Unless you’re turning down work left and right, you should be spending time marketing your services regularly. You can schedule this for a specific day or dedicate a slot of time in each workday. It can be easy to forget about marketing when you’re ass-deep in a project, but if you have nothing lined up beyond that, you’re going to have a work/income gap. Consistent marketing helps you avoid the feast or famine of freelancing, so schedule these activities into your planner. To assist you in your efforts, I’ve compiled twelve marketing tools you can use to promote your services and skills as a copywriter.
#1 – The LOI
Ahh, the humble yet effective letter of introduction. I love these because they can be templated, making them fast and easy to send, and they turn your follow-up into a warm call or email versus a cold one. LOIs are a way to introduce yourself and let your prospective clients know about your services. A good LOI shows the client how you can help them or what you can do to make their life easier or reach a goal. Plus you can cheaply and easily reach lots of prospective clients with just an email address or private message on some social media sites.
#2 – Mailings
These come in all variations of shape and size, from the uncluttered postcard to the full-tilt sample packet. They are also a great way to brand yourself through color and style. You should always follow up on a mailing with either phone calls or emails. If sending your mailing in an envelope, addressing them by hand can increase your open rate. You can also include something that creates a lump in the envelope. This curiosity-inducing tactic has also been shown to increase the number of recipients who open a mailing.
#3 – Cold Calling
Though probably the least popular of marketing techniques among creative folk, cold calling can still earn impressive results. While snail mail and email do not give you direct contact with decision makers, phone calls do and if you’ve been following up by phone on your other marketing efforts, you may now be ready to skip the first step and just call. Have a script ready and know your goal, whether it’s to send a packet of samples, email over the address of your website so the client can see your online portfolio or schedule an in-person meeting. I recommend using your website as a portfolio…it’s faster than using the post, you get the client’s email address when you use it to forward your url, and you get to highlight having a website – professional!
#4 – Networking
This beast takes many forms and may require some courage on your behalf. Business expos, conferences and networking events hosted by local organizations are common fare when building a professional network. You can also use social situations to your advantage by simply being open about what you do and handing out your contact info to those who are interested or ‘know someone’. The idea here is to visible.
#5 – Find And Show
Though more of a tactic than a tool, finding a need in a client’s marketing efforts and showing them what they would gain by addressing it is a great way to earn yourself the project. Spend some time evaluating the needs of potential clients, then shoot over a friendly email highlighting the benefits of implementing your idea. Creating marketing plans can also earn you a higher wage if you present yourself as a consultant as well as a copywriter.
#6 – Job Boards
These can be great for both newbie and seasoned copywriters, though each specific ad should be scrutinized for merit (don’t get scammed…that’s a whole disclaimer, right?) I list lots of specific sites and their job boards in 50+ Markets.
#7 – Resume Boards
The opposite of job boards, these are sites that allow you to post your resume in their database, which they then market to potential clients. There are both paid and free databases out there but I suggest using those with ample and interested (not browsing) traffic. I’ve highlighted a few in…you guessed it…50+ Markets. Remember that if you pay to place your resume, this should be tax deductible as well.
#8 – Social Media
Some venues work better for sharing your professional services and I suggest LinkedIn for copywriters, though Twitter or Facebook may work just as well for you. Make sure to highlight your services and website in your profile and join a few professional groups. Keep tabs on who is viewing your profile and follow up on these leads with a friendly email offering your services.
#9 – Your Website
This handy professional tool is essential. Yup, I deem it mandatory. Not only can you be contacted or discovered directly through your site, you can also drive potential clients here to view your samples. The added bonus is that it makes you look like a professional bad-ass! There are free website creation platforms, which means there is no reason for you to not have this set up yet. Go the extra mile by registering a domain and obtaining a dedicated email address.
#10 – Local Chamber of Commerce
The benefits of membership usually include the opportunity to display promotional material, invitations to networking events and an enhanced professional image. While membership fees may be pricey, they may pay you back with interest in paid work.
#11 – Business Cards and Letterhead
They may seem simple (they are) but both of these items are powerful marketing tools that allow you to network, exchange contact info and brand yourself and your business. I suggest creating a brand ‘feel’ with color and design, including these elements in a logo, then implementing this across all your print and digital marketing efforts. The consistency will make your services visible and recognizable.
#12 – Portfolio
This is another one of those essential, but often overlooked, marketing tools. Get a good one, showcase your best samples, and carry it with you to client meetings and networking events.
What did I miss and what has worked best for you? I love hearing your feedback and advise readers to check out the comments for further resources and ideas. You guys are fantastic!