Sowing the Seeds of Opportunity
You can turn your $200 fee to write a press release into $2,000 to carry out an entire PR campaign simply by convincing clients to invest in campaigns, instead of individual assignments. Campaigns achieve better results and cost less in the long-term for clients, compared to individual assignments. And, of course, as the freelancer, you get paid much more for turning out a succession of assignments that assimilate a successful campaign.
Here’s how to multiply your writing sales by convincing clients to invest in long-term campaigns, instead of short-term individual assignments.
• Know the short-term and long-term view results. A client approaches you to write a brochure. He may or may not know that his product can also benefit from other types of promotional pieces, such as ads, direct mail, news releases, websites, and so on, to sell his product or service. Your job is to educate the client. The brochure may be the first promotional piece in a consortium of promotional pieces. Here, you must know the short-term and long-term view results of the brochure.
The short-term view results are the results the brochure will achieve for the client; and the long-term results are the results the brochure will achieve/contribute for the entire campaign. It answers the questions, “How do the results of this brochure fit into the entire campaign?” and “How can these results be strengthened with other forms of promotional materials?”
Show the client how a campaign that’s comprised of a succession of assignments can achieve — and exceed — his expectations and outsell and outdo the performance of a single assignment.
• Use “tie-in” services. Whenever a client approaches you with a single assignment, ask yourself what tie-in services can supplement the single assignment. A news release achieves better results when it’s accompanied with a photo. And a press kit — complete with press releases, photos, brochures, and company information — can achieve better results than a single press release. All of these extra tie-in services can turn writing a single press release into multiple writing sales.
• Offer the “concept to completion” benefit. Instead of pitching yourself as a freelancer who can write newsletter copy, pitch yourself as a freelancer who produces newsletters, from copy to completion. You multiply your income by outsourcing parts of the job and delivering a finished product, not a piece of the product. You also can extend your “concept to completion” services by pitching yourself as a marketing consultant, in which you make recommendations to the client as to the best way to market the newsletter.
• Develop strong consultative skills. Besides selling your freelance services, also offer consulting services. Clients pay you to explain ideas, concepts, recommendations and turnkey solutions as to the best way to achieve the results they desire. Consulting with clients can lead to securing freelance work, since clients realize you have the skills and expertise to undertake the task.
• Know the future needs of clients. Clients come with present needs — and future needs. A client may hire you to write a newsletter now, but they’ll also consider you for future work if you know what their future needs are and how to fulfill them. The company may be ushering in a new product line, creating a new division within the company, sponsoring a charity event, or creating a website. All of these future events need a freelancer to do promotional writing and freelance work. That’s you. Your job is to show clients how you’ll address their future needs with solutions that’ll increase their profitability and/or productivity. This is usually accomplished with a proposal through which you pitch yourself as the freelancer who has the solutions to undertake the future tasks.
• Use proposals to secure work. Proposals are an inclusive persuasion tool to convince prospects that you can increase their profitability and/or productivity with your freelance services. Proposals specifically show the client how you intend to achieve the desired results, the time and costs involved, and why you and your solutions are the best choices to boost the company’s profits.
• Adaptations. Any of your freelance writing services can be adapted for websites, turning a single assignment into two assignments. Get paid to write a press release or brochure, and then get paid again to adapt the copy digitally.
• Add-on services, such as desktop publishing services, marketing consulting, compiling and selling media lists, and project coordinating can help multiply your work and your income.