Monday, September 03, 2007

POST #7: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar in October. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I've started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

One Marketing Technique That Is Almost Always Successful

In Friday’s post, we discussed three free ways to find out information on your target market so that you could devise profitable marketing campaigns.

Today, we’re going to analyze a marketing technique that will almost always bring success. And, I use the qualifier “almost” because no one marketing method can guarantee success – and run quickly from anyone who tells you different.

So, what is it?

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.
Why Drip Marketing Should be Used by Every Freelancer

Drip marketing. What exactly is drip marketing? As defined so elegantly on

The term “drip marketing” refers to a deliberate, planned and sequenced system of deploying marketing messages over a period of time. Drip marketing is the opposite of a “marketing blitz,” where marketing efforts are compressed within a short time frame. . . . the theory behind drip marketing is that the value of repetition — and a slow build — can be as powerful as a highly concentrated rush.”

Marketing Tip: Read the entire post on drip marketing at this link on It will give you a concise, full understanding of what this marketing method is and why it’s so successful.

Some examples of drip marketing:

Newsletters sent out on a regular basis;

Postcards mailed out monthly;

Joke of the day/Marketing Message of the Day/Business Tip of the Day; and

This “40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career” series.

What do all of these have in common? They keep the name of the promoter constantly in front of customers so that when they think of the type of product/service the promoter is offering, that promoter will be “top of mind.”

And, that is the real goal of drip marketing. Drip marketing is perfect for freelancers because:
i) It’s Inexpensive: As you can see from the examples listed above, drip campaigns can be free and/or low-cost (eg, postcard marketing).

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I advocate using free methods, in conjunction with paid advertising, to increase sales.

But, if you don’t have any money and are just starting out, using free advertising methods exclusively is fine. In fact, you may want to start out using free marketing methods exclusively until you get a better handle on marketing.

ii) Builds Leads Database: Drip campaigns give you a constant source of fresh leads. While everyone who receives your material will not be ready to purchase at that moment, by staying “in their face,” so to speak, you can bet you will be one of the first ones they call when they are ready.

As I mentioned in the last post, most consumers don’t do extensive comparison shopping. They look at one or two service providers before they buy. How easy do you think it will be to get their business if you are one of the two?

Furthermore, as most freelancers are not adept at marketing, if you’ve been the one staying in touch via a newsletter, postcard campaign, copywriting tip of the day, etc., you have that much more of a chance of getting the business.

This brings me to my next point . . .

iii) Builds Your Credibility: While drip marketing will make clients think of you almost immediately when they need freelance writing services, there’s a big hurdle that has to be overcome before a sale can take place.

In my experience, four things have to happen before someone buys from you:

a) They have to have a need for your service: You can’t control this. If they contact you, obviously, they need your type of service.

b) They have to be able to afford you: You have some control over this by doing market research and determining what the going rate is. Price yourself accordingly (eg, competitively).

c) They have to know about you: You have complete control over this. If you use drip marketing on a consistent basis, they will know about you; and

d) They have to be comfortable that you can provide the product/service effectively: Luckily, you have complete control over this. This is perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome. But, drip marketing takes care of this as well. How?

First, if you’ve been sending them postcards, newsletters and copywriting tips of the day, for example, right there, it says that you know something. Something powerful happens when you get in front of people on a regular basis. They start to associate you with what you are promoting.

So, if you’re sending them a copywriting tip of the day, for example, prospects will automatically assume that you know what you’re talking about. Back this up with some samples, testimonials, a professional-looking website and good customer service – and you’re practically a shoe-in.

Worried about producing samples and testimonials? Don’t be. In Post #5, we discussed PR & advertising, which can help you overcome this hurdle. Believe it or not, many times, you won’t even be asked for samples.

All clients want to know is that you can solve the problem at hand for them. And proof of this can be handled in many ways, as outlined in Post #5.

Do You Know Who You’re Talking To?

One last point: The article on I linked to says: “Planning for drip marketing needs to be thoughtful, comprehensive and (if the target market is big or diverse enough) carefully segmented by customer category.”

In short, know your audience. Remember in the last post when I advised the mortgage brokers to break up their list of previous customers into purchasers and refinancers?

For purposes of this example, all the clients who used the mortgage broker had mortgages. BUT, those who used them to purchase a home have different needs, wants and desires from those who refinanced through this company.

And, while a campaign may be successful to a certain degree with a catch-all message like “Call us for all your mortgage needs,” it will be some much more effective if a message is sent just to refinancers that said, “Afraid you won’t be able to afford your house when your new ARM rate kicks in?” Call us to refinance today!”

This is type of marketing is called segmentation. Never forget who you’re talking to when you are putting together your marketing campaign. Even when you target a certain niche, there are niches within that niche that require different messages.

NEXT POST: In Post #8 tomorrow, we’ll discuss some ways to keep customers once you get them. Remember, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. So, holding on to those clients is not only economical, it’s a must!

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

Until tomorrow!
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
Upcoming Features in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter

September 12: Gordon Graham. We ring in the “editorial season” by interviewing Gordon Graham, aka “that white paper guy.” Gordon writes and edits white papers and case studies. He charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce a white paper from scratch.

Now, do you see why I had to interview him?! Most freelancers don’t even dream of making this type of money. I can’t wait for this interview.

Missed the latest issue of Inkwell's freelance writing newsletter? The 8/15 issue featured an interview with B2B freelance writer, Meryl K. Evans. Want to break into this very lucrative market? Meryl's interview sheds some detailed light on how. Sign up to receive your copy to read what Meryl had to say.

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
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