Let’s talk about how to get more clients, giving you more money, more often…
Welcome back! I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving, with plenty to be thankful for.
It’s Mailbox Monday, the day where I answer YOUR questions about marketing, copywriting, selling, business-building, career-building, and more. This week I’ll actually be answering questions all week long, to catch up on an ever-growing queue of questions…
Hello! I’m from Brazil. Today I work with digital marketing. Being more specific, I work writing sales letters. I am currently in between highs and lows.
I have difficulties attracting new customers. But I can keep what I have today.
How to optimize my results as a beginner copywriter?
The feast and famine cycle…
First and foremost, I think it’s worth noting that everything moves in cycles.
There will always be fat times, and lean times.
The smaller your business is (all the way down to one person), the more susceptible you are to this — I think — because it’s all on you.
In a larger business, maybe someone else is on the upward trend, when others are down — and vice versa.
But when it’s just you, if you’re down, your whole business is down. Believe me — been there, done that.
What follows is a mix of my best advice for countering this. This is a set of strategies developed and implemented over ten-plus years in business. You can’t do it all overnight.
But if you find one thing that appeals to you, then the next, then the next, you’ll find the feasts are more frequent and the famines less so, and the feasts lasts longer while the famines pass quickly.
Maximize your current client relationships…
First and foremost, you mentioned being able to keep clients. Awesome. That means you’re probably doing a good job. Providing real value.
If that’s the case, some of those clients will want more.
I hope you’re familiar with the concept of up-sells and cross-sells. That is, selling bigger packages, or comparable other packages.
You can proactively do that with your services.
If you have a client who is happy, what if you brought the next project to them? Make a recommendation. Be explicit about what the project should be, how you’d approach it, and why that makes you the best bet.
Then, make an offer.
You don’t have to get many of these to have a lot more work from those happy clients.
Make sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth…
Also, if you’re writing sales letters, you are likely generating measurable business results.
If this is the case, consider charging royalties for your copywriting. Or, find a similar way to get paid based on performance.
If you’re creative and working with entrepreneurial clients, you may be able to work it out.
The good thing about this is that sometimes a project you do is worth many times to the client what they would’ve paid in a fee. And the only way for you to make that is in the performance payments.
The other thing this does, if you structure the deals right and generating assets that are making buck on an ongoing basis, is to give you income distributed through time.
Quarterly or monthly checks can come in for years, for one project.
Do a few of these, and you’ll find your income is more consistent even when the new projects aren’t.
Also, raise your fees. You’re probably charging less than you’re worth. And your clients won’t tell you that, because they don’t want to pay more.
The power of continuous prospecting…
Dan Kennedy has a rule that every day, he does something to generate new business.
It could be sending a fax. Or replying to a voice mail. Or packaging up a campaign to send off to a big prospective client.
He’ll even do this kind of work when he has to put off paid client work for the day.
I’m not as consistent as Dan at this. But I agree with it in principle, and have found that the more I practice it, the more frequently new work comes my way.
Do something every day to move new business toward you.
Reach out to new prospects online. Go to an in-person event or meeting. Call someone.
At dinner, at my Financial Copywriters Workshop, a new copywriter who is getting a ton of work expressed shock that others wouldn’t be as busy.
I said I get emails all the time from people who can’t get their first client.
I asked him what his experience was like.
He said, “I just kept calling people until I got clients. I literally don’t stop. If I don’t have clients, that’s the work I have to do. I call and call, and somebody will be interested in what I have to offer.”
If you have the attitude of getting the work done, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to keep the new clients coming.
The trickiest part is to remember to do this work when you’re feasting, as well as when you’re in famine. Most often, it’s the prospecting work I did when I didn’t need work that ensured new projects arrive in the nick of time, just when I was available to do them.
Oh, and you can include items in here like building a prospecting system — IF AND ONLY IF you’re actually publishing this, and not using it as an excuse to procrastinate actual prospecting.
Diversify, diversify, diversify…
Consider doing things beyond project work.
Start a side project, to generate some income from your marketing ability.
Get other sources of income.
I find that the more sources of income I have active, the less I worry on any given day about where my next paycheck is coming from. Because they arrive constantly, and in abundance.
Find residual income opportunities where you can do the work once, and set up income that lasts for a long time.
I like online publishing for this, although there are plenty of other opportunities.
This is far from an instant gratification principle, but it will keep your coffers full.
Keep a rainy day fund…
This has many layers of importance beyond financial practicality.
Set aside some money. Depending on if you separate business and personal finances (I tend to think you should), you could have this in just a personal account, or separate business and personal accounts.
This money should cover at least a couple months’ worth of expenses — even better if it could cover you for a full year.
The goal is to keep this set aside, and not to use it.
But to have it available if you need it.
This changes your relationship to immediate opportunity, and to money in general.
It will let you be patient, as you look for the right opportunities.
It will let you turn down bad opportunities, or bad clients.
It will give you confidence to ask for more money, and be okay if that particular opportunity falls through.
It does a lot.
The ugly truth…
If I can sum any and all of this up, it’s this…
Once you’re half-decent as a copywriter (meaning you can get results for clients relatively consistently), your biggest enemy is not doing the work.
(I’m including myself in the target audience for these statements…)
If you’re not getting income from your current projects fast enough, it’s because you’re not sitting down and doing the work.
If you’re not getting your past clients to become repeat clients through new proposed projects, it’s because you’re not doing the work.
If you’re not getting a consistent flow of new clients through the door through active prospecting, you’re not doing the work.
I get trapped in my own mind as much as the next person — maybe more so.
The way out is almost never through thinking.
It’s through doing. Doing the work. One little step at a time.
Make the call. Send the email. Go meet people.
Whatever it takes.
Do the thing.
Get the breakthroughs.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,