  Click here to get your first month at zero risk or obligation, for just $37 — and get access to my entire online training catalog.

Now down to business — how to choose the clients you want to work with (instead of the other way around)…

Remember, it’s Mailbox Monday.  Which is the day I answer YOUR questions, about marketing, selling, copywriting, business-building, and more…

For the chance to have YOUR question answered in an upcoming Mailbox Monday, you need to send it to [email protected]

Here’s today’s question…

Roy,

So, I finished The Copywriter’s Roadmap to Building a Core Offer course and I like it so much. You delivered exactly the information I need to get started with my direct response copywriting career.

I have a question though.

You recommended to list down the top 50- 100 companies, whom I want to work with.

Are there any criteria for this like annual revenue or company size, etc?

I want to focus on health and wellness niche so I Googled the top 50 companies in this market.

Do you think it’s the right thing to do?

Thank you so much in advance!

I’m looking forward to learning more from you.

So excited.

Thanks again,

April

First, a quick recap of the strategy — then, the answer!

What April is asking about is my strategy of creating a prospect list, and cultivating relationships with that list to generate work.

This is a variation on the strategy David Ogilvy recommended (in Confessions and On Advertising), and used to build Ogilvy and Mather.  It’s a variation on Chet Holmes’ Dream 100 Strategy in The Ultimate Sales Machine.

I’ve consistently heard this from highly-successful people in just about any industry.  If you want a bunch of clients, make a list of exactly who you want, and proactively go out and get them.

I’ve written about this before.  I go into more detail in the Core Offer training.

Basically, define who you want to go after.  Pick a specific narrow target market.  Identify them explicitly by name, as well as additional characteristics.  Really get clear about who your ideal clients are.

Then, do your homework.  Learn more about those companies, and especially the people who work for them.  Identify relevant decision makers.  Chase down their contact information.  Build your own prospect database.

Then, pound the proverbial pavement.  Not in a way that is annoying.  But rather in a way where it’s clear you’re speaking to them as an individual, and delivering value without explicitly expecting anything in return.

IF you can clearly add value to their life…

And IF you are consistent with this…

And IF your value proposition matches the people you’re talking to…

This will get you clients.

There are more details, and they matter.  But these core things are enough to get you started.  And at the very least, to give you enough of an understanding and context for my answer.

Now, back to April’s question.

In short, YES, you should be VERY picky!

Let me give you a personal example to indicate some of the ways I recommend being picky.

When I was getting started in financial publishing, I KNEW that one of my criteria was writing long-form direct response copy.

I wanted to write long-form sales letters.  In part, because I know they work.  I know they’re what the biggest, best direct marketers use.  Also, because it’s a certain type of high-value project.  And, for the most part, clients who use long-form sales letters are the ones that hire copywriters on a fee PLUS royalty basis.  And since I wanted to earn royalties, I wanted to look for clients that used the kind of copy that suggested they’d be familiar with and open to the idea of paying royalties.

And so when I came up with my list above, I actually created a very long list of financial publishers.  With enough homework, I found that there are quite a few.

Some are the ones you know.  But there are many others.  I even found divisions of the Wall Street Journal, and others, publishing stock newsletters.

But after coming up with that list, I did more research.  And I looked for all the ones that were using my style of long-form direct response copy.  I made sure I was on their lists (in a separate email account for this purpose).  I studied what they sent me.  I combed through their websites.  I looked everywhere for the kind of copy I wanted to write.

I found that it was probably half or less that used emotionally-driven, long form direct response copy.  The ones who did, I kept.  The ones who didn’t, I deleted.

This wasn’t about size or revenue or anything like that.

It was simply recognizing that regardless of those stats, I was probably only a fit — on a few levels — for one kind of marketer.

This points to an important truth…

Mindset is the most important fit-factor when hooking up with clients…

I’m curmudgeonly in my insistence on direct response marketing methods.

If you don’t buy into that, I’m really not interested in working with you.

For a client who shares my stubbornness, it’s a match made in heaven.  Good news is there’s way too many of them out there for me to handle, so if I can get them wanting me, I never have to worry about an empty schedule.

On the other hand, if I hooked up with a client who didn’t share this mindset (and I speak from experience), it’s a royal pain.  We’re arguing over details that were settled nearly a century ago in Scientific Advertising.  Things that have been tested until the cows come home still raise arguments.  And it’s not fun for either of us.  They don’t get my highest and best value, and I resent them for not using my methods.

So when it comes down to shortening your list, I recommend looking for things that indicate a copacetic mindset first.

But there are other factors…

The bigger the client, the more you CAN make…

If you’re working with clients that have mailing lists numbered in the millions, you’ll make way more than a client with a list in the thousands.

A 3% response from a 1-million-person mailing list is still 5X as much in royalties as a 6% response to a list of 100,000.

There’s an advantage in going with big clients.

But small clients can also be easier to work with, and sometimes more fun (less bureaucracy!) so you may choose to work with them.

I was once at dinner with a veteran copywriter who asked me about who I was working with.  I told her one of my client’s names, and she said she’d worked with them but they were too small for her.

She understood the math above.  And chose only to work with bigger companies.

That said, the smaller companies are often more likely to take a shot on a newer copywriter (at least in my experience, unless you’re going in-house), so they can be a great place to build your chops and your track record.

Again, there are all kinds of ways to filter this…

Perry Marshall, in his book 80/20 Sales and Marketing, shared a list he got from John Paul Mendocha.

These are the “5 Power Disqualifiers.”   It’s a list of five reasons a client would not work with you.  Some are temporary conditions.  Some just need better marketing and selling on your part.  And some may represent a longer-term or permanent impediment.

As you’re building your list of potential clients to reach out to, you may also want to consider these, and if there is away to screen against any permanent disqualifiers to remove bad prospects from your list.

  1. Do they have the money?
  2. Do they have a “bleeding neck?”
  3. Do they buy into your USP?
  4. Do they have the ability to say YES?
  5. Do you fit their overall plans?

For example, the long copy anecdote above, for me, gave me an opportunity to disqualify on numbers three and five.  Anybody not using the kind of copy I want to write would not buy into my USP and I likely wouldn’t fit their overall plans.  A too-small company may not have the money.  Other companies, like franchises, may not have the ability to say yes.

In short, YES, you should filter — it’s a good idea…

In general, the more filtered your prospect list, the better you can speak to them in a way where they feel like, “Oh yes!  This is for me!”  Which will get you more attention, interest, desire, and action from your prospects.

Just reading the above should convince you of the many benefits of BTMSinsiders membership.

What’s coming next on the client-getting front will only make it more powerful.

Here’s that link again that takes you straight into the registration process, to grab access to the entire catalog of training.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr