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A Marketing Checklist for Freelancers
Marketing can be as simple as engaging in a one minute conversation with another person or as complex as a $3,000 direct mail advertising campaign. Everyone has done some type of marketing in their lives—including you. You may have sold things at a garage sale—that's marketing. Maybe you recommended a friend to see a movies, which she did. That, too, is marketing. At your last job interview, you talked about yourself and how you and your experience could benefit the company—and you got the job. That's marketing.
But marketing is more than selling a product or service or yourself—basically, it's getting the person or prospect interested in what you're selling. And that's not so easy—unless you know exactly how to do it.
Most people know how to market—but not everyone knows how to market effectively. When you mail a prospective client a piece of your promotional material advertising your availability as a commercial copywriter who is seeking work and don't get a response then that's marketing. But when the prospective client responds to your promotional material and requests additional information that leads up to work, then that's marketing effectively.
Marketing is probably the most ignored and neglected function of operating a profitable commercial copywriting business. Copywriters ignore or neglect marketing because of the following reasons:
• Marketing must be done on a continuous—if
•Marketing is non-billable time.
• Marketing costs money and can exhaust your
• Beginners often quit their marketing efforts
too soon because they're not soliciting responses immediately.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Your business does not grow, flourish or live without marketing. Once you understand how to market effectively, you'll increase your chances of running a successful, profitable copywriting business (or any business), guaranteed.
Here's a checklist to market any service or product effectively:
• Marketing is repetitious.
• Marketing must interest the prospect about
your product or service, not just sell it.
• Marketing must be performed continuously,
• Marketing creates impact gradually—not
• Marketing does not focus on the product or service—but focuses on the benefits of the product or service, or, in essence, how the service or product can benefit the prospect.
• Marketing focuses on soliciting a response
from the prospect, not just the work.
• Marketing sells solutions, never your
As you put together an effective marketing plan for your business, remember the following key points:
First, all marketing strategies come down to one type of marketing: networking (or some form of networking). Securing a client is a person-to-person confrontation. It involves finding out the prospects problems and needs, and then fulfilling them. That's one reason why networking is the best type of marketing around.
Secondly, you never sell your services to prospects—you sell solutions to their problems. They don't care how well you do something—they only care what type of results you can produce for them that'll solve their problem(s).
Finally, marketing must be repetitious to create rapport and establish a relationship—these are two essential elements that turn prospects into paying clients.
Brian Kontradt is the owner and operator of FreelanceWriting.com, a Web site dedicated to help writers master the business and creative sides of freelance writing. Mr. Konradt is also the principal of BSK Communications and Associates, a communications/publishing business in New Jersey, which he established in 1992.