October 2018 2
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
The Most Effective Ways to Find Great Clients. Part 6.
AWAI Bootcamp This Week
Quite a few writers and marketers have joined the list of people who receive these emails. Welcome!
I’m not in Colorado right now. I’m in Delray Beach, which is one of my favorite places to visit.
But I’m not here for the AWAI Bootcamp which starts on Wednesday, tomorrow.
A client needed me to be in Palm Beach last week and the timing/travel didn’t work out for Bootcamp this year. But I’ve been to Bootcamp at least 6 times.
It’s a fun event and I love being in Delray. The main reason I used to attend Bootcamp was the opportunity to meet potential clients. Bootcamp includes a 3-hour meet and greet known as Job Fair. I also liked many of the speakers and I had the opportunity to have lunch with Herschell Gordon Lewis before he passed away. What an amazing guy and I'm a big fan of HGL. I really enjoy Bootcamp and part of me is sad I won't be there.
Job fair is a scrum at first but once things calm down, it’s a chance to meet over 40 potential clients. I’ve actually secured over $20,000 worth of work from the Job Fair over the years and met some potential clients.
At least 1/3 of the potential clients are part of the Agora empire. They’re not typically looking for freelancers. But they are quite often eager to find and hire apprentices. Here’s the deal with them. You move to Delray Beach or Baltimore and you earn about $40,000 a year with the potential for bonuses and big royalties. You get training from some of the world’s top copywriters. It’s a GREAT way to get started.
Not all the clients at Job Fair are great potential clients. Two of the companies I started working with turned out to be difficult and disorganized. One client told me I was terrible and my name is mud there ... I did everything I was asked to do. This same client told an assembled group he didn’t care about a copywriter’s website. That’s sheer lunacy. With another client, I had to fight to get paid after they decided not to run my promotion. And the owner of the company is a friend of mine.
And then I’ve had companies at Bootcamp be rude. It’s rare but it happens.
I saw some of the same faces year after year. They all need copywriters and they know I write copy and that I’ve had plenty of success. But they never return emails. Makes no sense. You’d think they would want to chat. But maybe they don’t like me. Whatever.
These are just part of the frustrations of the client-finding journey. I enjoy these frustrations because it means I’m making the effort to find great clients.
If you’re going to Bootcamp then I’m sorry I’m going to miss you. I really enjoy meeting fellow copywriters, with two notable exceptions. Let’s not go there. But I enjoy meeting other people in the trade … even when they are competitors.
A lot of copywriters find some great work at the job fair. I’m told the bar at the host hotel is a great place to meet clients. Is hanging out at a bar the greatest way to meet clients? I’m not sold on that one.
Are you going to find tens of thousands of dollars worth of work at Bootcamp? Maybe. I recommend you complete all of the spec assignments and follow up with potential clients you meet if you’re going. Definitely speak with the Agora people if you want to get into an apprentice program.
But the job fair at Bootcamp is, ultimately, a passive event. I want you to be active and aggressive. I want you to change your mindset and start contacting the clients you really want.
This means looking around at the landscape and starting to identify the companies who are advertising … the companies with great products … the companies who want to be successful.
When a company is advertising a lot, what does this mean? It means they need copy and people to write that copy and feed that testing beast. Just saying …
All the best,
P.S. Speaking of mindset, have you seen the book about the growth mindset? You can read my review of this fascinating and inspirational book here. You'll also see reviews of books by HGL.