If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, and 3 yet, please start there first. Here’s the link:
Choosing a client is easy. They just need to tick the following boxes:
1. They MUST have money (no money, or a dodgy credit history will cause you more stress than any job)
2. They MUST have a thriving business (wait, thriving? Why do they need us then? – because it’s easier to help grow a thriving business than a failing one – if a business is failing due to lousy products, lousy salesmanship, poor customer service, or other related things, no amount of great copywriting will save it)
3. You MUST like what they do (actually, you don’t need to like what they do, you don’t even need to be ethically aligned with it, just as long as you don’t throw up everytime you think of them – but picking a nice business to work with will help)
Knowing the above is what makes it so much easier to attract and find the sort of businesses you want to work with – you’re defining the terms, and you can make that clear in your client attracting copy (just nuance it a little, don’t say: “Oi, do you have money, do you have a thriving business, and are you nice? Yes? Great then I can help” – on the other hand, why not?).
With the above in place, and having approached a suitable business without being told to get lost, you can move on to the next step. Expectations.
The secret to getting clients is expectations. Meet those expectations and you have a chance, exceed them, and you rock.
The problem is, your prospective clients are full of them, but they’re the sort of expectations you can’t possibly hope to fulfil (let alone exceed).
Which means you need to educate them first. This is classic sales 101 when we don’t have a killer product.
There’s another problem too. Whilst your prospects have (high) expectations, most of them haven’t got much of a clue what they need (they kind of know what they want, just not what they need – the distinction matters).
So when you finally attract and engage a prospect long enough to get their undivided attention, you must dig deeper than you’ve ever done before to find out what will rock their boat (cliche intended – you have to rock their boat hard enough for them to realise you’re serious).
Here’s how you’ll know if you’re going to make them happy: you’ll come away from a meeting knowing precisely what to do, when to deliver, what you’ll get paid, how long it will take to get paid, and who (if anyone) will review and sign-off the work.
You’ll also know that they’re now excited to have you on-board, and are looking forward to your first deliverables.
Here’s what it will look like if you don’t have the above: you’ll come away confused about what you need to do, you won’t know when or even if you’ll get paid, and you’re not even sure they’re that happy about taking you on.
The latter situation is how every new copywriter on the planet starts (except the gurus, obviously, who, as we all know, were born perfect).
How do you get to be perfect when you have zero results to show for yourself? Find out in part 5