Effective Ways to Find Copywriting Clients Part 7. Clients are Everywhere. Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive October 2018 3

October 2018 3

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

The Most Effective Ways to Find Great Clients. Part 7.

Quite a few writers and marketers have joined the list of people who receive these emails. Welcome!

So … I see all these ads at the bottom of websites I visit.

So … I get a link to an internet marketing event with 12 speakers who are ALL Internet marketers.

So … I see a list of the top “up and coming” marketers in a business magazine.

So … I know a way to find out who is marketing online and how much they’re spending.

So … I see all these ads on Facebook.

So … I hear there’s a conference that’s replete with companies that sell dietary supplements.

So ... I hear there's a conference that's choc-full of financial publishing companies.

So … I look in my local newspaper and see a ton of ads. I look in the New York Post and see a ton of ads.

So … I see that The Denver Business Journal and The Charlotte Business Journal and every other Business Journal in the country has a list of the “Top 25 Advertising Agencies” and other complementary lists.

So … I see a prominent direct marketer on Linked In. He consults with marketing companies and I see all his connections.

So … what do I see?


What are you seeing?

Right now, you’re seeing clueless Upwork clients who want the lowest possible price.

You’re seeing shoddy potential clients who come to Facebook groups looking, supposedly, for quality copy … and then you see a stampede of mendicants desperate to work for these awful clients.


I’m trying to instill a big change in how you think about finding clients.

Spend the next few hours and the next few days thinking about this. Let your subconscious start to figure this out for you. It will.

Let's go back to that list of 'Top 25' Advertising Agencies in those business journals. Guess what? They all need copy. I would BET THE FARM that no freelance copywriters EVER contact them.

All the best,

Scott Martin 

The Most Effective Way to Find Clients. Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive August 2018 2

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.


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

Finding Great Clients Instead of Plonkers and Punters. Direct Response Copywriting Archive March 2018

March 2018 1

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

Some Thoughts About Refining Your Client Search ... So You Find Great Clients Instead of Total Plonkers and Punters.

I wrote a PDF last year titled, “The 17 Worst Ways to Find Clients” … or something like that … and maybe one of these days, maybe in a few weeks, I’ll dig it out and send it to this database. It makes for interesting reading. Many of the ways you've heard are really great are, in fact, a total waste of time.

If you’re a copywriter, then I’m certain you have tried several different ways to find clients, likely with mixed results. Or just really poor results.

I have ample work, especially from a couple of clients, and I’m fortunate that my website generates leads ... over 700 in the past 5 years.

Some of the people who contact me are serious direct marketers; others are serious but have “one and done” project work, which is fine, but it’s always preferable to have regular assignments from a company: you get to know them and their list plus you're not constantly searching for clients.

Still, having a website that generates leads is ultimately a passive exercise.

So … over the next few months, I’m going on the offensive. I’m going to keep working for the two clients I just mentioned, provided they still like me, but I’m going to FIND two, maybe three, additional clients.

What do these clients look like?

Great traffic. Great list. Excellent traffic buyer. Superb products that really appeal to their current and prospective customers. The need and desire to keep selling products and services. Total compliance and dedication to ethical business practices. The willingness, if not rampant desire, to invest in copy and PAY THEIR COPYWRITER. A direct marketing mindset. One of my current clients has a copy of Breakthrough Advertising in the bathroom. A growth mindset. The constant desire to improve. A general disdain for all things branding. The ability to test like crazy … and celebrate both success and failure. Generally amenable and pleasant people in the organization. A paucity of corporate bureaucracy. An entrepreneurial mindset … plus ambition. Speed … getting products to market quickly. No copy police looking over my every word. They trust me. Ample cash in the bank. Size: between 10-30 employees. The potential to work together for many years. A need for direct marketing expertise.

I could probably think of a few other criteria but that’s a pretty good list above.

As you can see, I’m not going to work with a lot of punters. And if you don’t know what a “punter” is then search a little … for the British meaning … it’s one of my favorite words and extremely malleable.

But I digress.

