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The 3rd in the series of guest blogs from Nexus Copywriting
So far in this series on setting up your own freelance copywriting business we’ve thought about giving yourself a safety net of financial backing and what to think about when charging clients. The most important thing of all, however, is getting regular work.
We’ve already considered the value of competitive rates as a way of winning new contracts, but where should you look to find new work?
Well, this series of blogs is meant to look in places you might not have considered, so we’re not thinking about advertising, networking, direct mail, or any of the other ways of finding new clients. Instead we’re going to remind you of the most valuable resource for producing new work which is already sitting right under your nose – your existing clients.
With each new client you’ve achieved the most difficult part of the job: persuading someone to use you rather than another copywriter. If all you do is complete the job, send the invoice and plop their testimonial on your website then you’re wasting a precious resource. That’s like sticking a wad of money under your mattress rather than investing it to make more money.
Many new copywriters feel anxious about trying to secure new work with existing clients. It’s easy to feel the client has done them a favour in hiring someone new to the profession, so best not to hassle them with attempts to get additional work. There can also be the fear this might annoy the client, thereby ruining the chances of further contracts.
It can also be true that your marketing efforts are so strongly focused on the idea of new clients that you just don’t stop to think of the value in cultivating old ones. However, clients who already know and trust you are many times more likely to give you new contracts, so you need to have some clear strategies for making this work.
First of all you need to keep in touch with them. Go back to find out how your copy is working out, show an interest in their business and keep yourself in the front of their mind.
If you have their permission, send them your newsletter, making sure it includes services they may be interested in. This can include case studies revealing the benefits you brought to particular businesses, inspiring others to enquire about doing the same for them.
And most importantly of all, suggest things they may want to do. Don’t just think of yourself as a copywriter; remember that fundamentally you are a marketer, so look at your client’s business and decide how your services could market it more effectively. Put your case together carefully and show them what great copy could achieve for their business.
Also, try to keep your clients in mind whenever you see relevant items in the news or in articles you read. If you see something you believe could be helpful for your client then it’s a good opportunity to get in touch – even if it’s nothing to do with copywriting! This helps the client see you as someone with a genuine interest in the prosperity of their company, making it more likely for them to approach you in the future.
Of course it’s important to find the right balance here – if you’re on the phone every other day badgering them about new work you shouldn’t expect any further contracts. However, regular contacts every few months should mean you get further business.
We’ve had a busy three weeks, so next time you’re going to be putting your feet up. All in the name of better business.
This is the second in a series of five guest blogs from Nexus Copywriting. Be Realistic About Rates In the first part of this guide on setting up a freelance copywriting business we thought about having enough money to see you through lean times in the early days of trading. This week we’ll consider the… Continue Reading
The first in a series of five guest blogs from Nexus Copywriting. It’s a common feeling in life to look back on your past self and think, “If only I knew then what I know now!” Well, if you’re intending to set up your own freelance copywriting business, think of the blog entries I write… Continue Reading