We’re continuing our theme of getting your business ready for success in 2020. A couple of readers asked about transitioning their professional writing activities from relying on the freelance marketplaces to attracting their own clients.
I gave the readers some tips, but in a nutshell, I encouraged them to get visible, not only online, but also in their local community. In real life, away from the online world, most people have no idea that professional writers exist.
Show up, both online and offline. Talk about your business locally without being pushy. Show up at local events and local organizations’ meetings. Have breakfast or lunch at an area restaurant once a week.
You’ll be shocked at the number of projects you attract. You’ll also be shocked that people are prepared to pay well for your services.
First things first: have you set your goals for 2020?
Professional writing in 2020: have you created goals for your business?
We talked about creating a business plan for 2020, and said:
You’re a writer. The world, to coin a cliche, is your oyster. Write whatever you enjoy and chances are, you can make money at it.
Please create some goals today, if you haven’t done so already. The holiday season is almost upon us; it will be 2020 before we know it.
Let’s look at some tips to help you to kickstart 2020.
1. Freelance writing? Send a mailing to all your clients to win last-minute projects
In all my years as a writing teacher and mentor, I’ve never found a freelancer who made full use of his client list. 99% of freelancers ignore their clients once a project’s done.
This is a horrid, painful mistake… I’ve mentored writers who have tripled their income, overnight, by paying attention to their client list.
Big tip: it takes time and energy to win new clients. Spend time each week cultivating the people who have hired you in the past.
Send out a “2020 is coming” mailing to all your clients. Wish them all the best for the holidays. Ask them whether they need your help to wrap up projects at this busy time.
If you think that a client will need you in 2020, add something like this to your mailing:
“My 2020 schedule’s filling fast. A small monthly retainer ensures that I’ll be available when you need me. I’ll send over a proposal next week.”
Then send a proposal for a retainer — with an invoice. And hey presto, just like magic: you’ve got retainer clients, and a guaranteed monthly income, for very little effort.
2. Self-publishing? Write short stories to win holiday sales
You know that readers buy short stories. Writing them is a no-brainer. So is writing serials:
Writing serial fiction makes it easy to get into a genre that’s new to you. Serial fiction has been popular for a couple of centuries. The big benefit is simple: if readers love your story, they’ll buy every episode.
Not sure how to sell short stories? The Short Reads Report will get you up to speed.
3. Blogging? Create a marketing push to win new clients
As a blogger, your supply of prospective clients is unlimited.
Take a few hours as soon as you can to create a final marketing push for 2019. Your aim is to win as many new clients as you can for 2020.
Here’s why. Clients come and go. You need a steady supply of new clients. Leverage the clients you already have to win larger clients.
As with our tip for freelancers, get visible in your local community. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of new clients you attract.
Professional writing: there’s no ceiling on your income
The income you make as a pro writer is up to you.
Prepare for a wonderful 2020 now.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.