Wanna impress a potential client or employer?
First, let me tell you how NOT to do it.
And I don’t want to call anyone out directly on this. But I recently saw someone appealing to the world on social media, looking for a job.
They told their story. They appeared to be in a terrible situation, through no fault of their own. (Although in light of what you’re about to read, I don’t know if this is 100% true, as much as it is true from their perspective.)
And they were asking for help.
They shared their work history, which seemed okay. (And yes, they were a copywriter.)
Then they basically said, “Can anyone help me?”
But here’s the thing.
They made a bunch of mistakes. In a short social media post plus their work history. And simply by turning around those mistakes, they could instantly make themselves a much more appealing candidate.
Mistake #1: Making the whole appeal about THEM!
Let’s go back to Sales 101. Your prospect wants to know “What’s in it for me?”
That is, your prospect only cares about your personal situation in the context of how it leads to a beneficial scenario for them.
(i.e. Prospects don’t care that your business had a fire. They care about the sale, that you use the fire as a justification to run. That’s the true appeal of a “fire sale.” It has nothing to do with their empathy for your misfortune.)
Your prospect isn’t hooked by your sob story, no matter how much they may resonate with it on a human level.
Your prospect wants you to feature — first and foremost — what you will do for them.
Nail that first, and then you can use your story as a way to justify why you’re available to work with them now. But don’t start with you.
(I see this over and over and over and over and over and over again… People who claim to be persuasion professionals focusing more on themselves when pitching themselves than focusing on the client. Your client doesn’t care about you until you tell them about themselves.)
Mistake #2: He had zero clarity about where he was going…
This guy was so caught up in his recent misfortune that all he did in the entire plea was to look back. This happened. That happened. Here’s my experience. Here’s my past.
That’s not appealing.
Your prospect wants to buy into your vision for the future. They want to know where you’re going. They want to know what your dreams are.
And if your path and dreams line up with theirs, they’ll love the idea of getting on board.
Yes, use your past as justification for why this future is in reach, or why the time is now.
But without that sense of direction, you’re essentially saying you don’t know where the heck you want to go, and are willing to land wherever the universe plops you.
Mistake #3: He didn’t know who he could help…
Again, I’m not trying to call out this guy in particular. Except in using the detail of his plea as examples of how many pitches fail — and lessons on how to create a successful pitch.
This guy had some pretty decent experience. He could probably help a lot of businesses. And there would be quite a few who were a great fit.
However, he basically made an open plea for any opportunity the universe would send his way.
Rather than listing the 10 criteria of his perfect next opportunity, he basically said, “Hey does anybody know anyone who might want to hire someone like me?”
Think about this: there are best practices for asking for referrals. Look to real estate for an unrelated example. You sell a young couple their first house. You say, “Hey, I imagine you have a few friends around your age that are going through some big life changes. New jobs, getting married, starting their families, and so on. Can you think of anyone like that? Well I imagine some of those friends are in a position where they could really use a new house. If you’ve loved working with me on getting your new house, I imagine you’d want those friends to have the same experience. And if you’re willing to connect them with me, I will give them a no-pressure, no-obligation walk-through of the home-buying process so they can decide if that’s a good fit for them right now. Could you come up with a list of 5 friends who might be interested in having that conversation?”
That’s completely off-the-cuff. But it should get the point across. It’s much easier to find your ideal prospect if you know exactly who they are, and state it clearly. And that’s doubly important if you’re asking someone else to help you find your ideal prospect.
Mistake #4: He didn’t actually offer to solve a problem…
I’ve repeated this lesson many times: markets are best defined by the problem being solved. This applies as much to clients and employers as it does anywhere else.
This guy basically made a “will write for food” offer.
That is, he said, “I’m a writer, looking for people who hire writers.”
That’s a guaranteed way to make a low income as a copywriter — whether you’re a freelancer or employed.
You’re much better off finding the problem your target market is struggling with, and offering to solve that. Even if it means you have to stop calling yourself a copywriter.
Nearly every single business wants more leads, customers, sales, and profits.
Every good copywriter should be able to find a way to help with one or more of those.
So your positioning is, “I help small businesses get more leads from Facebook.” Or, “I help mid-sized businesses get more profits from their current customer base.” Or, “I create customer-getting systems for internet businesses.”
In every single case, the fulfillment of these promises can involve copywriting. But the client values the leads, the profits, and the customers far more than they value the words on the page.
Because the client doesn’t have a problem of “not enough words.” The client has a problem of “not enough customers.”
If you want the big bucks, you MUST fix your own mistakes…
Listen, I bet this guy can get hired, even in light of these mistakes.
Most businesses don’t know better.
That’s good news for all of us, for all the mistakes we’ve made in our lives.
But let’s get real. Every single one of these mistakes is eating away at the perceived value this guy has to his next employer.
And that means he’s going to not get as good of a gig. And he won’t get paid as much.
And he’ll always wonder why he doesn’t quite get the respect he thinks he deserves.
The truth? It’s because he makes other people figure out what he brings to the table. And that will always lead to them recognizing less value than he could offer if he put some thought into it.
You have to position yourself well.
You have to define your own path, and let the world know where you’re going.
You have to make it clear to the customer or client or employer what you can do for them.
You have to define your target market, and make sure they know you can solve their problems.
You have to be overt about these things.
This applies in every marketing, copywriting, selling, or persuasion scenario.
It’s on you.
You have to take responsibility for it.
Otherwise you’ll be left gathering scraps from those who do.
Everything I put into The Freelance Copywriter’s Independence Package is designed to fix this guy’s mistakes. And while I created it explicitly for freelancers, the same rules apply if you’re trying to get a job. Frankly, spending the 97 bucks for that training package could easily land you at a copywriting job that earns you an extra five-figures per year, just by getting clear on your core offer before you start looking for jobs.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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