Some of you who receive this email might be extremely experienced. Others might be more nascent. Either way, it’s VITAL to define your ideal client profile.

Eight years ago, that client was a digital advertising agency with regular copy needs.

Once you have a sense of your ideal client, you can ignore all the ads and online guff you see asking for copywriters.

Most of these potential clients are like people who walk into a Ferrari dealership with precisely $500 to spend on a car ... but still think they can get a Ferrari.

But most importantly, once you have a sense of your ideal client, you can search with much more precision.

Look … there’s triage involved here. I might cruise around looking at more than 300 potential clients before I find one that matches my criteria. That’s great, if you ask me.

Why should I settle for a client who is not a good fit?

Let’s remember something crucially vital. Yes … it’s important to have a great list. Yes … it’s important to have great products. But without copy, there isn’t a sale … there isn’t a phone call made to a 1-800 number.

So why am I settling for clients who will make my life miserable? Why are you?

Be aggressive. Find those great clients. Don’t work for companies that don’t deserve to work with a copywriter who can produce results.

Two more things to consider.

One. All those so called “A Lister” copywriters … were they actually really great copywriters? Or did they find and work with the top clients? Hmmmmmm …

Two. Notice I haven’t said the “niche” word. You can focus on a niche to the point where you’re willing to take on bad clients.

My niche … especially in the next few months? Finding the top clients … clients who are a good fit with my career goals over the next decade.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

P.S. If I seem mean or even snobby then my apologies. I don't want to sound like either. I simply want serious copywriters to work with excellent clients. Is that too much to ask?

Great Clients or Bad Clients? Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive August 2017

August 2017

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

Solid ... Or a Dud?

Every month, I speak with, on average, 10-15 potential clients. I use that word, "speak" with some wiggle room. Sometimes, it's texting (really!) and other times, it's just by email. But most of the time, if there seems to be a good potential fit, it's a direct conversation.

How can I tell if a potential client is going to be wonderful? How can I tell if they’re going to be a total waste of time? A complete mega-dud?

First of all, I’ve organized my website to repel people who are not going to be a good fit. I make it totally clear I’m not the least expensive copywriter. This keeps the price shoppers away; they can go to Upwork and the commodity sites. Second, I have a page on my website titled, “are we a good fit?” which you can see here. Again, I’m working to attract top clients while repelling poor potential clients. A great website purposely repels the people who cannot, and will not, buy.

As a result, the potential clients who contact me know who I am and they are solid people and solid companies. I don’t have any data but they tell me they have spent time on my website … at least 30 minutes.

One important note: while I want to keep price-shoppers away, I want to be approachable and amenable to the type of clients I’d like to work with. I don’t play “hard to get” and write absurdities like “let me see if I can fit you into my schedule.”

Way too many copywriters have a sort of “reverse snobbery” they think potential clients will find impossible to resist. Look … here’s what I know about great potential clients: my schedule is wide open to them! And yours should be too.

A cautionary tale. I know a direct response copywriter who got a huge gig about three years ago. It was just one promotion but it was a high-profile gig. This copywriter got a lot of traction plus some top-quality testimonials. The acclaim went to this copywriter’s head and suddenly this copywriter went into “let me see if I can fit you into my schedule in two years” mode. Then I saw the same copywriter at the AWAI bootcamp the very next year blatantly interrupting meetings I was having with potential clients … in order to find clients. I also recently saw another copywriter, an extremely famous copywriter, talking about losing a big client. Again … this copywriter is simply waiting for the power of pure reputation to fill that all-important schedule. A bad idea.

But I digress, and I apologize.

I have to admit I have a “sixth sense” when I’m speaking with potential clients. I can tell, in about 90 seconds, whether the potential client is a serious direct marketer … or they want to be. I speak with marketing directors at direct marketing companies and they obviously speak our language. But I also speak with the owners of micro-businesses who are just beginning that direct marketing journey. For example, they might say, “I just went to a direct marketing seminar and I’ve been reading some Dan Kennedy books and I hear it’s important to hire a direct response copywriter.” I love both types of clients. But you have to be careful. The other day, I was speaking with a potential client who was pretending to know a lot about direct marketing. He’s actually a branding guy. In time, you’ll develop this “sixth sense.”

