Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How to Turn Old Job Listings into Freelance Cash!

Publisher's Note: Last night, I was working on uploading the registration page for the e-course, Launch a Profitable Freelance Writing Career in 30 Days or Less -- Guaranteed!, coming in January.

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans -- my Internet access went kaput! This happens to me probably two or three times in a whole year -- which is excellent in my opinion (Comcast is da bomb!).

I tried to get mad about it, muttering under my breath about my professional reputation being on the line, meeting deadlines, etc., etc., etc. THEN, I thought about the war, people who are going to bed hungry, where the homeless sleep on cold nights like last night and I just had to stop myself. In the big ole scheme of things, this doesn't register on any radar.

So, that's why the course is not uploaded yet; it will be later on this evening after I clear a few client matters off my desk (around 8pm EST). Am suffering from a head cold and got a late start today.

Now, on to today's marketing tip -- turning old job listings into cash!

How to Turn Old Job Listings into Freelance Cash!

I'm sure many are familiar with popular job boards like, and As you probably know, if you're not among the first to apply, you will most likely never hear anything from the prospective client.

I use job boards another way -- as I get most of my work from old clients (I've been freelancing since 1993, so am grateful to be in the position of not having to market so hard for clients).

How to Effectively Use Job Boards to Solicit Work

So, how do I use job boards to solicit work? In two ways:

1) I always apply -- I don't care how old the listing is, I will still send in my credentials. Most of the time, if I receive a response, it will be something along the lines of, "We received 100 responses to our ad and have already chosen a freelancer. Thanks for applying."

I'm always thrilled to get a response -- even if it's a rejection. Why? Because it opens a line of communication -- which is the first step to building a relationship of any kind. A response allows me to write back. I usually say something to the effect of:

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Dear Ms. Client:

[be kind and and complimentary in your approach, eg;] Thank you for apprising me of the fact that your freelance writing needs have been filled. It's rare to receive a response when a position has closed; I appreciate your professionalism.

[go for the soft pitch, eg:] Please keep my credentials on file for future consideration. I specialize in helping mortgage, real estate and insurance professionals increase their bottom line. In today's competitive market, turning referrals into paying customers requires consistent contact -- no matter the type of business.

[generally explain how you can help the prospective client, eg:] An on- and offline marketing expert, I can show you concrete ways to increase referrals and turn a static and/or non-existent database into a consistent revenue stream.

[use the following if you don't know who the client is -- most times you will be responding to blind ads] I welcome the chance to consult with you along these lines -- even if you have no immediate needs.

[use the following if you know who the client is and can do some quick research on them]. Eg, I notice from your website that you are one of the largest mortgage providers in the northeast. I can position your company to become the "go to" resource for information by providing a handy e-booklet about the industry.

[give a specific example of how you can help them, eg:] Instead of the standard, "How to Apply for a Mortgage," potential clients respond more to what NOT to do when applying. Eg, an e-book entitled, 7 Things You Should NOT Do When Applying for a Mortgage is much more likely to get a prospect's attention.

This is just one suggestion among many that I can assist you with -- building your referral ratio and database for years to come. Samples of my work can be found at the web address listed below, along with my contact information.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Ms. Copywriter
[always close with a P.S., which should ask them to do something; providing a free giveaway is an excellent way to prompt this, eg:] P.S.: Subscribe to recieve the FREE e-pamphlet, 3 Easy Ways to Turn Passive Prospects Into Paying Customers!

2. The second way I use job listings is to add to my database. Eg, after I apply, I add the contact info to my database -- if it's not an anonymous posting. This way, I know which companies use freelancers. When I do mailings, cold calls, etc., I never have to pay for a list -- I just go to the one I've been building for years. I have over 4,000 listings in this database.

I haven't done a direct mailing to the whole thing in years. What I do do on a consistent basis is send an e-mail blast 4-6 times a year. I do it newsletter style. Eg, I don't e-mail asking for work; I create a marketing newsletter. It contains marketing tips for increasing referrals rates; info on turning passive customers into paying customers; highlights technology that makes marketing easier, etc.

I send a marketing newsletter because my customer base has changed over the years and I haven't taken the time to sort it according to industry. So, I can't, for example send a newsletter about the mortgage industry because some of my clients are legal publishers, some are educational firms, others are graphic design firms, etc.

A marketing newsletter appeals to all of my prospects because if a company is in business -- they want to increase their bottom line. This is a universal need and one that a marketing letter covers nicely.

Producing a marketing newsletter does two things: 1) it keeps my name constantly in front of customers; and 2) it builds my credibility at the same time. So, when it comes time for prospects to hire a freelance copywriter -- who do you think they will more than likely think of first? Me, of course! This is called being top of mind.

Speaking of being top of mind, you want to shoot for being in the top 3 that prospects think of when they think of your type of service/specialty. Why the top 3? Well, there's no guarantee you'll be number one, because the client's sister, Suzie, might just do what you do. And, so might Suzie's best friend. But usually, outside of personal and professional circles, most people can't think of 3 people who do the same thing.

The bottom line -- old job listings can be a great source of leads for new business -- if you take the time to proactively mine them.

Good luck!
Y. Black, Publisher
P.S.: See the job listings in last Friday's post. Please forward your resume if you're interested, or send it to qualified candidates you know of who may be interested.

P.P.S.: You will be able to register for the e-course at 8pm (EST) today. Be sure to register early as the number of participants will be limited because of the hands-on instruction given (via email).
May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. First-hand freelance success stories, e-courses, job postings, resume tips, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Launch a Profitable Freelance Writing Career in 30 Days or Less -- Guaranteed! Log on to to learn how.
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Subscribe to the Inkwell Editorial feed (under the LINKS section to your right) to receive new content immediately upon publishing. OR, email your address to subscribe and receive job listings -- immediately!

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