From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter. Aspen, Colorado.
Should You Play Hard to Get? The Answer Will Surprise You.
I keep a close eye on my competitors. I like (almost) all of them a great deal and consider them to be colleagues and not the competition.
Many copywriters are open and friendly and always willing to speak with potential clients.
However, some copywriters play “hard to get” by saying things like “I’ll see if I can fit you on my schedule” and “I’m really not speaking with potential clients right now.”
If I get to the point in my career where I’m genuinely booked for the next several years then maybe I will say things like “I'm genuinely booked for the next several years.”
I know a copywriter who is … genuinely booked for the next several years! But on his website, he says he has room for one client. Is he lying? Not really … I’m sure he will have room if the current client decides to work with another copywriter. Maybe he would create bandwidth to speak with a mega client.
Some copywriters believe that, by saying they’re booked, they will make themselves more desirable to potential clients. I’m not one of these copywriters. And other copywriters set fees artificially high in order to give the impression they are one of the top copywriters.
Setting fees is a subject for another time but the whole “let me see if I can fit you in” is a bit much.
I was just speaking with a potential client the other day. I was interested at first in writing for him but then had second thoughts … for a variety of reasons. Was this playing “hard to get” hoping he will come back with more money? No. It’s not totally about the money.
Look at my website and you’ll see that I’m available to speak and always open to a conversation with potential clients. Does this say “I’m desperate for work?” Absolutely not.
I also have a page on my website that asks the question, “are we a good fit?” On that page, I simply seek to attract top-quality direct marketing clients who are likely to be a good match. I also seek to keep poor potential clients from contacting me in the first place. It’s a tried and tested direct marketing tactic and I get very few bad potential clients contacting me.
I’ve even had people say to me … “don’t ever return phone calls or emails right away as this will make it seem like you’re desperate.” I don’t understand this logic. I return calls and emails promptly.
Should you play hard to get? With poor potential clients … ABSOLUTELY! But with good potential clients, I’m always open to a conversation.
Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter