Monday, September 17, 2007

Post #17: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

How to Get Fresh Leads Who Desperately Need Your Writing Services

I had some business down at the county seat the other day. As I was paying a bill at the window, I noticed a sign that said business lists must now be purchased using cash or a credit card.

I asked the clerk how much the lists were, and she said $6.50. I promptly purchased one. Why am I telling you this?

Want to learn exactly what to do to earn $100, $150, $200/day or more as a freelance writer, editor and/or copy editor? Inkwell Editorial's upcoming Freelance Writing Seminar will tell you how. Details. It's a career anyone who can read and write can start  with the right information.

Well, the list I purchased was a printout of all the businesses that were registered in my county the previous month – there were probably 200-250 of them.

The list had the following information:

Business Name
Type of Business
Name of Proprietor/Owner
Phone # of Business/Owner
Address of Business

While I’ve always known that these lists exist, I’d always researched this type of information online – and usually found it months or years later. But, buying it directly from the business license office is so much better.

Where to Go to Get the Leads You Need

Why? Three reasons:

1. Fresh Meat! The list is new/fresh. The county clerk takes the information directly from the business license application – so all of the information is most likely 100% correct. This means that if you do a mailing you are likely to get between a 97-100% deliverability rate (you always have to leave room for data entry errors by the county clerks).

The clerk gave me one piece of valuable information – she said that new business registration lists were available every month. Eg, if I came down in September, I could purchase a list of all the businesses that were registered in August.

She said come around the middle of the month because it took them a few weeks to enter the data and make it available to the public for sale. Are you realizing how valuable this is? Which brings me to my next point . . .

2. Cost: If you are just starting out and don’t have much money, this can cut down on your marketing costs by hundreds of dollars because instead of buying a list from a marketing company for perhaps a few hundred dollars, you can spend less than $10 and have a couple of hundred new leads at your fingertips – each and every month.

Do this for a year and you’ll have a few thousand contacts in your database easily. Even with a 1-3% return, that’s easily 10-30 new customers a year. If each one only spent a $1,000/year with you, that’s a decent part-time (depending on where you live, maybe even a full-time) living right there – from one marketing source!

3. Easy Sells: New business owners are easier sells because they need everything – brochures, web copy, newsletters, sales letters, etc. Sending them a “Congratulations on opening your new business” postcard and offering your services will probably garner you a few calls right off the bat.

I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you’ll be the only freelance writer to contact them. Why? Because freelance writers – for the most part – are not proactive marketers, especially utilizing offline measures.

Better yet, pick up the phone and call them.

TOMORROW'S POST: In tomorrow’s post, I’ll tell you exactly how to approach a new business owner and become their freelance writer of choice – for life!

You won’t want to miss this – it can start your business off with a bang with very little effort and, most importantly, very little cost.

Stay tuned!

What do you think? If you have questions, comments or observations about this post, send them in. Email them to info [at]

Editorially yours,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter?

Missed the last issue of Inkwell's freelance writing newsletter? The 9/12 issue featured an interview with freelance writer, Gordon Graham, aka, that white paper guy.

Gordon charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce one from scratch. Wanna know what he had to say? Sign up to receive your copy to read his informative, in-depth interview.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
Copyright Notice: 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
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Yuwanda,

Regarding new business license leads - it doesn't appear my county makes them available except by individual search (one at a time). Is there a reputable (and affordable) company out there that we can purchase this list from?

Thank you,