Here are some more “empirical” ways to determine if a client is right for you. • Are they crazy about direct response marketing? • Do they have any money? • What’s their website like … even if it’s a corporate site? • Is it a one person operation? Or a big company? Note: well-funded companies in the 10-30 employee range can often be the best clients … at least for me. • Do they have traffic? If so, what sort of traffic? • Are they ethical? • Will they back up a guarantee? • Have they worked with copywriters before? If they have fired copywriters in the past, what happened? • What does the LinkedIn profile of the potential client look like? • Do they test? • What sort of products are they selling? Is it something people might actually want? Or is it a silly idea, hatched in a bar at 1:30 in the morning? I’m sure you can come up with other questions you want to ask. Remember … when you’re looking into clients it’s a two-way conversation. They’re interviewing me but I’m interviewing them. The supply of direct response copywriters is extremely low. The demand is extremely high. Why should you deal with potentially poor clients?

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

What Are Copywriting Clients Looking For? Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive July 2017 4

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

What are Potential Clients Looking For?

I hear it all the time. And maybe you've heard it.

"Where are all the copywriters?"

I also hear ... from direct marketing companies ... and others ...

"We're always looking for copywriters." "We need copy." "It's hard to find copywriters."

There are 350 people listed as direct response copywriters on LinkedIn. There are 90,000 people who call themselves copywriters on LinkedIn. Either way, the demand for copy outstrips the number of copywriters. But clients are still fussy and won't hire just anyone. What are clients typically looking for?

• Solid samples in the portfolio. • Evidence of training. • A commitment to being a copywriter. • Professionalism. • Specialization (but not always). • Proof that you can actually do the work. • Previous results. • Testimonials.

Where/how are you supposed to communicate the above? It helps if you have a website and every copywriter should strive to have a superb website; but it's not disaster if you don't have one yet. You must have a strong LinkedIn page.

Remember ... companies need copywriters but they are still selective ... especially the top companies.

In the next email, I'm going to discuss how to tell if a client is going to be solid, or a dud.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

Defining Your Perfect Clients. Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive June 2017 1

June 2017 1

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

Over the next 8-12 weeks, I’ve set a goal of finding one, maybe two additional long-term clients. I have plenty of work to keep me going right now, and I’m enjoying some additional free time, but it would be prudent to find some new clients.

Here are some notes from this assignment.

My first step is to define who is a good fit for me. I have a mental checklist that will soon be a physical checklist and I’ll share this with you in the upcoming weeks. But here are the thoughts.

They must be serious direct marketers with a marketing director who knows a ton about direct marketing.
They must be an organization built around selling tons of stuff through direct response copy. This makes me, a direct response copywriter, indispensible. Get rid of me and it’s like turning off the electricity.
They must have a big list or be really good at traffic.
They must be “white hat” with a strong product portfolio.
For some reason, the ideal size company is 10-25 people. This size means they’re big enough to be serious but not big enough to have an in-house copywriter.
They must have a solid budget and be open to a royalty.
They must understand the key role of a copywriter in their success and not view the copywriter as a commodity.
They must not be meddlers who change my copy… unless there are factual errors or compliance issues.
They must love testing.
How quickly can they move? Are they likely to be super-slow and bureaucratic? Are they going to move as quickly as one of my clients? One client gives me a week to write a promotion and has it live the next week. That’s my type of client.

Well there’s my physical checklist!

Notice something here? I’m starting to go after the clients I’d like to work with, instead of hoping that these near-perfect clients arrive out of thin air. I’m going through my lists and I’ve identified about 400 potential strong clients. This week, I’ll send the first of a bi-monthly newsletter to this list, even though I’m currently speaking with four strong potential clients.

Just because you may be relatively new to copywriting doesn’t mean you can’t define your perfect client. Take a few minutes when you can to write down the traits of your perfect client based on where you are in your copywriting journey.

