Do You Want to Market the Easy Way — Or the Way That Will Land You Freelance Writing Gigs?
Well, here’s the thing: Do you want the easiest way to market — or do you want the way that will actually land you gigs?
I’ve discovered there’s an inverse relationship between how easy a marketing technique is and how effective it is.
For example: When I built my own prospect list several years back using a business directory at the library, called to verify names, and snail mailed sales letters, I got an 11% response rate of people asking for my information kit — and enough gigs to kick-start my career in copywriting.
But when I downloaded a mailing list from Hoovers a couple of years ago and mailed my letter to them, all I got was a guy e-mailing me to complain that his name had been spelled wrong.
Writers who research markets and send out well-written query letters and letters of introduction make way more money than those who pick the low-hanging fruit from the content mills and bidding sites.
I get better leads sending InMails to businesses that have looked at my LinkedIn profile than relying on my profile to entice people to contact me.
When I tried to attract copywriting clients via Google ads several years ago, I got zilch — not even a nibble.
In short: Shoe leather counts. There’s a huge difference between going out and asking people for work (yay!) — and doing the virtual equivalent of lying there on the couch and hoping prospects and editors will come to you (boo).
Of course, it’s a great idea to have a compelling website that ranks high for your search terms, and a good LinkedIn profile, and a nice Twitter bio. But those tactics equal you waiting around and making other people do the work instead of you going out there and drumming up work.
Don’t be like most struggling writers who take the easy way and then whine that they’re not making any money. Find out where your markets are and go after them with letters of introduction, query letters, sales letters, warm calls and cold calls, LinkedIn InMails, DMs on Twitter, and other forms of contact.
These are proven ways to get work. They’re not as easy as downloading a premade list or throwing an ad out there — but they’re more effective.
How about you: What’s been your most effective marketing technique for getting writing gigs? [lf]