August 2018 2
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
The Most Effective Way to Find Great Clients
Dear << data-preserve-html-node="true" Test First Name >>:
Quite a few writers and marketers have joined the list of people who receive these emails. Welcome!
I’m currently writing a book. My 17th book, I think. In fact, I’m “tidying up” the book before sending it to an editor. The book is my first about copywriting and it’s for copywriters. But it’s also going to be a calling card I’ll send to prospective clients.
Here’s an excerpt from the book detailing my approach to working with my clients. Make the client the center of my professional life so I help them achieve what they want to achieve. Bend over backwards to get them the copy they need, when they need it. Help out if there’s an emergency copy need. Communicate and be available. Have a positive attitude and approach, even when I get frustrated. Provide complementary consultative direct marketing services when needed and requested. Keep improving my direct response copywriting and direct marketing skills to help the client generate more revenue. Help to build the value of the business. Provide honest feedback without being a rude mega-dork. I’ll provide this level of service for a great client. I have enough experience in the client finding exercise to avoid the bad clients.
How do you find these great clients?
That’s the big question, of course, for all service providers, including copywriters.
So I’ll go through client finding in the next several emails. The thoughts will be a bit random, perhaps, but I hope they help you.
I just sent 10 post cards to potential clients. I walked to the mail box and I put them in. I hand addressed them. I sent 10 today. I sent 10 yesterday. I’ll send 10 tomorrow. I won’t send 10 on Wednesday as I’m totally off the grid, hiking 27 miles in a day … or that’s the plan. I’ll see how that goes.
Where do I send the post cards? Who gets them?
I have a database of over 1800 potential clients. Do you?
Do you have a database of potential clients? Just a few?
It’s super-simple to read books about finding clients. You can take courses about finding clients. You can get advice about how to sell to clients. You can get oodles of advice about approaching clients, dealing with clients, firing clients, and even giving your clients massages and appropriate gifts.
BUT … NOBODY GIVES YOU THE NAMES OF POTENTIAL CLIENTS … or how to find them. NOBODY.
Why? Because it takes too much time to organize this database. That’s one reason.
You buy a course about approaching clients but you don’t know who to contact. What use is the course?
So what happens? You rely on referrals, Facebook groups, online classifieds, going to conferences, networking, and other mostly useless methods. I’m going to go through some of these in the next few weeks. But you already know these methods are mostly vapid.
Let’s remember the business we’re in … direct marketing.
This means you find the people who want or need what you provide … and you let them know you exist. That’s a somewhat basic definition of direct marketing but it’s salient.
Getting the materials ready to let them know what you can provide is the easy part.
Finding that list is the hard part. In fact, it’s impossible.
Several years ago, I tried to buy a list of potential clients. I couldn’t find one to buy and, trust me, I looked. So I decided to create my own.
I’m not going to tell you how I created my list and my list isn’t for sale. Why? You have to generate your own database of prospective clients based on your current status in the copywriting world, what you want to achieve, and the type of work you want. My list might not work for you.
In the next several emails, I’m going to show you how to build your own list. I’m NOT going to give you precise instructions. Instead, I’m going to get you THINKING about building your list so identifying strong potential clients becomes part of your daily world.
This may sound slightly crazy and I fully understand if you’re thinking this.
But once I started thinking the way I think about building my list, potential clients started to appear before me … and they still do.
Yes, my website ranks above the fold for key search terms and it has for a while … and I get some business this way. But now, I’m starting to go after the clients I really want.
Let’s remember what I just said about all that advice from all the gurus and others about finding clients. How has that worked out?
Not very well for the copywriters I see on Facebook groups and other online groups. It’s the same old, same old … Companies say, “we’re always looking for copywriters.” Copywriters bleat, “I’m desperate for work.” Some copywriters head to Upwork. What do you find there? Bad clients looking for the lowest price. A potential client pops up on a Facebook group and it’s a feeding frenzy with a bunch of copywriters desperate to impress a total plonker.
It’s all about what Gary Bencivenga called the “red shirts” effect. I’ll talk about that in the next email.
Make sure you open your emails from me over the next several weeks. I’m going to reveal the real way to find clients.
All the best,
Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter