How did the freelancing life treat you this year?
Get a steady flow of clients to keep amassing your cash pile, Scrooge McDuck stylee?
Or find yourself scrambling for change on freelance bidding sites just to cover the rent?
If it’s the latter – I hear you.
I’ve been through more famines than I care to remember…
Times when I’d stare at my inbox praying someone would reply to the hundredth prospecting email I’d sent out that week.
Or thinking I was a fraud and crazy to think people would actually pay me to write for them.
Sometimes it got so bad I’d even look at full-time jobs. Just imagine.
But the most annoying thing is I could have escaped the feast/famine cycle a lot sooner than I did.
That is if I’d implemented two key pro level tactics.
These are tactics I previously had locked away in my eBook on fast tracking your freelance success. But as it’s Christmas, I’ll share them with you here:
- Attending live events is the best way to find high paying clients who understand marketing and respect what you do
- Positioning yourself as the “go to” person in a specific skill + niche (e.g. email marketing for vets or webinars for property investors) will focus your marketing activities and rocket your earnings faster than the price of Bitcoin (which is actually dropping as I write, but you get the point)
Now, giving out advice is easy (just ask any of the Facebook gurus making a killing repackaging the techniques of Schwartz or Caples as their own).
But do these tactics work in the real world?
Well, allow me to share how they played out for me at this year’s Copy Chief Live…
Live Events are Where the Big Dogs Hang Out
When you add up the cost of flights to Florida, a room at the Hilton, a new blazer to wow the clients, printing 20 copies of my YouTube Remarketing Generator and networking over nachos, my bill for attending CC Live came to a cool $3,000, or so.
That may sound like a big injection of cash reserves.
But it pails in comparison to the risk another CC member took who gambled their savings to attend, despite seeming cool as a cucumber when I met them at the airport (a gamble which paid off for them in spades, by the way).
Yet had the only benefit of Copy Chief Live been meeting “ethically minded” copywriters at the top of their game, I’d have handed over the money gladly to discover what it takes to be among the best.
Yet luckily for me, I did succeed in getting a new client…
And no ordinary client…
A major A-Lister…
Someone who’s mentored Parris Lampropoulos, Carline Anglade-Cole and many other elite marketers – many of whom are million dollar copywriters today…
I am of course talking about the living legend Clayton Makepeace (I still can’t believe it either).
Based on my samples, he was willing to give me a shot.
My challenge was to write a lead on the impending pensions crisis as a preamble for selling a financial newsletter.
Click below to read it (Just be warned – if you’re retiring soon and haven’t got much squirrelled away it may ruin your Christmas. But don’t worry too much. Japan is in an even worse state, and governments everywhere will likely click the money printers onto turbo and kick the can down the road for another cycle):
A Nervous Month of Waiting
After reading through it so many times I lost all objectivity, I hit send and spent the next few weeks living under a cloud of anxiety, self doubt and being convinced Clayton had mixed up my samples with somebody else…
Then one day an email from Clayton arrived…the first of a series, in fact.
Long story short, he said he was interested in hiring me and would I be available for a promo in Feb or March next year!
After throwing my laptop in the air, spinning in circles on the floor and phoning my mum, I replied in the affirmative.
Now, I know I may have jinxed it publishing this.
A lot can happen between now and Feb.
This career changing opportunity could fall through (comes with the territory, unfortunately).
So for now I’m just going to embrace the satisfaction of having someone of Clayton Makepeace’s stature deem my copy worthy of their perusal.
After all, that’s what we all crave – to have someone we respect tell us our copy is good.
3 Daily Habits for Raising Your Game
I didn’t just write this to boast about getting on Clayton’s radar…
I’m hoping my progress can show you where putting in the work, focusing on a niche and attending live events can get you.
I’ve been through the struggles of worrying about paying the bills, dealing with disrespectful low balling clients, hiring lawyers to take non-payers to court and feeling like a fraud seconds after submitting copy for review.
Yet, what got me through, and will continue to do so, is committing to doing three things every day:
- Studying a winning sales letter
- Writing at least a couple of pages of sales copy
- Coming up with a big idea for a new promo
If 2017 didn’t quite hit the heights you were hoping for, make 2018 the year you commit to doing these 3 things every day to raise your game, as well as niche down and attend at least one live event.
If that event is Copy Chief Live 2018, let me know and let’s grab some nachos.