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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

How to Use Your Web Site to Sharpen Your Traditional Marketing Tools
by Brian S. Konradt of BSK Communications and Associates

You should not rely solely on your Web site to solicit clients, but rather incorporate your Web site to supplement your traditional marketing. Here are some ideas:

Business Cards
Think about the possibilities of listing your Web site address on your business cards. I get the most mileage out of my business cards when I network.

I pass my business cards out to prospects at local meetings, trade shows, seminars, business conventions, etc. Not being able to carry my samples along with me to show interested prospects is an inconvenience. But having a Web site remedies this situation: you can tell the prospect he can view your samples, client list, information about your business, etc. via the Internet when he gets a chance, at his convenience, any time.

Sales Letter
Usually the last paragraph of a writer's sales letter asks the prospect to take some type of action, such as: "To request additional information about my services, or to see some of my samples, call me at 201-262-3277 or write to me at PO Box 542, Oradell, NJ 07649." Another familiar statement of action is: "Samples and client list furnished upon request."

Now that you have a Web site, you can shoehorn this paragraph into the sales pitch: "You can view my samples immediately and quickly online at my Web site (Web address). You can also find information about myself and my business—and what clients I've assisted in the past and what they have to say about me."

Freelance writers often advertise in magazines and newsletters to increase awareness about their businesses and to flush out prospects who are seeking freelancers for upcoming assignments and projects. Many ads follow this format: "Creative genius with business-to-business experience. 20+ years as corporate writer/creative director. Speeches, scripts, newsletters, ads, annual reports. Competent, dependable, deadline-friendly. How can I help you? Call 201-262-3277. Samples and client list furnished upon request."

How would your ad benefit if you also added this statement: "Online portfolio at (Web address). Samples, client list, complete information about my services at your fingertips."

For one, the prospect can immediately retrieve much more information about you and your business, which can also answer most of his questions.

Two, if your ad lures the prospect to your Web site, you are getting a second chance at persuading the prospect to invest in your services.

And three, a prospect can go incognito and retrieve information about you and your business, rather than phoning you which adds a feeling of obligation.

Besides your business card, your letterhead is probably the most widely used, distributed, and blatantly exposed promotional piece of business stationary that a prospect sees first and handles most. Yes, your letterhead, whether you've set it up as such or not, is really a promotional piece.

Somewhere on your letterhead, add this line: "Online Portfolio: (Web address)." You may also want to add: "Samples, client list, complete info. at your fingertips." Your letterhead can be another "baiting-and-tackling technique" to lure prospects to your Web site.

Most freelancers who use public relations to generate leads and clients usually offer a free report or free service to the publication's audience. Like the sales letter, the freelance writer adds a statement of action at the end of the press release to tell the interested reader how to request the information, such as: "To receive Mr. Konradt's FREE report on 25 Tips to Organize a Publicity Campaign, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to PO Box 543, Oradell, NJ 07649."

If you have your own Web site, you could also add: "Mr. Konradt's FREE report can also be read online at (Web address)." Most prospects will retrieve your FREE report via the Internet because it's faster and more accessible. But here's the catch: in order for the prospect to retrieve your free information, he will be lured through the contents of your Web site, through your subtle sales pitches and persuasion tactics.

Business Newsletter
Freelance writers prefer to publish their own two to four page business newsletters to keep prospects as well as new and past clients in touch with new developments and current events about themselves and their writing businesses.

One reason why freelance writers publish their own business newsletters is to offer prospects or clients professional advice and helpful tidbits; but here's the catch: the newsletter makes prospects or clients aware of the writer's professional skills, helpful advice, and proven results that they'll want to hire the writer for their next assignment or project.

By adding your Web site address to your business newsletter, you'll have a second chance to lure prospects and clients to additional information at your Web site.

Seminar Handouts
If you are a writer who regularly speaks at seminars, make sure all of your handouts contain the address of your Web site. Most attendees, after listening to your seminar, will be interested in requesting additional information as well as learning more about your services and how you can help them. Your Web site address will lure them happily and excitedly to your Web site for more information.

Business Stationary
Advertise your Web site address on your envelopes, address labels, stickers, notepads, bills, invoices, etc. to create awareness about your Web site. Who knows whom you'll lure to it.

Of course, from now on, you should consider printing your Web site address on everything: premiums you send to prospects, products you mail to customers, informational and promotional material you send to clients, and so forth. In summation, your Web site not only provides fast and convenient accessibility and exposure of your writing business, but it also creates a new increased level of client/customer satisfaction.

Brian Konradt 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 & Associates, a communications/publishing business in New Jersey, which he established in 1992.









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