What you need to know about making cash, fast…
Ugh. I can feel it coming.
A reader writes in with a question. They want the answer to be one thing. But I know the answer is something else.
In this situation, of course I could tell them what I know they want to hear. I could even tie that answer onto a product I have to sell, and make a quick buck off their vulnerability.
But I’d be doing them a disservice.
And I wouldn’t be happy with myself in the end.
So I’ll give them the best answer I know — even if it’s contrary to what they want me to say.
Today is Mailbox Monday — where I answer YOUR questions….
About marketing, copywriting, business-building, personal development, and more…
If you’d like me to answer YOUR questions, let me know. Send it to me here.
Here’s today’s question — about how to make money fast…
I must close $2,000 to $10,000 in copywriting projects this next month.
And about that I really want to know…
- How can I gain some clients and identify projects that can work well for me and my goals as a freelance copywriter?
- How to measure the results of my clients so I can be paid in commissions and royalties?
BEWARE the lies about “instant riches”…
Okay, so copywriting is a really interesting skill set.
Because you truly could write a sales letter today, send it out, and have it generate a huge amount of revenue.
Let’s say you write a sales letter for a client with a good-sized list, that has a good relationship with said list. And they have a particularly-compelling offer, for a high-priced product.
Let’s say, for example, that they have a list of 100,000 prospects.
And you work with them to create a sales letter for a $1,000 product.
And the conversions from prospect to buyer is 1%.
That means you sold 1,000 products at $1,000 each, for $1 million in sales.
And if the client is offering you a 5% royalty, that’s $50,000 in royalty.
Anyone who has been a direct response copywriter for a decent length of time will tell you that the above is possible. Some numbers may be conservative. Others may stretch possibility a bit. But overall, it’s a decent illustration of the possibility of direct response copywriting.
The problem is when that’s promised as something you’re going to be able to get tomorrow, or next week, or even next year.
First, you need good clients for this. Clients with a decent-sized list, with good relationships with that list.
But in order to get those clients, you need to be a good copywriter. Which probably means honing your skills on not-as-good clients. Clients with smaller lists, and smaller opportunities. Proving yourself in the minors before you move up to the big leagues.
And that takes time. First, because you need to actually do the work to get good. And second, because once you’ve done that work, it needs to perform and build your reputation.
Don’t expect to make fast cash…
Here’s the thing.
While it’s certainly POSSIBLE to make fast cash as a copywriter, you can’t EXPECT it.
You should expect that you’ll work hard, and make a decent living by working hard.
And the harder you work to get results for clients and for yourself, the better you’ll get at it.
And the better you get at being able to predictably generate results, the more you’ll get paid. Both for the project fees, and for the royalties.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Sometimes, you’ll make a lot of money quickly, because you have a few good wins in a row. Sometimes, it’ll slow down, and you’ll wonder where the magic’s gone.
EVERY GREAT COPYWRITER I’VE MET HAS GONE THROUGH THESE PERIODS.
You will make some fast cash. And then you’ll just feel like you’re working for your supper.
The goal is to develop your skills and ability so it’s more of the latter than the former.
If you make it all about how much you’ll earn, you’re missing the point…
This is a big thing that jumps out at me from the question above.
It’s about how to make a bunch of money fast. It’s about how to GET value.
I did have to make a couple edits where I removed some unclear elements of the question (which is a red flag for copywriters), but I don’t read much about where they plan to GIVE value.
If the question were, “How can I make a client $500,000 this month?” it would actually be easier to answer. Because with a few elements in place, this is much more clear.
But when it’s, “How can I GET, GET, GET?” it’s a more challenging question to answer. Because to GET requires you to GIVE first.
If you’re not able to create massive value for clients, it’s really hard for me to paint a picture of how you are able to make money.
If you ARE able to create massive value for clients — such as through the creation of a targeted campaign meant to sell high-value products to their customer base — you will find it much easier to make fast cash for yourself.
Again, your ability to do this will come through experience, and learning the fundamentals of direct response. And then practicing them to develop a deep understanding.
So let’s imagine that…
Here’s how to make fast cash…
If YOU want to make fast cash, here’s what you need to do.
You have to have a big list of people to send an offer to. You have to have an offer that’s aligned with their need — that is a solution to a problem they have. You have to create a message that clearly connects that problem to your solution. And you need to put that offer out with a time-limitation.
Now, as a copywriter, this can be what you do TO clients.
For example, I have a handful of past clients I could easily reach out to. They need sales and revenue — and I can create marketing campaigns that generate sales and revenue. I could create a message that speaks to that. And I could offer a project at some advantageous rate to fill a hole in my schedule (I don’t have one — this is a fictitious example) as long as they’re the first to respond by X date.
If I were to do this, I would most certainly have a check in the mail, pronto. But again, that’s because I have a list of past clients who I have a good enough reputation with that they’d be happy to hire me right away.
You can also do this FOR clients.
Alternately, if you have a client relationship already, you may know they have a decent list of past customers or prospects. And depending on their business, those prospects have a specific need. They probably also have some big product or service offer (or you could help them construct one) that their highest-end customers would willingly buy to address that need. So you create a targeted message that ties the unmet need to the offer, and they send it to their list. You create a campaign around that message, with a deadline.
I know many marketers are running these monthly, if not more often, as a regular deal to generate cash flow from their current lists. Other marketers aren’t but should be. Either way, they need copy written that can close the sale, and the copywriters who can do this stand to make at least a decent income (or better, if they can really make buck for the client).
But again, it’s all about the value you GIVE before the value you GET.
Answering the specific questions in the question…
How can I gain some clients and identify projects that can work well for me and my goals as a freelance copywriter?
I don’t know. If your goal is to simply make money, that’s not a very good goal.
There are lots of places to make money, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like them or be good at them.
Without more information this is really difficult to answer.
How to measure the results of my clients so I can be paid in commissions and royalties?
But let me make it even simpler, at least as a starting point.
First, figure out how to get good clients. Because terrible clients will make it impossible for you to track, and good clients will make it easy for you to at least get the numbers.
Second, realize you’re not going to be up in your client’s books or ecommerce system, unless you’re an employee or partner. Recognize that you’re far more likely to get reports with a check, or to simply get a check. So see the “good clients” bit, because you won’t trust them unless you have good clients.
Third, ask. Just ask for a report of sales or revenues along with your royalty check. If they’re good clients, they’ll be happy to give that.
The best advice my accountant ever gave me…
I’ll wrap with this one.
When you NEED money fast, it’s really hard to get it. Even if you have the GIVE-FIRST attitude.
Because DESPERATION is REPULSIVE to wealth.
NOT NEEDING MONEY is actually ATTRACTIVE to wealth.
Ironically, money comes easiest when you have absolutely no need of it.
This creates a very important frame for this advice I got from my accountant…
Build recurring income streams, even small ones, that pay your basic expenses in between any big revenue events.
I got this advice when I’d get a big project check, feel rich, and then my business would run out of money (in part because I was paying myself and transferring the money to my personal accounts) in between those project checks.
Work hard to develop multiple streams of income that add up to the expenses you need, and you won’t have that desperation of, “I need $X RIGHT AWAY!”
I’m not always great about this, because sometimes I get really trigger-happy about transferring money out of my business. But the more I’ve honored this recommendation to maximize the number of income streams, the better it has served me and the less I’ve felt that same desperation.
Cash flow is a wonderful thing.
And the more I have, the easier it actually becomes to get more.
It takes some intentional work. But the more you do it and the more you’ve done it, the less likely you are to end up in a situation where you’re saying, “Help! I need money fast!”
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,