One more thing … I’m also working with a couple of clients to help them with more copy. Remember … once you have a client and things are going well, you MUST ask them for more work.

In the next email, I’ll discuss the importance of speed and why you don’t want to be like a lawyer when it comes to billing.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

Bad Ways to Find Clients. Direct Response Copywriter Reveals All. Email Archive April 2017 2.

April 2017

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

Other Really Bad Ways to Find Clients

In the last email, I wrote about my general disdain for the commodity sites where writers bid on projects. In this email, I'm going to write about some other ways to find clients … and why I generally don’t like these ways.

Let’s look at some of these other methods. Every day, I get an email with links to writing jobs. To be frank, I have no idea who sends this to me. It might be some type of Google robot. The sender doesn’t matter. Most of the links are to Craigslist ads.

You’ll find, and I’m not making this up, people who want a full-on landing page for $75. I once replied to an ad with the question, “what sort of quality do you expect for $75?” I did not receive a reply. You will also find jobs and gigs posted on social media. Enter "direct response copywriter" on Twitter and you'll be surprised to find some gigs. Again … the vast majority of these clients are poor prospects.

What about the major job sites like Monster? You’ll find a lot of full-time jobs and these may be good options if you’re looking for this type of opportunity. You’ll have to move somewhere. But part of the joy of freelancing is living exactly where you want to live. Right? But, to be fair, a full-time copywriting job will give you a ton of excellent experience.

You’ll find some potential opportunities on marketing forums. One of them is the well-known Warrior Forum which is a general meeting place for Internet marketers. Some copywriters post on Warrior regularly. I had a really horrible client contact me through Warrior.

Maybe I should spend more time on Warrior and similar sites. But if you genuinely want to spend some time in the modern equivalent of The Wild Wild West, then go to Warrior right now.

There’s an easier and better way to find clients: select the ones you want and consistently contact them.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

WHAT ARE THEY SELLING? Direct Response Copywriter Email Archive January 2017 1

Welcome to notes from the copywriter's journey.


My website has generated more than 550 leads in the last five years. Some of these leads have directly led to major amounts of work. Many have generated some valuable project work. But the majority have been from people who don’t have a serious budget and/or are trying to sell something that people don’t want ... and will never want.

Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to turn down project work. I’ve been there. But with a longer term engagement, there’s an important question you have to ask.

"What are they selling?"

Some people have crazy ideas about products and services. They seem to believe everyone will want what they’re selling.

I’m especially careful to take an extremely close look at what a potential client is selling and the potential market.

If the product is excellent and there’s a big market, even with stiff competition, then I’m interested. But if there’s craziness going on, I’m not interested. What's craziness? Products that nobody will ever want.

Am I a snob? No. There’s only one of me. Why am I going to take on clients with no chance of succeeding?

David Ogilvy was extremely careful about choosing his clients. You must be too.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

Direct Response Copywriter Email November 2016. The Core Principle of Finding Copywriting Clients

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter.

Welcome to notes from the copywriter's journey.


I’m always a little bit surprised when I hear a copywriter say, “I’m a little slow right now.”

Famous direct marketer Gary Halbert allegedly said to a group of copywriters, “there’s an ocean of work out there … and you’re a thimble.”

I agree … especially with a huge but silent change taking place in the world of direct marketing.

The change?

Huge retailing chains are losing “brick and mortar” sales to their online presence or other online retailers. I just tried to buy something from LL Bean and their servers currently can't handle the load.

But I digress.

These ‘old school’ retailers are measuring their results. And they’re discovering that, get this, direct response tactics work. This means they have to hire direct response copywriters.

This brings me back to a core marketing principle. You cannot wait for opportunities to come your way. You have to GO OUT AND GET THE WORK YOU WANT. It's out there.

I can only think of a very few copywriters who aggressively market themselves, specifically going after the clients they really want. This presents a huge opportunity to the copywriters who make the effort to land their ideal clients.

In the next email, I’ll discuss the type of clients who will have the most opportunities over the next few years.

If you have any questions, just reply to this email.

To your success!

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter